Sunday, January 31, 2010

InnoCentive, GlobalGiving, Rockefeller Foundation, Water and Crowdsourcing

Thanks to Dan Campbell of USAID’s Environmental Health Project for bringing this to my attention:

A couple of years ago the Global Water Challenge and Ashoka’s team joined forces on Tapping Local Innovation.

Just last week InnoCentive, GlobalGiving and the Rockefeller Foundation teamed up to build on that earlier crowdsourcing competition. Arguably the most important piece of this latest iteration of water competitions is that the winners receive funding to take the next vital steps toward bringing their solutions to market, whether that means simply getting those solutions to the field or actually developing a business/financial model to bring them to scale in a developing country. Either way, a huge step in the right direction.


Jan 27, 2010 09:03 ET

InnoCentive, GlobalGiving and the Rockefeller Foundation Partner to Find Open Innovation Solutions to World's Water Challenges

WALTHAM, MA--(Marketwire - January 27, 2010) - InnoCentive, Inc., the world leader in open innovation, today announced that it is partnering with GlobalGiving and the Rockefeller Foundation to help several GlobalGiving partner organizations find solutions to dire water-related problems facing their local communities. For the first time, these organizations have combined efforts to crowdsource not only Challenge questions and their solutions, but also the funding to implement the winning solutions. As a part of this new GlobalGiveback Innovation Challenge Set, InnoCentive also achieved its 1,000th Challenge posting, a significant milestone.

According to a 2008 UNICEF/World Health Organization report, 884 million people, or one in eight, lack access to safe water supplies. The WHO reports that over 3.5 million people die each year from water-related disease, and less than 1 percent of the world's fresh water is readily accessible for direct human use.

Through the partnership, GlobalGiving generated a pool of challenge submissions by crowdsourcing ideas from their 800 project leaders representing 80 countries. Most of the pressing issues that met the selection criteria were water-related; GlobalGiving selected four final Challenges to move forward into the post phase with Innocentive.

"The GlobalGiveback Innovation Challenge lets our network of grassroots project leaders get the help of experts globally who can provide innovative solutions to the clean water and hydropower challenges they face in their local communities," said Mari Kuraishi, president and co-founder of GlobalGiving. "These solutions will improve the lives of people in India, Uganda, Bolivia, and Peru."

With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the GlobalGiveback Innovation Challenge Set offers Solvers cash rewards of up to $40,000 USD for winning solutions. After GlobalGiving selects solution winners for each of the Challenges, it will then use open innovation and crowdsourcing to raise funds to implement the winning designs or methods.

"The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to continue our partnership with Innocentive and GlobalGiving as we give non-profits access to the cutting-edge innovation often reserved for corporate America," said Dr. Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. "As we enter into the second decade of the 21st century, we are still faced with unimaginable challenges -- with the most startling and basic being that millions still lack clean and accessible water. As a result of this partnership, these organizations will now be able to tackle these fundamental issues facing the developing world by tapping into the expertise of some of the world's brightest problem solvers."

Engineers, technologists, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers are invited to join InnoCentive's Solver network to help GlobalGiving's partner project organizations solve the following GlobalGiveback Innovation Challenges:

1. Drinking Water Purification Method (Uganda's Lake Victoria) -- Design an easy-to-use method to purify water making it safe to drink. Award amount: $20,000 USD

* This is InnoCentive's 1,000th Challenge posting since inception.

2. Sunlight/UV-light Dose Indicator (Bolivia) -- Create an indicator that gives a visual sign of water that has been exposed to a sufficient dose of sunlight or UV-light for disinfection. Award amount: $40,000 USD

3. Rainwater Harvesting Storage Tank (India Wetland Region in Kerala) -- Design a low cost, rainwater harvesting storage tank. Award amount: $20,000 USD

4. Small-scale River Turbines (Peruvian Jungle) -- Design a river turbine to generate power to electrify Peruvian villages, schools and medical centers. Award amount: $20,000 USD

"This initiative expands the reach and impact of our open innovation partnership with GlobalGiving and Rockefeller," said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive. "By crowdsourcing the Challenges, we identified some of the most difficult problems facing the world. We're confident that our Solvers will come up with innovative solutions to address these problems, and once they go into real-world implementation, will provide a better quality of life for people living in these developing countries."

