Problems need problem-solvers

Capacity Development is one of those buzz-phrases that gets used and abused almost as much as Sustainable Development. Capacity has various definitions, but for me, one of the clearest is: "Capacity is the ability of individuals, groups, institutions and organizations to identify and solve problems over time" (Morgan, P. 1993 quoted on p.7 of Capacity … Continue reading Problems need problem-solvers

Sanitation and Water for All? a view from the SWA partner meeting

This week, I attended the Sanitation & Water for All (SWA), partnership meeting in The Hague, Netherlands. Skat Foundation is a member of the Research & Learning constituency of SWA and I was there, among other things, to represent RWSN, both to raise relevant issues from our network with SWA partners, but also to find … Continue reading Sanitation and Water for All? a view from the SWA partner meeting

UNC Water and Health Conference Event: Resources to Keep the Water Flowing

Improve International

By Susan Davis, Executive Director with research support from Lydia Prokosch

Keep the water flowing side eventAt the UNC Water and Health conference last week, Improve International hosted an event called Keep the Water Flowing. We highlighted the various types of post-construction support, results and costs. Below are links to the presentations:

We also shared several resources, links to which are provided below by theme.

The Case for Post-Construction Support

Guidelines for Resolution of Problems with Water Systems.

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Lessons Not Learned in International Development

Improve International

MERLTech susans talk Photo and drawing by Katherine Haugh

Susan Davis wrote this guest blog on ICTWorks based on her lightning talk at MERLTech:

The world has made several commitments to water and sanitation, starting as far back as the 1970s, and leading up to the recent Sustainable Development Goals. Also over the past few decades, the development of the internet and cool data collection tools has enabled more and more organizations to share their evaluations and monitoring data publicly.

But is anyone actually learning from them?

Read the rest of the article here.

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The Sustainable Development Goals are here, and “business as usual” won’t work!

thoughts in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Improve International

By Susan Davis, Executive Director

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were approved by the UN last week. A tweet last week about the SDGs caught my eye: “Business as usual does not work. We need to move beyond the traditional mode of development, says @IrinaBokova. ##ICSD2015 #SDGs”

I totally agree with this, and that’s part of why I founded Improve International.  But is this phrase spurring the action it intends?

As part of some research, I’ve been reading some older documents about water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). I keep coming across the phrase “business as usual.” I’m not sure the WASH sector is grasping the concept, because people have been saying this since at least 1998. Some highlights (italics are mine):

1998: Safe water supply and adequate sanitation to protect health are among the basic human rights. Ensuring their availability would contribute immeasurably to health and productivity for development…

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