Issue No 43 - FOCUS: Global Initiatives

Editorial by RésEAU Focal Point and Editor

It is with great pleasure that we present edition 43 of the SDC Water News, focusing on water related projects and programmes at the global level. With this, our “Grand Tour around the globe" completes a cycle, after having published issues focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the MENA region and the rest of Asia. As ususal, the newsletter provides you with short glimpses on selected projects and programmes... [read more]

Updates: Projects and Programmes

The Blue Peace Index

The Blue Peace Index, developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) with the SDC and a large panel of experts, is built across five pillars of evaluation: (1) Policy and legal frameworks, (2) Institutional arrangements and participation, (3) Water management instruments, (4) Infrastructure and financing, and (5) Cooperation. [read more]

Transboundary Water Governance for Sustainable Development and Blue Peace

The impacts of COVID-19 are being felt around the world and worsening existing challenges, including poverty, economic downturn, food and energy insecurity and political instability. Resilience at all scales requires everyone to have safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene. This in turn depends on water resources that are dependable, accessible and good quality. [read more]

The World Bank’s Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership: Joint efforts to ensure WASH in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Switzerland, as a major supporter of the Sustainable Development Goal 6 for water and sanitation, contributes to the World Bank’s Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership (GWSP). Since its launch in 2017, the water trust fund has attracted many donors, including bilateral agencies... [read more]

SDC’s Corporate Water Stewardship Programme in Latin America “El Agua Nos Une –SuizAgua América Latina”

This project seeks to influence water governance in five countries - Colombia, Peru, Chile, Mexico and Brazil - through four lines of actions: 1) Corporate water stewardship; 2) Community of Practice on water management; 3) Strengthening instruments of Public Policy; and 4) Investing on ecosystem services. The project operates as a public-private partnership, identifying and tackling water related risks through the evaluation and reduction of the water footprint in production processes. [read more]

Transboundary Water Governance: Foundations of International WaterSecurity

The BRIDGE (Building River Dialogue and Governance) programme works by supporting the capacities of countries sharing river or lake basins to implement effective water management arrangements through a shared vision, benefit-sharing principles and transparent and coherent institutional frameworks. Implemented by IUCN and regional partners, BRIDGE works at the interface of hydro-diplomacy and local governance to promote new approaches in transboundary water management... [read more]

Human Rights to Water and Sanitation - Water Security for Human Health - Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) Platform in Geneva

The aim of SWA is to provide water, sanitation and hygiene for everyone on a long-term basis, as decision-makers bring about local changes through increased political will, better use of funds and targeting of vulnerable population groups.

SWA brings governments and other partners together to commit to a common vision, share experiences, identify gaps, and search for solutions... [read more]

Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium (SWSC) – eight Swiss NGOs arejoining forces for greater impact

Created in 2011, the SWSC brings together eight Swiss organizations implementing jointly a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme in Africa and South Asia. Besides providing access to WASH services to over 850,000 people in communities, 160,000 students in schools, and 1.6 million patients in health care facilities, it also proved successful in experience-sharing and learning... [read more]

Spotlight on Humanitarian Aid

The mandate of Swiss Humanitarian Aid (SHA) is to save lives and alleviate suffering. It is active in protecting the interests of vulnerable population groups before, during, and after periods of conflicts, crises, or natural disasters. Water and Sanitation is one of four thematic priorities of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid. [read more]

Swiss Humanitarian Aid (SHA) WASH Expert Group

The work of the specialists of the Water and Environmental Sanitation Expert Group includes groundwater abstraction and setting up or rehabilitating systems for the treatment, storage and distribution of water. [read more]

Long-term perspective: Strengthening capacities for chlorine production

Water quality is a key consideration, not only in emergency settings but also in complex crises or in fragile contexts. In this regard, the local production of chlorine is a very important aspect. Depending on each specific situation a different technology and approach is required. [read more]

Direct Action: providing expertise in complex settings

Direct Actions are projects where SHA directly supports local actors. Examples of Direct Actions include: 1) In the People's Republic of North Korea, where SHA built water systems, introduced a new methodology to protect groundwater sources and innovative ways of addressing sanitation concerns... [read more]

Spotlight on Water Pollution

The Global Programme Water (GPW)  recently launched a new water pollution programme focusing on improving the health and environment of populations exposed to water pollution. lt adopts a multi-stakeholder approach, combining the knowledge and power of the public and private sectors, citizens, and academia. The programme also supports polluting industries along the supply chains of global brands to understand and address pollution-related risks. The current projects linked to the new water pollution programme are introduced below. For more information contact Andreas Steiner of the Global Programme Water (GPW).

