IWA Water and Development Awards 2023 Announced in Kigali
In the cover image, left to right: Tom Mollenkopf (IWA President) Dr Doulaye Kone, (Winner for Practice), Dr Veena Srinivasan (Winner for Research), Kala Vairavamoorthy (IWA Executive Director).
IWA is pleased to announce that the winners of the prestigious IWA Water and Development Awards 2023 were officially unveiled during the Opening Ceremony of the IWA Water and Development Congress on 10 December in Kigali, Rwanda.
This year’s recipients of the IWA Water and Development Awards are Dr Veena Srinivasan for Research, and Dr Doulaye Kone for Practice.
The awards recognise excellence, leadership and innovation in the water sector, and aim to encourage the sustainable management of water in low- and middle-income countries. The awards are judged by a diverse panel of experts and are awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to research or practice that have led to demonstrable impact in low- and middle-income countries.
In deciding to recognise the achievements of Dr Veena Srinivasan, the judges noted that she demonstrated bravery and passion in her quest to follow an emerging but much-needed knowledge path in socio-hydrology, but also through advocacy for research and the establishment of WELL Labs in Bengaluru, India.
Upon receiving the award, Dr Srinivasan expressed her gratitude saying: “Being nominated for this award is such an honour and I’m very grateful. I am proud that my work has been recognised for laying the foundations of socio-hydrology as a discipline. My focus on analysing data and triangulation across datasets represents a significant departure from traditional water resources management methods and has raised awareness on what kind of science is needed to solve India’s water crisis.”
Presenting the award for practice to Doulaye, the judges highlighted that his career was instrumental in kicking off a paradigm shift across the water and sanitation sector. His vision has catalysed technological innovations in non-sewered sanitation through the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, and brought new ways of approaching the sustainability of faecal sludge management at scale. Some of Doulaye’s pioneering work has influenced policy and strategies in the sector, such as the importance of linking market approaches with service provision.
Doulaye further highlighted the impact of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge to spur circular innovation in toilet and sanitation technology, adding that: “I convinced the Gates Foundation to initiate the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge to generate innovative solutions that can protect against human waste-borne pathogens and deliver a truly 21st century inclusive sanitation solution that reach the poorest communities. This type of climate-resilient sanitation innovation, when combined with proper infrastructure and national action, will enhance public health, foster better gender equality outcomes, and reduce communities’ dependence on water amidst a changing world.”
About the Winners
Dr Veena Srinivasan is a water expert with 20 years of experience. She specialises in inter-sectoral water allocation, impacts of multiple stressors on water resources and sustainable water management policy and practice. In 2023, she set up Water, Environment, Land and Livelihoods (WELL) Labs, a research and innovation centre. It works with governments, businesses, multilateral institutions and civil society groups to co-create science-backed solutions that simultaneously create livelihoods and conserve the environment. Veena received her PhD from Stanford University and is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. She has won several awards for her work, including the 2015 Jim Dooge Award from the European Geophysical Union, the 2012 Water Resources Research Editor’s Choice Award from the American Geophysical Union. She chairs the Strategic Advisory Group for the Integrated Monitoring Initiative for UN SDG6 and was the Prins Claus Chair at Utrecht University, the Netherlands from 2018 to 2020.
Dr Doulaye Kone supports the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s effort to provide access to safe sanitation to 2.5 billion people currently without it. He is disrupting the decades long status-quo in the developing world sanitation sector by reinventing the toilet and reimagining faecal sludge management business as a sustainable utility service. He is responsible for the Transformative Technologies, Product Development and Commercialization portfolio, and for shaping the Foundation efforts in birthing a new sanitation industry to equitably serve the majority of poor communities in developing countries. Doulaye has more than 20 years’ experience as a sanitation and water specialist, development professional and lead scientist. Doulaye holds a Ph.D., and MAS in Sanitary and Environmental Engineering, MSc. and BSc in Physics and Chemistry and a certificate in Strategy from the Harvard Business School.
About the Awards
The IWA Water and Development Awards recognise excellence, leadership and innovation in the water sector, with a particular focus on encouraging contributions to the sustainable management of water in low- and middle-income countries. The awards are judged by a panel of experts and are awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to research or practice that have led to demonstrable impact in low- and middle-income countries. The awards are presented every two years at the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition, although the previous awards were presented at the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition held in Copenhagen in 2022. The awards are open to individuals (IWA member or non-member) or organisations active in the sector. Eligible individuals/organisations can be drawn from practice, academia/science, consultancy, equipment manufacturers, NGOs and civil society, international organisations or government. There are two categories of the awards, covering practice and research.
The call for nominations for the 2023 edition closed on 18 June 2023 at 23:59 BST (London time). The 2023 winners were announced and received their awards during the opening ceremony at the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition, on 10 December 2023 at the Kigali Convention Centre.
Find out more: https://iwa-network.org/awards/
|Arun Kumar Suryakumar
|Bécaye Sidy Diop
|Iván Moreno Andrade
|Pradip P. Kalbar
|Kiwanuka N. Sonko