In 2017, SNV worked towards a brighter, greener and cleaner future by expanding our operations to scale, and by implementing over 300 projects in over 30 countries around the world.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have forced us to recognise that we need to shift development aid projects to scale – notably at local, district and national level. This means allocating more resources and getting the private sector involved! As Reina Buijs puts it in her article – a major challenge that we face in the developmental sector is how to fund the SDGs. Development assistance will not be enough and leveraging private funding  is key to the eradication of poverty.

With our passionate and driven staff, 2017 was a pinnacle year of growth, focus and sharpened expertise at SNV, that allowed us to work towards achieving the SDG’s.

Realising SDG 2 – Ending hunger and promoting sustainable agriculture


In 2017, SNV launched the IAP fund, aimed to challenge the private sector to develop innovative business to reduce poverty and climate change.

In February, Unilever East Africa, Agventure Ltd. and SNV signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalising a venture that aims to double canola oil production in Kenya by the end of 2017 via contract farming arrangements.

The Berbak Green partnership gained momentum in 2017, with a training of farmers in Indonesia, the exciting launch of an online knowledge portal (to support oil palm smallholders in transitioning to sustainable production systems), and an assessment on exploring ways to improve access to finance for oil palm smallholders.

Looking Back at 2017

SNV’s Agro Business Centre (ABC) stimulated and developed innovative small and medium enterprise in Benin. Watch how these motivated individuals made it happen:

Enhancing nutrition and the diets of families ensures more resilient and healthier humans. We worked towards this goal by providing 77 schools in Uganda with 30,800 litres of milk. This has boosted rural dairy farmers’ income in Kiruhura, Mbarara, Sheema, Isingiro, Bushenyi and Ntungamo.

Looking Back at 2017

Drawing on the experiences from the ENUFF project we promoted awareness of upland farming families in Laos, with the aim to have more people adopt healthier dietary and nutritional practices for their children. Some lessons learnt can be viewed here.

Knowledge development in agriculture was at the forefront of SNV’s activities. Here are some interesting papers: ENUFF technical brief on converging nutritionThe power of multi-sectoral governance to address malnutritionTriggering positive behaviour change in nutritionDeveloping and implementing fully financed 4P business cases.


Realising SDG 7 – Energy:


2017 was all about expanding projects to scale, fostering partnerships, and advocating for access to energy.

In 2017, SNV signed a deal to launch a major Biogas Dissemination Scale-Up Programme worth €20 million, with the aim to reach 36,000 households with bio-digesters in Ethiopia.

In May, SNV launched an ambitious Call to Action. This call aims to attract partners to disseminate five million Lighting Global certified entry-level solar products to five countries, in five years.

Looking Back at 2017

SNV took over the Chair of the Steering Committee for the Mini-Grids Partnership which is established under Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), with almost 300 member organisations. This strategic role will enable us to link up with potential supporters of mini-grid applications in developing countries; and to further our influence in the energy sector.

As a result of this positioning, during the COP23SNV signed an agreement to become a delivery partner of SEforAll, and to work together on an initiative to light up the lives of millions of families in the developing world. Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General offers some insights in this blog.

In October, we were praised in the African region in the Ouagadougou declaration - a key milestone for biogas in Africa where 11 countries from West Africa participated and expressed their commitment to further develop the sector.

Looking Back at 2017

Some interesting key documents and blogs can be found here: Igniting Solar Energy Markets 5 years5 countries, 5 million households; Bringing solar energy to rural Rwanda with a smile ; Bridging the Solar DivideTalk does not cook rice; and Lessons learned from Introducing PAYG solar products in Benin.


Realising SDG 6 – WASH:


Worldwide, 4.5 billion people lack safely managed sanitation, of which 2.3 billion still do not have basic sanitation services. SNV has been working on decreasing these numbers. In 2017, our data revealed that our offices in Uganda surpassed the sanitation target of one our WASH projects, with 770,000 people now.

Looking Back at 2017

Several events, both learning and networking spurred our initiatives in the sector.

In February, SNV presented sustainable solutions to address FSM issues at the 4th Faecal Sludge Management conference that was held in Chennai, India.

In May, SNV with key government and academic counterparts in Lampung and Sumatra, Indonesia, joined together for a learning event to deepen their understanding of sectoral issues and universal access.

In the same month, we launched Education about Menstruation Changes Everything in Bhutan. See the video below:

At World Water Week in August, we presented and were co-convenors at 3 sessions - the most notable Smart regulation to reduce faecal contamination of urban water resources.

Promoting our efforts, The P2P: Catalysing WASH from Possible to Profitable project was also praised by a visit from Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, in Ghana.

Some interesting key documents and podcasts can be found here: WASH Podcast on SDGsCity cleaners, Improving Water Supply Sustainability in Northern Uganda (IWAS) - Project BriefSustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) Policy brief , Urban Sanitation in Bangladesh - Intro.


