Forum news

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 Programme Announced Today!

We are delighted to announce that the programme of the 7th RWSN Forum (29 Nov-2 Dec in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire) is now available.  As you can see, it is a very diverse programme, covering rural and small towns’ water access from policy, financial, practice and user perspectives – with contributions from over 42countries.  It is by bringing so much diversity, and many different players that this Forum is tackling the SDG challenge of Water for Everyone! The quality of contributions means that those attending will return home with new knowledge and new connections.

For more information see:

As our programme is just out now, we have also extended the deadline for regular registration to the 31st October 2016.  So those who have not yet managed to register and pay, please try to do so by the 31st October to benefit from the €600 fee.  Over 500 people have registered so far, with confirmations from over 130.  As with previous RWSN Forums, we expect a very diverse group to participate including government, private sector, NGO, donor, academia and civil society. You can register here.

Many people have been contacting us for sponsorship to attend the event.  Alas we have very limited funds as Forum organisers. However, we have prepared a help sheet for you to use within your organisation and with partners in trying to obtain assistance to attend.


Warm wishes et cordialement,


Dr. Kerstin Danert
Director – Secretariat

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!

Deadline for submissions extended until May 6th

The deadline for the Open Call for submissions to the RWSN Forum (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 29/11-02/12/2016 – has been extended by one week, due to high demand and to a number of authors having difficulties with uploading their submissions, or having misunderstood the instructions about submitting full papers rather than just abstracts. The deadline is now Friday, May 6th to submit one or more of the following through our online platform (

  • A short paper (up to 2,000 words): FULL PAPER to be submitted using this form;
  • A long paper (up to 6,000 words) FULL PAPER to be submitted using the this form;
  • A poster (at this stage, if the final poster is not yet available, a summary can be submitted, with the final poster to be submitted by 1 September)
  • A short film (at this stage, if the final film is not yet available, a summary can be submitted, with the final film to be submitted by 1 September)
  • A photography or illustration.

To get an idea of the type of content presented at an RWSN Forum, you can find everything from the last one on the website of the 6th RWSN Forum, 2011:

Thank you for your interest in the RWSN Forum and we hope you will be able to share your experience and stories with us and others around the world.
La date butoir pour l’Appel Ouvert à contributions pour le Forum RWSN (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 29/11-02/12/2016 – a été étendu d’une semaine, dû à une forte demande et au nombre important d’auteurs qui ont eu des difficultés à télécharger leur contributions, ou qui avait mal compris les instructions liées à la soumission d’articles complets et pas seulement des résumés/ abstracts. La date butoir pour la soumission des types de contributions ci-dessous est maintenant le vendredi 6 mai, toujours à travers notre plateforme en ligne (

  • Un article court (maximum 2000 mots): ARTICLE ENTIER devant être soumis en complétant le formulaire ci-joint;
  • Un article long (maximum 6000 mots): ARTICLE ENTIER devant être soumis en complétant le formulaire ci-joint;
  • Un poster (à ce stade, si le poster final n’est pas prêt, un résumé peut être soumis, et le poster final soumis avant le 1 septembre)
  • Un court-métrage (à ce stade, si le court-métrage final n’est pas prêt, un résumé peut être soumis, et le court-métrage final soumis avant le 1 septembre)
  • Une photographie ou illustration.

Pour avoir un idée sur le type de sujets qui peuvent être présentés à un Forum RWSN, vous pouvez retrouver le programme entier du dernier Forum sur le site du 6ème Forum RWSN en 2011:

Merci de votre intérêt pour le Forum RWSN et nous espérons que vous serez en mesure de partager votre expérience et vos histoires avec nous et le reste du monde.

Sustainability of rural water systems top of the agenda in Latin America

On 8th March, The World Bank and SDC convened a RWSN session at the Latinosan Conference, in Lima, Peru. This was the first of two pre-Forum events organised by the Bank to bring together key experiences from around the world.

