Opinion : Finding right local champions key to maximum impact

Currently, there are still poverty-stricken communities in China that are in dire need of resources, many of whom live in mountainous and isolated communities.

Each year, we receive numerous genuine appeals for help from local communities which we put through a stringent process when identifying poor rural communities in need of water and sanitation improvements in China.

We realize that an important step lies in finding the right local champions to ensure these projects achieve maximum impact for our beneficiaries. We do this through our Village Water Management (VWM) programme, where we work directly with residents of the villages itself to help oversee the progress of these projects.

The rigorous selection process for Student Village Officers (大学生村官) for our projects involves an independent panel including water and sanitation experts from China and Singapore, which also evaluates the feasibility of water and sanitation proposals. As part of a needs assessment process, our staff visit shortlisted project sites and speak directly with benefiting communities to establish their needs and ensure project sustainability.

Through our work on the ground with our chosen NGO partner, China Association for Poverty Alleviation and Development (CAPAD), and direct interaction with the Student Village Officers and beneficiaries, we are able to see first hand, how all our resources are allocated, and how it creates value for our stakeholders.


To date, our VWM programme has been well supported by CAPAD and Chinese authorities. We look forward to working with them again this month, when we conduct a training session for more than 20 selected Student Village Officers in Guizhou Province.

To find out more, take a look at our Village Water Management Programme.