Friday, August 24, 2012

World Water Week - The Politics of Water: Strengthening National Advocacy for WASH

For those of you who will be in Stockholm for World Water Week, please join us at our session on:

The session will take place on Thursday, August 30, from 12h45 - 13h45 in Room K24.

Event Description
In-country advocacy throughout the developing world is vital to addressing the global water and sanitation (WASH) challenge. This session convenes experienced and new WASH advocates to discuss how they are positively influencing public policies and increasing WASH budgets in their countries.

The session will begin promptly at 12:45.

Our speakers are:
  • Diana Betancourt, Water For People (
    The impact of advocacy at municipal and national levels in Honduras and beyond.
  • Yiga Baker, ANEW (
    3-4 mini case studies about how WASH civil society networks have influenced public policy and budgets for WASH throughout Africa.
  • John Oldfield, WASH Advocates (, speaker and moderator):
    Best and emerging practices for advocacy in WASH and other sectors.
After brief remarks (seven minutes) from each of the speakers, we will have 30 minutes left in our sixty minute session to engage with the audience. We are asking the audience to prepare in advance for this session, and during the session offer brief remarks on:
  • What WASH advocacy successes and/or failures have you had in your country?
  • Of those successes and failures, what do you think might work (or not) in other parts of the world?
  • What do you hope to accomplish in the next months/years in your country for advocacy for WASH?
Hope to see you all there! Send me a note if you need additional information please.

Friday, August 10, 2012

WSSCC Announces New Executive Director

This is a big deal - please welcome Chris Williams as the new head of WSSCC:

Mr Chris Williams, a development practitioner with over twenty-five years of experience in international organizations in Africa, Asia and the Americas and with training in economics and sociology, will take up office as the next Executive Director of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) in October 2012.

Professor Anna Tibaijuka, Chair of WSSCC, welcomed Mr Williams, saying “The issues of sanitation and hygiene that WSSCC deals with are crucial to improving health and development. We need strong global leadership and bold ambitions to expand the good work that is already being done. I am confident that Mr Williams will be able to deliver in both these areas.”

Speaking of his new challenge, Mr Williams said, “I am delighted to have been appointed to this post. For me, sanitation is a strategic entry point for social and economic development. Targeted investments channelled through national coalitions will enable large numbers of people to improve their living and working conditions. I am particularly interested in working with social movements, private companies, and government to identify ways to align efforts to achieve better sanitation and hygiene.  I’m also keen to see how we can attract more support for the Global Sanitation Fund, so that it can leverage additional resources and finance innovative work in even more countries.”

Mr Williams is moving to WSSCC from UN-Habitat where he held senior posts in global fund management, advocacy, fund raising and policy research, and worked on programmes to upgrade water, sanitation and shelter in settlements. He collaborated with Professor Tibaijuka, who was the Executive Director of UN-Habitat during part of his time there.  Prior to UN-Habitat, Mr Williams worked in Africa and the United States promoting community economic development. His work with homeless shelters, community organizations, financial intermediaries, and community lending institutions gave him exposure to private, civil and public sectors. He has studied economics, public policy and sociology, and holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research.

WSSCC has a small Secretariat in Geneva, where Mr Williams will be based.  Mr Williams succeeds Mr Jon Lane, who finished as WSSCC’s Executive Director on 3 August. Ms Amanda Marlin, WSSCC’s Programme Manager for Advocacy and Communications, will be providing interim leadership to WSSCC until Mr Williams takes up office.