Saturday, November 27, 2010

AMCOW award winners - Feliciano dos Santos and David Kuria

First of all, if you haven't done so yet, please contact your Congressperson in the U.S. in support of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act! And thank you!

Secondly, congratulations to Feliciano dos Santos, David Kuria, and the other winners of awards given by AMCOW - the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW).

Here is what AMCOW has to say about Feliciano:

A musician and activist whose songs about using latrines and washing hands are positively influencing the hygiene practices of communities in Mozambique; a widow who has risen through her caste status to lead a campaign against open defecation in her village in Ethiopia; and a toilet entrepreneur whose innovative partnership with local authorities is changing the way public toilets in Kenyan towns are managed, are the top winners of this year’s AMCOW AfricaSan Awards.

Musician Feliciano dos Santos was announced winner of the Grassroots Champion Award for dedicating his life and his music to campaigning for better public health through clean water and adequate sanitation. Santos nd his Massukos Band have been using music to inspire thousands of villagers in rural Mozambique to curb spread of disease by adopting good hygiene practices, such as washing hands, boiling drinking water and building latrines.

And about David Kuria (

David Kuria won the Public Service Award for implementing a partnership model that is delivering safe, clean and affordable sanitation to the urban poor in Kenya. His company, Ecotact, is pioneering a private-public partnership approach with local authorities, and water and sewerage utilities to build public toilet malls in urban centres and informal settlements. By demonstrating the viability of sanitation as a business, David has been able to attract more than US$1.2 Million for the construction of 40 public toilet facilities in 12 municipalities in Kenya.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Water for the World Act / Write a letter during Thanksgiving weekend!

Dear friends of safe drinking water and sanitation,

During this time of year when we have so much to be thankful for, we ask for ten minutes of your time over the next few days to encourage the US Congress to support the Water for the World Act. This legislation which has already passed the Senate by unanimous consent will help those without safe drinking water and sanitation around the developing world.

Now, during the lame duck session, is the most important time to contact your member of the House of Representatives to ask him or her to pass the Water for the World Act.

This lifesaving legislation would go a long way toward ending the diseases caused by the lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation which constitute the world's largest public health crisis. It would also give the United States an important leadership role in providing access to water, sanitation and hygiene for millions of the world's poorest people.

The ask is simple: customize the draft letter below with your personal story about how water is important to you and/or your organization, put the letter on your letterhead, and fax it to as many members of Congress as possible. *** For those of you in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington (state), please contact John Oldfield at joldfield (at) for additional details. ***

All House offices can be contacted through 202-225-3121, or through We have found that faxing your letter to the office in Washington, DC is most effective at getting the message through.

Thank you all for your assistance with this important piece of legislation. The draft letter that we are asking you to customize and fax to Congress is below.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear [House Member]:

[insert quick personal intro/story about your or your organization’s interest/activity in safe drinking water and sanitation in developing countries]

After extensive discussions with policymakers of both parties, the Water for the World Act was passed in the Senate by unanimous consent. The House is now considering whether to bring a streamlined version of the legislation to the Floor. In sum, the Water for the World Act will almost double the effectiveness of the Water for the Poor Act of 2005 -- in terms of lives saved and illness prevented by the availability of clean drinking water and sanitation -- with no additional federal funds. By reformulating and modernizing the way US water aid is focused, the bill will meet the safe drinking water and sanitation needs of 50 million people over the next six years, enhance the capacity of USAID and the State Department to utilize water more effectively and sustainably in their development and diplomacy efforts, leverage an additional 25% in non-federal funds to reach more people, and ensure that our limited aid resources are directed toward the areas of greatest need and greatest impact, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

House passage of the Water for the World Act will complement what I and many other US civic and faith groups, foundations, corporations, and water nonprofits are doing to respond to this vital challenge. If you agree, please contact the House Foreign Affairs Committee to express your support for this bipartisan, level-funded authorization that will enable the United States to improve the health of millions of people -- chiefly women and children -- worldwide, and to stabilize regions threatened by water shortage and disease.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

[personal close]


(your name)

Monday, November 22, 2010

New job openings at A Child's Right in Seattle: deadline Nov 24!

Please go here for details about these great jobs at a great organization below. Forward to your people in/around Seattle!

At A Child's Right:

1) The Development Director is responsible for overseeing philanthropic strategy, relationships, activities, contributions and results. This position collaborates extensively with the Executive Director in prioritizing and stewarding relationships, initiatives, strategy and management relative to individuals, foundations, businesses, and other allies. Coordinating with the Program Director, the Development Director articulates the value proposition of a child's right and engages donors in appropriate ways with program staff. Working with the E.D. and the Finance Operations Director, the Development Director helps ensure compliance with the standards and reporting requirements of external stakeholders, including auditors, donors, foundations, and other relevant entities. This position serves as a member of the leadership team.

2) The Finance & Operations Director is responsible for financial analysis, fiscal management and financial planning. This position oversees the human resources function, manages the day-to-day activities of the organization, and supervises the Administrative Assistant. Working with the E.D. and the Development Director, the Finance & Operations Director ensures compliance with the standards and reporting requirements of external stakeholders, including auditors, donors, foundations, and other relevant entities. This position serves as a member of the leadership team.

3) The Administrative Assistant will facilitate the smooth operation of a child's right, supporting the staff through a variety of administrative and clerical duties. This position functions as the receptionist and office clerk and also performs some Executive Assistant tasks for the Executive Director. This position also supports the Board of Directors, at the request of the Executive Director or Finance & Operations Director.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Water for the World Act / New Video from The Chronicles Group

The lame duck (post-election) session of the U.S. Congress started yesterday, Nov. 15. During the lame duck session we are doing everything we can to encourage House passage of the Water for the World Act.

Jim Thebaut and The Chronicles Group have released a new video supporting the legislation, including interviews with former Senate Leader Bill Frist, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Senator Dick Durbin, and Patti Simon, the widow of the late Senator Paul Simon. Here is a link.

Please forward this important video to as many people as possible, and do your bit to encourage your congressperson to support the Water for the World Act.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Child's Right / Russell Gift Empowers Clean Water Initiative

Great news for our friends in Washington (state), and of course all of our friends in China, Nepal, Cambodia, Ethiopia and elsewhere.

All of the groovy details are here. And perhaps logically, A Child's Right is hiring.

Russell Gift Empowers A Child's Right's Clean Water Initiative

George F. Russell, Jr. and Dion Russell today announced a private charitable donation of $10 million to a child's right, an international water charity that provides safe drinking water to children around the world. The couple's gift is aimed at providing 1 million children with safe drinking water during the next 10 years.

"Our intent is to make a significant difference, and to convince others to help support a child's right, so we can help children with a fundamental and vital need," said Mr. Russell. "I've invested in this organization for years, and I am proud of their work and more importantly, the results."

a child's right has developed a customized water filtration system for charitable use by combining established water purification technologies used by multinational corporations. Funding from the Russells' personal donation will support a cascading rollout of pilot installations to serve the vast water needs of children in poor, urban areas across Asia and East Africa.

This announcement comes seven weeks after the United Nations Summit urged the global community to redouble efforts toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. It is widely acknowledged that achieving access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation is fundamental to achieving all eight MDGs.

Through a series of commitments, the donation will require a child's right to meet annual targets and performance goals in 12 new countries. The exploratory strategy will assist the charity in determining whether the current operating model will work effectively in each new location while simultaneously building infrastructure and capacity in its Tacoma, Washington headquarters.

"It is amazing to consider that without the vision and charitable leadership of people who recognize children's needs, this important work would not be possible," said Eric Stowe, Executive Director of a child's right. "George is a savvy investor and has set the bar high for us with this incredible gift. Because of his donation, we can roll out our expansion in a disciplined way, where future donors can observe success and know that all new dollars raised will be remarkably well leveraged, thanks to an assurance of infrastructure support."

Water purification projects will be piloted in twelve new countries: India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, Kenya and Uganda.

The Russells' investment is based on a child's right's existing operations in China, Nepal, Cambodia and Ethiopia. a child's right works in partnership with local institutions, whose beneficiaries are guaranteed ten years of equipment, service and support.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gates Foundation - hiring WASH analyst in Seattle

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is continuing to grow their WASH team in Seattle. Please apply here or direct your friends/colleagues to this position.

