Category Archives: Campaigns and Events

2016 National Water Research Institute Clarke Prize Award

2016 National Water Research Institute Clarke Prize Award – Honoring Excellence in Water Research

Consisting of a medallion and $50,000 check, the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize is one of only a dozen water prizes awarded worldwide. It has been distinguished by the International Congress of Distinguished Awards as one of the most prestigious awards in the world. clarke

We are pleased to announce that public health microbiologist Mark Sobsey, Ph.D., will be the twenty-third recipient of the NWRI Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for excellence in water research. Sobsey is the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

SID DC meeting – Urban Sanitation: Meeting the SDGs for Universal Access by 2030

Urban Sanitation: Meeting the SDGs for Universal Access by 2030

Join the conversation: @sidwashington @AECOM

The world’s urban population is close to 3.9 billion, including nearly 1 billion living in informal settlements. The United Nations estimates that the urban population in developing countries could double by 2030, while the land area covered by cities could triple.

Currently, in sub-Saharan Africa, only 40% of the urban population has access to improved sanitation, while in Southern Asia the percentage covered is 67 . This percentage could decrease as governments struggle with providing required infrastructure and basic services to meet the rapidly growing demand.

To avoid this, and work toward achievement of SDG 6.2, government, private sector, civil society and donor organizations will need to develop and deploy innovative service delivery models that will increase sanitation access to urban customers at a faster pace and larger scale than ever before.

In preparation for the United Nations’ World Toilet Day on November 19, 2016, SID/W, together with AECOM, has assembled a panel of experts to discuss their experiences and the prospects for achieving universal access to sanitation for urban populations by 2030.

Live Q&A: What is the future of innovation for water and sanitation?

Live Q&A: What is the future of innovation for water and sanitation? The Guardian, November 10, 2016.

What are the interesting inventions that work, and where are new solutions needed most? Join an expert panel on 17 November, 3-4.30pm GMT, to discuss

Innovation is often cited as an enabler of sustainable development. Donors, NGOs and governments support new initiatives and technologies to reach the millions who lack access to water and sanitation, and a number of prizes and challenges encourage entrepreneurs to develop solutions to the same problems.

But does the water, sanitation and hygiene sector (Wash) need such innovation? “There isn’t much that needs improvement about having a tap connected to mains water and using a toilet that flushes into a sewer,” says Remi Kaupp, urban sanitation specialist at WaterAid. “The main ingredients needed to achieve universal water and sanitation coverage are well known, and they are not glamourous.”

The problem, it seems, is equating innovation and invention. “I think the technologies [we need] exist today,” says Jayanthi Iyengar of Xylem. “What we need is innovation around how we speed up their implementation, and how we unlock financial opportunities for local communities or countries.” Indeed, new approaches to financing access to water and sanitation, such as levies and development impact bonds, are gaining traction as solutions in the sector.

So where is innovation needed most? What are the interesting inventions that work? How can obstacles to innovation be addressed? And how can we ensure that any new initiatives are meaningful and do not cover the same ground as others?

Join an expert panel on Thursday 17 November, from 3pm to 4.30pm GMT, to discuss these questions and more.

The live chat is not video or audio-enabled but will take place in the comments section (below). Want to recommend someone for the panel or ask a question in advance? Get in touch via or @GuardianGDP on Twitter. Follow the discussion using the hashtag #globaldevlive.

Panel to be announced

State Department Notice of Intent To Solicit Comments and Conduct a Public Scoping Meeting on a Global Water Strategy

State Department Notice of Intent To Solicit Comments and Conduct a Public Scoping Meeting on a Global Water Strategy – October 17, 2016.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of State (Department) will host a listening session to solicit public comments on the development and content of a strategy to address global water challenges including, but not necessarily limited to: (1) Increasing access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene; (2) improving water resource management; and (3) promoting cooperation on shared waters. Participants will be asked to provide brief remarks (up to 3 minutes) highlighting specific challenges that should be addressed and opportunities to strengthen U.S. engagement on international water issues.

