• Written by Winona Azure
    8 December 2015

Photo credit: WASSAN

Recently we joined forces with India Water Portal to include 165 news articles from India – organized by topic, and primarily published in 2014 and 2015 – on Akvopedia. Because half of Akvopedia’s users access our site for research purposes, the News – India portal brings a powerful component of regional information to add relevancy to their technological findings in our water and sanitation (WASH) wiki. We include news articles such as rainwater harvesting and sanitation trends, but also have expanded our coverage to topics closely related to water and sanitation, such as climate change or emergency WASH.

Since India Water Portal has approximately 12,000 articles to choose from, we have handpicked the ones most relevant to Akvopedia’s topics, so as to provide users with targeted information gathering. Plus, the news section will always be updated, bringing in news while keeping an archive of past articles for research or comparative purposes.

At the partner level, hosting these articles on Akvopedia will bring India Water Portal more exposure, as well as increased page views every time a user clicks the news article in Akvopedia. We use a simple iframe to embed each article on our pages, so the integrity of the India Water Portal styling and branding stay in tact.

Including news also supports our philosophy of knowledge. It’s not only learned from manuals and research documents by NGOs, but knowledge is gained from direct field experience and regional events, involving people in their own impoverished or improving communities. The news articles often mention many regional issues you might not find in manuals, for instance, recent flooding information or which local government recently received more financing for water projects. Knowing more about the local news can help Akvopedia users make better decisions. Plus, including a more diverse array of knowledge truly helps them in constructing and sustaining WASH projects over the long term.

We hope to expand our news section beyond India to include Africa, Latin America, and more of Asia and South East Asia.

Winona Azure is Akvopedia editor, based in Seattle, USA. You can follow her on Twitter @noniazure.