Position Title: Analyst, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (requisition number 2276BR)

The Research Analyst will: support the wider WSH portfolio, and the director in particular, via a variety of short term and longer term projects. Key tasks include:

• Gathering, synthesizing and analyzing quantitative data in support of strategy development, advocacy and policy analysis, and grant development;

• Reviewing, summarizing and reporting out on academic literature and policy reports in sanitation

• Desk-based due diligence of partner organizations and critical agents of change in the sanitation sector.

We are looking for people with extensive experience in developing countries. This position is limited to U.S. citizens or those with a Green Card, and relocation fees will not be sponsored.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Capitol Hill Briefing on India, Water, and Sanitation

For those of you who can join us in Washington DC next week, please RSVP for this congressional briefing on safe drinking water, sanitation, and India.


Capitol Hill Briefing on Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation, and India
Friday, November 19, 10am – 11:30am

The House India Caucus, the U.S. India Political Action Committee, and Water Advocates invite you to a Congressional Briefing on Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation, and India on Friday, November 19, 10am – 11:30am in Rayburn B‐318 (coffee and bagels will be provided).

Sponsored by:

Congressman Jim McDermott
Congressman Ed Royce
CoChairs of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans


Water Advocates

Cosponsors of the event include Tata Sons, Ltd., the Water and Sanitation Program, the Acumen Fund, Living Water International, and the International Business Leaders Forum.

Speakers include:

• Niharika Joe, General Manager – North America, Tata Sons, Ltd. (
• Marc Manara, Water Portfolio Manager, Acumen Fund (
• Jae So, Manager, Water and Sanitation Program (a global partnership administered by the World Bank (
• Living Water International (

As India continues to progress economically, the challenge of providing safe drinking water and sanitation remain considerable. This issue provides tangible opportunities for the U.S. and Indian public and private sectors to collaborate on an important development challenge and contribute to a stronger relationship between the two democracies.

The Indian public sector, the U.S. Government, and nonprofit enterprises and corporations from both countries are collaborating to address this problem. This briefing will provide participants with a glimpse into the many solutions to the water and sanitation challenge currently underway.

*** Please RSVP by Wednesday, November 17, to wateradvocatesrsvp [at] gmail [dot] com

Monday, November 1, 2010

Philadelphia Global Water Initiative / Annual Conference / Nov 4

Please plan to attend the Philadelphia Global Water Initiative's fourth annual conference (this Thursday in Philly) if you can!  More details below and full agenda here.




To register or with any questions, please contact Chryslene Rebeiro at chryslene.rebeiro ((at))

Date: November 4, 2010
Venue: University of Pennslyvania
Hall of Flags, Houston Hall
Philadelphia, PA


•To review the magnitude of the global water shortage
•To understand the challenges of managing limited water supplies, especially in developing countries
•To show examples of approaches that have been successful in allocating water among various demands [eg, agriculture, drinking water/sanitation, manufacturing, energy, ecosystems services] and to identify other potential solutions to the allocation problem
•To identify key research questions that need to be addressed, and to build toward a major Wharton/Penn Initiative For Global Environmental Leadership [IGEL] Conference in Spring 2011 on "valuing water"
•To establish a network of people interested in water allocation

This Conference is organized and hosted by the Philadelphia Global Water Initiative with financial support from the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership at Wharton/Penn, University of Pennsylvania Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Pennoni Associates, Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, Beechwood Orchards, and University of Pennsylvania Middle East Center.

Generous in-kind support provided by the US EPA Region 3 Office in Philadelphia.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gates Foundation / Grand Challenges Exploration / Sanitation / Nov 2 deadline

Good morning/afternoon everyone - I should have posted this a long time ago - apologies.

For those of you with great ideas about how to solve the world's sanitation challenges, please consider applying for this early-stage Gates Foundation support. Good luck!


The deadline for applications to our Grand Challenges Exploration is fast approaching and we want to get as many applications in as possible! Applications need to be received by November 2, 2010.

As you may have heard, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s WS&H team is currently running a Grand Challenges Exploration for sanitation. Grand Challenges Exploration is a small grants program that is soliciting proposals for the next generation of sanitation technology. From new containment devices to fecal sludge transport, treatment, and reuse, we’re looking for bold, innovative, and risky ideas that have potential to catalyze a transformation in how sanitation is implemented in the world’s rapidly growing cities. The guidelines for the sanitation challenge can be found here:

The application is just 2 pages, and the grant size is $100,000 for a year, to develop the idea further. We’re looking to receive a wide diversity of ideas from a wide diversity of individuals and organizations, so please circulate widely throughout your networks!

One bold idea. That’s all it takes.

Unorthodox thinking is essential to overcoming the most persistent challenges in global health. Vaccines were first developed over 200 years ago because revolutionary thinkers took an entirely new approach to preventing disease.

Grand Challenges Explorations fosters innovation in global health research. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $100 million to encourage scientists worldwide to expand the pipeline of ideas to fight our greatest health challenges. Launched in 2008, Grand Challenge Explorations grants have already been awarded to 340 researchers from 34 countries.

Open to All Disciplines: Anyone Can Apply

The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline, from student to tenured professor, and from any organization – colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies.

Agile, Accelerated Grant-Making

The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short two-page applications and no preliminary data required. Applications are submitted online, and winning grants are chosen approximately 4 months from the submission deadline.

Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to $1 million.

A link to the press release announcing the launch can be found here:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The World's Toilet Crisis / Washington DC screening / October 28

For those of you in Washington DC, please plan to join us for an important screening of The World's Toilet Crisis.

Event date: October 28, 2010 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Here is the event flyer.

An estimated 40% of the world's population has no access to toilets and defecate anywhere they can. This documentary investigates how developing countries are trying to solve an epidemic that few people want to talk about--the world's toilet crisis.

Join the Pulitzer Center, AED, PATH, and Water Advocates for a screening of the film followed by a panel discussion with Lisa Biagiotti, producer of the film and multimedia journalist for PBS and Current TV, Peter Sawyer from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and Janie Hayes from PATH.

Thursday, October 28, 7pm
"Bathroom Pass" Exhibit at AED IDEA: EXCHANGE
1875 Connecticut Ave, NW (corner of T St) Washington, DC

Free and open to the public. A reception will follow the screening.

Please RSVP to

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pop!Tech conference features Water For People's Ned Breslin TODAY

Just got this note below from Susan Davis at Water For People. Water For People is launching today a VERY interesting initiative. This gets as close to a game-changer as anything going on in the global WASH sector these days. Please do watch Ned's talk today (details below) if you can.

Note in particular the "other organizations" part of FLOW. Water For People means this to be open source, available for all organizations across sectors to use for their own sustainability / accountability / M&E purposes. As I'm watching, I'll be thinking about how I could apply it to my own work.

This Thursday, October 21, CEO Ned Breslin will be revealing big news from Water For People at the annual Pop!Tech conference in Camden, Maine.

Water For People, in conjunction with Gallatin Systems, has been working diligently to develop a dynamic new data-monitoring tool that seeks to revolutionize the sector. Sustainability, transparency, and accountability will no longer be merely buzzwords. Thanks to FLOW, these words are now transformed into true measurements of success.

Tune in to to the watch the reveal of FLOW live from Pop!Tech. Ned has 18 minutes to tell his story, including how FLOW will enable Water For People and other organizations to build on strengths, identify and improve weaknesses, and ultimately reach the goal of true, proven project sustainability.

Feel the excitement as Water For People once again challenges the norms of water and sanitation development with this inspiring reveal!

Date: Thursday, October 21, 2010
Time: between 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT /9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. MDT
(18 minutes within that time)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

World Toilet Summit / Trillion Dollar Market

I hope as many of you as possible are planning to join Jack Sim and his colleagues at this year's World Toilet Summit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Oct 31 - Nov 3).