For more information on the GlobalGiveback Innovation Challenge Set including deadlines visit

About GlobalGiving

GlobalGiving ( is the leading Internet-based network for peer-to-peer philanthropy. Our mission is to sustain a high-powered marketplace for good that connects donors directly to the causes they care most about. Through GlobalGiving, individuals and corporations can maximize the impact of every dollar by efficiently and transparently directing their donations to projects here at home and around the world. Since its launch in 2002, GlobalGiving has helped thousands of donors give more than $25 million to over 1,400 projects.

About the Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation works around the world to ensure that more individuals, institutions, and communities can tap into growth and opportunity while strengthening resistance to risks and challenges, affirming its founding mission to "promote the well-being" of humanity. The Foundation today supports initiatives to mobilize an agricultural revolution in sub-Saharan Africa, bolster economic security for American workers, inform more equitable, sustainable transportation policies in the United States, assure access to affordable, high-quality health systems in developing countries, and help vulnerable communities cope with the impacts of imminent climate change. For more, visit

About InnoCentive, Inc.

Since 2001, InnoCentive has helped corporate, government, and non-profit organizations to better innovate through crowdsourcing, strategic consulting services and internal Software-as-a-Service offerings. The company built the first global Web community for open innovation where organizations or "Seekers" submit complex problems or "Challenges" for resolution to a "Solver" community of more than 200,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business professionals, and research organizations in more than 200 countries. Prizes for winning solutions are financial awards up to US $1,000,000. Committed to unleashing diverse thinking, InnoCentive continues to introduce new products and services exemplifying a new corporate model where return to investors and individual passion go hand in hand with solving mankind's most pressing problems.

Universities and WASH / Capitol Hill Briefing

Capitol Hill briefing on new University WASH Initiative

Prominent university and college leaders working on international water, sanitation and hygiene (“WASH”) issues will participate in a congressional briefing on a new University WASH Initiative from 2:00-4:00 p.m. on March 3, 2010, in Room SVC 203/202 of the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. Presentations will feature the variety of ways in which U.S. colleges and universities are already addressing the global WASH crisis and will highlight how their role can be enhanced, especially through a new informal WASH collaboration among American institutions of higher education. The presentations and briefing are open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, and interested members of the public. To RSVP, email name and contact information to

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Haiti / WHO / WatSan specialist (French-speaking) needed urgently

This is a call for a French speaking Water Sanitation generalist to urgently (before 7th February) take up at least 3 months service, preferably longer, with the WHO in Haiti. The task will be to ensure that the water and sanitation activities are implemented with a focus on WatSan in health care settings, and also on water quality monitoring with the WASH cluster lead by the national WatSan institution supported by UNICEF. Experience in low income countries and emergency & reconstruction situations would be of an advantage.

If you or some one who you know speaks French and is a WatSan generalist, we would need your reply as soon as possible to forward to WHO in Haiti. Please send us a CV of a person suitable and available, and when the approximate starting date of that person can be. Please respond urgently to Yves Chartier and Dominique Maison,

Please see below detailed description:

Urgent request for a French speaking WatSan generalist from WHO for a minimum 3 months contract (paid by WHO) – deadline 7th February.

Responsibility will be to ensure that the water and sanitation activities are implemented with a focus on WatSan in health care settings, and also on water quality monitoring with the WASH cluster. (Posted 28th Jan 2010)

Description of the type of person needed

• The person needs to be a WatSan generalist, and not a (high) technical specialist
• Experiences in low income countries is very desirable
• A knowledge of WHO would be a best, but the person can be briefed while arriving in Haiti

Description of the type of work requested

• The person will work as a water and sanitation engineer
• Responsibility will be to ensure that the water and sanitation activities are implemented with a focus on WatSan in health care settings (lead cluster is WHO for health) and also on water quality monitoring with the WASH cluster lead by the WatSan national institution with support from UNICEF
• The person will be under WHO contract and paid by WHO
• There will be a hand over on site
• The person will work with a WHO Haiti environmental health technician. She is full time coordinating the emergency response but will be a strong support to the staff coming. She knows the work that is needed, knows the right people to talk to for the task, and is knowledgeable about WHO working procedures and structure.

Proposed activities for 3 months

Work area 1: Health care settings

Activity 1 - Water

Activity 2 - Hygiene

Activity 3 - Sanitation

Activity 4 - Health care waste

Activity 5 - Vector control

Expected result: Environmentally safe health care settings allowing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene to prevent and control the transmission of disease.

