Sensor Data for Sustainable Water Services in Humanitarian Contexts: South Sudan

The project aims to increase the proportion of the time that handpump boreholes provide a water supply service (the ‘uptime’). Satellite-linked and cellular phone-linked sensors are being introduced on handpumps in order to enhance information flows for those who are in a position to respond to either imminent or actual pump breakdowns. The project is a partnership between Tearfund Netherlands and UK, CEDS and Richard Carter and Associates.

Stop the Rot – research and action to ensure the quality of water lifting technologies for drinking water in sub–Saharan Africa.

This RWSN initiative by Skat Foundation and Ask for Water GmbH strives to find ways in which key stakeholders can ensure that handpump technologies and spare parts that are installed for drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa are consistently of high quality and can last.


Water Sanitation and Hygiene: Leaving No One Behind – a guidance note for UNICEF and partners

This Guidance Note explains what Leaving No One Behind (LNOB) means and sets out how UNICEF and its partners can integrate it fully into their WASH programming. It describes ways of identifying who is being left behind, where they are, and ways of engaging with them. It also provides information on how to analyse and address their needs. The guidance comprises three parts:

  • Part I explains the LNOB imperative, providing key definitions.
  • Part II emphasises the fact that it is people that are at the centre of LNOB, using examples.
  • Part III provides entry points and examples of actions for LNOB for UNICEF WASH programming.

The publication was developed by Kerstin Danert.

Monitoring Groundwater Use as a Domestic Water Source by Urban Households: Analysis of Data from Lagos State, Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa with Implications for Policy and Practice

The fundamental importance of groundwater for urban drinking water supplies in sub-Saharan Africa is increasingly recognised. However, little is known about the trends in urban groundwater development by individual households and its role in securing safely-managed drinking water supplies. Anecdotal evidence indicates a thriving self-supply movement to exploit groundwater in some urban sub-Saharan African settings, but empirical evidence, or analysis of the benefits and drawbacks, remains sparse. Through a detailed analysis of official datasets for Lagos State, Nigeria we examine the crucial role played by groundwater and, specifically, by household self-supply for domestic water provision. 

Joint publication with Dr Adrian Healy.


Knowledge Management for the Walker Institute at the University of Reading

The Walker Institute at the University of Reading, UK is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre that supports a Climate Resilient Society. The institute works with communities and organisations, particularly in Africa, to support evidence-based action that sustains both livelihoods and the environment. From June to December 2020, Ask for Water GmbH provided knowledge management services to the institute, including structuring, streamlining and quality assuring communications activities. This included co-producing a short film on the work of the Institute in the Sahel region, which is part of an inspiring programme called Adapting for Tomorrow’s Environment by CIWEM, produced by ASN Media.

Theme lead on Professional Water Well Drilling for the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN)

This work strives to ensure that groundwater resources are properly considered and sustainably used for developing drinking water supply sources and ensuring their long-term quality and security. The theme is embedded within the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN). Activities in in 2020 included a managing webinars entitled: Exploring the relevance of Borehole Drilling Associations in English and French. The full late 2020 RWSN webinar series, including all presentations is available here.

Unlocking Africa’s Groundwater Potential – a short film to inform and inspire! for UPGro

Kerstin Danert led the production of a short film about the potential of groundwater in Africa for the UPGro programme. The context and key findings of an interdisciplinary research programme between 2013 and 2020, funded by the UK government, on groundwater in Africa are presented in an engaging, 10-minute video that combines animation with recorded footage.

The collaboration was with academics from five European academic institutions – University of Oxford, University of Reading, the British Geological Survey (BGS), University College London (UCL) and UNESCO-IHE as well as representatives from partner organisations and the film company, Room3. The main film is here; and the series of shorter films are here.


Striving for Borehole Drilling Professionalism in Africa: A Review of a 16-Year Initiative through the Rural Water Supply Network from 2004 to 2020 – a published paper

Despite its strategic importance, the practical realities of borehole drilling provision in Africa, including driller skills, siting, supervision, drilling standards, drilling procurement and contract management, drilling professionalism and drilling regulation have been neglected by academic research. This paper charts the story, outcomes and impact of efforts by the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) on drilling professionalism and manual drilling for 16 years. At a total cost of about USD 750,000, the profile of drilling professionalism and manual drilling have been raised, providing materials and inspiring action. Thousands of stakeholders have improved their knowledge but the issue remains marginal for national and international political leadership. Kerstin Danert led this work from 2005, as an independent consultant in Uganda, with Skat Foundation and then from Ask for Water GmbH. Visit RWSN’s Professional Drilling and Manual Drilling web pages to access materials online. Co-authored with Dotun Adekile and Jose Gesti Canuto.

A Turning Point for Manual Drilling in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Co-author of a publication that documents over a decade of pioneering efforts by UNICEF, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and partners to introduce and professionalise manual drilling. Over a ten-year period, manual drilling, using the rota-jetting technique, has gone from a little-known technology in the DRC to an effective technology that has enabled about 650,000 people to be provided with a water service. This publication is available from the RWSN website in English and French. Co-authored with Cheikh Hamidou Kane.