Below are a couple of paragraphs from a press release I received yesterday about the event. More information at



The theme of the 2010 ICC World Toilet Summit is “2.6 Billion Sanitation Business Opportunities.” This strategy intends to engage large corporations by demonstrating the staggering size and profit potential that lies in providing the poverty sector with access to quality toilets at affordable prices. The global sanitation crisis affects nearly 40% of the world population who live on less than $2 USD per day. People living without toilets belong to a consumer group at the bottom of the economic pyramid who live in relative poverty, but collectively have purchasing power representing a $5 trillion USD market.

Aside from reaching business decision makers, another objective of bringing the WTS to the U.S. is to dramatically heighten awareness of the global sanitation crisis among U.S. policymakers, organizations, and the general public in order to continue to grow support for this cause, both short- and long-term.

“We are so proud to be part of this initiative,” stated ICC PMG Group Executive Director Jay Peters. “The attendees and other participants of this powerful conference will benefit tremendously from the expanded and richer conference and expo offerings, as well as invaluable networking opportunities for future business ventures that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them. It will be outstanding for our organizations, the entire plumbing industry and the businesses that serve them, as well as the entire world.”

Monday, October 18, 2010

charity: water / Director of Water Programs / job posting

Neat job just posted at charity: water. Please see below. They are also hiring a senior development director, if any reader is interested.

Director of Water Programs, charity: water
charity: water
New York, NY

October 2010

charity: water is focused on providing clean, safe drinking water to 100 million people in the next ten years. To do this, charity: water is scaling its staff, its countries of work, its international partnerships—and they are-inventing charity in the process.


As a member of charity: water’s Executive Team, help lead the organization and drive the cultural values that make our organization distinct.

Drive charity: water’s program strategy and build partner capacity to fund $2B in projects over the next 10 years.

Have ownership of all funds sent to the field for project work. You’ll deploy, monitor and report on $10-20M in project funding this year, growing to $500M per year over the next 10 years.

Develop and lead people and systems to manage continual influx of complex project data, and to scale exponentially over the next 5-10 years.

Develop and manage high-level relationships with NGO leaders, water experts, field engineers and community workers, driving testing and broad adoption of viable new technologies and best practices.

Drive quarterly project funding planning, including vetting and negotiating partner project proposals and coordinating funding capacity with fundraising and accounting teams.

Represent charity: water in the global safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector.

Uphold charity: water’s commitment to transparency and efficiency by holding partners accountable for financial and project status reporting.

We are looking for a truly remarkable individual to join the senior leadership team. The ideal candidate will display these unique qualities:

At least 5 years experience and expertise in international development, preferably focused on programs providing clean drinking water and hygiene and sanitation training to impoverished communities.

Experience with designing and managing scalable systems to track, organize and analyze complex project data.

Proven relationship skills with ability to develop and leverage productive relationships with NGO executives, water experts, engineers and field workers.

Strong communication skills, with ability to speak authoritatively at conferences, in meetings and on video.

Analytical, detailed and numbers-oriented approach to planning and budgeting.


Bachelor’s degree is required. Advance degree a plus.


Travel internationally at least 12 weeks per year.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to the successful candidate.

For more detailed information about the organization, please go to:

Email cover letter and resume in confidence to:

Josie Sandler

Sandler Search Associates, LLC

880 Third Avenue, 16th Floor

New York, NY 10022

Email: josie [[at]]


Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day / Stop using girls as infrastructure

Happy Blog Action Day! In honor of Blog Action Day, I want to resurrect a HuffingtonPost blog post from almost a year ago:

India Economic Summit Champions Investing in Girls

Among other action items, Maria Eitel suggests:

  • Stop using girls as infrastructure. When we create proper infrastructures - build roads, install electricity and clean water - girls won't need to be used as infrastructure any longer. Today they function as the electric grid as they carry firewood, plumbing system as they carry water, childcare system, etc.

Couldn't agree more. Too often around the world women and girls are used as water (and all too often wastewater) infrastructure instead of being given the opportunity to be educated and become productive members of society.

Let's use Blog Action Day and its focus on water this year to stop using girls as infrastructure, and start giving them the opportunity to go to school, to learn, to be healthy, to be girls.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Global Handwashing Day 2010

Zoinks! Each year Global Handwashing Day gets bigger and better.  From our friend Dan Campbell at USAID, here are the big ticket items for tomorrow, October 15. WASH your HANDS people! I don't care if you're trying to prevent diarrheal disease or avian influenza. Handwashing is medicine!

{{Since I posted this, I heard from - they have a great handwashing poster for free download here:}}

2 key websites are:

• Global Handwashing Day 2010 -

• Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap -

Handwashing in the News

- USAID - Millions Soap Up to Commemorate Global Handwashing Day

- U.S State Dept - Raising Clean Hands: How WASH Is Essential for Achieving Universal Education, a presentation by Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs  

- UNICEF - Making clean hands a priority for more than just a day, Global Handwashing Day
- Save the Children Asks: Do You Know Your Dirty Words? -, ‎Oct 11, 2010‎, The videos also mark Global Handwashing Day on October 15. The installation of toilets, hand-washing stations, hand pumps and de-worming campaigns are part ...

- BBC News - UK: Dirty toilets and thugs stop children washing hands -

- Lifebuoy to target 100000 children to support 3rd annual Global Handwashing - The 3rd annual Global Handwashing Day (GHWD) will be celebrated across the Gulf on October 15th 2010. The initiative, backed by the Global Public-Private ...

- Ghana: Global Handwashing Day, ‎Oct 11, 2010‎, In Ghana, the third National Handwashing Day will be held at the Volta Regional Capital, Ho. In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly set aside the day ...

- Soap Project, MedShare Form Partnership, Oct 12, 2010, Two Atlanta-based nonprofits, the Global Soap Project and MedShare, have formed a partnership to distribute recycled soap from US hotel rooms to countries ...

- Afghanistan: No soap at school

- India: Health in your hands, ‎Oct 12, 2010, The focus of this year's Global Handwashing Day is cleanliness at schools. Playgrounds, classrooms, community centres, and public spaces will be awash with ...

- Philippines - Global handwashing day on October 15 promotes lathering up to beat diseases, ‎Oct 12, 2010‎, The purpose of Global handwashing day is to raise awareness and promote hand washing to school children's and parents. Each year, diarrheal diseases and ...

- Kenya - Wash your hands well before touching cutlery, ‎Oct 12, 2010‎, As the world prepares to mark the Global Handwashing Day, public health experts are raising ...

- Guinness World Records® Attempt for Most People Sanitizing Hands a Success, ‎Oct 8, 2010, The world record was carried out in celebration of the upcoming Global Handwashing Day, an annual event that coincides with flu season. ...

Raising Clean Hands: How WASH Is Essential for Achieving Universal Education

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero gave an impassioned speech yesterday on the linkages between safe water, sanitation, and primary education. The most interesting thing throughout a great event at AED I think was the attention that the speakers and questioners paid not just to how safe water and sanitation enable access to education (eg they make it possible for girls to go to school), but how safe water and sanitation improve the quality of that education as well. Better water and sanitation contribute very positively to cognitive development, not just simply getting girls to school.

Here are Maria Otero's great remarks:

Maria Otero
Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs

Academy for Educational Development (AED)
Washington, DC
October 13, 2010


As prepared for delivery

Thank you for the warm welcome and kind introduction. And my gratitude to the Water Advocates and Academy for Educational Development for organizing this wonderful event and showcasing this beautiful exhibit for the public. This is the perfect setting –surrounded by these powerful images and messages – to be talking about WASH in schools.

As Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, I have worked over the past year to elevate two initiatives at Secretary Clinton’s request: water and youth.

Fortunately, today gives me an opportunity to talk about both: the importance of providing water, sanitation, and hygiene education – and the significance of starting early. We must teach our children—our future—to be better stewards of our world’s water and better caretakers of their own health.

No matter where you live—be it Boston or Bamako—schools are the foundation of strong communities. They are, of course, a place where teachers teach and children learn. But they are also a place where community health workers deliver life-saving messages and medicines. They are a place where adults gather in the evening for continuing education and town-hall meetings. And they are a place where people come to vote and young democracies flourish.

It is a tragic irony that those who go to schools to learn, congregate, and protect their health, are often put at risk from the school environment itself.

The problem is clear. More than half of all primary schools in developing countries do not have adequate water facilities and nearly two-thirds lack adequate sanitation. Even where facilities exist, they are often in poor condition.

