30 September 2023 / Vienna, Austria
Last Week in Podgorica - One Little Plus for RCDN, one big Plus for the Region
Contributed by:
Voice of the Danube
01 October 2023

During the last week of September, IAWD representatives travelled to Podgorica, Montenegro to attend the kickoff meeting of RCDN+, the next project phase of RCDN, the Regional Capacity Development Network.

The Regional Capacity Development Network (RCDN) for Water and Sanitation Services connects local governments, public water utilities and their associations from South East Europe to support developing capacities in the water and sanitation service sector. With its huge knowledge base it offers valuable support to all partners in their capacity building, advocacy and association development efforts.

Financed by SECO, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, and BMZ, the German Ministry for International Cooperation, the RCDN has been implemented in six non-EU countries of the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. 

IAWD has participated in the network from day one, finishing the last grant period - 15 August 2021 to 15 October 2022 - by successfully passing an institutional and financial audit.

Since early 2023, preparations for a next phase and extension of the program have been in full swing: RCDN+ will build on the success of the first project period, and IAWD is on board with an ambitious project proposal. It will support IAWD's development with activities such as a peer exchange with Aqua Publica Europea or a project development cooperation with NALAS, it will focus on activities related to advocacy and lobbying and further improve D-LeaP's architecture.

IAWD's project proposal has been approved and the official start date of the grant agreement is 1 October 2023. On 26 and 27 September, IAWD staff travelled to Podgorica, Montenegro and sat down with representatives of RCDN partner LGAs (Local Government Associations) and APUCs (Association of Public Utility Companies), NALAS, GIZ, World Bank, SECO and UNDP for a Project Advisory Board and Networking meeting, aiming to build a shared understanding of the RCDN+ objectives, scope, and expectations for the new phase.

IAWD is glad to be on board - proud of having been part of RCDN, we are now extra proud to be part of RCDN+.