We’re pleased to share that a recently released report from New Philanthropy Capital recognized WASHfunders.org as a top innovation in global philanthropy. The report, 10 Innovations in Global Philanthropy, praises the information on funding flows available through WASHfunders’ mapping tool and notes that the site reflects the broader push for open data in the philanthropic sector.
WASHfunders was also selected as the ‘Experts’ Top Pick’ among the innovations featured within the report, with Cath Tillotson of Scorpio Partnership commenting that, “If you define innovation as doing something differently, bigger or better, WASHfunders ticks all the boxes.”
WASHfunders and other innovations featured in the report will be discussed on a webinar to be held Wednesday, November 12th. Registration information and additional details are available here.
NPC’s report has been covered widely in philanthropic circles. Additional coverage includes an interview with WASHfunders’ lead, Seema Shah, on Philanthropy Age, a write up on Pro Bono Australia, and a mention on Health Affairs. In August, our Twitter feed was also cited as a top ten Twitter influencer in water and development by the Guardian.
We’re honored to receive the recognition and understand that the value of WASHfunders ultimately depends on our engagement with -- and usefulness to -- those working in the WASH sector! To contribute case studies, suggest recommended reading for the Knowledge Center, or submit a guest blog, contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s Note: This guest post was co-authored by Dr. Mary Renwick, Director of the Water Innovation Program at Winrock International, and Dr. Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio, Senior Associate Director at Rockefeller Foundation. In their post, Dr. Renwick and Dr. Rumbaitis del Rio discuss the advantages of Integrated Multiple-Use Water Services (MUS) and describe SolutionMUS, the implementation methodology developed by Winrock International to scale up this integrated approach to water service provision. On November 13, they’ll be presenting a funder webinar on ways to sustainably improve people’s health and livelihoods through investments in integrated water services. For more information and to RSVP for the event, contact Ryan Leeds at RLeeds@rockfound.org.
For over two billion people living in absolute poverty, water is everything. Access to safe and sustainable water increases peoples’ resilience and improves their health and livelihoods by supporting their basic needs -- from drinking, hygiene, and sanitation to food production and income generation. Unfortunately, the way in which policymakers and water sector architects design and deliver water services to poor communities is often disconnected from the way these communities actually use water.
The current approach to water service delivery usually focuses on providing water for a single use -- typically drinking or irrigation. Not surprisingly, once the water is available people begin using it for all their needs. This means that drinking water systems are used for watering livestock, producing food and supporting small water-dependent enterprises such as brickmaking or beer brewing. Likewise, irrigation water is used for drinking, bathing and other unplanned uses such as watering livestock and home gardens. The use of single-use systems for unintended purposes is a widespread phenomenon that often leads to inadvertent yet serious consequences including the spread of disease, overuse of resources, user conflict, and system breakdown. Ultimately, this gap between planned services and actual needs undermines the intended goal of water service provision -- improved health and livelihoods -- and leads to sustainability problems for water services and resources.
Integrated Multiple-Use Water Services (MUS) support transformative change by providing water services that meet peoples’ multiple domestic and productive water needs. MUS use communities’ self-identified needs as a starting point to plan, finance, and manage integrated water services. In addition, MUS take into account all potential water sources (rain, ground and surface water) to design financially and environmentally sustainable water services that meet actual consumer needs and preferences.
In the past 15 years, a growing body of evidence indicates that planning and managing water services for multiple uses can enhance health, improve food security, increase incomes, and reduce workloads for women and children (Loevinsohn et. al., 2014; Evans, et. al., 2013; Hall, et. al 2012; Renwick, et al., 2007; van Hoeve and van Koppen, 2005; van Hoeve, 2004; Waughray, Lovell, and Mazhangara,1998; VanDer Hoek, Feenstra, and Konradsen, 2002; Molle and Renwick, 2004). Results from on-the-ground programs in Burkina Faso, Nepal, Niger, Tanzania and other locations suggests that MUS provide the following significant advantages over single-use services:
- More income and benefits (improved health, nutrition, time savings, food security and social empowerment) for a wider range of people;
- Decreased vulnerability and increased resiliency for households through diversified livelihood strategies and increased food security;
- Enhanced reduction of poverty using methods that address the multiple dimensions of poverty simultaneously such as poor health, inadequate resources and lack of skills; and
- Increased sustainability of water services through productive water use that generates enough income to cover on-going operation, maintenance and replacement costs.
Interest in MUS has accelerated as more implementers, governments, and donors design, invest in, and implement integrated development programs. Correspondingly, the demand for a well-defined, evidence-based implementation methodology has grown. Winrock International has addressed this methodological gap by developing SolutionMUS, an open initiative to scale-up multiple-use water services (MUS). SolutionMUS provides a clear conceptual framework, step-by-step implementation guidance and a range of illustrative examples from different contexts. SolutionMUS draws on internationally recognized best practices and builds on and complements the efforts of other early MUS innovators. The approach extends beyond integrated water services by using targeted, cost-effective programs to amplify benefits in health, nutrition, food security, income generation, livelihoods diversification, and environmental sustainability. Since 2005, Winrock has worked with local and international organizations to develop, test and refine the SolutionMUS approach in partnership with local governments, local and international non-governmental organizations, and the local private sector. Our efforts in seven countries have improved the health and livelihoods of 500,000 people.
SolutionMUS is flexible. It does not need to be a stand-alone approach, but can add value to ongoing efforts to provide water services to people living in poverty. Major features of the approach include:
- A clear, consistent conceptual framework, technical standards, and step-by-step process;
- Impact-boosting programs that enhance people’s health and livelihoods, and contribute to environmental sustainability;
- Rigorous field testing and evaluation;
- An active learning and sharing platform to encourage continuous improvement; and
- A growing package of technical support and training products for implementers, funders, policymakers, and researchers.
