Edward Norton and Water For People Invite You to Donate to Drink

Actor Edward Norton and Water For People have released a video highlighting the world water crisis and inviting people to join their "Donate to Drink" campaign on Crowdrise.

Water For People and their partners are offering incentives for donations:

  • Get a bracelet made in Rwanda when you donate $25 to $99.
  • Get a red stainless steel water bottle generously provided by Marmot Mountain with a donation of $100 or more.
  • Become a fundraiser yourself and raise at least $1,000 and you’ll be entered to win an all-expenses paid trip for two to Rwanda to join a World Water Corps volunteer expedition in 2012! Every $1,000 raised earns you another entry.

A small group of donors has pledged to match the total raised by the campaign, up to $1 million.  Visit the campaign page on Crowdrise to help Water For People reach that goal!

GWC, WASH Advocacy Initiative Convene Webinar on Post Implementation Monitoring

Last week GWC and the WASH Advocacy Initiative convened a webinar that brought together a broad spectrum of stakeholders interested in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector to discuss options for post implementation monitoring.  This event was aligned with the WASH Sustainability Charter and focused on providing attendees with several concrete and practical tools that can be used to monitor programs after implementation, including collaborative monitoring, circuit riding and remote monitoring. 

Each of the speakers gave their perspective on post implementation monitoring during the hour-long webinar.  The entire webinar can be viewed in the player at the bottom of the post.  The individual speakers begin at the timestamp after their affiliation.

  • Jae So, Manager of the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (1:55), gave an overview of monitoring and discussed why it is so important for long-term program effectiveness.
  • Erick Toledo, Program Director at Millennium Water Alliance (12:55), outlined the circuit rider program that has been put in place in Central America.
  • Marla Smith-Nislon, Executive Director of Water 1st (23:45), introduced the concept of collaborative monitoring and introduced about the upcoming accountability forum that will pilot this model.
  • Eric Stowe, Founder and Director of a child’s right (32:25), gave a survey of remote monitoring technologies and options for interested organizations.
  • A question and answer session (39:00) followed the last presentation.

The webinar was moderated by Ned Breslin, CEO of Water For People

The video of the event can be found below. We invite you to continue the conversation at www.SustainableWASH.org.  Be sure to let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook!

Water For People CEO Wins 2011 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship

imageToday the Skoll Foundation announced that Ned Breslin, CEO of GWC-member Water For People, is one of four recipients of the 2011 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship.  This award highlights a select group of social entrepreneurs who have made a significant impact around the world. 

Ned Breslin, Water For People
Breslin spent more than 16 years in Africa working on water and sanitation before joining Water For People and introducing bold systemic solutions to critical issues facing the sector.  Water For People partners with communities in developing countries to create sustainable, locally-maintained drinking water solutions and supports market-driven sanitation solutions, such as its Sanitation as a Business program.  Accountability and sustainability are major focuses for the organization.  It recently developed a new monitoring and evaluation technology called FLOW (Field Level Operations Watch), which leverages Android Technology and Google Earth software for tracking the status of water points at least 10 years after implementation.

GWC is proud to call Water For People one of its members and sincerely congratulates Ned and everyone at Water For People for their incredible work.  We are excited to be a part of their efforts to increase program sustainability and look forward to working with them in the future.

Gary White, Executive Director of GWC-member Water.org is a former recipient of this award.

Via Water For People

WASH Advocacy Initiative Announces Launch, Calls for Action on International Women’s Day

The WASH Advocacy Initiative, made possible by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Wallace Genetic Foundation, announced its launch today. The Initiative supports a coalition of more than a dozen partner organizations, led by Water.org, Global Water Challenge, Water For People and CARE, all dedicated to ending the global water and sanitation crisis.

The Initiative raises awareness of the global WASH challenge, increases financial resources for proven, sustainable solutions, and gives everyone the opportunity to learn more.

The Initiative also called for action on international WASH issues on International Women’s Day:

On International Women’s Day, the WASH Advocacy Initiative calls on U.S. policy makers, corporate and philanthropic leaders, and civic and faith communities to make the investments and create the policies necessary to end the global water and sanitation crisis, one that disproportionally affects the health, education, productivity and livelihoods of billions of women and girls around the world.

To read the full press release, click here. To learn more about the Initiative, go to www.washinitiative.org and to sign up for World Water Day activities, go to waterday.org.

