Contributions of knowledge networks and communities of practice to the water and sanitation sector in developing countries
Keywords:communities of practice, water, sanitation, knowledge, networks
AbstractWith the aim of responding to the challenges of the Water and Sanitation sector, active stakeholders have been providing, since decades, different services and technological solutions. Often the duplication of efforts tends to affect the overall results of the sector. Thus, clear efforts to enhancing collaboration, information sharing and joint action through the establishment of global networks and Communities of Practice (CoP) are being made by sector stakeholders. Little has been examined as to how these mechanisms give organizations and practitioners the opportunity to build their capacities and learn from each other. This paper explores the contributions of networks and CoPs to the sector, by examining three case studies: the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN), the AGUASAN Community of Practice and the Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET). The first part is dedicated to presenting a short conceptual definition of networks and CoPs followed by a summarized description of the background of the three cases. The second part addresses the main contributions of RWSN, UWASNET and AGUASAN to the water and sanitation sector together with the challenges to such contributions. In the last section, the main conclusions and recommendations drawn from the analysis are discussed.
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