he SWPN has experienced a process of evolution that began with its establishment, continued through a phase of analysis, and has now reached a phase of project piloting and programme execution.

Before scaling up its interventions the SWPN undertook a process of review, reflection, and planning, which led to the updating of the SWPN strategy that was approved in April 2019.

The SWPN strategy is aligned with that of the DWS-2030 WRG partnership, the goals of the Government of South Africa’s National Development Plan and the Department of Water and Sanitation’s National Water and Sanitation Masterplan, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (especially SDG 6).

The SWPN strategy is built on four pillars:

  • Partnership platform
  • Communication platform
  • Projects platform
  • Governance platform

More information on each of these pillars can be seen in the tabs below.

Partnerships are the foundation of the SWPN. The main objective of the partnership platform is to provide a forum for the public and private sectors and civil society to collaborate to achieve the objectives of the SWPN.

The collaboration follows a cycle of identifying issues of common interest, formulating projects for support by SWPN, mobilizing resources for the projects, implementing the projects and assessing the value of the projects. Secondary objectives of the partnership include provision of a forum for sharing of experience and the dissemination of learning on water-related issues.

SWPN stakeholder engagements enable collaboration on:

  • Identifying issues of common interest
  • Formulating projects for support by SWPN
  • Mobilizing resources for the projects
  • Implementing the projects and
  • Assessing the value of SWPN projects

In addition, the Annual Water Stewardship event, hosted by SWPN in collaboration with the Royal Danish Embassy, GIZ and NBI, has become an important event in the South African water calendar and provides a valuable platform for the exchange of experiences and best practices.

Communication of results and sharing of learning are key to ensuring that successful SWPN methodologies and interventions can be replicated. The SWPN platform is being expanded to leverage the leadership of the programme to promote innovation and good practice, to disseminate information on successful interventions in the sector generally, and to support learning outside the programme.

The objective of the communications pillar is to provide a platform to:

  • Disseminate information on successful interventions
  • Support learning outside the programme
  • Allow for uptake of innovation and replication of successful approaches
  • Provide information about and promote the SWPN and its partners
  • Leverage the leadership of the programme to promote innovation and good practice

SWPN projects are designed to test innovative concepts, approaches and technologies to establish their potential to close the supply-demand gap, replication prospects and opportunities for public-private partnership.

The SWPN undertakes two main types of projects

  • Systemic level or “Game Changing” projects. These include support to innovations, development of tools, development of systems and methods and projects to improve the enabling environment. These projects are typically funded from Member contributions and grants from international organizations. The value of these projects is that they promote partnership and have broader impact. However, the impact is often indirect and reliant on downstream actions by others. Importantly, these projects can only be funded when Member funding surplus to operating requirements is available, or when grants are provided to support SWPN-initiated projects (some grants are conditional and for donor-initiated projects to be undertaken through the SWPN).
  • Pilot / implementation projects. These projects are area-specific, involve implementation of water loss reduction or treatment initiatives, and are typically funded by one or more partners with dedicated funds. Funds for these projects are therefore for the project only and not available for other projects or SWPN operations.

The SWPN is guided by a comprehensive set of guidelines stipulated in the Governance manual to promote transparency, be consultative and effective in ensuring the advancement of SWPN objectives and member interests.

The SWPN’s governance structure comprises a Management Committee (Manco), Working Group Chairs, and Secretariat. The Manco consists of senior representatives from the public and private sectors who guide the strategic direction of the SWPN. They also help to promote the SWPN and its activities within their extensive networks.