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A new free and open source knowledge portal has been launched this week by Akvo and IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. It is designed to help water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) teams achieve sustainable financing throughout the entire life-cycle of WASH services. The WASH Finance Portal is an extension of the popular Akvopedia online knowledge tool.

Amsterdam/The Hague, 20 March 2013. A new free and open source knowledge portal has been launched this week by Akvo and IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. It is designed to help water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) teams achieve sustainable financing throughout the entire life-cycle of WASH services.

What WASH costs do I need to finance? How can I finance WASH services and how can I monitor the financing of these services? These are the questions that the new WASH Finance Portal attempts to answer (link below).

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The WASH Finance Portal is an extension of the popular Akvopedia online knowledge tool, intended for those working to establish basic water and sanitation infrastructure and services for the world's poorest people. Akvopedia contains nearly 800 articles. In 2012, the site attracted 300.000 visitors and 1.1 million page views with an expected growth of more than 50% in 2013.

Much of the material in the Finance Portal is sourced from the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, especially from its WASHCost programme. This five year action research programme (2008-2012) gathered information related to the life-cycle costs of providing WASH services.

In addition to the articles about different types of costs, financing sources and monitoring tools, the Finance Portal includes a database of funds that are available for WASH projects or businesses in developing countries. You will also find links to the latest questions on finance from question and answer forum KnowledgePoint, and the latest finance news and publications from IRC’s MySource newsfeed. In this way the new Finance Portal provides valuable information and connects people.

Later in 2013, Akvo plans to launch a Sustainability and an Emergency portal.

The Finance Portal remains a work in progress, we welcome your comments and suggestions for updates.

Akvo is a non-profit foundation, with staff in the Netherlands, Britain, Sweden, Kenya, India and the United States. The open source tools that it develops are used by over 800 organisations throughout the world in areas such as WASH, education and economic development.

IRC is a knowledge-focused NGO, which works with a worldwide network of partner organisations in order to achieve equitable and sustainable WASH services.

The Finance Portal is one of the products of a three-year collaboration agreement between Akvo and IRC, which was formalised by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2012.

Watch the Akvo's Jeroen van der Sommen and IRC's Jeske Verhoeven launch the Akvopedia WASH Finance portal on WaterCouch.tv, during the multi-stakeholder dialogue on water on 21 March 2013.

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