DROPSTONE is providing advisory services to humanitarian organisations, development agencies, NGOs, foundations and the private sector.
The company aims at accompanying clients throughout the project cycle until its successful
completion, thanks to experienced and professional advice. Particular attention is given to
meet objectives within budgets and deadlines. A solution-oriented spirit allows adapting
flexibly to fast changing environments, shifting priorities and challenging field realities.
DROPSTONE is supporting the private sector and related foundations in implementing their corporate social responsibility in a successful way. The integration of social and environmental concerns in business operations and a company’s interactions with the full range of its stakeholders are given highest priority. Targets are reached thanks to an open dialogue with communities, identification of competent local implementing partners, the support of relevant and self-sustainable programmes, and the sharing of values through dedicated capacity building programmes.
DROPSTONE Sàrl is a Swiss private company established in Geneva in March 2013.
The founder and owner of the company, Patrick Kilchenmann, graduated from Swiss Universities in Geology and Hydrogeology. He has more than twenty years of professional experience, acquired first in Switzerland as a scientist in applied research, and then internationally, working as a Chief of Project or a consultant, with long term assignments in Mali, Haiti, Nepal and Sudan. He has extensive field experience in Africa, the Middle East, Far East, South Asia and the Balkans. He was previously employed by the International Committee of the Red Cross, SKAT_Consulting, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and Helvetas.
The company is specialised in the overall management of projects, from initial needs assessments to strategy planning, implementation, external evaluations, backstopping and knowledge sharing.
DROPSTONE provides expertise in the fields of water supply and sanitation, road construction and maintenance, sustainable development, geology and hydrogeology, humanitarian assistance, information technologies and change management.
The company integrates a wide range of professional competences in designing humanitarian responses and ensures that the basic needs of the most vulnerable groups such as forcibly displaced people, children, women or the elderly are systematically addressed, and their competences strengthened.
Thanks to its wide experience in dealing with complex emergencies, DROPSTONE provides pragmatic solutions in high-pressure environments and sets up realistic plans of action for delivering effectively emergency relief assistance to affected communities.
Recent or Ongoing Mandates
Road Construction and Maintenance
Programme Director for the Local Roads Improvement Programme (LRIP) financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Nepal: Overall responsible for programme implementation, adjustement of strategic orientation, backstopping, and regular field visits (August 2014 to July 2018).
Water Supply and Sanitation
Backstopping of the water programme of the Swiss Government in Tunisia: Provision of support for the implementation of large scale rural drinking water and irrigation projects; Setting up of a underground water monitoring system; Definition of a water quality strategy; Regular field visits (10.2013 – 12.2014).
Backstopping of the water programme of the Swiss Government in Pakistan: Technical advisor for the smooth implementation of the WES programme through the provision of strategic advice on implementation modalities, critical processes and key activities (11.2013 – 12.2014).
Review and evaluation of the water projects and programmes implemented by the Swiss Government in Pakistan: Recommendations for adjustments of internal organisation, potential new areas of intervention, and innovation (05-06.2013).
Information Technologies and Change Management
Field Deployment Coordinator for the ICRC of a new ERP tool using JDE application (Oracle): Identification of the impacts of the project on end-users (Logistics, Finance and Assistance staff); Proposition of measures for the smooth management of change; Dissemination of the new organization setup, roles, security and procedures; Global knowledge sharing and communication (04.2013 – 12.2014).
Previous Relevant Experience of Owner
Road Construction and Maintenance
Assistance to the Department of Roads in the development and implementation of a maintenance management system for the strategic road network of Nepal (1’500 km of highways and feeder roads); Advice in planning, implementation, supervision, monitoring and evaluation of routine, recurrent and emergency maintenance activities; Use of labour-intensive technology for road construction and maintenance; Design of training seminars for the regional directors, division chiefs, engineers, overseers [SDC, 1996-99]
Backstopping of the Transport Sector of SDC: Participation in the core group for the formulation of the rural transport sector policy of SDC; Development and programming of a tailor-made Internet tool for accessing key information on the transport sector (TransWeb); Setting up of a national network (TransNet); Screening of relevant publications and magazines; Q&A Service [SKAT_Consulting, 1999-2001]
Water Supply and Sanitation
Senior Lecturer at the summer University of the Geneva International Peace Research Institute (GIPRI): "Africa - between conflict and development" [DROPSTONE, 09.2013].
Responsible for the rehabilitation and construction of rural water supply systems during the complex emergency in Darfur, including the provision of safe drinking water and sanitation to the Gereida IDP camp [ICRC, 2007-08].
Backstopping of the Water Sector of SDC: Evaluation of multilateral organisations’ water policies and strategies; Creation of the Internet portal gate WatsanWeb; Networking (Aguasan); R&D on appropriate technologies; Q&A services; Information management [SKAT_Consulting, 1999-2001].
Evaluation of the 22-year rural water supply programme of Helvetas in Mali and definition of its subsequent 10-year strategy [SKAT_Consulting, 2000]
Definition of immediate priorities and implementation of emergency rehabilitation programmes of water supply and sanitation systems in Haiti, East-Timor, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Pakistan [ICRC, 1995-96, 2001-06 and 2008-12]
Construction and infrastructure
Assessment and definition of passive security measures for the protection of premises against external threats in hostile environment, programming of work, and coordination of implementation until completion [ICRC in Sudan, 2007-08]
Responsible for the construction of the reference orthopaedic centre in Juba, South Sudan; Construction of a fully equipped dispensary in the National Prison of Port-au-Prince, Haiti [ICRC, 1995-96 and 2007-08]
Geology and Hydrogeology
Cartography of unstable areas and recommendations for remedial measures [Freelance for the States of Wallis and Ticino, 1991-95]
Monitoring of landslides, design of stabilization measures and implementation of works [Freelance for the City of Lugano and with SDC in Nepal, 1991-92 and 1996-99]
Geological and geotechnical surveys and assessment of environmental impact of engineering projects [Freelance for the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, 1993-95]
Initial assessments, planning and coordination of the emergency relief assistance to communities affected by the 2008 earthquake in Ziarat, Pakistan; Definition and coordination of the early recovery programme of the IDPs returning to Casamance, Senegal (2002-2006); Definition of the budget extension for the protection and relief assistance during the 2011 crisis in Ivory Coast [ICRC]
Strategy advice to the ICRC Direction of Operation for the internally displaced people; Field support visits; Networking and positioning [ICRC, 2008-13]
Definition of a camp management strategy for the ICRC; Capacity building; Organization framework and procedures; Contingency planning [ICRC, 2008-13]