This is it! We finally get together, and start off for real.
Last October, a frantic three-week writing, skyping, rewriting and editing in response to DFID’s call for proposals for the Building resilience and adaptation to climate extremes and disasters (BRACED) programme had set out the contours of our partnership to upscale WUMP3R in Nepal and Pakistan. Just a few weeks later, right before Christmas holidays, DFID sent us the confirmation that out of 126 proposals, ours had been selected as one of the 22 that were granted a Project Development Grant. The contract already being signed by the end of January, we decided to keep in pace with DFID’s vigour, and got together in Nepal a mere two weeks later to kick off the Project Development Phase of our BRACED proposal.
So there we were: colleagues Madan Bhatta, Niraj Acharya, Bikram Rana and Juerg Merz from HELVETAS Nepal, Arjumand Nizami from Intercooperation Pakistan, Tabinda Alkans from Asasah Pakistan, Amitangshu Acharya from Akvo Asia, Karim Nawaz from Pakistan representing MetaMeta, and myself, Annelies Withofs from RAIN Foundation in the Netherlands.
This eclectic combination of people, nationalities and backgrounds, reflects the multidimensional character of our joint project proposal. The one thing we have in common is the belief that water is crucial in making people and systems resilient. Each of our organisations has a very particular and specialised take on how to ensure that water is there, is managed properly, and is accessible to people and nature alike. RAIN and MetaMeta advocate for the use of the often underused potential of rain water, through Retention, Reuse and Recharge at landscape level. While RAIN promotes this 3R concept more through large scale implementation, MetaMeta has a great role in developing and mainstreaming knowledge on the concept. HELVETAS Nepal and Intercooperation Pakistan have developed and tested a planning tool called WUMP, to generate and implement at local level in an inclusive, equitable and transparent manner a Water Use Master Plan. Asasah in its turn is a specialist in microfinance for livelihood enhancement, emphasizing the strength and potential of women as agents of change. Akvo then adds a quite innovative spice to the partnership, as it will help us making our efforts more efficient and transparent through the use of FLOW and RSR: open source web and smart phone based monitoring and reporting tools.
During the inception meeting, we discussed how to integrate and merge all these great ideas into one comprehensive approach to build livelihood resilience in the face of climate change, compliant with the ideas and ambitions of the DFID BRACED program. This will be a very challenging job, yet the process and results will be tremendously inspiring and a great added value to the DFID BRACED program. Over the coming five months, these discussions will be deepened further and the ground for our intervention will be prepared. Work plans, roles and responsibilities for this first phase have been agreed upon, time frames are set. We are ready for it – so brace yourselves, here we come!
Annelies Withofs, RAIN Foundation