Work area 2: Internally displaced people WatSan activities

Activity 1 - Water quality monitoring

Activity 2 - Sanitation

Activity 3 - Water and sanitation equipment and others

Expected result: Water quality delivered to Internal Displaced People is safe and public toilets are available to respond to the needs of the IDPs.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union / Barack Obama / Safe Water

It has been brought to our attention that President Obama has invited a fellow safe water advocate to Capitol Hill as his special guest this evening for the State of the Union address. That special guest is:
Li Boynton (Bellaire, Texas)

Li is an 18-year-old senior from Bellaire, Texas, whose passion for science and global health has led her to new and potentially groundbreaking methods for testing the quality of drinking water. Almost 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and 3.5 million people die each year from water-related diseases. Observing the limitations and significant expense of conventional chemical-specific tests, Boynton saw a need for a broader, more efficient assay for testing and developed a bacteria bio-sensor. Li's work, which has the potential to be significant in improving public health worldwide, received the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair award for 2009.

Li has always had a passion for science and invention: in fifth grade, she designed a solar-distillation device after reading Life of Pi in case she ever got stranded in the middle of the ocean. Li is an avid painter and participates in high school debate, which is where she developed her environmental interests.
Great to see this issue is on the President's agenda.

Water For People: Staffing Up in Denver

I have just learned that Water For People has three positions open in its Denver office.

Water For People is one of the most interesting organizations in the global safe drinking water and sanitation sector currently and I encourage you to take a look:

Main page:

Individual pages:

Senior Manager of Corporate Relations

Strategic Partnerships Relationship Manager-Domestic

Resource Development Administrative Assistant

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nicholas Institute: Associate in Water Policy position in Washington DC

Job Opening--Associate in Water Policy

Summary: The Nicholas Institute invites applications for a water research associate position.

A major strategic focus of the water program of the Nicholas Institute is on facilitating the creation of the necessary policy environment to secure and sustain effective water supply and sanitation in the developing world. The Institute aims to strengthen its capacity in water supply and sanitation in its Washington, DC office through the appointment of an Associate.

The Associate will be supervised by the Director for Water, Peter G. McCornick, and guided by the Institute’s Senior Fellow in Washington DC, Gordon Binder. The Associate will:

• monitor the water policy environment and other pertinent developments in Washington, D.C., as they relate to improving access to water supply and sanitation in the developing world;
• work with the institute water team, other colleagues at Duke, and other partners to undertake relevant research, and develop papers and policy briefs;
• expand and maintain networks of relevant policymakers, government officials, NGO and corporate leaders, and consultants; and
• support the overall development of this strategic initiative in the Institute.

Requirements: Required qualifications include a Masters degree (Masters in Public Health or equivalent) with experience in water supply and sanitation in the developing world, and an understanding of the policy landscape in Washington, D.C. The role also requires the ability to write well and succinctly, and to manage complex relationships with key constituencies and professional colleagues tactfully and effectively.

Experience: Applicants should have the ability to evaluate and communicate science and policy analysis with stakeholders and policymakers. Applicants should also have proven ability to work effectively and flexibly within interdisciplinary teams on complex projects, and be comfortable taking initiative, and working independently. An understanding of other aspects of water resources management, including agricultural water management and adaptation to climate change would be advantageous.

Start Date: March 1, 2010, negotiable.

To apply, attach a cover letter, resume, three references, and a writing sample, attn: Jessica Sheffield at

Jessica.Sheffield  (at) with “Water Associate” in the subject line; or mail to Box 903335, Duke

University, Durham, NC 27708.

Duke University/Health System is an Equal Opportunity Affirimative Action Employer

Friday, January 22, 2010

National Ground Water Association - Developing World Projects Fund

** March 1 2010 deadline

From our friends at the National Ground Water Association:

The Developing World Projects Fund provides small assistance grants to benefit the quality of life for people around the world without access to plentiful supplies of potable groundwater. (View a map of where these NGWREF-funded projects are taking place.)

Read the Grant Making Evaluation Criteria (PDF).* (Please note that while the PDF states the grant proposal deadline as January 15, in light of the Haiti earthquake, NGWREF is extending this year's proposal deadline to March 1, 2010 in order to also entertain proposals from groups* considering equipping small community [village] water well systems in Haiti with either replacement components or for equipping entirely new wells.)