World Water Quality Alliance (WWQA)

The World Water Quality Alliance (WWQA) was launched in September 2019 as a voluntary and flexible global multi-stakeholder network that advocates for the central role of freshwater quality in achieving prosperity and sustainability. [read more]

Small-Medium-Large (SML): Water Stewardship in the Greater Mekong Region

The project aims to reduce pollution and improve water and energy management of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Greater Mekong Region that are active in the production of clothing (Vietnam) and food & beverages (Myanmar). [read more]

Tackling apparel sector pollution through engaging SMEs in water stewardship


This project will equip the Ethiopian clothing industry with the skills to assess and tackle the water-related challenges they face, and contribute to solutions, via application of the 'AWS Standard'. It will work along the whole value chain (from cotton growers to textile producers and garment manufacturers) to generate replicable actions and evidence on the benefits of water stewardship. This will be used to mobilise support for better policies, regulation and investments across the Ethiopian clothing sector. [read more]

Responsible Antibiotics Manufacturing Platform (RAMP)

RAMP is a multi-stakeholder collaboration platform with the vision that by 2030, the release of antibiotics to the environment from manufacturing is minimized, along with broader sustainability gains. The aim is to incentivise pioneers in this sector to provide access to antibiotics that have been manufactured in a manner that does not promote antimicrobial resistance or harm the environment. [read more]

Recent Resources

This is a small selection of recently published resources related to global projects and programmes of SDC. For a more comprehensive overview of resources, please refer to the resources page on the ShareWeb.

Risk modelling of arsenic in Groundwater

A database and a map of global risk modelling of arsenic in groundwater, developed by EAWAG'sGroundwater Assessment Platform (GAP) has now been finalised. The release was published in ScienceNews and has been taken up by other media as well. [read more]

Facility Evaluation Tool for WASH in Institutions

The Facility Evaluation Tool for WASH in Institutions (FACET), jointly developed by Terre des hommes, Eawag and CartONG with support from the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene, is based on globally recognised indicators and suitable across the continuum of humanitarian and development interventions. It offers a complete package for an entire monitoring project. [read more]

Agricultural Water Efficiency and Productivity in Africa: Conclusions and guides

FAO led a five-year project on water use efficiency in Morocco, Uganda and Burkina Faso. The final documents with conclusions of this 5-year project benefitting from a GPW contribution are available here.

SDC Working Aid COVID-19 response for the WASH sector

The Expert Group on WASH (Swiss Humanitarian Aid, SHA) and the Global Programme Water (Global Cooperation) compiled the following Working Aid that includes scoping guidance tables. [read more]

Evaluations of SDC’sCorporate Water Stewardship Programme in Latin America

An external evaluation of the Global Programme El Agua nos Une - SuizAgua (2016-2020) covering the five countries Colombia, Peru, Chile, Brazil and Mexico has been finalized. The evaluation is based on the OECD guidelines, and looked at the following four lines of action... [read more]

Spotlight on Youth

RWSN’s Mentoring Programme

As part of the long-term collaboration between SDC and the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN), the network launched a Young Professional Engagement Strategy in mid-2018, which has four pillars:

1) Community Building: an online community has been built from scratch to nearly 600 members in 91 countries who are actively supporting each other and sharing ideas and opportunities. If you are under 35, you can join here. [read more]

Swiss Water Partnership Youth

SWP Youth is a Swiss initiative for and by young people and is working towards leveraging water for development. It aims at creating an active community of young water professionals, students and future water leaders. It invites you to join the youth community and to apply with your Youth Water Project. [read more]

Who's Who

Interview with Nadine Fragnière (Global Programme Water)

Can you tell us a few words about yourself and your background?

I come from the canton of Wallis in Switzerland and grew up in Veysonnaz, a small ski station in the heart of Europe's water tower, the Alps. From an early age, I was aware of the highly politicized conflicting interests linked to water resources (environmental vs. economical, for instance). I have a BA in Political Science (Geneva) and an MA in Water Science, Policy and Management (Oxford). [read more]