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Experimenting with water service delivery

Coming up with a convincing elevator pitch for our Sustainable Services at Scale (Triple-S) project has long been a challenge. Which, given the complexities of the rural water sector itself, is possibly not that surprising. Whether defining ourselves (at least in part) as a complexity informed water services development lab will help, remains to be … Continue reading


A bit short of a miracle …

Originally posted on water services that last:
By Patrick Moriarty and John Sauer What is it that IADB’s Max Valasquez Matute in Honduras finds ‘only a bit short of a miracle’?  The decision by seven INGOs to align their programming in Honduras in support of an Everyone Forever movement aimed at delivering full coverage in…

Originally posted on water services that last:
By Patrick Moriarty – I mentioned some cool new outputs from IRC’s Ghana programme in my previous post.  These factsheets  present a rich picture of water services and their governance based on a total survey in our three Triple-S  focus districts in Ghana. The fact sheets aren’t cool due…

Originally posted on water services that last:
By Patrick Moriarty  –   It’s always difficult call these things, but I think (and hope) that the last couple of weeks may, in retrospect, come to be seen as a watershed on the long and painful road to achieving universal access to water and sanitation services worthy of…

Mid term assessment blues

This is a post I made yesterday on our waterservicesthatlast blog.  I’m sure there’s a smarter way to post to multiple blogs at once – but for now can’t find it – so this is straight cut-n-past!  Its also my first post in a while – since leaving Ghana and ‘returning’ to live in Ireland … Continue reading

Standardised hand pumps – a good thing?

Paul van Beers of FairWater.Org  manufacturer of the ‘Blue Pump’ is frustrated by the process (or lack of it) of standardisation around handpump designs.  He has a point.   There is a tendency in the rural water sector to assume that standardisation is a ‘good thing’ – because it helps to simplify spare parts chains, allows … Continue reading

The biggest myth of all – rural people want clean drinking water?

During the opening plenary, Richard Carter of WaterAid presents RWSN’s excellent “myths of the rural water supply sector paper”.  I’ve liked this paper since it first appeared, capturing as it does in a succinct and pithy form so many of the challenges the sector faces in moving beyond manically sticking holes in the ground and … Continue reading

Water services in the danger zone

During the afternoon session on “post construction support and partnerships for sustainable rural water services” my colleague Jeske Verhoeven makes a presentation based on our latest WASHCost working paper on the costs of providing recurrent support to service providers. One of the slides showed the diagram that I’ve included here.  This is a slightly modified … Continue reading

Mr Phiri’s story – bypassing local government doesn’t lead to lasting services

Mr Phiri’s story – bypassing local government doesn’t lead to lasting services An excellent presentation by Mr. Edgar Phiri – district Water Officer from Mwanza District Council in Malawi – during one of the parallel sessions on day one (the proceedings don’t seem to be on the RWSN blog yet – but as soon as they … Continue reading

Handpump functionality: what is the threshold for area mechanics?

My colleague Catarina Fonseca attended the “managing handpump water supplies” session. She says “after three hours of plenary and sessions, we keep hearing about low levels of functionality. 65% of handpumps in Chad being non-functional was the latest figure reported by Philippe Lacour-Gayet from IDO. In the session (again – when links are available we’ll … Continue reading