The consequences are threefold. First, health suffers. Schools can—and often do—become a breeding ground for diarrhea, parasitic worms, and other water-borne ailments. The World Health Organization estimates that diarrhea causes 1.5 million deaths per year; many resulting from transmission in schools.

Furthermore, schools without WASH facilities represent a lost opportunity to promote good hygiene behavior in the larger community. Data suggests that students who practice good hygiene in schools also help teach good hygiene practices to their parents, siblings, and friends.

Second, education suffers. Worm infestations can lower children’s IQ scores. Studies show that students are more prone to missing lessons in schools without WASH facilities. Such trends can have devastating long-term costs for students, communities and nations, virtually closing doors to opportunity.

Third, women and girls suffer disproportionately. Female school staff and girls who have reached puberty are less likely to attend schools that lack gender specific sanitation facilities. As we increasingly recognize the contribution of women to household income, health, education, and nutritional outcomes, nations simply cannot afford a lag in women’s education and literacy.

The bottom line is this: If we are serious about improving child health, achieving universal primary education, ensuring gender equity, and stimulating economic development, we need to be serious about providing safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education in schools.

The U.S. Government has a long and ongoing commitment in this area.

Together with Millennium Water Alliance, Global Water Challenge, and the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group, the State Department is rolling out the Ambassador’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Schools Initiative. We are also finalizing the addition of a fourth partner and founding sponsor: The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.

The initiative aims to help U.S. Embassies around the world collaborate with experienced NGOs to implement a local WASH in schools project. We are already working with Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and looking to expand to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.

Through WASH in Schools, Ambassadors and other senior embassy staff are engaging the host government and local communities on the importance of WASH education to health, education, and gender equity.

Most recently, as part of the Hygiene Improvement Program, USAID worked closely with AED and other partners to scale up national WASH in School programs in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The program also conducted trainings and produced materials to share best practices with other organizations.

Our ultimate goal is for all schools to have adequate WASH facilities. But we must not be naïve about the challenges ahead. Maintaining sustainable water and sanitation services in schools is not simple. Constructing taps, toilets, and hand washing stations with soap is often the easy part. Setting up a robust system for operations and management and ensuring sustained and proper use can be much more difficult. We must ensure that WASH is incorporated in school curriculum and teacher training to complement the infrastructure with appropriate hygiene and sanitation messages and skill-building.

Even as we increase investment for WASH in schools, we must also increase monitoring and communication of what works and what doesn’t. A solid knowledge base is essential for informed decision-making and effective distribution of funds.

Finally, as we have noted in our own WASH in Schools program, success is contingent on strong partnerships. Many donor groups are supporting WASH in schools programs around the world, and many of you are represented in the room today. I am grateful for your commitment.

And, of course, donor efforts alone will not reach scale or be sustainable without leadership from national governments like El Salvador—a country that has demonstrated strong support for WASH in schools. I’d like to extend a special welcome to Ambassador Francisco Altschul-Fuentes, from El Salvador, who is here with us today.

Last month, we were fortunate to have representatives from nations throughout the world join us at a side-event on water during the MDG Summit, co-hosted by the U.S., Tajikistan, the Dutch, and UNICEF. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was among 200 leaders highlighting the role of safe access to clean water in reaching multiple MDG goals. I encouraged the high-level participants to address water from multiple angles, including the environment, health, security, and women and children’s rights. And, of course, WASH in Schools is a part of that equation.

It is this type of dialogue—and events like this one today—that are crucial to building the partnerships that will change the lives of boys and girls in schools throughout the world—change their lives, change the future.

I would just close by pointing out that this Friday, October 15, the world will commemorate Global Handwashing Day. On this day, educators in countries around the globe will be showing their students how to wash their hands. It sounds simple to an audience that is accustomed to automatic faucets. But sadly, hundreds of millions of children will not be able to practice their handwashing lessons at school.

This is where we all can make a difference. I regret that I cannot stay for the panel, but I look forward to hearing the outcomes.

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Children Should Carry Books, Not Crappy Water

Children Should Carry Books, Not Water

U.S. Raising Clean Hands Campaign Launched: WASH (WAter, Sanitation and Hygiene) Is Essential to Achieve Universal Education

October 13, (Washington, DC) – Nathan Strauss, 17, a student at Abington Senior High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is part of a growing movement of America’s youth who are stepping up to make a change in the lives of the students around the world who are carrying water and not books.

Even for those children that have the opportunity to go to school, students lose 443 million school days each year due to diseases associated with the lack of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Repeated episodes of diarrhea and worm infestations diminish a child’s ability to learn and impair cognitive development. This problem is exacerbated by the more than half of all schools in developing countries that lack adequate WASH facilities.

“I had no idea of the magnitude of the issue and I was shocked to find out the severity of the crisis and the number of students like me across the world that still don’t even have a toilet at their school. Doing something about this has become a really big deal for me,” said Nathan Strauss. “I think America’s youth has great potential to do something about this problem; if everyone gets taught the issue, we can all help. Imagine if all the students in America were a part of this; the change would be enormous,” he continued.

Nathan is not alone. Nearly 30 organizations launched a campaign in the United States today at an event at AED to demonstrate that providing water, sanitation and hygiene education in schools globally can help solve the WASH and education challenge around the world. Through this campaign, and an exhibit called “Bathroom Pass,” these organizations highlight the solutions they are currently implementing and urge the U.S. Government, the World Bank, and other actors in the education and health sectors to bring WASH to schools in the developing world.
U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero stressed, “The bottom line is this: if we are serious about improving child health, achieving universal primary education, ensuring gender equity and stimulating economic development, we need to be serious about providing safe water, sanitation and hygiene in schools.” She emphasized the important role of students, like Nathan, to participate in service learning projects that help them engage in concrete actions to help others around the world. Earlier this year on World Water Day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton emphasized that global water issues would be a priority for the U.S. Government.

Other speakers who highlighted the need to act included Carol Bellamy (Education for All - Fast Track Initiative), Clarissa Brocklehurst (UNICEF), Jack Downey (AED) and Denise Knight (The Coca-Cola Company). Jon Hamilton of NPR served as the moderator.

Nathan took action by helping to start a club through H2O for Life to raise funds to help schools in developing countries; the money is used to improve access to clean water, build toilets and handwashing stations, and provide hygiene education. So far 120,000 students across the U.S. have participated in H2O for Life service learning programs. Nathan’s story is highlighted in the “Bathroom Pass” exhibit, as are the stories of three students from Honduras, Madagascar and Nepal.

As a part of this campaign the organizers are challenging you to:

• Live for one day on the global minimum standard for water—approximately 5 gallons per person per day for drinking, cooking and bathing.
• Wash your hands at critical times: after using the toilet and before preparing food or eating.
• Start an H2O for Life club at your school like Nathan and his classmates did. Visit 

The launch of this campaign is timed to coincide with the week of Global Handwashing Day, October 15, when 200 million children, parents, teachers, celebrities and citizens in over 80 countries are raising attention for handwashing and for WASH in Schools. Visit


Nathan Strauss is available for print, radio and broadcast interviews. He will also be touring the “Bathroom Pass” exhibit in Washington, DC on Friday October 15 for photo and video opportunities.

Attention broadcasters: for WASH in Schools b-roll visit:

Water For People –

For background documents, scroll to bottom of the page at

Press Contacts:
• John Sauer, Water Advocates, Tel: 202-293-4003, Email: jsauer ( at )
• Michelle Galley, AED, Tel: 202-884-8388, Email: mgalley ( at )

“Bathroom Pass” Exhibit Description

In collaboration with nearly 30 partners, AED will launch Bathroom Pass: A Hands-On Exhibit On Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools at Idea:Exchange on October 13, 2010. Every child has the right to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in their school. In this kid-friendly exhibit, visitors experience WASH in schools through the stories of four children from around the world: Adán, age 12 from Honduras; Mamisoa, age 10 from Madagascar; Nathan, age 17 from the United States; and, Sarita, age 15 from Nepal. Find out how WASH in schools ensures students reach their full potential. Learn how you can make a difference. For more information on group scheduling or events, please contact Zoe Plaugher, zplaugher (at) or 202-884-8618. The exhibit is free and open to the public from October 25 through November 19, Monday-Friday, 3PM-7PM. Location: AED IDEA:EXCHANGE, corner of Connecticut Ave. & T St., 1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009.

