The Water Institute at UNC Welcomes You: October 16-20, 2017

Bringing together research with policy, practice and networking events

The 2017 Water and Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy, organized by The Water Institute at UNC, considers drinking water supply, sanitation, hygiene and water resources in both the developing and developed worlds with a strong public health emphasis.

The 6th Annual Virtual Conference on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Schools, co-hosted by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and UNICEF, provides an opportunity to share the latest research and programming from around the world. The virtual conference is expected to bring together online over 1,000 participants.

For the first time ever, the virtual conference will be streaming live from Water and Health. Virtual attendees are asked to register at

The Virtual Conference will take place on Tuesday, October 17th, from 7AM until 1PM.

This year’s theme “MHM and WASH: Supporting a gender-responsive learning environment” aims to highlight national examples of supportive WASH in schools enabling environments that ensure that schools are ready for girls. The conference will focus on the five priorities identified for transforming MHM in schools by 2024.

Water and Health Conference Themes

  • Climate resilience
  • WaSH and gender
  • Drinking water safety
  • Addressing disparities in WaSH: Rural, peri-urban, and indigenous populations
  • WaSH in non-household settings
  • From evidence to action

New for 2017: separate tracks for high-income and low- and middle-income countries.

Conference Schedule Overview

08:30Side EventsSide EventsSide EventsSide EventsSide Events
10:30Side EventsSide EventsSide EventsSide EventsSide Events
13:00Plenary Panel: Climate Resilience and GovernanceTheme Keynotes; Loune Viaud; John Matthews; Archana PatkarPlenary Panel: How can we move closer to the SDG WASH Targets?Theme Keynotes: Laurel Firestone; Dennis Mwanza; Rick Gelting and David GutePlenary TBD
14:30Verbal PresentationVerbal PresentationVerbal Presentation
16:00Verbal PresentationVerbal PresentationVerbal PresentationVerbal Presentation
18:30Conference Dinner

Pre-Conference Oral Presentation “Boot Camp”

Oral Presentation Boot Camp – $65
Sunday, Oct 15
9AM-4PM, UNC Chapel Hill Campus (Exact Location To Be Announced)
Deadline for Registration: October 1st

Young professionals and students: this “boot camp” will be a hands-on workshop that provides you with expert guidance to make your oral presentation more effective and engaging. The workshop will teach you how to tailor your materials and speech to appeal directly to your audience at the October 2017 Water & Health Conference.  Workshop discussions and hands-on practice will help you create  effective arguments to promote your research and your credibility as an outstanding scientist. Instructor and students will work together to create slide presentation makeovers of participant work and you will have the opportunity to get feedback and develop your slides throughout the day. Join us to avoid Death by PowerPoint and build skills that will benefit you throughout your career. Space is limited to 30 students. Secure your spot by Oct 1st by adding this workshop when you register.

A COMPLETE draft of your slide presentation is required to participate in the workshop; please email your presentation three days before the workshop to

About the Instructor:

Dr. Ella August is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan. Dr. August has nearly two decades of experience in public health research, and 11 years teaching scientific writing, and holds a PhD in epidemiology, an MS in nutrition, an MA in writing and a BA in English. She specializes in helping STEM faculty and students to effectively and persuasively communicate scientific ideas. Her teaching approach encourages writers to reflect on the connection between their discipline’s values and modes of communication, and to consider how these forces shape writing in their field. Dr. August teaches scientific writing and critical thinking courses and workshops domestically and internationally. 

Post-Conference International Project Management Workshop

Project Management Workshop – $85
Friday, Oct 20
9AM-4PM, Friday Conference Center (Conference Venue)
Deadline for Registration: October 1st

From the garden pond to a national borehole program, the importance of good project management skills cannot be overemphasized. As resources allocated to WaSH programs grow increasingly scarce, using these resources (financial, human, equipment) wisely is a fundamental responsibility for all practitioners. This workshop will help participants identify the key characteristics of a successful project and how to nurture them.

During this workshop participants will:

  • Explore why projects and programs frequently run into problems
  • Discuss the realities of “on-time” and “on-budget” projects
  • Learn to recognize the danger signs of failing projects and how to mitigate them

About the Instructor:

Nigel Stuart is an engineer with over 20 years of project management experience specializing in software implementation and construction related to WaSH projects. Most recently, Mr. Stuart has been engaged in efforts to improve water and sanitation systems in communities that house refugees displaced by the crisis in Syria. Nigel has a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from The University of Portsmouth, a Masters in Business Administration of The University of Bradford and is a graduate of the UK Military Academy.

More information coming soon!