Friday, June 26, 2009

Water for the Poor Act Congressional Report, June 2009

The Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act Congressional Report, June 2009 was released today by the U.S. Department of State. I'll have a quick review of the document shortly. In the interim, please see Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's superb introduction to the document:

I am pleased to present the 2009 Report to Congress on the implementation of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act. Perhaps no two issues are more important to human health, economic development, and peace and security than basic sanitation and access to sustainable supplies of water.

I have witnessed this first-hand. Without reliable supplies of clean water, people cannot live, farmers cannot grow crops, and the environment on which we all depend cannot survive. Without proper sanitation, human health and dignity suffer, and the environment and water supplies often become contaminated. Together, we must work to ensure that no child dies from a preventable water-related disease, that no girl fears going to school for lack of access to a separate toilet, that no woman walks six kilometers to collect water for her family, and that no war is ever fought over

In his inaugural address on January 20, 2009, President Obama said “[T]o the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.” I can think of no better way to honor the legacy of Senator Paul Simon, who did so much for so many, than to commit ourselves to achieving this vision and the ideals of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Water Advocates is hiring - Water, Schools and Health

Director of Global Water, Health and Schools

Water Advocates ( is a small but influential nonprofit advocacy group in Washington DC (DuPont Circle area) dedicated to helping solve the global safe drinking water and sanitation challenge. Water Advocates neither implements programs overseas nor seeks funding for itself, but works to raise awareness of and funding for the global water and sanitation sector as a whole.

The Director of Global Water, Health and Schools is responsible for planning and implementing Water Advocates’ outreach and advocacy program focused on a) water, sanitation, and global public health and b) the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools Initiative. He/she will play a leading role in the growth of Water Advocates’ ambitious outreach program and will serve as one of the main advocates and representatives of Water Advocates and its allies.


The Director’s main role will be to support the overall mission of Water Advocates to significantly increase awareness of and financial support for the global safe drinking water and sanitation sector from private and public US-based supporters. He/she will maintain and grow the existing WASH in Schools Initiative, and identify and pursue new funding opportunities, special initiatives, communications efforts, and other projects concerning the linkages between water, sanitation and global public health.


Knowledge of and experience with the global safe drinking water and sanitation sector and linkages to other international human development challenges; experienced in working with global health and education
· Networking expertise, preferably with strong existing relationships in the community of potential funders; ability to broker partnerships, including across development sectors
· Excellent research skills, and the ability to deliver compelling arguments to new and existing funders (strong written and oral communication)
MPH or related degree preferred
· Able to travel occasionally (domestic)
· Able to work independently and creatively

Desired Skills
Commitment to values, mission and vision of Water Advocates; engagement in global health and/or development issues, preferably with a focus on safe drinking water and sanitation, health and education challenges
Strong background in outreach/advocacy/program management; record of proactive efforts to build new relationships with potential supporters/funders and expanding/strengthening existing relationships
Experience with basic fund-raising and communications techniques
Ability to develop, plan and implement specific short- and long-term outreach goals
Demonstrated public speaking skills, and experience in planning and facilitating meetings
Ability and desire to work in a small organization with a consensus-oriented environment with different work styles
Ability to use modern/leading edge communications tools and software applications, and excellent written communication skills
High-energy, love of challenge, and ability to be effective in a constantly changing environment

Writing samples will be required.

This position is located in Washington, DC. This is a full-time exempt position, lasting from date of hire through December 31, 2010. Salary range is commensurate with experience. Some domestic travel may be required. Water Advocates is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer that is committed to diversity in the workplace.

Please send résumé and cover letter to

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Skoll Foundation Awards for Social Entrepreneurship - Water Scarcity is a priority area for 2009

I just got a note from a friend at the Skoll Foundation who brought to my attention the fact that water scarcity is one of five priority areas for this year's Skoll Foundation awards for social entrepreneurs.

Please let your water and sanitation networks know of this opportunity, which could lead to $750,000 in support for worthy causes, including - quite recently - Gary White and WaterPartners International.

Award guidelines are here and the next deadline is August 12.

From Skoll:

The Skoll Foundation’s mission is to advance systemic change to benefit communities around the world by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs. We believe that social entrepreneurs see opportunities where others see problems and crises. They apply innovative solutions to social and environmental issues, empowering people and communities to envision and create positive change. They work in many kinds of organizations, including nonprofits, social purpose ventures such as community development banks, and hybrid organizations that mix elements of nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

More detail on the ideal applicant:

Qualifying organizations will:

· Be led by a social entrepreneur.
· Have implemented innovative programs that demonstrate effective approaches to the critical social and environmental challenges of our time.
· Be able to describe a clear, long-term path to creating equilibrium change.
· Demonstrate proof of concept with measurable outcomes.
· Have a clear, compelling plan for reaching scale.
· Demonstrate a track record of at least three years.
· Have a clear plan for long term financial and operational sustainability.
· Commit to work with peers and the Skoll Foundation to share learning and communicate success stories.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Asia Society event: June 3, 2009 - New York City

For those of you in New York City, please consider attending this event tomorrow (also available by webcast):

Private-Sector Approaches to Water Management for the Poor
(Innovations in Microfinance Series)

Approximately 1.1 billion people lack clean water supplies and 2.7 billion have no access to proper sanitation. To combat conditions that lead to sickness and disease, low income families across Asia are asking for clean water and improved sanitation to keep their families healthy and productive. Sophisticated modern piped water networks are too expensive for most developing countries and poor people living in the slums often pay 5 to 10 times more per liter of water than wealthy people living in the same city. Sensing a business opportunity, microfinance organizations are beginning to explore the market for making water more accessible to the poor.

Learn about innovative private sector microfinance approaches to water management that have been used for a range of purposes from purchasing household water connections and clean water storage units, like rainwater harvesting tanks to the construction of household latrines.Opening remarks by Bruce Schlein, Vice President, Corporate Sustainability Unit, Citi.

- Rama K., Senior Vice President, Basix
- Claire Lyons, Manager, PepsiCo Foundation
- Paul Sathianathan, Executive Director, Gramalaya Urban and Rural Development Initiatives and Network (GUARDIAN) (India)
- Kurt Soderlund, CEO, Safe Water Network (USA)
- Gary White, Executive Director and Co-founder, WaterPartners International (USA)

Moderator: Nicola Armacost, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Arc Finance

* * *This event will be a free live video webcast from app. 12:30 to 2:00 pm EST on

Date: June 3rd
Registration: 12:00-12:30 pm; luncheon/discussion: 12:30 - 2:00 pm
Location: New York Asia Society and Museum, 8th floor, 725 Park Avenue, New York
Cost: $50 members, $75 nonmembers, $35 students w/ ID (meal not included)

Buy Tickets Online

Phone: 212-517-ASIA