Organizations supporting this event include: Action Against Hunger, AED, Basic Education Coalition, CARE, CRS, Children Without Worms, Global Environment & Technology Foundation, Global Water Challenge, H2O for Life, Millennium Water Alliance, PATH, Plan USA, Project WET, PSI, Ryan's Well Foundation, Save the Children, UNICEF, USAID, US Fund for UNICEF, WaterAid, Water Advocates, Water and Sanitation Program, Water Centric, Water For People, World Water Relief

Friday, October 8, 2010

Global Health Council - Invitation to Screening of "Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" - A Documentary on the Fight against Guinea Worm

Global Health Council - Invitation to Screening of "Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" - A Documentary on the Fight against Guinea Worm

If you see one documentary all year, make it this one. The eradication of Guinea Worm (and the coming eradication of polio as well) are two of the most compelling global public health successes since D.A. Henderson and the eradication of smallpox in the 1970s. (On the smallpox note, I highly recommend D.A.'s book here.)

PLEASE join me for this screening on October 18 in Washington DC (RSVP details below):

Invitation to Screening of "Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" - A Documentary on the Fight against Guinea Worm

Please join the Global Health Council, The Carter Center, and The National Geographic Society for the Washington D.C. premiere of "Foul Water Fiery Serpent".

Monday, Oct. 18, 2010
6:30-8:00 pm
The National Geographic Society
Gilbert H. Grosvenor Auditorium
1600 M Street, NW
Washington, D.C.

The new documentary chronicles the dedication of health workers engaged in the final struggle to eradicate a horrific disease in Africa. The film features former President Jimmy Carter and The Carter Center, and is narrated by Sigourney Weaver.

For a preview of the film, please visit:

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with special guests:

  • Dr. Don Hopkins, VP Health Programs, The Carter Center
  • Ms. Susanna Moorehead, UK Executive Director to the World Bank and Minister Counselor at the British Embassy
  • David Thon, a "Lost Boy" of Sudan, Graduate Training Assistant, Southeast AIDS Training and Education Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Admission is free and complimentary parking is available at the National Geographic Garage located at the corner of M & 16th Street starting at 5:30 pm. Nearby Metro stops are Farragut North and Farragut West.

Please RSVP by October 12 at info [at] cieloproductions [dot] org or (415) 670-9600.
Hosted by The Global Health Council, The Carter Center, and The National Geographic Society.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Children in Developing Countries | Pulitzer Center

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Children in Developing Countries | Pulitzer Center

Great piece from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting today.

Experts and advocates from humanitarian organizations stressed the need to provide adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities and instruction for school children in the developing world at a congressional briefing yesterday.

Two out of three schools in the developing world lack decent toilets, according to UNICEF. The World Health Organization estimates that 272 million school days are lost each year due to diarrhea and some 400 million school-aged children worldwide have worms.

The panel discussion featured presentations by Pamela Young, Ph.D., of Plan International USA and Dennis Warner, Ph.D., of Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Save the Children’s Senior Director of School Health and Nutrition Seung Lee moderated the event, which was co-sponsored by U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer and non-profit groups Water Advocates and the Basic Education Coalition.

Young, a senior basic education advisor for Plan, explained how water, sanitation and hygiene facilities (such as latrines and hand washing stations) are vital in schools for increasing classroom attendance and learning.

“Those children who are able to stay in school and are able to be healthy when they are in school, they are able to pay attention more in their classrooms,” she said. “We know it’s also vital for their parents and their families and for their caregivers because these children, from what they learn, they take these messages to others in their communities and share those messages and help them to develop good practices.”

Young cited Plan’s recent work in the Dompu District of Indonesia’s island of Sumbawa, where primary schools partook in a life-size version of the board game Snakes and Ladders that incorporated messages on hygienic behavior. As a result, the district saw an increase in student hand washing with soap from 24% before the implementation of the program to 96%. Latrine use also significantly rose, from 28% to 88%.

In the Jaldhaka Province of Bangladesh, literal whistle-blowing resulted in an up to 90% decrease of open defecation in community areas. Children would blow whistles every time they caught a classmate defecating in a field. “This was actually very, very effective. It really stopped the practice among children,” Young explained. Moreover, it inspired families to build more toilets for the community.

Young said the success of the program underscores the importance of involving children in the decision-making process: “With all of our programs, we work with the communities and with the children to determine what is the best way. It’s a way of the kids saying what is actually going to stop us from doing this, what’s going to make us pay attention to others. So that is something that the children come up with themselves.”

Senior Technical Advisor for Water and Sanitation Warner also shared anecdotes of schools that had benefited from WASH programs. One school teacher in Honduras who received CRS assistance reported a decrease in diarrhea incidents amongst his students; he claimed that the children were more motivated and more active during the day as a result.

But Warner also described the challenges facing relief organizations in building and maintaining adequate facilities and therefore effective learning environments for school children.

“It would be nice if every project had a well-designed facility and system,” he said, explaining that children are often afraid to use dirty and dilapidated toilets at schools. “Even when a system is improved in a community, it may not be a very good system.” For instance, some community latrines and wells are unable to meet the demands of the village or are built too far away from schools. Hand pumps can be tainted by mud, and NGO workers have found latrines built close to or on top of rivers, thereby contaminating an entire village’s water supply.

“One doesn’t need flush toilets to have a healthy, safe facility that supports dignity,” Warner continued. He recommended involving the community in the construction of school latrines, which children could decorate with paintings and etchings. In order to avoid jealousy and rivalry between schools and the communities they serve, Warner urged that priority should be given to districts or villages where there is already a water sanitation project in place and the school has had only minimal support or improvement. “That way you can work with the school without making the community feel as if they are being ignored,” he explained.

Young advised that all facilities should be built using inexpensive and easily replaceable parts, since parents and community leaders will need to sustain them long after relief workers have left; students should learn how to wash and care for the hygiene stations as well.

Both Warner and Young stressed that separate toilets should be built for boys and girls to avoid incidents of sexual harassment.

“In many countries if you have sanitation facilities for both boys and girls that are very close to each other, girls may not use them,” Young said.” They’re afraid of violence, they are afraid of being raped and so they tend not to use them. Sometimes they’ll even go home rather than use these facilities or they’ll use a field.” The construction of wells and ceramic water filters near schools also promotes gender equality, as girls are no longer sent from school to fetch water from distant and often polluted lakes.

Students from HB Woodlawn Secondary Program also spoke at the event. They became involved in water and sanitation activism after their French teacher initiated a partnership with H2O for Life, an advocacy organization that connects schools in the United States with schools in developing countries to complete WASH projects.

“As students in Arlington, Virginia, we know that we lead very privileged lives and that there’s no way to compare our lives to those of children in much of the developing world,” said high school junior Mary Shields, who described how she first realized the importance of WASH while working in a remote hospital in Rwanda. “I personally witnessed the birth of a child in 2010 in Rwanda who went home from the hospital to face the challenges that come from living in an area without access to clean water.”

“I find it appalling that girls my age have to stop going to school when they reach puberty because they lack access to adequate sanitation,” she added. “It is unacceptable that children arrive into the world in this day and age without access to clean water.” Through various fundraisers, Shields and her class raised money for WASH programs for school children in Cameroon.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Capitol Hill Briefing - Wednesday October 6 - WASH in Schools

Please join us tomorrow in Washington DC: 


Please join the Basic Education Coalition and Water Advocates for a panel discussion on:

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Schools in the Developing World

Sponsored by:

Representative Earl Blumenauer

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
9:30 am to 10:45 am
2168 Rayburn Gold Room
(Continental breakfast served)

According to Raising Clean Hands: A Call to Action for WASH in Schools, more than half of all primary schools in developing countries do not have safe drinking water and nearly two-thirds lack single gender toilets. Even where facilities exist, they are often in poor condition. WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) is a powerful cross-sectoral issue that is essential for achieving universal education and enhances girls’ education and empowerment, reduces water- and sanitation-related diseases, increases attendance for girls and boys, safeguards cognitive development and contributes to economic growth. It provides community empowerment through parent/teacher associations and can lead to changes in national education policies. The WASH in Schools vision is a world where all children go to school and all schools provide a safe, healthy and comfortable environment where children grow, learn and thrive.

