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Building around HWTS

Preparing an awareness-cum-fund raiser on child diarrhoea issues on Dutch public radio, the Netherlands Red Cross has this week brought together key WASH staff from eight colleague societies in Asia and Africa in their offices in The Hague.

Under a broad umbrella of ‘WASH and Resilience’, they reviewed latest evidence-based developments in WASH. A session on scaling-up HWTS was led by 300in6.

Among the hot topics discussed were durable output (such as the Dutch Government rule on service delivery for 10 years), refined record-keeping and the visible mitigation of financial risks. The hottest of all: how to modulate the organisational growth paths of existing success stories, from start-up to leadership, whilst maintaining the growth rates of HWTS adoption.

Design a red line, designer red line

In the crowded arrivals hall of Geneva airport, there is a very bright, straight, red line embedded in the floor. It is at the cusp of two floor areas: dark wood panels at the exit for arriving passengers, and light stone for the greeters. It has replaced the steel barriers installed decades ago.

Was this, we asked the airport building manager, to separate the two groups? “Absolutely, but it took us a while to persuade the architects. We won that bet, and now almost everyone respects it”. Not quite – and that was our point. After much filming, we confirmed that those greeters who stayed behind the red line seemed to be locals. Namely, those who live in a society with almost one thousand years of pretty heavy rules for social conformity. And visitors from Foreign Isles and Elsewhere? They didn’t notice the line at all. You’ll see it soon in our video on social marketing. Merci, Monsieur l’Aeroport.

Devotion, dedication and … an eye for detail

Alie Eleveld, a leader of the safe water and AIDS programme (SWAP) in Kisumu, western Kenya, was awarded a royal decoration by the Queen of the Netherlands as a Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau, late in April. It was due to her “selfless dedication and devotion” in her work, reports SWAP.
Much of the work of SWAP is characterised by a sharp attention to detail, which allows for optimised delivery of health and hygiene services, including safe water treatment. Such detail was featured in our journal UPSCALE #1, pp 14-15.
A compelling interview with Alie is featured in UPSCALE #2, pp 6-7, where she describes how SWAP have developed the notion of a basket of products and services.

They dispense, we dispense, you dispense

Innovations come, it is often said, from the edges. Here’s impressive news of one in HWTS which has hit the mainstream, to the tune of 5.5 million USD for three years.

Earlier this week, the Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) programme of USAID announced an award to Dispensers for Safe Water(DSW), a social enterprise mothered by our colleagues in Innovations for Poverty Action.

The IPA communiqué gives full details of DSW and video connects plus links to the bountiful DIV, clearly motivated, according to DSW, by treating scale-up as “the biggest bang for the buck”.

Such brash monetarist talk makes one wonder if the scale-up upon which IPA is now embarked might not augur some more changes in their line-up. No clear evidence exists for such an idea, as yet, but it could be a signal that this NGO is changing its values – perhaps out of the public eye.

Whatever, but making a splash sure makes lots of ripples.

It´s not rocket science, but prepare for lift-off

The Safe Water School project of the Swiss EAWAG (aquatic research), Helvetas and Antenna Technologies Geneva, financed by the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC), is building a solid foundation in Bolivia, Kenya and Haiti for a large-scale adoption of school-driven water treatment.

A new Antenna video – which could well become a model of excellence for institutional progress reports – presents the key players, and their adult enablers, in the Haiti programme, known as ‘Lekol dlo san danje’ (Lit: L’école de l’eau sans danger, The school of risk-free water). Mainly French, English sub-titles, 5’40″.

The idea now, the film concludes temptingly, is to see what the results of the programme are today, and try and replicate it on a national scale in Haiti. Now, would that be ‘replikayson pou nivo nasyonal’?

[Ed: Antenna also administers SDC support to 300in6 communications services.]