Innovation through co-creation is the main focus of VIA Water. In 2014 the program was founded to support innovative solutions for pressing water-related needs in the urban areas of seven African countries: Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Sudan. The program is hosted by the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and is one of five knowledge platforms set up by the Dutch government. Aqua for All manages the project fund of VIA Water.
The program encourages co-creation and knowledge exchange between the Netherlands and Africa, between the new and the experienced and between sectors that would not normally interact. VIA Water is convinced that there are many promising ideas for solving Africa’s water problems. Especially among the continent’s young, energetic generation. In practice these ideas just need an extra incentive and a bit of support in order to roll into the innovation chain and to become feasible, scalable and sustainable projects.
The cooperation with Aqua for All is very important to VIA Water. VIA Water makes extensive use of Aqua for All’s large network, its ability to facilitate connections, its knowledge of hybrid forms of financing, its experience with fund management and its mentality: Aqua for All rarely refuses anyone assistance, but rather constantly looks for a way to provide support.
As a fund manager Aqua for All plays an important role in the project application and funding. We will help develop ideas and if needed find other partners. Eligible projects include social innovations and funding is available up to a maximum amount of EUR 200,000. VIA Water encourages projects that are out of the box, unconventional and/or involve more risks than others. We believe it is important for your idea to be developed in a process of co-creation with the partners from the seven VIA Water countries. Ideas from brilliant minds all over the world are welcome, as long as they are applicable in one of the VIA Water countries.
We do promote and have a slight preference for African contributions.
VIA Water has set up an online community for sharing and advice. If your project is approved, VIA Water will expect you to make an active contribution to the community, so everyone can learn from the projects they support. There are plenty of innovations that are ultimately proven unsuccessful: VIA Water intends to learn from that, assess why something is successful or not, and share these ideas within the community. As such they promote and implement a learning cycle. You can already become a member of the community: read about their projects and their updates, and share your own experiences. You can find their community here: https://www.viawater.nl/community
In order to qualify for funding, several steps need to be taken by applicants and VIA Water.
STEP 1 : You send us your project idea
We check whether you fit!
STEP 2 : We respond
We see potential or might refer you to other options!
STEP 3 : You elaborate on your idea
You clarify or sharpen your teaser or proposal
STEP 4 : You apply for funds
Your full application is received and assessed
STEP 5 : We study your full application
Your proposal will be assessed by external selection advisors
STEP 6 : You process our feedback
A final decision regarding funding is made by Aqua for All
STEP 7 : We set up a contract with you
Check out VIA Water’s website for more information: https://www.viawater.nl/
Please note, application for the VIA Water Fund is different and does not meet the same requirements as our PPP small fund. For more information visit the page “Do you need funding” and check out their Roadmap: roadmap-to-via-water-support-version-october-2016-low-res