Please join us for a discussion of how WASH in Schools programs can improve the effectiveness of education while fulfilling every child’s right to water, sanitation and hygiene. Access to WASH programs in schools helps ensure that children have the opportunity to fully participate in school and reach their true potential.

Featured Speakers:

Seung Lee, Senior Director of School Health and Nutrition, Save the Children
Delaney Steffen, Student from HB Woodlawn Secondary Program, H2O for Life
Mary Shields, Student from HB Woodlawn Secondary Program, H2O for Life
Pamela Young, Senior Basic Education Advisor, Plan International USA
Dennis Warner, Senior Technical Advisor for Water and Sanitation, Catholic Relief Services

Please RSVP to

Anna Roberts at 202-884-8751

or e-mail: arack ((AT))

Monday, September 27, 2010

Water for the World Act: please write the US Congress!

Those of you who are in the U.S., please take action below to send an email to your Congressperson on behalf of the Water for the World Act. 

To not leave out my friends outside of the U.S.: please contact your government officials and encourage them to prioritize funding for safe drinking water and sanitation in your countries as well!

Here is a note I just got from CARE:

-- I just took action to champion safe water and sanitation for people everywhere. I urge you to take action yourself and spread the word!

To take action on this issue, click on the link below:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Water for the World Act - NEXT STEPS

As Blogging on Water readers know, the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act passed the US Senate a couple of days ago. We need to pull out the stops to bring it up for a vote in the House right now and would very much welcome your help.

The ask is very simple:

Urge your U.S. Congressperson to support immediate House passage of the just-passed Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act, S. 624.

*** Can you please do everything you can to get phone calls made as urgently as possible? ***

*** We are beyond the letter-writing stage, and very much at the phone call stage. ***

Thank you for everything you can do at the earliest. We may well just have a few hours to make this happen.

Here is more background in case you need it:

Please email me if you need more details and forward this blog mercilessly.

Clinton Global Initiative / Water Commitments

Greetings from the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. Those of you who are familiar with the CGI model know that it revolves around commitments - people and organizations making commitments, financial and otherwise, to be part of the solution to global development challenges. A number of commitments related to safe water and sanitation were featured this year. Here are a couple:

From friends at P&G:

Today at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, former US President Bill Clinton and P&G CEO and Chairman Bob McDonald, announced P&G’s new commitment to scale-up the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program to provide 2 billion liters of clean drinking water every year in order to save one life every hour in the developing world. P&G is issuing the attached media release today to announce this new commitment. Importantly, later this week we will recognize several of our partners in providing safe drinking water. Last year, P&G recognized CARE. PSI, and World Vision at the Clinton Global Initiative. This year we are recognizing:

• U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): partnered with the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program in a collaboration that led to the development of the PUR packets, in addition to ongoing research to improve program implementation including a recent study showing that safe drinking water in schools reduced absenteeism.

• Save the Children: partnered with the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program to provide clean drinking water to school children and those in need in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, Somalia, south Sudan, and Uganda.
And from Coca Cola:
A $3.75-million grant from the Coca-Cola Company to start eight water projects in Morocco, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and other African countries that have large Muslim populations. The grant is part of a $7.5-milion project that is also being supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.N. Development Program.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Water for the World Act - through the Senate! On to the House!


September 20, 2010


Legislation to Improve Water Access for 100 Million Globally

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – The Water for the World Act, introduced by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), passed the Senate today and was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The Water for the World Act places water in the forefront of America’s development priorities, seeking to reach 100 million people around the world with sustainable access to clean water and sanitation over the next six years.

“Access to safe drinking water is a right that everyone in the world ought to enjoy but too few are able to realize,” Durbin said. “Water access is no longer simply a global health and development issue; it is a mortal and long-term threat that is increasingly becoming a national security issue. The United States needs to do much more to ensure that global water access is protected and expanded.”

“The needs around the world are tremendous, but our foreign aid dollars are limited. We need to make every single penny count by better focusing and coordinating our efforts,” said Corker. “A lack of clean water leads to the deaths of 1.8 million people each year – 90 percent of them children. It stifles economic growth, keeps women and girls from going to work and school, and has contributed to political unrest in Sudan and elsewhere. Experts tell us every $1 invested in safe drinking water and sanitation produces an $8 return in costs. I’m a fiscal conservative and want to see each of our foreign aid dollars go as far as possible, and I believe water is one of the wisest places we can invest.”

One billion people around the world lack access to clean, safe water and more than two billion people lack access to basic sanitation. Most of these people live on less than $2 a day. Rapid industrialization and population and economic growth will continue to put pressure on global water supplies, particularly in developing nations. Such water issues can no longer been seen as isolated problems, but must instead be viewed as factors contributing to regional tensions, global health, child and maternal mortality, and economic growth.

The Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 made access to safe water and sanitation for developing countries a specific policy objective of the United States Foreign Assistance Program. The Act was named after the late Paul Simon, who more than a decade ago, wrote the book, Tapped Out, which warned of the world’s looming clean water crisis.

The Act has already made a difference in the world: last year alone the U.S. helped provide nearly 2 million people with first time access to an improved source of drinking water and more than 1.5 million people to improved sanitation.

To build on the progress achieved through the Water for the Poor Act, Senators Durbin and Corker introduced the Water for the World Act. To achieve the goal of reaching 100 million people with sustainable access to clean water and sanitation the bill:

• Targets underdeveloped countries with focused initiatives to improve access to clean water and sanitation;
• Fosters global cooperation on research and technology development, including regional partnerships among experts on clean water;
• Provides technical assistance and capacity-building to develop expertise within countries facing water and sanitation challenges;
• Provides seed money for the deployment of clean water and sanitation technologies; and
• Strengthen the human infrastructure at USAID and the State Department to implement clean water and sanitation programs effectively and to ensure that water receives priority attention in our foreign policy efforts.

The Water for the World Act represents a robust U.S. contribution to the Millennium Development Goal on water, which is to reduce by 50 percent the proportion of the world population without safe water and sanitation by six years.

The bill is cosponsored in the Senate by Senators Bond (R-MO), Boxer (D-CA), Brown (D-OH), Burr (R-NC), Burris (D-IL) Cantwell (D-WA) Cardin (D-MD), Casey (D-PA), Collins (R-ME), Dodd (D-CT), Dorgan (D-ND), Feinstein (D-CA), Gillibrand, (D-NY), Isakson (R-GA), Johanns (R-NE), Johnson (D-SD), Kaufman (D-DE), Kirk (D-MA), Landrieu (D-LA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Lieberman (I-CT), Murray (D-WA), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Roberts (R-KS), Sanders (I-VT), Shaheen (D-NH), Snowe (R-ME), Specter (D-PA) and Whitehouse (D-RI).

A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Donald Payne (D-NJ).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

WASH in Schools - October 13 event, Washington DC

WASH in Schools

- More than half of all primary schools in developing countries lack adequate drinking water and nearly two-thirds lack adequate sanitation facilities.

- The provision of sanitary latrines at schools increases girls’ enrollment by 11%.

- Handwashing practiced in facilities such as day-care centers and primary schools reduces cases of diarrhea by 30 percent.

A diverse coalition of WASH, education and health organizations is working together to launch Raising Clean Hands. Please join us for A Call to Action for WASH in schools on October 13 to increase public and private awareness and funding for WASH in Schools globally.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 10:30 AM

Other coalition events in October include:

*Capitol Hill Briefing
*Youth Awareness and Action for WASH in Schools
*"Bathroom Pass," a multimedia exhibit on WASH in Schools

Further event details and invitations are forthcoming.

