Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR) announced today that it will make all its historic water projects alive by putting their data onto the Peer Water Exchange (PWX), a project of the Blue Planet Run Foundation (BPR). WOTR will also use the platform to manage all its current and future projects.
Based in Maharashtra, WOTR is one of India's pioneering non-governmental organizations (NGO) focused on social development and community empowerment. Since 1993, it has been working to help communities in one of India's most arid areas to be self-sufficient in water through watershed management. WOTR’s efforts have resulted in over 500 successful projects in four states. WOTR also has trained hundreds of NGOs from around the world in its approach.
WOTR has won numerous accolades for its work, most recently, the prestigious Kyoto Water Prize at the 2009 World Water Forum in Istanbul.
Marcella D'Souza, Executive Director, WOTR, endorsed PWX and expanded on its benefits:
"PWX is an innovative way of sharing with those interested in promoting development. I see it benefiting all stakeholders involved in the solving the water crisis:
1. Donors - Their contribution is made visible. Whatever the size, even if it is 'small' it is recognized. And that too, it is visible on the ground. It is a kind of 'Thank You".
2. Implementing Agencies - The work speaks for itself. PWX encourages improvement and peer learning, even from visitors. Developing and managing a project on PWX is also cost-effective, enabling staff to stay focused on the actual implementation, rather than paperwork.
3. Primary Stakeholders - the villagers get recognized because they participated in the project, by the visitors, both online and especially those who come to their doorstep, even when they are in remote areas.
4. Visitors - it adds to surprise experiences and can be life-changing . These villages become an otherwise unmarked tourist site. Thank you PWX."
Marcella immediately extolled her team to migrate their data to PWX as soon as possible, and then start working with all their partner agencies to also get them onto the PWX platform, so that they, too, could share the benefits.
Ajay Shelke and Vivek Joshi, who oversee IT in WOTR's new Pune headquarters, are happy that PWX will showcase all of WOTR's work. "PWX provides a common platform for any kind of developmental project addressing water and other issues. The PWX platform creates opportunity for an organization right from field persons to the managers to share their experiences about particular project across the world. Putting a project on the PWX world map is very powerful."
Sushil Bajpai who is creating WOTR's project management system is very enthusiastic: "When people know their reports are immediately visible to the world, it will definitely improve their quality". He wants to integrate PWX into their reporting system so that only one data entry is needed to share project information across the entire organization and beyond.
Rajesh Shah, head of PWX, conducted a one-day workshop for WOTR and one of its partners. "WOTR has been a friend of BPR from the very beginning and Marcella and Cripino and team have been great mentors. I am happy to be able to help them. It is an honor to support the great work of WOTR and showcase it to the world. And that both the Kyoto Water Prize winners endorse and support the PWX platform and process is the best validation anyone can hope for."
Rajesh hopes that after getting 17 years of WOTR's data onto PWX, other organizations, especially in the funding community, will follow their example. "The water sector needs to collaborate and unite. Since PWX enforces collaboration, sharing, and transparency, we can make faster progress against the crisis. As the size of our network and clearinghouse grows, everyone can better see and participate in the global fight against the safe drinking water crisis."
For more information on WOTR, please visit www.wotr.org.
For more information on PWX, please visit the website.