Proposals may be mailed to:

Kevin McCray, Executive Director
National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation
601 Dempsey Rd.
Westerville, OH 43081

Proposals may also be sent via e-mail to kmccray [at]

* NGWREF will only consider grant proposals received from United States of America-domiciled organizations filing 990 informational tax returns with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

300in6 - Capitol Hill Strategy Meeting January 27

** Please note location change for this meeting in Washington DC (January 27). **

This meeting has been moved to Room 2456 of the Rayburn House Office Building on Independence Ave., S.W. between 1st Street, S.W. and South Capitol Street, S.W. Details here:


Global Drinking Water Strategy Meeting

2PM, January 27, 2010

WELCOME, OPENING REMARKS: Valentina Valenta, Congressional Water Caucus

PRESENTATION: Henk Holtslag, Connect International:




John Sauer, Water Advocates

Megan Wilson, PSI

Katherine Bliss, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Dennis Warner, Catholic Relief Services

CLOSING REMARKS:  Larry Siegel, Safe Water International:


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Investing in Girls / Water / Nike Foundation

Something I have been meaning to write about for some time:

Please read Maria Eitel’s piece in the Huffington Post last December entitled:

India Economic Summit Champions Investing in Girls

A couple of things about the article: if you haven’t seen the video at, do. Best two minute video I think I have ever seen as I have stated previously.

Plus, it makes two points quite relevant to this blog: girls’ education is fundamental to sustainable development, and both safe drinking water and sanitation enable that education quantitatively and qualitatively.

Maria Eitel puts it more provocatively with the second plank of her Call To Action:

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.

Perfect - great way to phrase the challenge.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti: Creole-speaking medical professionals needed urgently

This just in from the White House - please forward widely if you know of Creole-speaking doctors/nurses.


Dear Friends,

We need to identify Creole-speaking medical professionals to deploy to Haiti in the next few days.

Depending on specialties, there will be opportunities to work in existing hospitals, on the hospital ship USNS Comfort and at emergency field hospitals.

The call is for all Creole speaking personnel (doctors or nurses). However, the specialties most relevant to the crisis (such as general surgery, family, orthopedics, infectious disease, pediatrics, nutrition) will be prioritized.

Volunteers will need to be able to report to Miami .
Any medical professionals who speak Creole can sign up in one of two ways:

1) Individuals can go online and fill out a form here, ignoring the SEIU specific questions:

2) Organizations can submit multiple names by entering information into the attached Excel template and emailing the completed spreadsheet to Be sure to write WHITE HOUSE in the subject line.

We recommend you sign up immediately, given the large number of people interested in volunteering.

There has been such incredible interest in helping our brothers and sisters in Haiti that there is no guarantee that everyone will be chosen for this particular opportunity, but the information will be saved by the Administration for future requests. As you know, there will be need for medical help not just in the coming days, but over the long term. This will not be the last call for help.

Thank you for your help and dedication.

Haiti / Water / Steven Solomon / Book signing and NYT oped

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Politics and Prose lecture and book signing by Steven Solomon, author of Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power and Civilization.

His lecture was great, as was the Q&A as is typical at that bookstore. Then I saw his brief and RIGHT-on-the-money NYT oped about Haiti and water (thanks for bringing that to my attention).

A Recovery Built on Water

It makes all the rights points about water being not only the most important response to an emergency, but being the foundation of sustainable development.

To quote: "Water poverty is the main reason for Haiti's abysmal illness and early mortality rates." and "Local water management both inside and outside the cities is a necessary condition for rebuilding all of Haiti."

My hope is that the crisis in Haiti - after the proper response has been taken to save as many lives as possible in the short term - can be leveraged, can be an enabler of efforts to address the development deficit that existed in Haiti long before the earthquake, starting with safe drinking water and sanitation.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Water for the World Act - Update

Just to keep you all in the loop on the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009, currently making its way through Capitol Hill:

The Senate version (S624) is in the Committee on Foreign Relations, and has Senator Durbin (IL) and 28 cosponsors on board. Sen. Durbin and the following Senators (with the dates of their cosponsorship of the Bill) deserve your thanks, and your encouragement to keep pushing:

