Today is World Water Day, so we thought it fitting to share some new water-related stories from our awardees.
Water for People:
In The Christian Science Monitor, Ned Breslin talks about water sustainability.
“‘People are walking past broken taps and going back to polluted water sources,’” Breslin told the CS Monitor. Up to 60 percent of water projects fail within 18 months to two years, Water for People says. “‘[The problem goes] way beyond just banging in infrastructure.’”
In a separate op-ed, his colleague, John Sauer, wrote a blog on Devex.com:
“This World Water Day, on March 22, you will most likely hear that the attention of the global community is now shifting to the post-Millennium Development Goal priority of universal coverage for WASH. With this transition, monitoring must also shift focus, away from the previous indicator of access, toward long-term outcomes focused on ongoing service delivery. This means looking beyond ‘projects’ funded and beneficiaries reached and instead looking at systematic capacity building within government, civil society and private sector institutions. If those involved with WASH programs could better demonstrate their impact – for example using indicators to show capacity built with local partners – this would be progress…
Organizations across the WASH sector are rethinking their role in catalyzing the delivery of water and sanitation services. The water and sanitation crisis is still vast and much more work is needed. New studies suggest that the crisis is far worse than previously reported with as many as four billion people affected by poor sanitation conditions and as many as 1.8 billion people without reliable water services.
In the New York Times Room for Debate series on celebrities and causes, Gary White give a brief but poignant post, noting that “nonprofit leaders should not become obsessed with finding the celebrity connection they believe will allow them to get the funding, marketing or scale they desire. Instead, they should look for a variety of people with complementary talents that form the right mix. This way, an organization will thrive in more ways than one, and drive real and meaningful social change.”
There is also an interesting piece on Inventor Spot about Matt Damon’s choices to use humor to highlight the water issue and water.org
The author quotes Damon: “The concept of experimenting with comedy to generate new levels of awareness and participation in the cause is something we’ve been toying with for a couple of years,” said Damon. “If Sarah Silverman and I can generate millions of views on YouTube for something ridiculous, then we should be able to do better for one of the most important and solvable issues of our time.”