For more details or to join the coalition, contact Elynn Walter at ewalter ((at))

Organizations supporting the events include: Action Against Hunger, AED, Basic Education Coalition, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Children Without Worms, Global Environment & Technology Foundation, Global Water Challenge, H2O for Life, Millennium Water Alliance, PATH, Plan USA, Project WET, PSI, Save the Children, UNICEF, USAID, US Fund for UNICEF, WaterAid, Water Advocates, Water For People, World Water Relief.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Unilever / Rainwater Harvesting / Request for Proposals

Good morning/afternoon/evening all:

I just found this on a listserv this morning, from Unilever India. It is an 11 page Request for Proposals (see summary below) available through the FTP site they have established. If you have trouble downloading the RFP, email me and I will send it to you. We (particularly NGOs in India) need to get Unilever some great ideas.


Dear members,

United Nations reports that people need a minimum of 50 litres of water a day for drinking and other basic needs. In India, more than 50% of the population lives on less than 10 liters of water a day. Approximately 70% of the total water is consumed by the agriculture sector. India is an agri-economy, and as its population grows, there will be an increase in water consumption by the agriculture sector. These issues are likely to be exacerbated by climate change, making access to water an issue for farmers and society.

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is one of the leading private sector companies and is interested in water conservation to address water scarcity and its implications to agriculture. Efficiency in water management has been a key area of focus for HUL across entire value chain.

HUL believes that water scarcity is one of the biggest crises India is facing. Water management has been a focus area for HUL and has been made one of the key performance indicators for all HUL factories. In order to address this issue proactively HUL has been supporting watershed and water conservation projects since last few years. HUL is looking for partnership with developmental organizations having their technical skills, experience and field presence in HUL focus areas and support them to work for water conservation.

In this regard HUL is inviting proposals from organizations those with expertise and experience in water conservation and management. They should able to implement the project in large scale and open for the external monitoring and evaluation. Format for the proposal is attached with this request letter.

HUL has identified the following areas:

1. Rain Water Harvesting

2. development of water sheds, increasing catchment areas

3. Revival of natural water storage structures

Please contact the under-signed to submit a proposal. Further details are in available at:, Word, 300 Kb.


Manisha Gulabrao Patil
Corporate Responsibility

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Global Waters - USAID Newsletter

Water friends, please see below for details about a new water newsletter published by the U.S. Agency for International Development.


Dear Water and Development Colleagues –

Global demand for freshwater is doubling every 20 years, yet water is becoming increasingly scarce in a number of countries, including many in the developing world. As you all know well, water is central to the success of our sustainable development efforts. Whether for domestic use, agriculture, industry, energy, or the environment, the availability of adequate supplies of good quality freshwater underpins the hopes and expectations of billions of people for improved well-being and affluence.

In his inaugural address, President Obama pledged to help the developing world address its water challenges. And last March, Secretary Clinton challenged USAID and the State Department to elevate our freshwater access efforts and to ensure that we look at these challenges in an integrated manner. Climate change, food security and global health issues are three of our top priorities, and water is integrally linked to each challenge. In order to maximize the impact from our development investments we must enhance integrated programming, utilize smart science and innovation, build strategic partnerships, and learn from experience.

As one step on this path, I am pleased to announce the launch of Global Waters – the first newsletter dedicated to the broad portfolio of water-related activities of the United States Agency for International Development. Through this new bi-monthly newsletter, we wish to share with you the many challenges and opportunities, and the approaches and lessons learned that reflect upon USAID programming in the water arena. Each issue will highlight the work of our many implementing partners, as well as some of the more intimate stories of how the Agency’s work directly affects individuals, families, and communities around the globe.

If you wish to receive Global Waters on a regular basis, I encourage you to subscribe today, and to share this with your colleagues and partners who may find this of interest. You can do so by clicking on the following link, where you will find the full newsletter and subscription details.

I hope you will take time to peruse Global Waters and continue to help us build public support and understanding for these critical development challenges.

Dr Rajiv Shah

USAID Administrator

Monday, September 13, 2010

Exhibition by National Geographic photographer to benefit WaterAid

For those of you in - or with access to - New York City, please try to attend this photo exhibit (details below, please RSVP). And if you haven't yet seen WaterAid's latest damning report on waterborne diarrheal disease, go here.

Please join us - Thursday September 23

The Burden of Thirst

A benefit exhibition by renowned photojournalist Lynn Johnson

Thursday September 23, 5:30 - 10 pm, at The Soho Gallery, 138 Sullivan St., New York, NY

Meet the photographer

Lynn Johnson shot powerful images for the "Burden of Thirst" feature in the April 2010 special water issue of National Geographic magazine. These photos from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania depict how the burden of water collection dominates women's lives.

Prints will be available for sale - 100% of the proceeds will support WaterAid's vital work bringing safe water, sanitation and improved hygiene to the world's poorest communities.

View an online preview of the exhibit or sign up for the chance to win a signed, framed photo on the megree website.

RSVP to kfrew  (at) wateraidamerica  (dot) org or 212-683-0430 Oxford Landing Wines courtesy of the Australian Trade Commission. Donations accepted at the door.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Let's Keep It Going For Pakistan

Some ideas on where we all can continue to help in Pakistan, from the Ansara Family Fund in Boston are below. For a great list see Interaction's site here.

From Ansara:

These recommendations have been culled from multiple sources including The Acumen Fund, Associated Grantmakers of Massachusetts, The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, The Council on Foundations, Grassroots International, GuideStar, Hunt Alternatives Fund, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Jonathan Lewis at Opportunity Collaboration, The Philanthropic Initiative, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, U.S. State Department, other sites and personal interviews. Rapid research was provided by New Philanthropy Advisors. All organizations have been recommended by respected funders and have US 501c3 tax-deductible status or a US 501c3 vehicle for giving.

Suggested Organizations:

ACT Alliance - Coordinating the funding and efforts of over 100 Christian denominations and organizations worldwide, the ACT Alliance works in 130 countries for positive and sustainable change in the lives of people affected by poverty and injustice. Conducting humanitarian, development and advocacy work, ACT "works with and for people of all faiths and none." In response to the Pakistan floods, ACT has issued a $1.6 million appeal. ACT is funded by donations made to its member organizations, including Church World Service, a leading ACT member in Pakistan. Donate to Church World Service

Action Aid - Action Aid works with national and international alliances, as well as with local partners worldwide to fight for and gain their rights to food, shelter, work, education, healthcare and a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. In the provinces of KPK, Punjab, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Action Aid's partners have reached over 20,000 with evacuation assistance, food and hygiene packages and medical services. Donate to Action Aid

American Jewish World Service - Known as a "progressive" organization and motivated by Judaism's imperative to pursue justice, AJWS is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people. AJWS makes grants to partner organizations in Pakistan that are erecting temporary shelters, facilitating access to clean drinking water in government relief camps, and working with local and national government authorities to expedite the relief process. AJWS has funded in Pakistan since the earthquakes in 2005 with a special focus on women and youth. Donate to AJWS

CARE - CARE is supporting health teams, mobile clinics and the distribution of emergency supplies, having already treated more than 32,000 people, including those affected by cholera and other potentially fatal diseases. CARE has established camps and shelter including tents, plastic floor mats, mosquito nets and kitchen kits. Recognizing that women and children suffer disproportionately from poverty, women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to promote self-sufficiency, improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. Donate to CARE

The Citizens Foundation - a Pakistani-based organization with US chapters, which runs 660 schools in the poorest urban and rural areas of the country, TCF is using its schools as distribution centers to distribute 100,000 relief packages that will each feed a family of six for one-month for just $30 each. With schools that boast 50% female enrollment, TCF is committed to eradicating illiteracy and extremism through education. Additional funds will support the repair and rebuilding of schools. Vetted by The Acumen Fund. Donate to TCFUSA

Developments in Literacy, is rooted in Garden Grove, California with strong leadership from Pakistani Americans, and has established 150 schools, primarily for girls. Partnering with other local organizations, DIL aims to distribute $100 worth of dry food rations to 2,000 families in six districts. With another partner group, DIL is providing shoes, clothing, hygiene kits and mosquito nets. Endorsed by the wife of the Ambassador at Large from Pakistan. Donate to DIL

International Rescue Committee - With 30 years experience working in Pakistan, and a robust network of local staff and partner organizations, IRC is providing shelter, clean water, sanitation and hygiene, and essential supplies to those who been displaced by floods. Immediate program assistance for flood affected areas will focus on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), non-food item distributions and shelter. IRC is providing shelter, clean water, sanitation, and essential supplies to those who have fled the rising waters. Donate to IRC

