Changing the way we change the world

Resources on Supply Chains for Water & Sanitation

Updated April 4, 2016 Water points in developing countries fail and fall into disuse at high rates, in part due to the unavailability of spare parts. We compiled some resources on supply chains for spare parts for water and sanitation systems in developing countries. They are sorted by type of resource: case study, guidance, lessons learned, program...
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What WASH can learn from the Game of Thrones

By Susan Davis, Executive Director [This blog is based on a talk Susan gave at FailFest DC on December 10, 2015.  If you haven’t seen “Game of Thrones”, check out this summary. If you have seen it, but haven’t caught up on all the episodes, warning: there might be spoilers. ] I like this show...
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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many...
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Resources on Microfinance for Water & Sanitation

By Susan Davis, Executive Director You might have heard about the wonders of microfinance for helping poor people start or expand small business.  Many think microfinance means simply small loans but it more broadly describes financial services to people who have low incomes or do not have access to typical banking services. In recent years,...
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Lessons Not Learned in International Development

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...
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Guest Blog: Playing With Failure

Guest Blog by Muthi Nhlema, Communications and Monitoring Specialist, Water For People Malawi From Susan Davis, Executive Director, Improve International: I was working at Water For People in 2009 when the Case Foundation approached us about handing over their PlayPump inventory and funds. When I left in 2011, none of the pumps had been installed by...
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Failure data: an acquired taste

By Susan Davis, Executive Director When I first posted on the Improve International website a list of water and sanitation failure statistics, a few people asked, “Aren’t you worried that talking about failures will make people not want to give money for water and sanitation?” I responded that I hoped the information about failure would...
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Engineering for Change Article: Beyond the Band-Aid: Building Sustainability into Emergency Response Efforts

By Susan Davis, Contributing Editor Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Tsunamis. Floods. Landslides. These kinds of disasters hit developing countries hardest and the people affected often lose everything. That includes their homes, water sources, water containers, and toilets. When effectively implemented, water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions can prevent or lessen the impact of disease outbreaks. However, several  post-emergency...
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You are invited: survey on US WASH Donor Effectiveness

Improve International is conducting a survey about US WASH Donor Effectiveness. We are looking for opinions from representatives of organizations that implement water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions in developing countries AND have solicited or received funds from a US donor in the past 5 years. Your input would be appreciated (and can be anonymous...
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Improve international turns four today

By Susan Davis, Executive Director It’s hard to believe we were officially formed four years ago today. Let’s raise a glass of clean water (or coffee or wine or beer if you prefer) in a toast.  So what are we happy about right now?  One big thing is that representatives of two major donors referenced...
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