There were 12 presentations that shared experiences from Honduras, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, Haiti, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Peru. The common theme was that keeping rural water services going is hard, but progress is being made, with the held of IT systems like SIASAR, which strengthen local and national government regulators and service providers.

The presentations (in Spanish) are available on the Regional Pre-Events page. The best experiences will be supported to come to Abidjan in November to present to a global audience.

The second of the two regional events, will be held on 10-12 May, in Bangkok, Thailand and is being organised by The World Bank, SNV and WaterAid Australia. Around 50 participants expected from countries including India, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Timor Leste, Laos PDR, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

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.

Minolta DSC


The 7th RWSN is coming!

Today we are proud to announce the RWSN Forum which is planned for Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire from the 29th November to 2nd December 2016, including a day for field trips and sponsored seminars. The event will comprise plenary and parallel sessions of presentations and interactive workshops as well as presentation of posters, photographs, cartoons and films. The event will be in English and French (and possibly Spanish, subject to demand).

You can register here.

With the title, Water for Everyone, the Forum will explore how we are going to reach Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in rural areas and small towns. What has worked well in the past? What needs to be done differently in the future?  Come and share your experiences of success and failure and learn from others. RWSN Forums have a unique character, with an emphasis on learning and sharing, and a practical rather than political focus. The participants are mainly rural water supply professionals and practitioners. Where political leaders participate, they are encouraged to engage in the sessions and exhibition as equals with the other participants. You can find out more from this website.

Why attend?

The RWSN Forum is the only global event dedicated to rural water supply and the content and the discussions are driven by you.  Come and present your work in a way that suits you – a paper, a poster, a film, a picture or photo, an exhibition stand or sponsored seminar with your own content. The peer-review process also ensures that the best content is presented and that authors with good experiences and ideas are provided the support that they need. We are particularly interested in practical experiences from an operational level. For example, one of the prizes for best paper at the 6th Forum went to Mr Edgar Phiri, a District Water Officer from Malawi.

The success of 7th RWSN Forum depends on you. The Open Call for Submissions  deadline is April 30th, 2016. Forum discussions will be based on submissions for long and short papers, posters, illustrations and short films, entered around the following themes:

  • Sustainable Rural Water and Small Town Water Supplies;
  • Equality, non-discrimination and inclusion;
  • Sustainable Groundwater Development;
  • Accelerating Self Supply;
  • Mapping and Monitoring;
  • Rural Water Supplies in the Humanitarian – Development Context;

The event brings together professionals from all types of organisations and at all levels, from entrepreneurs and service providers to government ministers to university professors.  We bring the latest in research, practice and policy together to catalyse new partnerships and reinvigorate existing ones. Normally, RWSN’s activities are online and through publications, but we realise that nothing beats face-to-face interactions and networking.  You can find the delegate list from last time on the 6th RWSN Forum website.


If you would like to attend, please register on: The early bird registration fee (for all participants) is €500 (up to June 30th, 2016).

The philosophy of the Forum is to:

  • be inclusive of different perspectives;
  • build capacity by raising the quality of the submissions and improving communication skills within the rural water sector;
  • share knowledge and experience on rural water issues among equals
  • bring the realities of the field to the attention of decision-makers and funding agencies
  • catalyze vibrant South-South exchanges and networking
  • be accessible to French and English speakers. For the first time presentations in Spanish will be accepted, and translation/ interpretation will be offered at the Forum if there is sufficient demand and funding.

The RWSN Forum is the foremost global event on rural water services and takes place every 5 years. We anticipate 650 participants from all over the world at the 2016 event which is in English and French.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Warm wishes,

Kerstin Danert, Sean Furey, Meleesa Naughton and Victor Bas Martinez


on behalf of the RWSN Forum International Task Force comprising representatives from

Skat Foundation, SDC, UNICEF, World Bank, WaterAid, IRC and the African Development Bank