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Published on: 02/05/2012

RiPPLE – which stands for Research inspired Policy & Practice Learning in Ethiopia (RiPPLE) – was established as a WASH research programme from 2006 to 2011 with funding from DFID, and core partners being the Overseas Development Institute, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, Addis Ababa University, WaterAid Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Catholic Church-Social & Development Coordination Office of Harar/HCS. But it also became a much wider network, engaging many national and international partners in its network and platforms.
The programme was considered widely successful in evaluations by DFID and the Ethiopian government, having generated substantial new research evidence on WASH (see for a wide selection of reports and papers) and influenced the sector through action research that engaged government and other stakeholders and its networking approach.

RiPPLE was considered widely successful in evaluations, having generated substantial new research evidence on WASH and influenced the sector through action research that engaged government and other stakeholders.

Over the past year, RiPPLE has been going through a transitional phase. As DFID funding ceased in mid-2011, it has successfully developed several new funding partnerships, including projects with the Dutch WASH Alliance, the Dutch Partners for Water Programme, CGIAR Challenge Programme on Water and Food and a major new planned project with UNICEF, among others.

And since April 2012, with the support and encouragement of its original partners, RiPPLE has now been established as an independent NGO fully registered by the Charities & Societies Agency of the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice. The mission of RiPPLE is “commitment to promote/enhance learning on water & related sectors in Ethiopia  and the Nile Region through action research, networking  policy practice engagement, knowledge management and capacity building”.

A new governing body structure has been established (General Assembly and Board of Directors) and Deres Abdulkadir has been appointed as the new executive director. Deres brings his 30 years of knowledge of development and management experience to the new RiPPLE, and has ambitious plans to develop RiPPLE's activities with the existing and incoming staff. A new organisational set-up, with new departments and teams, has also been established, with a focus on delivering the high-quality services needed by a growing list of clients.

RiPPLE is now extending its intervention areas to all the four major regional states of Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR and Tigray. It will work in about 30 new weredas (districts) through a major new project partnership with UNICEF, in addition to the existing intervention areas in Eastern Ethiopia and elsewhere in the country.

It is anticipated that 10-15 highly skilled professional staff will be recruited within the coming 4-5 weeks in order to fill vacant positions in the new institutional structure.

Currently RiPPLE is in the process of renewing and formalising partnerships with both local and international  partners, while at the same time establishing administrative, financial, programme systems and procedures.

In its evolution to becoming an independent institution, RiPPLE has made the difficult transition from a programme with multiple sources of funding through the persistent and continued support of the Hararghe Catholic Secretariat (HCS) and such strong supporters as the Ethiopian Ministry of Water & Energy. Zemede Abebe, the former director and now a technical advisor, has been the most critical driving force in RiPPLE's recent work. Ato Bekele Moges of HCS has, together with Zemede, provided vital support, including bridging funding and hosting arrangements. Many thanks go to these two individuals for their relentless support and efforts in RiPPLE’s transformation and its current stature. But there are many others that could be mentioned too.

With all the efforts being made and the support receive from partners, Deres is sure that RiPPLE will further evolve into one of the centers of excellence of WASH and related issues, focusing on the need to always have good evidence at hand, and to help the sector put that information to effective use.


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