Skoll Foundation


Water For People

Skoll Entrepreneur(s): Ned Breslin
Award Year: 2011
Focus Area(s) Addressed: Water and Sanitation

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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 open-source 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.


  • In March 2014, Water For People and TOMS announced a strategic partnership to provide safe drinking water in developing countries.
  • In Uganda, Water For People formed a partnership with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), which funded the Sanitation as a Business (SAAB) program. SAAB has already identified 10 entrepreneurs who have provided services to 187 households emptying 704 barrels (each 52 gallons) of sludge, generating collective income of approximately $8,000 USD between December 2012 and June 2013.
  • In less than three years, FLOW has gained traction in the water sector, having been used in dozens of countries, with tens of thousands of surveys completed and water points mapped. Water For People field-tested it widely in eight countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Notably, in Liberia, Water For People and Gallatin Systems (the codeveloper of FLOW) enabled Water and Sanitation Program Africa at the World Bank, the Liberian government, and other partners to deploy FLOW so they could map water points and school sanitation conditions. In the field, 120 enumerators, in 40 days, mapped over 7,000 water points and close to 1,300 schools.
  • Water For People currently works in 10 countries around the world.
  • At the end of 2011, Chinda, Honduras was the first municipality to reach every family, every school, and every clinic with safe drinking water. Everyone Forever is a unique effort to provide water and sanitation to Everyone in targeted districts and municipalities, Forever. It provides a model for greater replication, leading to a push for national full water and sanitation coverage.
  • They mobilize volunteers through their World Water Corps®,  an innovative program that serves the needs of local communities, Water For People, and its local partners and builds up a cadre of dedicated, caring ambassadors to the world water and sanitation crisis. Established in 2007, the World Water Corps monitors the work that happens in the field. Through observation and interviews with people on the ground in homes, clinics, schools, and community water points, World Water Corps is on the front lines of determining what is happening and what is needed by the people who need it the most.
  • Learn more at their 2012 Year in Review video. And hear Ned Breslin’s latest talk, at the Sept. 2013 Social Good Summit.



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