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Published on: 21/03/2024

The Learning Companion project aims to revolutionise training methodologies within the WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) sector by harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With a focus on WASH systems strengthening, this initiative seeks to develop an AI-powered training assistant tailored for users of the WASH Systems Academy. By integrating AI technology into the learning process, the project aims to enhance knowledge dissemination, improve learning outcomes, and empower individuals working in the WASH sector.

Project Overview

Project Name: Learning Companion
Start Date: October 2023
Lead Consortium Members: IRC and WASHNote



  1. Explore the use of AI for training on WASH systems strengthening through the WASH Systems Academy.
  2. Develop an openly available and open-sourced training assistant chatbot to provide tailored advice and access to a vast library of WASH system findings.
  3. Test the chatbot's effectiveness in increasing the number of trained individuals and improving their performance in knowledge tests.


The project is structured around three main activities conducted concurrently:

Development and Testing of Prototype Learning Companion with AI: The project team will design and test a prototype of the Learning Companion chatbot. This involves integrating AI algorithms to enable personalised interactions, providing real-time guidance, and offering access to relevant resources within the WASH domain.

Development and Testing of Knowledge Base: A comprehensive Knowledge Base will be created to feed information to the Learning Companion. This includes the use of Knowledge Graphs to organise and link relevant concepts within the WASH sector. The Knowledge Base will serve as the backbone of the chatbot's intelligence, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information delivery.

Exploration of AI Use Cases for WASH Systems Strengthening Training: Beyond the development of the Learning Companion, the project will explore various AI-driven approaches to enhance WASH systems strengthening training. This includes identifying potential use cases such as predictive analytics for infrastructure maintenance, optimising resource allocation, and improving decision-making processes.

In partnership

IRC: As a leading organisation in the WASH sector, IRC contributes methodologies, findings, and testing capabilities within IRC's WASH Systems Academy. Their expertise ensures the relevance and effectiveness of the Learning Companion in addressing real-world challenges.

WASHNote: WASHNote is an innovator around WASH knowledge and data and oversees the technical setup, workflow implementation, and hosting of the Learning Companion. Leveraging their proficiency in AI technologies and open-source development, WASHNote plays a crucial role in ensuring the scalability and sustainability of the project.

Project Updates

Regular updates on the project's progress, key milestones, and relevant insights will be shared through the project website and communication channels.

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