DATES: This session will take place on Friday, October 28 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in the George C. Marshall Center at the U.S. Department of State, 2201 C St. NW., (21st Street Entrance), Washington, DC. Attendees must confirm their attendance at A photo identification will be necessary to attend the session. Written comments must be received no later than November 12, 2016.

Written comments may be submitted to by following the prompts.

Comments may also be submitted by mail, addressed to: Global Water Strategy Manager, Office of Conservation and Water, Room 2657, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20520 and/or by email to Written comments may also be submitted at the public scoping meeting on Friday, October 28, 2016 from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

15 October was Global Handwashing Day: take the quiz!


Photo: IRC

Are you a Handwashing Champion?

Each year on 15 October, over 200 million people in over 100 countries celebrate Global Handwashing Day. Their aim is to increase awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap. This simple intervention is an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Promoting handwashing with soap reduces the risk of diarrhoea by at least 23% according to a 2014 systematic review of research. Handwashing with soap impacts more than just health: it is also beneficial for nutrition, education, economics, and equity.

Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing, and is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times. This year’s theme is “Make Handwashing a Habit!” For handwashing to be effective it must be practised consistently at key times, such as after using the toilet or before contact with food. While habits must be developed over time, this theme emphasises the importance of handwashing as a ritual behaviour for long-term sustainability.

IRC is proud to be an affiliate member of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing. Especially for Global Handwashing Day we created a fun quiz so that you can not only test your knowledge but also learn a bit about what we are doing to promote handwashing.

Don’t forget to visit the Global Handwashing Day website for resources and updates on  global handwashing promotion. For the latest research and developments, also check out the handwashing posts on Sanitation Updates.

Now take the quiz to see if you are a Handwashing Champion!

This blog was originally posted on the IRC website.


Habits matter for Global Handwashing Day. This is why you should promote them!

Habits matter for Global Handwashing Day. This is why you should promote them! Source: by Bijan Manavizadeh, PPPHW, Oct 7 2016 |

Celebrated annually on October 15, Global Handwashing Day is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. 5things-to-do-after-ghd-1

This year’s theme is “Make Handwashing a Habit!”. In light of this theme, I would like to take this opportunity to discuss how promoting habits as part of your celebration might lead to the development of sustained handwashing behavior.

Habit formation is an ongoing process and it requires continuous effort to encourage practitioners to not lose motivation and revert back to poor handwashing behavior. In order to effectively promote routine handwashing, stations must be accessible, properly maintained, and always stocked with soap and water.

So, for instance, if you host a handwashing demonstration at a community center for Global Handwashing Day, make sure permanent, functional handwashing facilities are available so the behavior can be sustained.

Pairing habit-formation initiatives with small doable actions can be an effective strategy. Behaviors are more likely to be adopted into a routine when they are both desirable and feasible for the practitioner.

Read the complete article.

Overcoming Barriers to System-Wide Action in the WASH Sector: WEDC Side Event Synthesis

Overcoming Barriers to System-Wide Action in the WASH Sector: WEDC Side Event Synthesis | Source: Improve International, Sept 2016 |

Much discussion has been devoted to what will be required of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector stakeholders in order to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets of universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water and adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene by 2030. wedc-side-event-synthesis-cover-203x300

The reigning consensus is that a swift and intentional alignment with “system-wide” approaches, which address critical gaps in policy and the capacity to implement and finance at all levels of the sector, is necessary. This philosophy has been well-articulated by Aguaconsult, WaterAid, IRC, and Water For People in the “Agenda for Change”.

To turn discussion into meaningful action, policy-makers and policy-takers in the WASH sector need to have a sound understanding of the fundamental barriers that are preventing diffuse adoption of system-wide approaches, as well as information on promising approaches.

This side event provided global, national, and local stakeholders from government, donor, and practitioner agencies with an opportunity to identify specific barriers in their respective domains, and to learn of some specific examples of pilot solutions.

In July 2016, a workshop was convened by WEDC and co-organized by Victoria Cuéllar (Desert Research Institute), Susan Davis (Improve International), Andrew Armstrong (Water Mission), and Emma Goring (Whave).

Read a summary of the discussions here.