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Live from Skoll World Forum 2015

With so much going on at the 2015 Skoll World Forum, it's impossible to participate in everything. Our bloggers are sitting in on many of the exciting sessions at this year's event. Read their concise notes and observations to catch up on important discussions you may have missed.


FORUM2015: How Democracy Can Lead To Water Coverage

FORUM2015: How Democracy Can Lead To Water Coverage

April 28, 2015 | 2869 views

FRI, APRIL 17, 2015; 11:45 – 13:00

Of all the money spent on water, sanitation, and hygiene, only a small portion comes from aid and philanthropy. The vast majority comes from government. So politicians must be part of the solution.

“No movement in the world ever succeeded by counting beneficiaries,” Ned Breslin explained. “Movements that change the world say, ‘We’re going to pick an area of scale and reach full coverage.’  Every family and every clinic gets water, and it’s a success if the area never needs aid or philanthropy again.” The key is to unlock government funding.

To do this, Water for People works with ambitious mayors to prioritize and deliver on reaching full water coverage. Once accomplished, mayors promote that success to prove their ability to deliver on other areas as well – and not only is the national government more likely to invest in their district, but other mayors seek to emulate them. “This has spread to 128 other districts without a single penny from us.”

Raul Gauto of Fundación Avina spoke of strengthening the democratic governance of water in Latin America. Avina helps community-managed water organizations take the lead on solving water issues in their areas. In countries with a history of dictatorship, they are “creating a more participatory democracy in these self-organized, self-governed organizations.”

John Oldfield explained, “It’s all about building capacity, not just poking holes in the ground.” Invite a political leader to participate in the design phase of the project; it’s infinitely more likely be sustainable and scalable. Integrate advocacy and community-based organizations to strengthen the dialogue between the community and its political leaders. Pick winners and use them to drive the momentum.



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