SDG 10 – Reducing Inequalities and Responding to the Migrant Crisis:


Two exceptional projects were launched in November 2017:

In Kenya, SNV is pioneering a project aimed at providing refugees access to energy, with the goal of delivering clean, safe and affordable cooking solutions to over 16,000 people in the Kakuma Refugee camp, and an additional 21,000 people with access to solar energy for lighting and phone charging.

In Cameroon, the twin projects PRESEC and RESILI(A)NT were officially launched in in Yaoundé. The project targets internally and externally displaced persons – more specifically women, young people, and will focus on livelihood projects, behaviour change campaigns, nutrition, and WASH approaches.

Looking Back at 2017

In December we signed a Euro €1.7m project partnering further with Endev/Giz to provide access to energy for displaced people living in Kigoma refugee camp in Tanzania.



SDG 5 - Putting Gender at the Forefront


In March, we celebrated International Women’s day, and launched our two month campaign #BeBoldForChange which focussed on raising awareness around SNV’s economic empowerment and development of women. Get to know the inspiring and passionate Donatha from Rwanda, Mwende from Kenya, Vong Noy from Cambodia, Nguyen Thi Kim Lienfrom Vietnam; and read some additional bold stories here from women around the world making a difference in their communities.

Looking Back at 2017

Looking Back at 2017

These stories highlight that labour participation is key for closing the gender gap, put ever so wisely in an interview conducted with Ms Caren Grown, World Bank Group Senior Director for Gender, in March.

Although women are at the forefront of closing the gender disparities, men should be change champions too. In 2017, we continued our efforts to change gender norms in Tanzania.

Looking Back at 2017

We are changing taboos to empowerment! In May, we celebrated Menstrual Hygiene Day in Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Also, read about how menstrual hygiene matters in Bhutan in our Connect Magazine.

Looking Back at 2017

In Bangladesh, meeting the rights and proper access to WASH services for women are only some of the many layers of the gender equity conversation. SNV also ensured the Occupational Health & Safety Standards (OHS) for the impressive women pit latrine emptiers, and additionally aimed to generate entrepreneurial opportunities for them. Read more about women who deal with this dirty business here.

Looking Back at 2017

We provided 3,000 bio-digesters in to women in Ethiopia, and as a result of this initiative, women are living in healthier environments and have been able to start or expand on profitable businesses.


SDG 8 - Ensuring Youth have a Future:


In March, SNV started the OYE project in Mali, to provide young people with sustainable opportunities that will allow them to grow their future.

In August, we launched our #YouthDay conversations on Twitter which looks at the lives of some of our beneficiaries who have been impacted by the OYE project.

Have you heard about Esmenia Raimundo (20) who was pregnant and unemployed but is now realising her dreams; Angelica Benjamin (28) a high school drop out with three young children who now has a thriving business; or Margreth Msumi (27) who started her own solar PV installation company. These motivated individuals all shrugged off poverty, and invested in themselves and their lives so that their future could be bright. And it is!

Looking Back at 2017

Looking Back at 2017

In Niger, we supported social entrepreneurs in launching social enterprises through artisanal work such as sewing and embroidery , furniture and home decofirst electric-acoustic gourimi, and mechanical engineering.


SDG 16 - Triggering Change Through Advocacy:


What a year the Voice for Change Partnership (V4CP) programme has had. So far we have learnt how to effectively build the advocacy capacities of civil society organisations (CSOs) and achieve impact at local, national and international levels in IndonesiaKenyaGhana, and globally. Read more stories in our V4C newsletter.

Looking Back at 2017

Looking Back at 2017

Farewells and New SNV Adventures


In 2017, Allert Van den Ham announced his departures from the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of SNV USA, to pursue his passion of being in the field. He will remain in the organisation as SNV’s Country Director in Laos. He guided SNV through a turbulent period, and today we are a financially healthy organisation, with a passionate team and quality programmes, mostly thanks to his strong leadership and drive to contribute to the reduction of poverty.

In 2018, SNV welcomed Meike van Ginneken, who has an extensive background in humanitarian aid and managing billion dollar WASH projects for the World Bank. With SNV entering into a new phase, Meike will bring fresh ideas, insights and leadership to SNV.

Welcome Meike!


Thank you and Happy New Year!


These are only some of the project and events that took place in 2017. We have additional interesting stories from the field which you can read about in our 2017 Connect Magazine, with special article contributions from Koos Richelle (Chairman SNV), Laurence Haddad (from Gain), Koen Peters (from GOGLA), and Reina Buijs (Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands), here are some great stories from 2017.

For 2018, we wish our network a fruitful year ahead, full of learning through practice, innovation, and positive change aimed to sustainably improve the Agriculture, WASH and Energy sector – as well as the lives of people we serve.

We look forward to sharing more inspiring stories and projects/programmes with you in 2018!




Written by Kate Buljanovic, SNV Global Marketing & Communications Adviser.