Akvo is a project to share tools and resources related to water and sanitation:

Akvo creates and shares internet tools that help to provide clean water and proper sanitation to those who today have none.

We help everyone share knowledge, match more projects to funds, and simplify reporting. We work with people around the world who want to use these tools to improve people’s health and living conditions quickly.

Akvo has three main parts:

  • Akvopedia, a wiki for knowledge about water and sanitation
  • Akvo Direct, for matching projects with funds
  • Akvo Really Simple Reporting, web/SMS based reporting system that lets project teams share updates

All material is open as in the Open Knowledge Definition (see Akvo open license page) – so others are free to take the material, share it with others and build on it.

Incorporated in November 2008, there are currently 49 projects and over €590,000 pledged to help over 100,000 people have water and sanitation.

We’re very pleased that Akvo co-founder Mark Charmer will be talking to us about the project at OKCon 2009 as part of the ‘open knowledge for development’ session. If you’re going to be in London on 28th March, there are still some tickets left for the event!

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.

2 thoughts on “Akvo: open knowledge project for water and sanitation”

  1. This is brilliant! All three main parts.

    Few quick comments:

    1) Open knowledge repositories on development information are much needed and this is essentially a green field project as of now.

    2) Akvo Direct reminds me directly of Kiva microfinancing with the difference that (as it seems to me) this is charity and the projects are not repaid. .. I’d assume that it could be more sustainable in the long run if some level of repayment was introduced to get a deeper buy-in from the “recipients”. (… Lessons learned from so many projects..). This wouldn’t necessarily need to be even 100% but something.
    Brilliant idea. And the implementation seems to be solid even as of now (beta).

    3) Really Simple Reporting (=RSR, of course). Love it! -> Cut the BS & focus on the main issue: reporting and making information available directly all. Simple application of lessons learned from e.g. manufacturing industry — but so powerful.

    I’ll blog on this later with further comments. .. Will send a link when I have.

    But until then: This is definitely among the best packages I’ve ran into (in improving information flows in int’l development) ever. Bravo!!

    (via OKFN at Twitter <- Appropedia at Twitter)

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