Mercy Corps specializes in alleviating suffering, poverty and oppression in 40 countries where governments are weak and disaster or conflict has struck. Working in Pakistan since 1986 with 90% Pakistani staff, Mercy Corps is working to provide clean water, staple foods and clean-up tools to families in the Swat Valley and in northern Sindh Province. Long-term reconstruction will be jump-started by a grant from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assistance to repair water and irrigation systems, distribute cash vouchers and operate cash-for-work programs. Donate to Mercy Corps

Naya Jeevan is a Pakistani-based nonprofit social enterprise (with US 501c3 status) providing low-income families with affordable quality, catastrophic health insurance. In addition Naya Jeevan is improving family health through health education and reducing infant/child and maternal mortality within low-income populations residing in urban areas of developing countries. In the midst of the flood, Naya Jeevan is transporting the sick and injured to health care providers, mapping the availability of emergency health services, and delivering medicines to the sick and stranded. Vetted by Draper Richards Foundation and Jonathan Lewis, Opportunity Collaborative. Donate to Naya Jeevan

Oxfam - Oxfam and its on-the-ground partner organizations, which advocate for long-term solutions to poverty that protect human rights, have launched a rapid-relief effort to quickly reach 400,000 people in hard-hit areas of Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Oxfam is providing evacuation, clean water, latrines and hygiene, hot meals and food vouchers to purchase from local traders, and cash-for-work opportunities. Known for its expertise in agricultural development, Oxfam will help people keep their remaining livestock in good health via vaccinations and deworming, and will revitalize farming and grazing in the vast territories that have been destroyed. Donate to Oxfam

Rural Support Programmes Network via The Friends of Pakistan Fund, Inc. -- a national, Pakistani umbrella and the largest non-government network of rural development programs in the country, RSPN mobilizes rural women and men around relief and rehabilitation, micro credit and health insurance, learning employable skills, and strengthening agriculture, livestock, and small enterprise in 105 of the country's 138 districts. Vetted by the Acumen Fund, UNICEF, USAID and other donors. Donate to RSPN

Save the Children, called the largest U.S.-based NGO in Pakistan with a presence for 30 years, Save the Children has partnered with the World Food Program to provide emergency food rations to 400,000 children with a goal of 2 million. Save the Children's highest priority for the coming weeks is to rush food, water, shelter materials, medical care and other essentials to affected communities to save children's lives. The organization will address children's longer-term needs with shelter, health, nutrition, education, child protection, and support to families to regain incomes and farming capacity. Donate to Save the Children

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF - UNICEF, a presence in Pakistan since the country's inception, is supported by 36 national committees and works in over 150 countries. UNICEF has received US Government funding to prevent waterborne diseases by providing safe drinking water in for 360,000 in KPk, Sindh, Baluchistan, and Punjab provinces. UNICEF has set up nine medical camps providing medicine, water treatment tablets, nutritional supplements, hygiene kits and jerry cans. Beyond playing a leading role in coordinating NGOS providing water and sanitation, education and nutrition, UNICEF is known for its work to protect children from exploitation and trafficking during emergencies and conflicts. Donate to the US Fund for UNICEF

Friday, September 10, 2010

More Business, Less Charity: Fast Company, Alice Korngold

Great piece from friend Alice Korngold on Fast Company regarding an emerging and soon-to-be-best practice in 'charity.'

Quick commentary: This is not a controversial piece that Alice has penned. If an initiative/project/program is not making ends meet financially, it is not sustainable. Period. It doesn't matter whether the initiative is nonprofit, for profit, or a hybrid. The traditional dichotomy is lost on me. An effort is either built to last, or just a nice thing to do that won't fix the problem over the long run.

More Business, Less Charity

BY FC Expert Blogger Alice Korngold
Tue Sep 7, 2010

There's a new trend emerging among a small number of NGOs (non-governmental organizations, used in reference to global nonprofits). Here's what it looks like in comparison to the traditional nonprofit approach:

Traditional: NGO raises charitable dollars. Hires expert staff to send abroad. Expert staff sets up offices and the necessary facilities (clinic, school, etc.). Expert staff proceeds to provide services. NGO counts and reports on the number of people it helps abroad. NGO continues raising money to fund the staff it has established in its international offices. Or, in some cases, the expert staff moves on to another community, and there is no infrastructure at the local level to ensure ongoing services and implementation, nor any external system for monitoring and reporting.

New School: NGO raises charitable dollars. Hires expert staff--most often local--to work on programs. NGO leverages its dollars to raise funds from the local community and local government, thereby forming a three-way partnership to achieve the goal--whether that's to establish a new health clinic, school, or access to clean water, etc. NGO provides expertise to help local government and community to achieve the goal, train people from community or region to provide the ongoing service, establish a viable revenue model for a sustainable business model, and perhaps establish a local business enterprise to provide long-term services. NGO counts and reports on the number of people it helps abroad. More importantly, NGO monitors the project to ensure longer term success--making sure services are being provided over time, not just after the project is finished. NGO moves on to other communities, thereby increasing its impact. NGO seeks to have their models spread virally by being replicated by others, beyond just the areas where it works.

A good example of "New School" is Water for People. The challenge they address is the lack of access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (known as WASH) in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization, "Around 1.1 billion people globally do not have access to improved water supply sources whereas 2.4 billion people do not have access to any type of improved sanitation facility. About 2 million people die every year due to diarrheal disease, most of them are children under 5 years old."

Building Sustainable, Business Solutions

Ned Breslin, CEO, Water for People, advocates for business-oriented solutions that are community-wide, serving homes and schools in developing countries. In a private interview, Breslin explained to me that his organization leverages its investment to involve the local government and community in partnering to establish the WASH infrastructure and revenue model.

Furthermore, Water for People uses its know-how to help establish a locally owned business that will service the community's WASH needs for the long-term. Breslin says his organization's position can be controversial among NGOs. Comparing the local WASH business to telephone service, Breslin explains that setting up a community water and sanitation service is useless unless it is regularly serviced. "The outcome will have to be a combination of sanitation coverage without donor dollars, high user satisfaction with the service, and a price point that does not prohibit the poor from participating but is still profitable for the service provider."

Sustainability is the true test, according to Breslin. That is, "How many people did you help five years ago, and what percentage of these people still have water today?"

Businesses as partners

My enthusiasm about working in CSR for 20 years is that the smartest companies and NGOs/nonprofits join their expertise to solve global challenges. Water for People's experience with ITT is an excellent example. As Breslin explains about companies as partners and donors, "businesses are creative. They understand experimentation and risk, as well as the need for rigor and monitoring." Breslin says that companies don't just provide funding but they also help find solutions. The partnership with ITT is one example. Additionally Breslin explains that "when we look at how to move spare parts for toilets in developing countries, a business like Pepsi or Coca-Cola is an expert resource, given their experience as a global distribution and service model."

I'll be blogging from the Clinton Global Initiative for my third year during the week of September 20. Stay tuned here to read about innovators who are addressing global challenges.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sept 15 Washington DC event, and exciting news stories from Stockholm

Event – September 15: Clean Water and Sanitation in Africa

Constituency for Africa and its partners will host a Forum on Clean Water and Sanitation in Africa at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1500 9th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, September 15th between 9:00 a.m. and noon. This will be the first concerted effort to involve African-American church leadership in making safe drinking water and sanitation an integral part of the African-American experience. Please respond to Rev. Yolanda Giles at yogiles (at)

And some related news items from World Water Week:

ITT Expands ITT Watermark program
ITT Corporation announced on September 7 at World Water Week that it has pledged $10.5 million over three years (2011-2013) to provide one million more people around the world with access to safe water and sanitation. This announcement marks a significant expansion of the company's signature corporate citizenship program, ITT Watermark.  

PepsiCo Releases Inaugural Water Report
PepsiCo, Inc. published on September 7 its inaugural water report titled “Water Stewardship: Good for Business. Good for Society.” The report details the company’s efforts to conserve and replenish water use in its operations and expand access to clean water across the globe (three million people by 2015).