7th Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) Forum – Radisson Blu Abidjan Airport, Côte d’Ivoire

Welcome to the 7th RWSN Forum
Water for everyone

29th November – 2nd December, 2016. The RWSN Forum is the foremost global event on rural water services and takes place every 5 years.

The 7th RWSN Forum explored the practicalities of reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Human Right to Water in rural areas and small towns.

Discussions in all sessions centered around key issues in rural water supply including:

Provision of adequate water services for women
The need for increased funding for purchase of spare parts, continuous monitoring and capacity development
Empowering communities to engage effectively with government to increase access to water and sanitation
Sustainable rural and small town water supply and the building blocks necessary to ensure sustainable services
Ways of strengthening local government capacity
Supporting citizens and media to hold government accountable and put pressure for better service delivery.

About RWSN

The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) is the global network of professionals and practitioners working to raise standards of knowledge and evidence, technical and professional competence, practice and policy in rural water supply and so fulfil the vision of sustainable rural water services for all. RWSN places a very strong emphasis on innovation, documentation, research and capacity building.

Our vision is of a world in which all rural people have access to a sustainable and reliable water supply which can be effectively managed to provide sufficient, affordable and safe water within a reasonable distance of the home.

We are primarily concerned about viable technologies and approaches that improve rural water supply. We achieve our objectives by catalysing innovation, providing evidence-based documentation, supporting research, sharing information, influencing policies and practices, supporting efforts to build capacity and facilitating networking.

7th RWSN Forum organisers

We are grateful to the organisations and individuals of the RWSN Forum task force and management team:

African Development Bank: Mr Jochen Rudolph, Mr Victor Bas-Martinez
IRC: Mr Stef Smits, Mr Ton Schouten
SDC: Dr Manfred Kaufmann
Skat Foundation: Dr Kerstin Danert, Mr Sean Furey
The World Bank: Mr Miguel Vargas-Ramirez, Ms Almud Weitz, Ms. Lilian Pena Pereira Weiss, Ms Meleesa Naughton
UNICEF: Mr Jose Gesti-Canuto
WaterAid: Mr Erik Harvey, Mr Vincent Casey

We thank the Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire for hosting the Forum.

About RWSN Forums

Knowledge management and networking are core activities for the RWSN Secretariat because we believe that practitioners can learn best from each other. Since 1992, RWSN (which was the Handpump Technology Network until 2003) has organised six international forums before this one:

1992Handpump Technology Network foundedKenya
19972nd International HTN WorkshopMalawi
20003rd International HTN WorkshopIndia
20034th International HTN Forum – HTN changed to RWSNSouth Africa
20065th International RWSN ForumGhana
20116th International RWSN ForumUganda
20167th International RWSN ForumCote d’Ivoire

Photo Credits on this website
Skat Foundation: Sean Furey; Martin Laeng; Kerstin Danert
World Bank: Simone D. McCourtie; Arne Hoel; Gerardo Pesantez; Allison Kwesell; Stephan Bachenheimer

RWSSI Strategy 2016-2025

“Aligning RWSSI to Africa Water Vision 2025 AND SDGs 2030”

In the last public consultation designed to sharpen the focus of RWSSI further, stakeholders meeting on the sidelines of the 7th RWSN Forum in Abidjan recommended a stronger focus on (a) leadership; (b) sustainability, and (c) knowledge management.”


📢 Join us for the fourth webinar of the RWSN Early Webinar Series that will feature a discussion on the supported self-supply.

It will present case studies of formal programs from Madagascar, Nepal, Fiji, and Colombia, as well as examples from rural Africa.
🗓 18 June, 2024
⏰ 09:00 CEST

What is the most cost-effective approach for microbial water testing?

This new #REALwater article compares the costs per E. coli test (membrane filtration) that has been carried out on four approaches representing different levels of centralization:
🧪 one centralized laboratory serving all water systems
🧪 a mobile laboratory serving all systems
🧪 multiple semi-centralized laboratories serving clusters of systems
🧪 decentralized analysis at each system

📢💧 Announcing the second Stop the Rot webinar and the last webinar of our series!

Join us next Tuesday, 25 June, for a discussion around challenges in ensuring a high standard of rural water infrastructure from the outset.
Poor quality infrastructure continues to be a problem in rural water supplies. This webinar provides a platform to discuss the issue, including looking at some of the types of quality problems encountered and the experiences of several organizations that have managed to consistently procure quality components.

