- 783 million people who need access to “improved sources of water” (UNICEF & World Health Organization, 2012)
- 3 billion people don’t have access to safe water (University of North Carolina, 2012)
- 4 billion (more than half the world’s population) don’t have permanent and satisfactory safe drinking water supply in the home (AquaFed, 2011)
And at least 2.5 billion don’t have decent toilets (UNICEF & World Health Organization, 2012). In the past few decades, billions of aid funds and charitable donations have been spent trying to solve that problem, yet 35-50% of water and sanitation projects fail within a few years of implementation. This is especially bad because often international development organizations require community members to contribute labor and cash to build water projects and toilets. They don’t get their money or time back when it fails.
Improve International was founded in 2011 to find ways to improve the responses to the water & sanitation crisis. We believe that people deserve to have high quality water and sanitation services, not just for life, but for generations. We believe that independent evaluation of water and sanitation programs in developing countries will identify objectively what’s really working well and what’s not (and why). By promoting learning and innovation, we hope to help improve the work and coordination of international development organizations so that generations can enjoy safe water and convenient toilets.
Susan Davis is the founder and Executive Director of Improve International, building on her 20 years of experience in water issues, international development, and leadership. We have a stable of monitoring and evaluation experts in several countries. Rather than create another large organization, we work in partnership with other organizations that complement our skills.