Making an Impact: Water For People

October 6, 2010 Water For People

Water For People works hard to build a world where all people have access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and where no one suffers or dies from a water- or sanitation-related disease. While this goal may seem impossibly distant,  Water For People has made inspiring progress in the 11 countries in which they operate. Widely recognized for their pioneering successes in the water sector, Water For People’s success is a testament to strengths of their unique approach which focuses on total coverage, scale, and learning as an organization.

Rather than continuing to use failed approaches, Water For People is constantly experimenting with innovative ideas to improve the way they work.

Water For People’s creative volunteer monitoring program, the World Water Corps®, is one such idea. To learn more about this program, and to find out what it’s like to volunteer for Water For People, check out Michael J. Mascarenhas’ blog posts on his experience working on a baseline assessment in Rwanda.

The data that these volunteers collect plays a major role in Water For People’s approach, in documenting successes and opportunities for improvement. Water For People believes strongly in the accountability that comes from sharing this data with others. In this spirit, Water For People has just hosted an “Accountability Summit” at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC). This summit empowered participants to look at the data Water For People has collected on their projects, years after programs ended. People were encouraged to ask questions about the data, and ultimately hold Water For People accountable for their commitment to long lasting solutions.  This thought provoking event was a great success, and will hopefully encourage others to do the same.

Another idea with enormous potential to reshape the sector is Water For People’s “Sanitation as a Business” model. This model recognizes the opportunity for private enterprise to revolutionize the way that sanitation services are provided. Water For People CEO Ned Breslin recently had an opportunity to discuss this model on CNBC’s Squawk Box as a part of the channel’s ‘Water Pressure Series’, and you can watch the short video here. In order to move this innovation from an idea to a reality, Water For People recently received a $5.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to test sustainable sanitation services in Africa, Asia, and Latin America using this model.

It is this type of cutting edge work, paired with strong implementation, which has cemented Water For People’s role as a pioneer in the sector. Their hard work has been recognized and supported by countless organizations, including leading private sector companies, water districts, health boards, and many others. Most recently, IPS Corporation announced a $100,000 commitment to Water For People, making them a Global Sponsor of Water For People.

Water For People’s goal of a world free of the burdens of unsafe water and insufficient sanitation remains elusive. Yet, in the many areas Water For People has worked they are realizing this vision. In so doing, they have proven their model, and given a glimpse into the future of the sector. 

Field Notes: Mothers Band Together to Bring Clean Water to Children’s School

July 26, 2010

Field Notes will be an ongoing feature on our blog, highlighting the very real impact of GWC member programs on the lives of people around the world. In this post, we focus on a story from Water For People.

imageMeet Teresa Guzman, a mother in rural Guatemala who got fed up with the lack of water at her children’s school. Teresa, who heads the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for the school in La Cumbre, knew the students could never reach their full academic potential without an adequate and consistent water supply.

The community of La Cumbre lives by the seasons of year. One season, they might be showered with more rain than they could ask for and then in the dry season, the community might have to survive for months without a drop of rain.

It’s at this time of year, usually November to April, that children often used to grow ill from an unhealthy reliance on contaminated water sources. As a mother and the leader of the local PTA, Teresa knew she had to act.

Teresa decided that a rain catchment system was the right solution. After initially approaching the mayor for help and being turned down, Teresa and other PTA mothers held several early morning strategy sessions at the school to figure out how to proceed.

The PTA decided to approach Water For People for help properly requesting and arranging funding from the municipality and community members, drafting project specifications, and creating a sustainability plan including maintenance of the system. The mothers even hired an attorney and then proceeded to go between the necessary government offices to get all the required signatures.

“It was important to get the community involved and to agree with the idea,” Teresa said. “We needed to have good communication with the community because they needed to help. Once they saw how the process was going, they decided to support us.”

The women’s determination eventually resulted in the installation of a 50,000-liter rain catchment tank covering the entire roof of the school. Now instead of bringing water to school every day from unsafe sources, the children have access to rainwater including six hand-washing stations.

“Each teacher tells the students to take care of the water. Here in this community, we don’t have enough water,” Teresa said.

GWC is proud to support the work of Water For People through the SWASH+ Central America Program. Learn more about the program in Guatemala here. Please visit Water For People’s site to learn more about its work: http://www.waterforpeople.org.

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