The Consortium is a new mechanism of collaboration with a jointly developed and implemented programme, mainly financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). It was created in 2011 as a mechanism to massively improve water and sanitation coverage and to trigger innovation and knowledge sharing. The eight Swiss NGOs (Non-governmental Organisations) - Caritas Switzerland, Fastenopfer, HEKS-EPER, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Solidar Suisse, Swissaid, Swiss Red Cross and Terre des hommes - implement 20 projects in 10 countries around 3 regions. The benefit of working as Consortium is that the organisations can share resources and know-how. We use our complementary skills to get safe water and sanitation to far more people that would have been possible than if acting alone.
The Consortium organisations target their know-how and resources to the population in the countries lagging far behind internationally agreed targets for water and sanitation in order to increase access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, improved hygiene and water for family farming. Our mechanism fosters knowledge sharing so that expertise among the organisations is increased and the advocacy and policy dialogue strengthened.
We implement projects for WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and water for food infrastructure for people in communities, school pupils and health centre patients, work on knowledge sharing and management and put a strong emphasis on policy development as a way to scale up promising approaches.
We focus on strengthening the capacity of the key actors - local communities, local service providers such as NGOs and private sector, and the local government - involved in the planning, implementation and management of water supply, sanitation and irrigation services. It aims at increasing the participation of the local stakeholders in decision-making and implementation and in strengthening local water governance.
Furthermore, we enable to consolidate its internal communication and collaboration mechanisms contributing thus to further position Swiss NGOs as relevant sector actors in various countries and at regional/global level.
We are structured around three regions: Francophone Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa and South Asia. In each of the Consortium region, a regional advisor supports the projects according to the needs and promotes knowledge sharing. The Consortium steering board - comprising representatives from the 8 member organisations - determines the strategic orientation, whereas the Consortium Management Unit ensures operational management of the Consortium.
The eight Consortium member organisations (NGOs) - Caritas Switzerland, Fastenopfer, HEKS-EPER, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Solidar Suisse, Swissaid, Swiss Red Cross and Terre des hommes - form the core of the Consortium. The member organisations are represented in the Steering board, the supreme body of the Consortium and are responsible for implementing the Consortium projects (planning, implementation, monitoring, quality control, backstopping, financial management, reporting at project level). The Consortium may tap on qualified expert knowledge from its member organisations through the pool of experts. Some projects are implemented through local partners organisations. Those partners are also involved in consortium activities as knowledge sharing, etc.
The steering board is the supreme body of the Consortium, comprising one representative of each member organisation. The Consortium Steering Board discusses and decides on strategic issues of the Consortium, oversees and monitors the effectiveness of the operations carried out by the Consortium Management Unit and mediates/decides on operational issues for which the involved parties may not find a consensus. An appointed person from the Consortium’s Steering Board chairs the Steering Board. The Steering Board meets in principle twice a year.
Steering Board Chair: Lorenz Indermühle, Swiss Red Cross
Vice Chair: Ariane Zwahlen, Terre des hommes
The Consortium members mandate the Consortium Management Unit to coordinate the Consortium programme on their behalf. The CMU reports to and is accountable to the SB. Its staff are seconded by the member organisations and led by the coordinator. The CMU ensures effective coordination of the Consortium activities, facilitates knowledge exchange and provides backstopping to the projects. Overall coordination, financial management and knowledge management are conducted from Switzerland while the regional advisors are based in Kenya, Mali and Nepal.
Coordinator: Daya Moser, Water & Sanitation Consortium Coordinator
Each member organisation appointed a Consortium focal point representative. The focal points meet in principle on a quarterly basis to discuss operational issues. They are the primary contact person in the member organisation for the CMU. They ensure that information provided by the CMU is effectively disseminated to the organisation’s programme coordinators / project teams and feed information (reports), questions, comments and suggestions back to the CMU.
Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium
+41 31 385 10 92