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.

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

RWSN’s 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.

Number of People in Rural Areas that use an unimproved drinking water supply

Each territory is resized according to the total number of rural populations using an unimproved drinking water supply. Map prepared by Sasi Research Group (University of Sheffield) based on WHO/UNICEF 2008 Joint Monitoring Programme Data.

Download Strategy Document 2015-2017

Chair:  Kelly Ann Naylor (UNICEF)

Theme Leaders:

  • Equality, Non-Discrimination and Inclusion: Louisa Gosling (WaterAid), Priya Nath (WaterAid)
  • Sustainable Groundwater Development: Dr Kerstin Danert (Skat)
  • Sustainable Services: Marieke Adank (IRC); Susanna Smets (World Bank Water Global Practice);
  • Accelerating Self Supply: Matthias Saladin (Skat)
  • Mapping & Monitoring: Ellen Greggio (WaterAid), Antonio Rodriguez Serrano (World Bank Water Global Practice)

Executive Steering Committee:

representatives from

Affiliated Committee Members:  Vincent Casey, Jane Wilbur, Ellen Greggio (WaterAid); Susanna Smets (The World Bank Group); Matthias Saladin (Skat); Maimuna Nalubega, Mahecor Ndiaye, Boniface Aleobua (African Development Bank); Marieke Adank (IRC).


  • Director: Sean Furey (Skat)
  • Communications Manager: Meleesa Naughton (Skat)


RWSN is not a legal entity in itself. As a network it depends on the direct and indirect support of its Partners. Full details can be found in the RWSN annual reports below and full audited accounts are available on request:

Annual Reports

The secretariat of the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) is located at:

c/o Skat Foundation

Vadianstrasse 42

St Gallen, CH-9000


Internet: www.rwsn.ch

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Become an individual member of RWSN. It's free!

To become a member of RWSN, all you have to do is join the RWSN group on Dgroups. You will be asked for your name, email address and reason why you want to join. Once you have registered, it would be really helpful if you can fill in your profile to let us know what you do, what organisation you work for and what country you are based in.

Dgroups is a web and email based discussion platform designed specifically for development professionals. By setting up a Dgroups account you can find other RWSN members and join in online discussions on the RWSN Themes, or other aspects of rural water supply. You will also receive a quarterly e-newsletter.

If you are an existing member, or are not sure then please re-register by visiting » dgroups.org/rwsn


Become a RWSN Member Organisation

It is now possible to join as a ‘Member Organisations’ of RWSN.  RWSN is a network of individuals and organisations that are committed to improving water services for the rural poor everywhere in the world.  Being a Member Organisation of RWSN is a commitment to sharing knowledge and good practices, and to uphold the statements set out in the RWSN Vision and 2011 Kampala Commitments.

Who can become a Member Organisation?

An organisation should fulfil the following criteria to become a Member Organisation:

  • Support the aims of RWSN (agree to the RWSN Vision and Kampala Commitments 2011)
  • Have a website
  • Be willing to insert the "RWSN Member Organisation" on your website (if technically possible) and create a link back to the RWSN website
  • Have at least three people working full time for your organisation
  • Have been a registered entity for at least 2 years

If you do not meet these requirements then the individual membership is probably more suitable.  Individuals can join by setting up a free account on Dgroups.

Benefits of membership

  • Logo and organisation page on the Member Organisation page of the Member Organisation area of RWSN website
  • Preferential posting of items in the RWSN quarterly newsletter  and opportunities to become involved in RWSN collaborations.

Conditions and cost of membership

  • No membership fee is charged but Organisations are invited to make financial or in-kind contributions to the Secretariat (hosted by Skat Foundation).
  • Membership lasts for five years and then can be renewed. Membership can be terminated by the Member Organisation at any time.
  • The Executive Steering Committee of RWSN reserves the right to reject, suspend or terminate the membership of any organisation who they deem not to have behaved in a professional manner as set out in the Kampala Commitments 2011.

Apply now by downloading the form

In 1992, at a meeting in Kenya, it was agreed that there was a need to create a global network of handpump experts who could capitilise on the great work done by UNDP, UNICEF and the Water and Sanitation Programme in the 1980s. The humble handpump was seen as  cornerstone of improving rural water supplies by making clean groundwater available to millions of people.

From small beginnings, UNICEF, Skat and others developed the Handpump Technology Network and broadened its scope until in 2004 it was agreed, under the leadership of WSP, to change the name to Rural Water Supply Network. Today the network has nearly 3,000 members in over 100 countries, continuing the mission of to help rural water supply practitioners from NGOs, governments, companies and development partners to learn from each other and work together.

RWSN timeline...

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