Making rights real: A Sponsored Seminar at the 7th RWSN Forum, Abidjan

What difference does it make if water and sanitation are human rights?

Have you ever wondered how to integrate the human rights to water and sanitation into your work?

As more countries integrate human rights to water and sanitation into national systems this is an opportunity to explore what difference it can make to water service providers and users.

The human rights framework clearly assigns responsibilities: Governments are duty bound to realise the human rights to water and sanitation and people have the rights to water and sanitation services. So what does that mean in practical terms for government, especially local government officials who are closest to people? How can the human rights actually help local government officials to reach everyone, even where they have very limited resources and capacities?

Why should I come to this seminar?

The seminar is designed to answer many of the most frequently asked questions about the human rights to water and sanitation.

It will provide an introduction to the contents of the human rights to water and sanitation, and the practical implications for the design and delivery of services on the ground.

There will be an opportunity to hear experiences from different countries about ways in which service providers, governments and water users have been able to use human rights to make a difference.

Discussions will focus on how different stakeholders can use human rights to focus efforts on reaching the most marginalised, and how the rights can help to create a more enabling environment for everyone involved in rural water supply.
The seminar will consist of a mixture of informative presentations, sharing practical experience from different countries, and group discussions about the issues that arise.
We will also be sharing new materials that show how human rights can be relevant and useful for members of the Rural Water Supply Network. These materials have been developed by the RWSN in collaboration with WaterAid, WASH United, Institute for Sustainable Futures, End Water Poverty, and UNICEF, with funding provided by Players of the Peoples Postcode Lottery

Who is running the seminar?

The seminar will be facilitated by Louisa Gosling and Ellen Greggio (WaterAid), and Angie Saleh (Unicef).

Where and when?

Room Goh Djinoua – Friday, 9am to 1pm

1-day Training Course on Groundwater Management- Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on Nov 28th (in French)

Groundwater Management for National and River Basin Organizations
A one-day training course in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire Monday 28th November, 2016
Language: French
Background: Groundwater is the largest freshwater resource available on the planet. The African Water Vision 2025 stresses that groundwater is the major, and often only, source of drinking water for more than 75 % of the African population. It constitutes over 95% of the fresh water resources in Africa and it is often critical for rural population that relies mostly on this resource for their daily water demand. Given the huge importance of the groundwater resource to Africa, in light of the growing impacts of climate change, it is imperative that wise management of groundwater at every scale be prioritized.
The Course: The 7th Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) Forum will take place in Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) from 29 November-2 December 2016; it is the foremost global event on rural water services and takes place every 5 years. 350 to 600 participants from all over the world are expected. For more details see:
This international event provides the opportunity to implement a one-day training course on Groundwater Management on Monday 28th November – in French. It will draw on the newly published training manual developed by AGW-Net, available in French and English.
The course aims to:
(1) promote sustainable groundwater resources management within the framework of IWRM in RBOs;
(2) make groundwater resources in Africa more “visible” to actors working in water sectors;
(3) raise awareness on the importance of groundwater resource to Africa, and especially in light of the growing impacts of climate change, and the for-coming SDGs program.
The Facilitators: The course will be facilitated by a team of Africa Groundwater Network (AGW-Net) and RWSN experts, associated with expects from Cote d’Ivoire.
Participants: The workshop is targeting participants of the 7th Forum, i.e. senior decision makers and staff of water Ministries, river basin organisations and other international and national agencies including NGOs who are interested in water management and protection.
If you would like to register interest in this course please contact, copied to Note that the number of participants is limited to 40, so please register your interest early.

RWSN Forum: Expo, programme and more

With less than three months left until the RWSN Forum in Abidjan, the programme is shaping up: we now have close to 100 participants registered and paid, and most of the sponsored seminars are confirmed (see this page to find out more) . If you haven’t yet registered, you can find out how to do so here.

But first, an important date – all authors which have submitted contributions that were accepted with minor or major changes have until midnight on September 1st to re-submit their contribution through our online platform. These will then be re-evaluated and either accepted for presentation at the Forum or declined. Thanks to all authors who have already submitted their revised contributions!

