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Safe Water Network Joins Urban Wash Alliance With USAID In India

Safe Water Network was one of five organizations selected by USAID and awarded grants as part of the URBAN WASH alliance launched in New Delhi in November. The alliance intends to engender unprecedented social change for a clean and healthy India and is focused on the poor living in urban slums. 

Safe Water Network will be part of a group examining Small Water Enterprises (SWEs) servicing the urban poor and will recommend how they can cost-effectively increase access to safe water. We will be responsible for several aspects of this multi-year program including conducting an Urban Sector Review that will assess off-grid water providers in four cities. The review will include operational, technical and financial aspects, as well as consumer preferences and attitudes toward water and health. The assessment will also identify key success drivers and provide policy and regulatory options that can improve the effectiveness of SWEs. 
Another important component of the project is the development of digital tools to facilitate market assessment, and to improve station performance and monitoring. 
Safe Water Network is also charged with disseminating key findings at forums and workshops in ways that will encourage collaboration amongst water and health organizations throughout India. 
“We are pleased to work with USAID and the Urban Local Boards including the Visakhapatnam, to address the challenge of providing safe water in urban slums,” says Ravi Sewak, director of Safe Water Network India. “We have the team in place and the experience to assess the unique safe water needs of the poor living in difficult conditions and look forward to working with the team to improve the plight of those living in urban slums.” 

The USAID grant will be matched by PepsiCo Foundation, Pentair Foundation, and Newman’s Own Foundations. The four cities in India include New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Vizag. 
Safe Water Network’s India Sector Review 
The assessment portion of this work will draw upon Safe Water Network’s Community Safe Water Solutions: India Sector Review which was presented earlier this year at our 3rd Annual Beyond the Pipe Forum. The review surveyed rural programs across the country and examined in detail ten organizations operating in rural India. The report also surveyed the national and regional enabling environment to identify specific opportunities and challenges to accelerate sustainable solutions. 
Safe Water Network’s Digital Initiatives 

Once the operational assessment is complete, Safe Water Network will incorporate the learning from its research to develop the digital tools SWEs will require to meet the needs of the urban environment. These digital tools will build upon the efforts of Safe Water Network’s Tablet Assessment and Demand Generation work developed over the past several years here in India.