Changing the way we change the world

Creative funding mechanisms

By Susan Davis, Executive Director This blog is based on a brief talk I gave at a Stockholm World Water Week session called “Turning errors into actions: continuous improvements“. “Innovation” is a big buzz word in development these days, but many people and organizations have a mindset that limits innovation to technology, or, occasionally implementation....
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Sticky Toilet Use

By Kate Fogelberg, Springfield Centre From Susan Davis: I’m thrilled to have a guest blog from Kate. We got to know each other when we both worked at Water For People. Kate is now a Senior Consultant with the Springfield Centre, an independent consulting, training, and research organization dedicated to improving the way development is...
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Survey: WASH in Healthcare Facilities

Sharing from Global Health Council “A recent WHO and UNICEF report presents a global assessment of the extent to which health care facilities in low- and middle-income countries fail to provide even basic WASH services. Using data from 66,101 facilities in 54 countries the report concludes that 38% of health care facilities are unable to...
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2016 Survey on WASH Donor Restrictions and Sustainability

By Susan Davis, Executive Director If you work for a development organization involved in water, sanitation, and/or hygiene interventions, we invite you to complete our brief survey on WASH Donor Restrictions and Sustainability.  All responses will remain anonymous. Start the survey by clicking here. More about the survey below: Improve International seeks to end the...
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SuSanA Webinar: Meeting the hidden needs of change-agents in the WASH sector

By Susan Davis, Improve International Click here for the video recording of today’s webinar hosted by the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA): ‘Meeting the hidden needs of change-agents in the WASH sector: Understanding the role of learning and donor-implementer relationships.’ Overview: This webinar provided perspectives on two rarely discussed obstacles that innovators face in doing impactful...
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The value of water

By Susan Davis, Executive Director I got this email from Stuart, one of our board members, yesterday: “For June, R. and I used 2,000 gallons. That is 66.67 gallons a day. There is no way I could carry that amount of water each day to my home. Plus, what is it all used for? I...
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We’re sending you a high five today!

By Susan Davis, Executive Director To thank you for all of your support, we’re sending you a virtual High Five today. Will you #Hi5 us back?  Make a donation with a 5 in it – $50, $250, $5000 – you get the picture AND/OR Let us know why you support Improve International: Tweet to @improve_intl...
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What is a dead end in your field?

By Susan Davis, Executive Director I’ve really been enjoying reading “Demand” a journal published by ASME / Engineering for Change (E4C).  The Spring 2016 issue (available on the app) has well written and well illustrated articles on sanitation and water innovations, including their challenges and adaptations.  I’d like to see follow up articles on them...
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Seeking Sanitation Success

By Susan Davis, Executive Director Download the full Seeking Sustained Sanitation Successes report (English) The sanitation sector has evolved over decades.  Yet, in 2015, the target year for the Millennium Development Goals, much remains to be done: 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation and almost 1 billion people practice open defecation, nine out...
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Monitoring, Evaluation, Resolution, Learning (MERL) Technical Note

Victoria Calderon, Catherine Nguyen, Jordan Teague, Elynn Walter (all of WASH Advocates) and Susan Davis (Improve International) present the MERL Technical Note! Organizations in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector have acknowledged challenges in how they learn from Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and integrate lessons into current and future programming. Furthermore, traditional M&E, whether...
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What is Sanitation Success?

by Susan M. Davis, Executive Director During a recent desk review, we found there is no one widely accepted definition of sanitation success, even for broadly used approaches like community-led total sanitation. Some consider long-term success to be the movement of households up the “sanitation ladder,” the idea of incremental progression between service levels of...
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World Water Day or Groundhog Day?

By Susan Davis, Executive Director Tuesday March 22 was World Water Day.  But to me, it felt like Groundhog Day (the movie).  If you haven’t seen it, Groundhog Day was a 1993 romantic comedy in which Bill Murray’s character, Phil, has to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right....
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Upcoming WASH Conferences and Events

June 2016 7th Annual One Water Summit, Atlanta, USA, June 8-10 Kampala WASH Forum, Kampala, Uganda, June 20-23 (This combines the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) Meeting and Sustainable WASH Forum) July 2016 AGUASAN Workshop, Spiez, Switzerland, June 26- July 1 Singapore International Water Week, Singapore, 10-14 Jul 2016 WEDC International Conference, Kumasi, Ghana, July 11-15...
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Guest Blog: Re-launch of the Water Point Data Exchange

by Brian Banks, Global Water Challenge Over the past decade, a dramatic shift has taken place in the international water sector that fundamentally changes the way that work is done. During this time, water point mapping and monitoring around the world has accelerated at unprecedented rates. The dropping costs of technology and innovative software have...
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Defecate where you donate

By Susan Davis, Executive Director On a recent trip, a colleague told a story about visiting a rural community with representatives of a foundation who had funded a water and sanitation project there. He told one of the women who represented the foundation that people in the village they were visiting were not accustomed to...
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Mistakes to Successes: Learning from Errors

by Susan Davis, Executive Director In August 2015, I was in Stockholm for World Water Week.  I was surprised and excited to see a session called “Mistakes to Successes: Learning from Errors” on the agenda. I joined the session and found the presentations and discussions so engaging that I forgot to take notes.  Fortunately, the...
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