The Water Institute at UNC Thanks You for Attending: October 16-20, 2017

Please join us next year: October 29-November 2, 2018

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, considered drinking water supply, sanitation, hygiene and water resources in both the developing and developed worlds with a strong public health emphasis.

Additions to the Schedule

Tuesday, October 17

THEME KEYNOTE: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Investments in Sanitation: Influences & Inspirations

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Brian Arbogast, director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Wednesday, October 18

PANEL: Winning in the Field: Using Research to Fill Evidence Gaps and Contribute to Better Practice in WaSH

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Collaboration between researchers and practitioners is hailed as an important hallmark of applied research. In practice, achieving successful collaboration is easier said than done. Furthermore, recent field-based WaSH research has provided a range of results, which do not always provide straightforward answers for practitioners looking to improve program implementation. How can researchers and practitioners improve partnership efforts, and design and implement rigorous implementation research that is relevant and immediately useful to practitioners?

Through this panel discussion, we aim to:

  • Explore the relationship between WaSH practitioners and researchers by comparing the needs, perspectives and experiences of different stakeholders.
  • Discuss examples of successful and unsuccessful collaboration and partnerships between WaSH researchers and practitioners, and share lessons learned.
  • Identify factors that might enable/constrain the ability to conduct rigorous and relevant research.

Research panelists:

Jack Colford, University of California–Berkeley
Kathleen OReilly, Texas A&M University
Ollie Cumming, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Practice panelists:

Darren Saywell, AECOM
Samuel Diarra, World Vision
John Brogan, Terre des Hommes

Thursday, October 19

SIDE EVENT: Addressing WaSH Needs Within the Transgender Community

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Convened by WSSCC, WHO and The Water Institute at UNC

The objective of this event is to share successes and challenges for transgender people with regards to their WaSH needs, taking into consideration those who are most affected on a daily basis from both developed and developing country contexts. This session also provides an opportunity to bring together stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds to discuss a collective way forward with regards to policy and practice through joint action.

The session will be a mix of discussion and presentations from a cross-section of stakeholders: activists, development agencies, private sector, academia and government.

Presentations to include:

  • Listen and Work with Us: Ames Simmons, director of Transgender Policy, Equality North Carolina
  • Measuring Success: New Metrics: Rick Johnston, World Health Organization
  • Experience Working with Transgender Communities: Andres Hueso, WaterAid
  • Partnership with Government of India: Transgender WaSH modules and SBM Gender Guidelines: ArchanPatkar, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council

Theme Keynote: TBD

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Catarina de Alburquerque, executive chair of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership

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.