PWX Identified As One Of Five Trends That Will Reshape the Social Sector

California, November 30, 2009

The Peer Water Exchange (PWX) was identified as an example of a trend that will reshape the social sector in a report titled: “Convergence – How Five Trends Will Reshape the Social Sector.”

The report, commissioned by the James Irvine Foundation, talks about the non-profit sectors' reactions to the financial crisis. It points out that, rather than returning to a pre-crisis state, the nonprofit sector will be forced to move and is, in some instances, moving to a new state.

“PWX was Web 2.0, before the term was coined”, says Rajesh Shah, the inventor and head of PWX. Conceived in 2003 and built in 2005, PWX uses a host of what is now referred to Web 2.0 technologies and processes such as: participatory decision-making, peer review, crowdsourcing, transparency, volunteerism, and interactive maps. PWX is a true paradigm shift in how nonprofits operate making Rajesh the first social entrepreneur to seek change at both ends of the philanthropic spectrum: from the funder to the project implementer. Rajesh wants PWX to evolve further and include the actual beneficiary in the project stories on PWX. By using the simplest of technologies available in remote rural communities around the world – the mobile phone - beneficiaries can participate in the long-term impact assessment of their own project.

Gram Vikas, winner of the Kyoto Water Prize and PWX member, is embracing many of the innovations of the PWX platform. By uploading all of their project data on the site, Gram Vikas is able to showcase all their work and share both successes and failures with other water organizations in an effort to share learnings in Orissa and beyond. Founder and Executive Director, Joe Madiath is happy to see all the work of Gram Vikas on the interactive map. He states, “We have nothing to hide and so much to share. In addition, this will help us internally and force us to raise our communication standards.”

Rajesh adds, “We are witnessing the momentum building in the water sector and hope that the big funding institutions join this movement to truly transform the philanthropic world and achieve the deep, sustainable social and environmental impact that has proved to be elusive over the decades.”
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