Sen Bond, Christopher S. [MO] - 7/24/2009
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 6/22/2009
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 7/6/2009
Sen Burr, Richard [NC] - 10/5/2009
Sen Burris, Roland [IL] - 4/30/2009
Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] - 7/15/2009
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] - 8/3/2009
Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] - 4/20/2009
Sen Corker, Bob [TN] - 3/17/2009
Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] - 7/27/2009
Sen Dorgan, Byron L. [ND] - 7/8/2009
Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] - 9/8/2009
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] - 9/24/2009
Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] - 6/15/2009
Sen Johanns, Mike [NE] - 10/8/2009
Sen Kaufman, Edward E. [DE] - 12/4/2009
Sen Kirk, Paul Grattan, Jr. [MA] - 10/14/2009
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] - 12/23/2009
Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [CT] - 7/20/2009
Sen Murray, Patty [WA] - 3/17/2009
Sen Reed, Jack [RI] - 6/25/2009
Sen Reid, Harry [NV] - 9/8/2009
Sen Roberts, Pat [KS] - 12/4/2009
Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] - 7/23/2009
Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] - 4/30/2009
Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] - 10/7/2009
Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] - 10/22/2009
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] - 7/8/2009

The remaining Senators would no doubt welcome your letters of support encouraging them to cosponsor the legislation.

On the House side, the legislation (HR2030) currently has Rep. Blumenauer (OR) and 69 cosponsors on board. The following deserve your enthusiastic thanks, while the rest are waiting to hear from you:

Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [GA-2] - 6/11/2009
Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] - 4/22/2009
Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] - 6/11/2009
Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5] - 4/22/2009
Rep Butterfield, G. K. [NC-1] - 6/11/2009
Rep Carson, Andre [IN-7] - 6/11/2009
Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI] - 6/11/2009
Rep Clarke, Yvette D. [NY-11] - 6/11/2009
Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1] - 6/11/2009
Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] - 6/11/2009
Rep Clyburn, James E. [SC-6] - 6/11/2009
Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 7/29/2009
Rep Connolly, Gerald E. "Gerry" [VA-11] - 7/29/2009
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] - 6/11/2009
Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7] - 6/11/2009
Rep Davis, Artur [AL-7] - 6/11/2009
Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 6/11/2009
Rep Driehaus, Steve [OH-1] - 7/16/2009
Rep Edwards, Donna F. [MD-4] - 6/11/2009
Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] - 6/25/2009
Rep Fattah, Chaka [PA-2] - 6/11/2009
Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] - 7/30/2009
Rep Fortenberry, Jeff [NE-1] - 4/22/2009
Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] - 10/20/2009
Rep Fudge, Marcia L. [OH-11] - 6/11/2009
Rep Green, Al [TX-9] - 6/11/2009
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 7/24/2009
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] - 6/2/2009
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 7/24/2009
Rep Hirono, Mazie K. [HI-2] - 7/24/2009
Rep Jackson, Jesse L., Jr. [IL-2] - 4/22/2009
Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 6/11/2009
Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] - 6/11/2009
Rep Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [GA-4] - 6/11/2009
Rep Kennedy, Patrick J. [RI-1] - 7/8/2009
Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. [MI-13] - 6/11/2009
Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 6/11/2009
Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] - 5/7/2009
Rep Linder, John [GA-7] - 6/2/2009
Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] - 5/7/2009
Rep McCotter, Thaddeus G. [MI-11] - 5/20/2009
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 7/8/2009
Rep Meek, Kendrick B. [FL-17] - 6/11/2009
Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] - 6/11/2009
Rep Miller, George [CA-7] - 4/22/2009
Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] - 6/11/2009
Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] - 7/8/2009
Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] - 6/11/2009
Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 7/16/2009
Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10] - 4/22/2009
Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] - 7/8/2009
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] - 6/11/2009
Rep Richardson, Laura [CA-37] - 6/11/2009
Rep Rohrabacher, Dana [CA-46] - 4/22/2009
Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-1] - 6/11/2009
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 5/20/2009
Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] - 7/8/2009
Rep Scott, David [GA-13] - 6/11/2009
Rep Scott, Robert C. "Bobby" [VA-3] - 6/11/2009
Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-16] - 5/7/2009
Rep Sestak, Joe [PA-7] - 5/14/2009
Rep Towns, Edolphus [NY-10] - 6/11/2009
Rep Wamp, Zach [TN-3] - 4/22/2009
Rep Waters, Maxine [CA-35] - 6/11/2009
Rep Watson, Diane E. [CA-33] - 5/14/2009
Rep Watt, Melvin L. [NC-12] - 6/11/2009
Rep Welch, Peter [VT] - 4/22/2009
Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] - 6/11/2009
Rep Wu, David [OR-1] - 7/16/2009

Text of the legislation, etc., is available here.

