How to take the joint activities of RWH network further?
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Dear RWH Experts,
SearNet Secretariat was glad to be part of the discussions during yesterday's webinar on building momentum for the RWH movement. We would like to further the discussion online on some topics which were lightly touched upon during the panel discussion, namely how we can take the joint activities of the RWH network forward.
Firstly, it is relevant to point out some of the challenges which joint activities between RWH networks face. We noted them to be the following:
Some of the solutions to the challenges mentioned above could be:
Secondly, it is important to realize the potential of joint activities of RWH networks. This potential has been demonstrated by various joint activities in the past:
1. SearNet and CSE India wrote a joint proposal which was successfully funded by the Dutch government through GWP Associated programme. This was a three year programme that had major successes in policy and awareness creation on RWH. This is one of the factors which created more visibility for SearNet and its member associations.
2. The recently concluded ABCMAC RWH Symposium in Brazil demonstrated that such fora provides opportunity for regional cooperations where knowledge and experiences can be broadly shared. This kind of symposium should be replicated, as already planned, through an exchange visit by the Brazilians and other RWH networks, including RAIN, IRCSA, IRHA, etc. to Africa.
3. RWH champion farmers, such as Abel in Brazil, should be invited and supported to participate in international symposia. Abel is a great innovator in the use of suction pump, which is an important component for abstraction of water. Abstraction is often one of the greatest challenges of water management, and lessons learnt by Abel could be practically shared and hopefully adopted by farmers around the world.
As a way forward to strengthening networks, the SearNet secretariat is learning from RAIN in the use of various tools:
We would be happy to hear your comments and input on this matter.
The SearNet Secretariat is organizing an international conference in April 2015, where the Brazilians and the international RWH networks will participate. You involvements and input towards this cause are most welcome!
- A and E
Dear A and E,
Thank you very much for your inspirational ideas! Very much appreciated - to add to your ideas, please find below some thoughts we (RAIN) have:
- joint proposal writing is indeed key, and this could indeed be about lobby & advocacy and awareness creation. I would like to ask you (the community) who has any ideas of who might be interested to fund these kind of proposals?
- knowledge exchange, capacity development and learning visits are important, not only for and between us but also for other non-RWH specialists (e.g. policy makers) in order to convince them of the potential of RWH. Therefore, documentation and dissemination of these experiences in the form of for example publications, videos or blogs are crucial. Some tools to do so are mentioned by Alex and Elske in their email!
- lastly, we indeed need champions to tell their own story and we should facilitate a platform for this. If anybody of you knows excellent RWH champions in Uganda, Kenya or Ethiopia, please let us know as we are in the process of documenting these on film and in a brochure.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Thanks R for your swift response.
On your question about who may fund joint proposals, I would like to add that we may first need to identify the thematic areas so that we can match or link them to the relevant donors. We also need to be abreast with what is trending for a given region so that what the proposal entails actually relates with the needs of the people in question.
With regard to your point on champions, I am glad that RAIN already has an initiative to document some of the champs which will be captured in the Ethiopian Documentation Workshop. Why don't we just agree that various countries/networks should start compiling a directory of RWH champions in their areas. Of course, this is a continuous process therefore even if we start with a small number, the list will develop over time.
Whichever subject/thematic area we develop, it should capture both the the support of policy makers and champions.
Dear A and E, et al,
M here with Nature Healing Nature. I agree with the importance of knowledge exchange, I think it is very important to include project evaluations that take place one or more years after an installation is complete in the data base. The evaluations should include what social, economic, and health benefits that the communities gained from the RWH project, i.e. behavioral changes instilled; sustainability of the equipment; impact on individual families; and etc. It should also include social, and economic problems encountered after the installation. This information would offer credibility to funding proposals and lend itself to what might become part of standard monitoring and evaluation criteria for RWH projects.
A related example: When we asked villagers in South Africa how their lives had changed after the addition of a ram-pump to create vegetable gardens where once there were none, some of the answers were unexpected: One woman said she sold some of the extra vegetables she grew and was able to buy a school uniform for her daughter (dignity). Another said she was able to sell extra vegetables and bought a propane cook stove - she no longer has to fetch wood (standard of living and deforestation). Another said she was able to sell extra vegetables and could now buy small personal items for herself without having to ask her husband every time she wanted to do so (women's empowerment). Another said, now that her children were eating more vegetables, they don't get sick as often (thriving community).
Regards to all,
I share your opinion on evaluating completed rwh projects a year or more after their completions. It is a sad fact that too many projects are declared successful just after completion of the construction work and thereafter replicated my many - only to find out that the projects are only sustainable for less than a few years. A good example is the many sand dams built in eastern Kenya which have never held water after rainy seasons!
During our last webinar you mentioned: 'we just installed the first 40,000L potable rainwater harvesting system in Houston area under the new Code that we helped write for the City in 2009. We have three others being installed – first in Texas.'
Do you have any documentation on that for sharing that might be relevant to this Community?
Your comments and additions to our input are highly appreciated. I particularly like the example you have depicted for the South African households on how they have benefited from the technologies. Such responses should not be taken lightly as they are a good measure on how support agencies are performing with regard to transforming peoples livelihoods.
Programme Officer – Water Management