Yesterday we hosted a workshop here at Akvo HQ in The Hague for our main MFS II Alliance partners. MFS II is the newest round of Dutch development aid partnerships and Akvo is part of two consortia that together will be responsible for the spending of almost €100 million of Dutch aid between now and the end of 2015.

The turnout was very high, with all partner organisations attending – there were 25 people in the room. We managed to squeeze everyone in the main conference room and had a very productive afternoon.

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“The Akvo workshop with our main MFS2 Alliance partners. Photo by Kathelyne van den Berg.

We’ve been organising various Support Partner meetings with our water sector partners, but this was the first time our partners from outside the water and sanitation field came together, too. The main WASH Alliance partners are: Simavi, AMREF Nederland, WASTE, RAIN Foundation, and ICCO. Our main Connect4Change partners are: IICD, Cordaid, ICCO, Edukans, and Text to Change.

Peter kicked-off the workshop with a short presentation summarising what we’ve been doing until now, highlighting new features that we’ve just recently released, and what we plan to do with the Akvo system next. Below you can take a closer look at Peter’s presentation.

Following, I showed our partners how Kathelyne and I have been testing SMS and Video updates in the field. I even did a live run through on how to link your mobile phone number to your Akvo User Account and send an SMS. Even though T-Mobile coverage nearly let me down, the SMS update came through just fine.

After a short break, Mark Westra presented the functionality of the FLOW application and possible use for all our partners in the work we will be doing together in the coming years. This is part of the potential partnership we’re exploring right now with the FLOW team.

We ended the afternoon by splitting into two groups (WASH/C4C) to discuss in more detail how we’re going to to start using these various features in the programs that are being developed as we speak. This proved to be a very important workshop to be having at this time.

Luuk Diphoorn is Project Coordinator with Akvo