Since the conception of Akvo about four years ago, a very close relationship has evolved with Aqua for All, a Dutch NGO specialising in water and sanitation. In these four years lots has happened and a renewed strategic partnership needed to be setup for the future. We’ve just signed our latest partnership agreement together, covering 2012. Here’s a brief summary of what that actually means.

Right now, Aqua for All is showcasing 86 of its projects using Akvo RSR, with that number increasing daily. Aqua for All functions as a broker within the Dutch water sector to support various water projects in developing countries. They receive funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide their expertise and invest in water projects. That practically means that they provide match funding to each project and program they approve and are involved in.

Our collaboration also extends into the Walking for Water campaign, which is set to take place again this March. More information on what these campaigns are all about can be read in Blogs posted previously on both the Dutch and international Water for Walking campaigns. Adding to that, in the past Aqua for All has proven to be great sparring partner with which we are able to test our new products and services.

A couple of things have changed. The most important is that every single project and/program that is approved by Aqua for All in 2012 is eligible for placement on our platform. Their partners can then use our tools to attract extra funds, install widgets on their own websites, and use our Really Simple Reporting (RSR) tools in reporting. For all these services, Akvo will not be charging anything extra to these partners. These projects will then automatically be visible on the Aqua for All website.

Aqua for All already has a full implementation of Akvo’s latest partner site features, launched in December 2011. Here’s an example of a project video update displayed in Aqua for All’s Akvo RSR system.

Due to changes in policy within the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aqua for All is only able to provide funding to water projects in a number of specific countries. These are: Benin, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan, Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

For small Private Initiatives (PIs) we have setup a custom-made service so that they can still make use of Aqua for All’s expertise and showcase their projects on our online platform.

That means Aqua for All, with its extensive expertise, will also offer screening services to projects of PIs that are not funded by Aqua for All. Quick scan screenings are done free of charge. If expert advice is needed, the applying PI will be supported to improve their project proposals. Costs of the expert screening will range between 250 and 500 euro per project. This allows us to keep the door open for small private initiatives, while at the same time guaranteeing high project quality that is published on the Akvo website. All of this will be done on a no cure, no pay basis.

I look forward to continuing working alongside the good people at Aqua for All under this renewed strategic partnership for 2012 and onwards.

Luuk Diphoorn is project coordinator with Akvo and is leading its East Africa strategy.