Millennium Challenge Corporation hiring water consultants

Please see here for more information about the Millennium Challenge Corporation's staffing up on water.

A few words to encourage you to apply:

Consultants will assist MCC in conducting technical due diligence on infrastructure projects submitted for consideration and in further developing or refining projects proposed for assistance. Once a project has been approved and a funding commitment extended, further support may be requested from such Consultants in monitoring project implementation, construction progress, and/or milestones for MCC. Assistance may also be requested post project completion to periodically review and evaluate project sustainability, performance and impacts. Consultants may also be called upon to manage or integrate multiple inter-related tasks on a project.

Let me know how it goes...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti / Water / Sanitation / How to Help / Background Information

A few resources for those of you interested in what happens with respect to drinking water and sanitation in an emergency like Haiti:

Peter Gleick: Water for Haiti, Now

And a list of resources (thank you Dan Campbell at USAID/CDM) for those of you who really want to get into it:

Lantagne, D and Clasen T (2009). Point of Use Water Treatment in Emergency Response<>

WHO Technical Notes for Emergencies

1. Cleaning and disinfecting wells <>
2. Cleaning and disinfecting boreholes <>
3. Cleaning and disinfecting water storage tanks and tankers <>
4. Rehabilitating small-scale piped water distribution systems <>
5. Emergency treatment of drinking water at the point of use <>
6. Rehabilitating water treatment works after an emergency <>
7. Solid waste management in emergencies <>
8. Disposal of dead bodies <>
9. How much water is needed <>
10. Hygiene promotion in emergencies <>
11. Measuring chlorine levels in water supplies <>
12. Delivering safe water by tanker <>
13. Planning for excreta disposal in emergencies <>
14. Technical options for excreta disposal <>
15. Cleaning wells after seawater flooding <>
16. Complete: all 15 notes in one file <>

And a quick Q&A from

Q&A on Response to Haiti Earthquake

Q1. How is water affected during a disaster like this?
A. Underground water and sanitation pipelines and concrete water storage tanks are highly susceptible to damage from earthquakes and will likely need to be repaired or replaced.

Q2. What is the response plan to get people safe water?
A. The short term response typically includes bottled water and the use of high volume purification equipment. While this is expensive, it can be quickly deployed as a short-term solution. There are many relief agencies involved in these types of efforts. The response of organizations like involves the rehabilitation and expansion of sustainable water and sanitation infrastructure.

Q3. What is doing to help?
A. We will provide assistance to our local partners so that they can restore and expand water and sanitation infrastructure.

Q4. How is coordinating with other agencies?
Before the earthquake, was already coordinating with the Clinton Global Initiative, the United Nations, and other agencies. On the ground, will work with local NGO partner organizations, consistent with our approach over the past two decades.

Q5. How has this affected's work in Haiti?
A. It had made the need for safe water and sanitation even more urgent and will likely mean our focus will initially be rehabilitation, and then expansion of water services.

Q6. Is's staff safe?
A. Four of our staff members returned from Haiti on Saturday. We're in touch with our local partner but do not currently know the status of its staff members.

Q7. Where can I get additional information and what can I do to help?
A. If you are interested in supporting efforts to restore and expand water and sanitation services in Haiti, you can donate at: If you would like to donate to immediate relief efforts in Haiti, you’ll find more information at:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Development Grants Program - $18m available for water - deadline Feb 12, 2010

Good news for the water, sanitation and hygiene sector: this year's USAID Development Grants Program includes $18m for water available to nonprofits around the globe. Applications due by February 12, 2010. Please forward broadly across the WASH sector.

Here is the full pdf of the RFA for the program.

More information:

Dear DGP Colleagues:

I am pleased to inform you that the Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2009 Developments Grants Program (DGP) was released on on December 22, 2009.

You can find the RFA in two places:
1) On the PVC website at Keyword DGP, and
2) On at and click Full Announcement at the top.

You may find it useful to mark your calendars with the following important dates from the RFA:
February 12, 2010 - Deadline for receipt of Concept Papers (Step 1)
March 19, 2010 - Applicants notified of decisions by USAID Missions. Invitations to selected Applicants to submit Full Applications (Step 2)
April 30, 2010 - Submission deadline for Full Applications
June 11, 2010 - Applicants notified whether they are recommended for awards

Additional information about the DGP program can be found at the following link: Or you can send me a note at john_oldfield  (at)  rocketmail  (dot)  com

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sanitation jobs at the Gates Foundation - woot woot!

