SIWI 2018

This August, leading stakeholders working to address the multifold challenges inherent in water will meet in Stockholm for the annual opportunity to network, exchange ideas and foster new thinking. Water.org will be present alongside key partners to drive the often overlooked but essential question of designing appropriate finance mechanisms that can enable the impact we collectively want.

Water.org at Stockholm World Water Week - Events:

  • August 26, 2:30-3:30pm (Room FH 300): Smart(er) systems for water and sanitation: subsidies, financing and markets
  • August 26, 4:00-5:30pm (Room FH Cabaret): Water action decade event
  • August 27, 2:00-3:30pm (Room FH 300): Blended finance: From principles to practice
  • August 29, 4:00-5:30pm (Room FH Little Theatre): The trillion-dollar question: Turning safely managed finances into sustainable services

(see below for details)

Accelerating impact

Currently, stakeholders across the globe are looking for innovative financial solutions that can reduce the number of people living without access to drinking water or sanitation, and do so at scale. This need is in response to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal #6’s ambitious aims to achieve safely managed water and sanitation. In this new context, Water.org expanded its approach in 2018 to include strong collaboration at multiple levels with the right stakeholders for facilitating comprehensive and sustainable change.

Our approach and continued momentum to achieve access to safe water and sanitation for all is highlighted below.

Strategic Plan OverviewExecutive Summary Water.org Strategic Plan 2018-2022  - An overview of Water.org’s five-year strategic plan for increasing access to affordable financing for water and sanitation in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals, “Leveraging financing to change lives with access to water and sanitation - A look at the next 5 years of impact"

As the water sector looks to meet global goals related to water and sanitation, Water.org assessed the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead and carefully considered how it can best contribute without losing sight of its overarching goal of bringing affordable financing options for water and sanitation access to scale as a means of achieving universal access to water and sanitation in our lifetime. The result, summarized here, is a strategic plan that looks not only to expand our core strengths but also to deepen our connectivity and collaboration with a host of influencers around the world to deepen understanding and explore innovative approaches that will collectively address the water and sanitation crisis. (August 2017)


A future that leaves no one behindA future that leaves no one behind - Water.org's CEO and Co-founder, Gary White, reflects on the growing momentum in favor of innovative financing for water and sanitation.








Waterorg_SIWI_Document-2.jpgWaterEquity - Investing to end the global water crisis

WaterEquity is an innovation of Water.org that creates the opportunity for social impact investors to put their capital to work to accelerate and scale proven solutions. 

Using existing resources more efficiently

Hutton and Varughese (2016) observed that current levels of financing could cover the capital costs of achieving universal basic (not safely-managed) service for drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene by 2030 if they were effectively targeted to the needs.  Investment patterns to date, however, suggest that coordinating activities to ensure streamlined flows of funding and financing – geographically as well as by income strata – is not a current strength of the sector.  Working with sector stakeholders to develop mechanisms and implementation strategies that funnel funds where they are most needed, embrace both private and public resources, and deliver results in the most practical and efficient manner requires thinking differently and more comprehensively than we have before.  

Stockholm World Water Week, Water.org Event - Smart(er) systems for water and sanitation: subsidies, financing and markets

This event will present novel approaches to subsidy and financing design and implementation that improve targeting and delivery. It will also consider how subsidies can combine with market-based efforts to enhance WASH markets and develop financing innovations that bridge funding gaps, unlock working capital, and streamline credit assessments.

  • Sunday, August 26
  • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
  • Location: Room FH 300
  • Co-convenors: iDE and The World Bank Group

Stockholm World Water Week, Water.org Event - Blended finance: From principles to practice

Drawing on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Blended Finance Principles and a diverse set of case studies in water and other sectors from Asia and Africa, this session will explore how blended finance instruments and mechanisms can be designed to mobilize additional commercial finance. It will examine how water-related investments can benefit from the recent developments in blended finance, the prerequisites to make it work at scale, and the ways to engage development finance institutions and private financiers.

