Making change happen globally
WaterAid is an international not-for-profit federation, determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone everywhere within a generation.
We started in 1981, when several UK water companies came together to find a solution to a global crisis that had left billions without water, toilets or hygiene.
In 2010 WaterAid became a global federation of national member organisations. To date, we have seven members: Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Sweden, the UK and the US.
Each member organisation mobilises support in its home country, engaging individuals, companies and institutions to raise funds and influence policies to support our mission.
Making change happen on a global scale
We collaborate on regional and global advocacy and campaigns to influence governments, companies and international institutions. Australia, India, UK and US also manage and fund country programmes like this one in Madagascar, on behalf of our global network.
WaterAid international was created in 2010 to help the members of the WaterAid family work together effectively and efficiently. It is made up of an international Board of Trustees and a small secretariat led by our Executive Director, and follows four principles:
Principle 1: Global interest. Achieving WaterAid's mission as effectively as possible is fundamental to all we do and global interest is paramount.
Principle 2: Subsidiarity. WaterAid international will only undertake activities that it can and will deliver more effectively than WaterAid member countries.
Principle 3: One country, one WaterAid. WaterAid will only have one delivery organisation in each of the regions or countries where services are provided.
Principle 4: Sustainability. The members of the WaterAid federation will be organisations that are, or are expected to become within a reasonable time-frame, self-sustaining and able to contribute significant resources to the delivery of WaterAid's strategy.
The international board and secretariat are collectively responsible for:
WaterAid's work around the world is steered by a global strategy with four overarching aims. The international board is responsible for ensuring that there is a process for developing and reviewing this strategy. Furthermore, that the programmes of work developed and delivered by each member are meeting these aims and are taking us closer to our goal: making clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene a normal part of everyday life for everyone, everywhere.
The international board delegates operational decision-making and co-operation to the Global Executive, a body made up of the Chief Executives of each of the WaterAid members, and the directors who take a global leadership role for their function. The board ensures, through this body and the member boards, that all WaterAid members' work is in keeping with WaterAid's values and strategy.
The international board agree the expectations of our members and standards for how we work; dealing with financial probity, safeguarding, health, safety and security, people management, and service delivery. All WaterAid staff globally are bound by our Code of Conduct and our Global Ethical Policy.
The international Board is responsible for building WaterAid as an effective global federation so that we can deliver our mission: safe water, decent toilets and hygiene for everyone everywhere by 2030. This includes finding and working with potential new members, and overseeing our global investment in organisational growth and development.
The international Board, through the WAi Secretariat, ensures that the WaterAid brand is protected and managed globally. We set clear expectations for our member organisations and regularly review how each member is meeting these so we are confident in allowing them to use the WaterAid name.
The WaterAid international Board of Trustees and secretariat include the Chairs of each WaterAid member organisation, plus an additional trustee from WaterAid UK. They are all volunteers who give their time, energy and expertise for free to help WaterAid change lives.
Meet our Director
Ken Caldwell joined us as our first Executive Director of WaterAid international in January 2017.
After an early career in industry with management consultants McKinsey, Ken worked for over two decades in leadership roles in national and international NGOs, including International Director at Save the Children and Deputy Director at VSO.
Prior to joining WaterAid, Ken led a consultancy business focused on establishing best practices for developing successful global INGO federations. He also held a number of non-executive roles in the sector, including board member of the Institute of Development Studies, and founding chair of BOND - the consortium of UK international development agencies. He is currently a board member of Oxfam GB.
In his role as Executive Director of WaterAid international, Ken works with the WaterAid member CEOs and boards to maximise our collective impact, develop the WaterAid global network and lead the WaterAid international secretariat.
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