Tenth Annual Global Water Alliance Conference

Role of locals in implementing post 2015 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sustainable Development Goals


The Global Water Alliance (GWA), an international NGO, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA is dedicated to help poor people in developing countries on the issues of water, sanitation and hygiene. GWA conducts a conference each year on WASH issues of developing countries, in Philadelphia. In general, the conference attracts world renowned speakers from UNICEF, World Bank, ADB, WHO, USEPA and various other educational institutions and NGOs to share their knowledge and experience on WASH topics. The Board of Directors of GWA decided on Kolkata, India as a venue for its tenth annual conference for the year 2017.


The conference will be held on January 4-7, 2017 by GWA in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania (including Department of Earth and Environmental Science, the Wharton School, Center for the Advanced Study of India and Department of South Asian Studies), Drexel University, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, and others.


Experts from international organizations such as UNICEF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), NGOs, academia, government, businesses, 20-30 students and faculty members from the USA, as well as delegates from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan, and other locations are anticipated to actively participate in this conference.

Conference Schedule

January 4: Presentation of papers January 5-7: On-site WASH project visit in communities

Conference Theme

The focus of the conference will be on the essential role of local NGOs, beneficiaries, civic organizations, business and local governments in attaining the ambitious goals of the newly adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for water, sanitation, and hygiene for all (2015-2030). Sustainability will be the key focus of discussions in the conference.

Context: Substantial progress has been made by India and the rest of the world in meeting the water-related goals specified in the Millennium Development Goals which have been replaced by the SDGs for the 2015-2030 timeframe. At present, a large population in India does not have access to good water and sanitation. Government of India (GOI) started a vigorous program of Swacch Bharat (Clean India https://swachhbharat.mygov.in/) with the objective to provide access to water and sanitation to all. However, there is much work still to be done and the SDGs will not be met without creative and sustained leadership at the local level. The aim of this conference will be to share the key challenges, opportunities and best solutions involving communities, local NGOs, and local governments. This workshop based conference will provide an opportunity to the participants to visit WASH projects in West Bengal to analyze and identify issues and provide sustainable solutions.


We are looking for corporate partnerships to make the conference a big success yet again. We would greatly appreciate:

  • Sponsorship to students to attend the conference
  • Sponsorship of conference sessions
  • Participation of WASH experts from your organization
  • Help in identifying experts from South Asia particularly outside of India (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan)

Contact If you have any questions, or would consider being a sponsor or corporate partner, please contact Dr. Arun Deb, GWA Board Member or Stan Laskowski, GWA Vice President.