The Gates Foundation has made the big commitment to sanitation we have all been hoping for and are staffing up to prove it:

Search for sanitation and you'll find:
The Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene will provide strategic leadership of the WS&H initiative, with a specific focus on non-piped sanitation. The Director will continue to build on the existing strategy and will be responsible for overseeing grant making and grant management, advocacy, people management and reporting of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene portfolio. The Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene will participate in the Global Development Leadership Team and contribute to the entire Global Development team through management and cultural leadership and a willingness to share knowledge as appropriate.
Senior Program Officer - Demand-Led Sanitation
The Senior Program Officer (SPO) will play a pivotal leadership role in the WS&H initiative, taking primary responsibility for developing, executing and managing a portfolio of high-impact grants with the goal of replicating at very large scale a sustainable approach to rural sanitation. This approach triggers demand to end open defecation and improve unsafe latrines, trains local entrepreneurs to offer affordable sanitation products and services, and improves the enabling environment supporting these activities. Reporting to the Deputy Director leading the WS&H initiative, the SPO will also contribute to developing the WS&H strategy, enhancing external and internal relationships, improving team effectiveness, and supervising Program Officers and other staff.
And others... let's get some great sanitation people up to Seattle.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship - Water is a Priority

Once again, global water scarcity remains a priority for the Skoll Awards for 2010. Remember Gary White won recently from so Skoll is serious about water.

February 17, 2010 is the next deadline, so please think about nominating water and sanitation entrepreneurs who need a little help to get them and their organizations to the next level.


The Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship support social entrepreneurs whose work has the potential for large-scale influence on critical challenges of our time: tolerance and human rights, health, economic and social equity, peace and security, institutional responsibility, and environmental sustainability. These issues are at the heart of the foundation’s vision of empowering people to create a peaceful, prosperous, sustainable world. Within these issues, we are particularly interested in applications from social entrepreneurs working in five critical sub-issue areas that threaten the survival of humanity – climate change, nuclear proliferation, pandemics, conflict in the Middle East and water scarcity.

Skoll social entrepreneurs are innovators who have tested and proved their approach, are poised to replicate or scale up their work to create equilibrium change and engage others with a message that resonates with individuals whose resources are crucial to advancing these solutions. The Skoll Awards are designed for leaders who contribute value to a peer network committed to continuous learning. By telling their stories, they join in the foundation’s ongoing celebration of the power of social entrepreneurs.

The Skoll Awards provide later-stage, or mezzanine, funding, subject to payment limitations described below under Budget Guidance. In most cases, the grant is provided for core support to help organizations expand their programs and capacity to deliver long-term, sustainable equilibrium change. The Skoll Awards are not intended for new or early-stage programs or initiatives. Programs submitted for consideration should have a track record of no less than three years. In addition to core support, the Skoll Foundation supports the participation of Award recipients in the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship.

Deadline for Applying:

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a year-round basis, with successful applicants receiving initial funding installments shortly after decisions are made. Regular deadlines (listed below and updated regularly) assist us in managing the internal review process for these applications, a process that takes a minimum of six months to be completed. Awards will be presented publicly at a ceremony at the Skoll World Forum, which occurs at the end of every March in Oxford, England.

Toilets Save Eyesight

This article deserves to be above the fold in the New York Times. Very insightful. Summary: if you want to prevent preventable blindness, you need to consider sanitation and safe water. Don't stop the surgeries, don't stop the antibiotics, and perhaps most importantly for the longrun, don't neglect the Facewashing and Environmental Sanitation parts of the SAFE strategy.

Zambia – Toilets save eyesight, new study confirms
November 16, 2009

CALGARY, Nov. 16 /CNW/ – Why in the world is an organization dedicated to the treatment and prevention of blindness spending money on toilets?

“Because believe it or not, toilets and blindness are directly connected,” says Pat Ferguson, President & CEO of Operation Eyesight. “Proper sanitation and clean water are in short supply in the developing world and that contributes to a high rate of unnecessary blindness and other serious health problems.”

A new study conducted by Zambia’s Ministry of Health and supported by Operation Eyesight found that trachoma was 28 per cent more likely to strike in households that do not have proper toilet facilities. The study, which covered five districts in Zambia, found that up to 80 per cent of the households surveyed do not have toilets.

