In the first year of the programme, 15 ‘Catalyst’ projects tackled a wide range of research questions in 14 different countries. In 2015, five larger ‘Consortium’ projects are extending some of that research over the following 4-5 years in 12 countries.
As Knowledge Broker, Skat has a number of important roles: (a) to encourage sharing and collaboration between the research teams; (b) to publicise the papers, reports and tools emerging from the research; (c) to maximise the impact of the findings of the research by supporting the research teams in getting their findings taken up by policy and decision-makers; and to (d) support the client in their monitoring and reporting needs for the programme.
For Skat this was a natural fit because because of the close connection between the research and the strengths of the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN), which hosts the Secretariat and takes a lead on the Sustainable Groundwater Development theme, which is strongest in Sub Saharan Africa. For UPGro, Skat is able to use existing tools and links to run webinars, develop a bespoke website, leaflets, banners and other promotional materials, organise and run face-to-face workshops and events.
In addition to the communication expertise, the the technical expertise in the team is used to translate and synthesis the work of the academic teams so that its content and importance can be understoon by a broad audience.