Universities and International Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
To strengthen the response of U.S. institutions of higher education to the global need for drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) internationally.
The CSIS Project on Global Water Policy is in the initial stages of hosting a consortium of U.S. universities involved in international water, sanitation, and hygiene activities.
The vision of the consortium is to Increase coordination and communication among academic institutions and external partners who work in global safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and provide opportunities for collaborative learning and research in low to high income countries worldwide.
The mission of the consortium is to develop integrated education and research programs to provide the evidence base, training and advocacy to empower governments and other stakeholders in communities and countries of greatest need to achieve universal access to safe, affordable and sustainable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene.
Many U.S. universities and colleges are already engaged in addressing global WASH concerns, or are seeking to expand WASH initiatives, in ways that include the following activities:
Implementing practical, on-the-ground, WASH projects involving faculty and students;
Partnering with colleges and universities in developing countries on training programs and other approaches to increase in-country capacity;
Training the next generation of WASH professionals with an emphasis on experiential learning;
Initiating and evaluating WASH-related technologies;
Assisting the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. Department of State, including individual USAID Missions, as well as other U.S. government agencies working internationally, in researching and developing evidence-based WASH strategies and in analyzing and evaluating outcomes;
Promoting awareness beyond public health and engineering programs of the economic, gender equity, national security, social, and environmental benefits of advancing activities to address the global WASH crisis;
Developing public-private partnerships with corporations, civil society, foundations, and faith-based organizations.
The consortium will allow universities and colleges engaged in WASH activities abroad not only to work together in a more coordinated fashion, but also to encourage additional technological innovation, strengthen academic, philanthropic and governmental support, and increase momentum for the global WASH sector generally. The consortium aims to facilitate a clearinghouse of information and best practices, which could easily be shared with counterparts outside of academia. As demands grow for effective foreign assistance in the WASH sector, U.S. college and university faculty, staff, and students can respond with technical expertise, knowledge, and personnel in host countries to achieve the goals of sustainable WASH-related development programs.