  • Monday, August 27
  • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
  • Location: Room FH 300
  • Co-convenors: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), World Water Council, Government of the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure, IRC WASH

Stockholm World Water Week, Water.org event - The trillion dollar Question: Turning safely managed finances into sustainable services

There is a big push for mobilizing additional financing for SDG 6 from governments, private investors and philanthropic organizations. Yet governments and utilities still face problems in accessing already available finances and turning these into sustainable services.  Moreover, few countries and organizations meet the governance and transparency requirements to be creditworthy for loans from private banks or pension funds. The session will investigate how actors from the water and (public) finance sectors understand the issues. Building on research, case studies and an interactive game for mapping corruption risks throughout the public finance cycle and water sector value chain, participants and experts from water, finance and oversight institutions, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and civil society will discuss challenges, good practices and possible solutions.  

  • Wednesday, August 29
  • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
  • Location: Room FH Little Theatre
  • Co-convenors: Water Integrity Network, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur International Zusammenarbeit, Kenya Water and Sanitation Civil Societies Network, Sanitation and Water for All, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development - Germany, Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative
Vedika Bhandarkar, Managing Director, Water.org India, as a panelist

Waterorg_Financing-SDG6_Financing-WASH-RV.pngFinancing SDG 6 Position Paper - Water.org-IRC position paper, “Financing WASH: how to increase funds for the sector while reducing inequities: Position paper for the Sanitation and Water for All Finance Ministers Meeting, April 20, 2017”

Water.org collaborated with Netherlands-based IRC to highlight issues critical to achieving sustainable access to water and sanitation, including: strengthening the enabling environment; utilizing micro and blended finance to their full potential; and resolving inequities in financing allocation.  These recommendations support Ministers of Finance as they develop effective financing plans for their country, furthering progress toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6. (April 2017)



Helping India become open defecation freeWorking with government to achieve its national and global goals - Summary document of how Water.org has supported India's largest sanitation campaign

Unlocking financial flows for water and sanitation in a country cannot be achieved in a vacuum.  Engaging with various levels of government and altering regulations to be more supportive – creating an ‘enabling environment’ for water and sanitation outcomes – is  a critical piece of the puzzle. “Helping India become open defecation-free: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Water.org” outlines how Water.org collaborated with various ministries and other actors in support of India’s massive sanitation campaign to help the country make serious inroads towards its goal of becoming open defecation free by 2019.



For a complete view of all Water.org research, impact and thinking around blended finance and what is needed to achieve SDG 6, please click here.

Collective impact

Piecemeal interventions will not result in outcomes at the scale needed to achieve the SDGs.  Similarly, no one organization will be able to do it all.  Collaboration across all levels – field, national, regional, global – and leveraging the independent strengths of all stakeholders is critical for efficient, successful and sustainable outcomes. In recognition of this reality, Water.org made partnering a key component of its 2018-2015 strategy.  Participation in networks such as UN-Water and Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) is one example of the way that Water.org contributes to the sector’s united effort to achieve SDG targets 6.1, 6.2, and those that interlink and/or overlap. 

Stockholm World Water Week, Water.org Event - Water Action Decade event

The International Decade for Action, Water for Sustainable Development, commenced on World Water Day, 22 March 2018, and aims to accelerate efforts towards meeting water-related challenges, including limited access to safe water and sanitation, increasing pressure on water resources and ecosystems, and an exacerbated risk of droughts and floods. This session will include presentations from UN-DESA, UNU and other members of the UN-Water Task Force on Decade Implementation, and bring participants up to speed on the current state of the Decade implementation and how to get involved. The event will provide an overview of existing projects and programs in support of the Decade from Members States, the United Nations, civil society and private sector, and focus on how we can mobilize action to make sure that we meet all the water-related goals.

  • Sunday, August 26
  • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
  • Location: Room FH Cabaret
  • Co-convenors: UN-Water*, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the United Nations University-Institute for Water, Environment and Health
*Water.org is a member of UN-Water and also a part of the Decade Task Force, charged with overseeing the successful integration of the Decade with other activities.

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