Three years ago, President Obama called for a national push to raise the global profile of development as a key vehicle for advancing America’s national security and foreign policy. At this critical moment, USAID was able to establish a vision to strengthen its global capacity to find solutions to the world’s most challenging development issues. USAID recently released its Forward Progress Report, which supports this vision. In this progress report, USAID measures its development milestones and sheds light on its new reformative model in approaching development work. These reforms are critical to identifying innovative solutions that can alleviate suffering around the world. USAID Forward examines all areas of development and focuses on attracting new, sustainable partnerships and harnessing science and technology for change. USAID explores ways of increasing investment from high-impact partnerships and growing its partner base.
To honor the 20th Anniversary of World Water Day, WaterAid published a report that presents its vision of a world of universal access to safe water and sanitation and describes progress made toward eliminating water poverty. The report asserts that universal access to WASH services can be reached by 2030. It outlines the measures needed to make the vision a reality. The report claims that preventative measures could save nearly 2.5 million people and generate an excess of $220 billion of wealth a year. WaterAid’s CEO stated, “U.S. leadership is critical for seeing that these issues figure prominently in the new post-2015 global development agenda, and that poor and marginalized families and communities are able to enjoy the full, life-changing benefits that safe water, effective sanitation and improved hygiene provide.”
More than half of Ghana’s population lacks access to private latrines. Shared latrine sites are dangerous breeding grounds for diseases, to which women and children are particularly susceptible. USAID’s Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) has teamed up with IDEO.org to develop Clean Kumasi, an innovative tool that takes the proven success of the community-led total sanitation (CLTS) approach and adapts it to Ghana’s urban environments in efforts to prevent open defecation. It utilizes a digital mobile platform to advance CLTS-supported activities and mobilize action from offline community members. The tool builds upon the popularity of mobile phones among Kumasi residents. Through Clean Kumasi, residents are kept aware of community meetings and stay-up-to date on CLTS-inspired activities.
Do you know your water footprint? Now, it is easy to calculate through the use of National Geographic’s new tool: The water footprint calculator. The calculator helps people keep track of how much water they use on a daily basis. It provides information on the many ways we use water in the United States, such as toilets, taps, hoses, and water use in food production. The water footprint calculator establishes guidelines on how to efficiently track water and its multiple uses, and demonstrates how much water is used in everyday functions while reminding us to conserve water. The tool suggests users take a water tour through their homes and discuss with their families how to make smarter water-usage choices. Now we can all commit to reducing our water footprint by pledging to reduce our individual water use.
Every year, unsafe water and poor sanitation lead to the preventable deaths of over 230,000 Ethiopian children. This Millennium Water Alliance video details plans for Ethiopia’s Replenish Africa Initiative’s (RAIN) Multiple Use Water Improvements project. Project activities will be driven by a new strategy that incorporates multiple uses of water. The new strategy will address water uses for both domestic and productive needs. Instead of focusing on the development of water systems that yield limited water for consumption only, RAIN will now support water use for communities, households, and income-generating activities. Additionally, the project will work to improve WASH conditions in schools and health facilities. The RAIN Program is supported by the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and is expected to impact over 70,000 rural residents, including 22,000 schoolchildren.
Two million children under the age of 5 die from preventable infections like diarrhea and pneumonia each year. The basic act of washing your hands with soap can prevent many of these deaths. In this Lifebuoy-supported video, the residents of a small village in Thesgora, India, rejoice as one of their youngest residents just reached his 5th birthday. A celebration is definitely in order, as this is not the norm in Thesgora, a village with one of the highest rates of diarrhea. Lifebuoy has educated 130 million people about hygiene issues. The organization is taking its healthy lifestyle messages on the road to educate mothers on this life-saving action, so that millions of children can reach their 5th birthday.
Last updated: June 19, 2013