Want to learn more?
Join us on Thursday, November 13 at 11:30 ET when Rockefeller Foundation, along with Winrock International, will host a funder webinar on integrated water services. The webinar will explain how you can:
- Achieve a higher return on every dollar spent on water services;
- Ensure the sustainability of your investments; and
- Tackle the multi-dimensional aspects of poverty, improve health and nutrition, increase food security, diversify livelihoods, and protect the environment.
Please RSVP here to participate in the webinar or contact Ryan Leeds (RLeeds@rockfound.org) for additional information.
In light of the recently released USAID Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy, WASH Advocates and 1,000 Days will be hosting a webinar on WASH and nutrition in the Strategy and its importance moving forward. The event will explore the relationship between WASH and nutrition, the process of creating the nutrition strategy, and implications for practical application of WASH and nutrition in the field.
Monday, June 30 (12PM – 1:30PM EST)
- Tom Davis, Chief Program Officer, Feed the Children
- Smita Baruah, Director, Global Health Policy and Advocacy, Save the Children USA
- Helen Petach, Biomedical Sciences Advisor, USAID
To register for the webinar, click here.
As the target year for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, Global Water Challenge invites you to the webinar, Elevating the Post-2015 Water Goal. The event will share perspectives from a diversity of stakeholders in the water sector on the process of establishing a meaningful goal around water as part of this next phase.
Tuesday, May 13 (11AM - 12:30PM EST)
Monica Ellis, CEO of Global Water Challenge, will moderate the discussion among the following panelists:
- Cecilia Scharp, Senior Advisor, UNICEF
- Francesca Bernardini, Senior Advisor, Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN
- Krishanti Vignarajah, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of State
- Marco Daniel, Coordinator, Swiss Water Partnership
To register for the webinar, click here. And to learn more about country progress on MDGs and other national-level indicators on water and sanitation recorded in the 2012 GLAAS report, visit our funding map.
Each of the two hour-long webinars will share the results of a landscaping study of sustainability-related tools for WASH that was carried out by Aguaconsult as part of the Sustainable Service at Scale (Triple-S) Initiative.
March 4th (9 am EST, 2 pm UTC) and March 18th (10 am EST, 2 pm UTC)
March 4th Presenters:
- Sam Godfrey, UNICEF
- Heather Skilling, USAID
- Agnes Montangero, HELVETAS
- Julia Boulenouar, Aguaconsult
March 18th Presenters:
- Andre Olschewski, SKAT
- Antonio Manuel Rodríguez Serrano, Water and Sanitation Program, World Bank
- Ryan Schweitzer, Aguaconsult
To register for the webinar series, click here.
The Rural Water Supply Network Equity and Inclusion Group invites you to learn about the new training materials, Equity and Inclusion in WASH, developed by the Water, Engineering, and Development Centre (WEDC) at Loughborough University and WaterAid. The training materials aim to provide WASH practitioners with a framework rooted in the social model of disability to help them address problems faced by the most disadvantaged in accessing WASH services. Field-tested in Africa and Asia, the framework encompasses exclusion of all kinds and is useful in creating alliances with groups working in other issue areas, such as gender, health, and ageing.
Wednesday, May 8th (9AM – 10:30AM EDT)
During the free webinar, “Removing Barriers to WASH,” WEDC research associate, Hazel Jones, will:
- Showcase the training materials
- Explain the use cases
- Present case studies of where and how they have been put into practice
- Answer questions and solicit feedback on the materials
Global Water Challenge and Sesame Workshop invite you to an hour-long webinar, “WASHing with Sesame Street,” to learn about an innovative opportunity to join a coalition of partners for a targeted WASH multimedia effort. The two organizations will be developing a global campaign to deliver key messages about WASH to millions of parents, children, and caregivers around the world.
Tuesday, December 11th (10AM – 11AM EST)
The Rockefeller Foundation, Context Partners, and NextBillion invite you to hear first-hand from NGO leaders about how their organizations leverage networks to build and maintain their capacity to innovate. This webinar is especially salient to WASH sector organizations interested in learning about the best practices of NGOs, like Winrock International, who are paving the way forward with holistic and innovative approaches to water solutions.
Tuesday, October 2nd (1PM – 2PM ET)
The free, hour-long webinar, “Engaging Networks for Systemic Impact,” will include the following panelists:
- Kippy Joseph, The Rockefeller Foundation, Associate Director, Innovation
- Erik Hersman, Ushahidi, Co-founder
- Mary Renwick, Winrock International, Innovation Program Officer
- Mark Frohardt, Internews Center for Innovation & Learning, Executive Director
The discussion will cover tools and tactics to build and grow your organization's network, approaches to increase on-the-ground impact, and source solutions and resources beyond your staff.
For more information and to register, click here. To participate in the conversation on Twitter, follow the #EngagedNetworks hashtag.
Global Water Challenge, WASHplus and WASH Advocacy Initiative invite you to an hour-long webinar, “Leading with Sustainability: Laying the Groundwork for Lasting Services,” on planning for sustainability in WASH programs. Aligned with the WASH Sustainability Charter, this webinar will present concrete and practical strategies and tools that can be used in the WASH program planning process to lay the groundwork for lasting services.
This webinar will take place Thursday, December, 15th (11:00AM – 12:00PM EST) and highlight several key issues, including:
Before the Funding Flows: the Donor Perspective
Braimah Apambire, The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Partnering with Service Providers: the Urban Perspective
Andy Narracott, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor
Planning for Service Delivery: the Rural Perspective
Harold Lockwood, Aguaconsult
The webinar will be moderated by Orlando Hernandez from WASHplus and is open to any donor, academic institution, implementing organization or individual interested in creating sustainable WASH programs.