Event Sponsors & Thanks

Thank you to everyone who made the 7th RWSN Forum such a great success. It could only happen with the financial support of the event sponsors (listed on the pages below) and the 440+ participants from 65 countries. Also a huge thanks to tireless teamwork of the:

  • The Prime Minister, Minister for Economic Infrastructure and Government of Cote d’Ivoire Steering Committee and Local Task Force
  • Core Organising Team (Dr Kerstin “Mariam” Danert, Sean Furey, Matthias Saladin, Martin Laeng, Violeta Zivanovic and Juerg Christen of Skat Consulting & Skat Foundation), Victor “The Boss” Bas-Martinez (AfDB/Spain ICEX); Meleesa Naughton (The World Bank); Léo Giordano (Independent)
  • Forum International Task Force (Jochen Rudolph, AfDB; Jose Gesti-Canuto, UNICEF; Erik Harvey & Louisa Gosling, WaterAid; Miguel Vargas-Ramirez, Lilian Pena Pereira Weiss, Susanna Smets, The World Bank; Stef Smits, IRC)
  • The Forum Security Task Force (Papa Ndour, AfDB; Idrissa Mbaye, UNDSS; Etienne Lawson, Radisson Blu; Franziska Heizmann, Independent; Steen Frederiksen, WaterAid)
  • The Communications Task Force (Maimouna Tall, Aditi Chandak, WaterAid; David Akana, AfDB; Suzanne Gbaguidi, UNICEF; Magdaline Nkando, Yosa Yuliarsa, the World Bank)
  • All the staff at the Radisson Blu Abidjan Airport: Marlyne Kansé and her team, plus Masterclays (Exhibition Area and poster boards) and Advision (Sound & Vision)
  • Event Management & entertainment, Renée Kalif Nouama, Claude Ekra, Fatime Touré of Office Pro, and all the ushers, dancers, musicians, bus drivers and other staff that helped make everyone feel welcome.
  • The fantastic translation team coordinated by Joseph Rurangwa (AfDB)
  • The 50+ peer reviewers and 200+ authors who made submissions
  • Master of Ceremony Madame Mariam Coulibaly
  • Session Managers (Matthias Saladin, Louisa Gosling, Jane Wilbur, Stef Smits, Susanna Smets, Ellen Greggio, Marieke Adank, Joseph Pearce, Nick Dickinson, Jose Gesti-Canuto, Meleesa Naughton, Rob Hope, Susanna Goodall, Julian Harbrecht, Sylvain Adokpo, Miguel Vargas-Ramirez, Lilian Pena Pereira Weiss, John Butterworth) and all the session Chairs and Rapporteurs
  • The people of Soumie village who welcomed the field trip, organised by Basile Djedjro (UNICEF) and Jonas Kobenan (ONEP)
  • Olivier Mills (CAWST) for the RWSN Forum programme app
  • Katherine Purvis (The Guardian) and Lola Hierro (El Pais)
  • The Sponsored Seminar funders and organisers
    • African Development Bank
    • African Groundwater Network, BGR, BGS
    • Concern Worldwide
    • Oxford University/UNICEF
    • RWSN, WaterAid, WASH United, Institute of Sustainable Futures, End Water Poverty, UNICEF
    • The World Bank Group
    • UPGro: Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the  Poor; Water Mission, National Groundwater Association (NGWA/NGWREF)
    • USAID
    • WIN, Caritas, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation
  • All the Exhibitors
    • Ajay Industrial Corporation Ltd.
    • Akvo
    • Aquatabs / Aquatabs Flo
    • Eawag
    • Entreprise Génie Mécanique et Hydraulique pour le Développement Rural (GMHDR)
    • Excellent Development
    • Fondation Antenna
    • GWE pumpenboese GmbH
    • Helen Keller International/CHANGE Project
    • INCLAM
    • IRC WASH
    • Le Projet PHAM
    • ONEP
    • SMART Centre Group (MetaMeta, Aqua for All, Skat)
    • Swelia
    • UPGro: Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor
    • World Vision / Design Outreach
    • Gold Sponsor: UNICEF
    • Gold Sponsor: WaterAid
    • Gold Sponsor: AfDB
    • Gold Sponsor: World Bank Group
    • Gold Sponsor: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC / Swiss Water & Sanitation ConsortiumKeyReserved

and many, many more – thank you all, and apologies if you have been left off this list – please tell us.

Gold Sponsors

Thank you to our Gold Sponsors who are contributing at least €50,000 and are playing a vital role in enabling the 7th RWSN to happen:
the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, SDC, WaterAid, UNICEF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank

Silver Sponsors

Silver Sponsors are those that contributing €25,000 – €49,999 towards making the 7th RWSN happen: Skat Consulting, Ltd., the Government of Spain, USAID

Bronze Sponsors

Thanks to our Bronze Sponsors, who contributed €10,000 – €24,999 towards making the 7th RWSN Forum happen: Ajay Pumps, Aqua for All, IRC, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Water 4, Caritas Switzerland and UPGro – Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor