Daily Archives: September 17, 2015

UNDP launches international platform for global water solidarity

15 Mar 2012
imageA young boy drinks fresh water from a well in a village in northern Laos. Photo: Adam Rogers/UNDP.

Participants at World Water Forum sign International Charter to promote universal access to water and sanitation services through local-level solidarity

Marseille, France –  UNDP has led a group of 25 institutions including local, regional and national authorities, international and multilateral organizations, water operators, NGOs, private organizations and prominent public figures in the assessment, design and constitution of a new international tool to promote decentralized cooperation in the water and sanitation field. 

The new instrument, called the Global Water Solidarity Platform, was launched yesterday at the World Water Forum in Marseille, France, where 20,000 participants from the private, public and non-profit sectors have gathered this week to address the water crisis.  At the UNDP event, numerous organizations joined local authorities from across Africa and Europe at a special ceremony to sign the Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms International Charter.

“This UNDP initiative is important because 11 percent of the planet’s population still lacks access to potable water, and 2.5 billion people do not have adequate sanitation services, said UNDP Deputy Director for External Relations and Advocacy, Romesh Muttukumaru, at the launch event in Marseille.  “We believe this platform, and the International Charter, are important because local actors acting in solidarity can be a very effective tool to reducing the conditions that create poverty.”

The Global Water Solidarity Platform, which is supported by the governments of France and Switzerland, connects local authorities and organizations to take action to solve water and sanitation challenges, through which, for example, municipal water authorities in more developed countries can take direct action to support the improvement of water and sanitation services in developing contexts by contributing 1% of their revenue or budgets.

Muttukumaru said local authorities and water utility companies play a key role in responding to the challenges. “Together with an active coalition of stakeholders and concrete cooperation mechanisms, local leaders from across the globe are working in solidarity so everyone can access safe water and sanitation services,” he said.

Sub-national institutions hold an essential position in the provision of water and sanitation services, said Jean-Philippe Bayon, senior water expert at UNDP.  “These institutions have found efficient solutions and accumulated best practices to overcome technical, political or financial obstacles to ensure availability, quality, acceptability, accessibility, affordability, inclusiveness and sustainability of their water and sanitation services,” he said, adding that the nature of these obstacles is generally shared by many sub-national institutions in many countries and regions in both the north and the south and “the successful experiences developed by one of them can serve to inspire others in their path to universal access.”

Idrissa Doucoure, Secretary General of EAA, said the linkages between developed and developing cities has a multiplier effect that reaches far beyond the immediate impact. “Through South-South cooperation further catalyzed by access to financing mechanisms and capacity,” he said, “helps ensure that the benefits are replicated again and again as the knowledge and technology migrates from community to community.”

Manfred Kauffman, chairman of solidarit’eau Suisse, a founding member of the Global Water Solidarity, said his organization has raised more than 2 million euro thus far by connecting communities in Switzerland with communities in the developing world to improve their water and sanitation.  Through this network, for example, the City of Lausanne is helping to ensure clean water to the people of Nouakchott, Mauritania.

Issoufou Issaka, Minister of Hydraulics and Environment in Niger said the new platform gives him hope that new partnerships can be established to support his ministry to overcome the challenges of ensuring widespread access to clean water.  “The difficulties may seem insurmountable,” he said. “But through the types of decentralized partnerships promoted by the Global Water Solidarity Platform we will be able to confront them together, in Niger, across Africa and around the world.”

Contact Information


in Marseille:  Adam Rogers, UNDP mobile +41 79 849 0679 or adam.rogers@undp.org

To view a video of the signing ceremony, please visit http://youtu.be/idh9Fg7Tmic

McDonough To Join Omidyar Network As Partner

REDWOOD CITY, California, Sept. 16, 2015 / PRNewswire — Omidyar Network announced today that Lorraine McDonough will join the philanthropic investment firm as a partner based in Redwood City. McDonough will serve on the leadership team that guides the organization and will oversee Omidyar Network’s investment management, legal, and finance functions.

“We are delighted to have a talent of Lorraine’s caliber join Omidyar Network,” said Omidyar Network Managing Partner Matt Bannick.  “Her considerable investing and M&A experience will be a tremendous asset in leading our investment management process, and her personal integrity demonstrates a strong alignment with our values and mission.  Lorraine will be an excellent addition to our team.”

McDonough’s accomplished career most recently includes serving as vice president of corporate development at eBay, where she led the $75 billion separation of eBay and PayPal.  Additional accomplishments in that role include completing more than 40 M&A transactions with an aggregate value of $14 billion and managing an investment portfolio of more than $1 billion.  Prior to eBay, McDonough held similar positions at Charles Schwab & Co. and Liberate Technologies, and was vice president and counsel at Credit Suisse First Boston, senior corporate counsel at Oracle, and an associate at Shearman & Sterling in New York City.

McDonough holds a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in business administration from Georgetown University.

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $849 million to for-profit companies and non-profit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Consumer Internet & Mobile, Education, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights. To learn more, visit www.omidyar.com and follow on Twitter @omidyarnetwork  #PositiveReturns.