“Trachoma is caused by a bacterium and is easily spread from person to person and by flies which breed on human waste,” says Ferguson. “So it’s no surprise that proper sewage disposal helps to prevent this horrible disease.”

Trachoma is the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness. In parts of Zambia and Kenya where Operation Eyesight supports development projects designed to eliminate trachoma, up to 30 per cent of children age one to nine years are infected.

Without treatment, trachoma causes a person’s eyelids to turn inward so that the eyelashes constantly scrape the eyeball. It is extremely painful and can lead to permanent blindness. The World Health Organization estimates more than 80 million people are affected by trachoma and about 8 million suffer the advanced stages of the disease and are visually impaired.

Operation Eyesight’s trachoma projects are designed to both treat and permanently eliminate trachoma. The projects follow the World Health Organization-endorsed SAFE strategy which includes Surgery to treat the late stage of the disease, Antibiotics to eliminate infection, Face washing and hygiene promotion, and Environmental change including water wells and latrines to prevent re-infection.

To be effective, the ambitious projects require construction of thousands of latrines, drilling hundreds of wells, mass distribution of antibiotics and training thousands of citizens in hygiene and well management.

“These projects are large and costly,” says Ferguson, “But the benefits are enormous. In addition to preventing unnecessary blindness, the SAFE strategy dramatically reduces other serious diseases, helps keep children in school and saves women the need to walk many kilometers in search of water, which is usually unfit for human consumption.”

Operation Eyesight is working in close partnership with the governments of Kenya and Zambia and is a member of GET2020, the World Health Organization initiative to eradicate trachoma from the entire world by 2020. For more information about Operation Eyesight’s trachoma projects, visit

Operation Eyesight is a Canadian international development organization dedicated to preventing and treating blindness throughout the world for more than 45 years – primarily in South Asia and Africa. We help local medical professionals provide comprehensive, sustainable eye care and community development for the people of the world who can least afford it. Since 1963, Operation Eyesight has restored sight to more than two million people and provided blindness prevention services to nearly 33 million others. For more information, visit

Global Blindness – Every five seconds, one person in our world goes blind and a child goes blind every minute. More than 90 per cent of the world’s blind people live in developing countries, where day-to-day life is already challenging and blindness is a direct threat to life. About 80 per cent of this blindness is preventable or treatable.

Source – NewsWire

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Summit on the Summit

Just in case you haven't seen this yet, definitely check out the Summit on the Summit:

Ridiculously well-designed website for a great cause.

Check out the "Sponsor a Foot" feature and write them a big check.

Monday, January 4, 2010

"Water, Conflict and Cooperation" - Panel this Wednesday 12-2pm

Please join Catholic Relief Services and the Environmental Change and Security Program for a discussion entitled:

“Water, Conflict and Cooperation: Practical Concerns for Water Development Projects"

on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 from Noon to 2:00pm at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Lunch will be provided at 11:30AM.

The presentations and discussions will be on emerging conflict issues in international water development projects. Issues of water scarcity, access to water supplies, pollution of water sources and transboundary water management are increasingly the basis of water disputes, political manipulation and, in worst cases, outright conflict. In the course of these disputes, traditional community practices and human rights often are ignored and the natural environment may become degraded. The challenge to the development community is to ensure that peacebuilding principles of equity, justice and reconciliation are applied to water conflicts to prevent and, if necessary, mitigate these situations. The panelists will explore the incorporation of peacebuilding interventions in water projects. A new CRS publication Water and Conflict (PDF here), highlighting many of these issues, will be provided for participants.

Event Information:

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
5th floor Board Room (Food is allowed in this room)
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004 USA

PLEASE NOTE: The attendee overflow space will be in the 6th floor boardroom. Food is not allowed in this room.

Registration is required for this event. RSVP to with your name and affiliation. If you are interested, but unable to attend the event, please tune into the live or archived webcast at The live webcast will begin approximately ten minutes after the posted meeting time. You will need Windows Media Player to watch the webcast. To download the free player, visit:


Woodrow Wilson Center at the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW ("Federal Triangle" stop on Blue/Orange Line), 6th floor Moynihan Board Room.

A map to the Center is available at

Note: Due to heightened security, entrance to the building will be restricted and photo identification is required. Please allow additional time to pass through security.