We are also pleased to announce that reservations for the exhibition are now open. Please follow this link to find out more information about the types of booths available and their prices.

All exhibition booth prices include 1 participant’s registration per booth. As an exhibition participant, you are entitled to attend all of the RWSN Forum talks and activities. Please ensure you follow the procedure described below to reserve your booth:

  1. Email the organizers with your top 3 booth locations (ruralwater[at] to confirm booth location availability, based on the RWSN Forum exhibition plan which you can find on our website.
  2. Once your booth location is confirmed, proceed to the online registration platform where you will be able to finalize payment for your booth. (tab: For exhibition organizers).

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions; we hope to see you soon in Abidjan!

RWSN Forum update: Call for papers, venue, accommodation and more

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for our peer-reviewers, who read and evaluated the 250+ submissions for papers, posters, films and pictures from the Open Call for Submissions for the RWSN Forum. All authors should have received feedback from peer-reviewers. If that’s not the case, please log into your account to find out the outcome of the evaluation process.
The RWSN Forum programme is shaped by the contributions from this Open Call and we will be posting updates on the programme on our website, where can already find the overall schedule for the RWSN Forum as well as the confirmed Sponsored Seminars on Friday, December 2nd.

We have a few more RWSN Forum updates for you:

  • Venue: We are pleased to confirm that the venue for the 7th RWSN forum in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (November 29th-December 2nd 2016) is the Radisson Blu Hotel Abidjan Airport. The hotel was completed in early 2016 and offers state-of-the-art accommodation and conference facilities.  It is only 500 metres from the airport, making it very convenient and secure for international arrivals and departures.
  • Accommodation: We have a negotiated a specially reduced room rate for the Forum at the Radisson Blu, and we have identified 11 other suitable hotels within half-an-hour travel time. There is an on-going process of negotiating preferential room rates and undertaking security assessments.  Our website page will be updated as we are able to provide more information.
  • Early bird registration fee: We have extended the RWSN Forum Early Bird registration fee until July 31st, to allow time for authors to register once they know whether their contribution has been accepted or not. The Forum is open for all to attend – you do not need to be an RWSN member, or an author to participate. You can register here:


RWSN Forum update: Extension of Early Bird fee until July 31st

We have had a tremendous response to our Open Call for Submissions for the RWSN Forum – more than 250 submissions for papers, posters, films and pictures! That’s almost double the number of contributions we had at our last RWSN Forum in Uganda in 2011. Thank you all for your hard work – and above all, a big thanks to our peer-reviewers, who are busy reading and evaluating all of your submissions.

Authors should receive reviewers’ feedback by the end of June. We have therefore extended the RWSN Forum Early Bird registration fee until July 31st, to allow time for authors to register once they know whether their contribution has been accepted or not. You can register here:

More than 300 people have already registered: this map shows number of participants that have registered and indicated their country of origin. Is yours there yet?

We hope to see you soon in Abidjan!

Call for Submissions Open for the 7th RWSN Forum


The RWSN Forum is about bringing together those who are passionate about rural water services, be they water users, practitioners, service providers, political leaders, researchers,  funders or policy makers.

“Water for Everyone” is the massive challenge that has been set by Sustainable Development Goal 6. We need innovation in many forms – not just new technologies and new knowledge, but also new ways to improve the quality of rural water services so that things that are already working can be sustained and replicated to meet growing demand.  That’s where you come in: what experiences do you, or your organisation, have from the last few years that is helping to move the sector forward?  What the big opportunities ahead? Can some of the old challenges that have dogged the sector for decades be put to rest?

You can find full details and guidelines on the 7th RWSN Forum website here:

The Open Call for Submissions includes short and long papers, posters, films and pictures or illustrations, so be creative! Be provocative!  To get a feel for the sort of submissions we have had in the past (and also help with the context of where rural water was in 2011) you can find all the papers and posters from the 6th RWSN Form here:

The deadline for first submissions is 30th April 2016.

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