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Our global employee development programme

WaterAid/Oliver Dixon

Use your knowledge and the expertise of your company to solve a real challenge from our work, raise money and develop new workplace skills.

Registration for Winnovators 2022 has now closed.

How does it work?

Your team of six to ten people will tackle a challenge from a country where we work. To win the chance of (virtually) visiting that country, you’ll compete with teams around the world to find innovative solutions to the problem.

You’ll need to:

*See the FAQs at the bottom of this page to find out more.

What do the teams do?

You will:

  • Compete to solve a real-world problem while learning new skills.
  • Think outside the box inventing life changing ideas.
  • Enhance leadership qualities and transform futures through clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene.

What’s in it for you?

For businesses, Winnovators is a unique corporate and social responsibility programme, enchancing business profile while contributing ideas and funds to tackle the global water, sanitation, and hygiene crisis. In 2019, 93% of participants said that their company's support for Winnovators demonstrated their business values and integrity.

For managers, Winnovators is an innovative form of staff skills development, making it a great way for you to enhance your employee offer.

For team members, it’s a fun learning experience that helps develop creative and critical thinking and deepen your relationships with your team – all while raising your profile in your company.


of participants developed skills that can be applied in the workplace.

would recommend the programme to others.

enhanced their team working skills.

What do we need from you?

If you're an employee interested in participating, you'll need the backing of your company and line manager and a team of six to ten people to commit to at least two days a month during the six-month programme.

We'll provide the resources you need to solve, fund and learn – you provide the commitment and enthusiasm! Please see the FAQs below for more information about financing the challenge.

See what it's all about


Frequently Asked Questions

Registration for this year's Winnovators 2022 has now closed.

2022 challenges are focused on India.

Challenge 1: Disposal of sanitary products

The disposal of sanitary pads poses a real challenge for women and girls, especially those living in rural areas.

There is no reliable and hassle-free disposal system for sanitary pads, meaning they often get mixed up in community waste. There is a lot of stigma and shame associated with the disposal of sanitary products at a household level.

Challenge 2: School learning kit

Water data collection methods can often miss out important village level information. The ability to be able to monitor and track yearly rainfall, and collect facts about local water supply and how rainfall is harvested, can help develop village action plans for the future.

Creating an interactive toolkit for a school can place the power of knowledge into the community.

Time commitment

We recommend that teams dedicate at least two days a month to Winnovators, in order to get the full benefit of the programme.

Financial commitment

The programme is free, but we ask that your company underwrites the seed fund provided by WaterAid, in case your team fails to deliver a minimum profit. Seed funding amount and fundraising targets vary by country.

Please get in touch with us on [email protected] for more information.

Teams who excel in the Solve, Fund, and Learn elements of the challenge will qualify for the title of Global Overall Winner.

Winners will virtually visit India in Spring 2023, and discuss with our staff how the ideas they created as part of the challenge could work on the ground.​

Winners are announced in October each year.

Since 2015, Winnovators has raised nearly £760,000 for our work.

Ideas and solutions are shared with, and judged by, the feature country for them to put into practice.

  • We have experts from across WaterAid who judge the three core components of Winnovators: Solve, Fund and Learn within the team submissions.
  • The judging panel is made up of technical experts (Solve), fundraising experts (Fund), and members from our people development team (Learn).
  • Teams are judged in accordance to the award categories and guidance (provided when they teams start the programme) for what the judges are looking for.
  • The competition is split into regions with the winners from each region entering the final to compete against each other. One of these regional winners is then crowned the global overall winner.

Past Winnovators

2018 winners

Team Praan, from Sydney Water, trial the 'Poo Switcheroo' mechanism they made for the India challenge:

2017 winners

Team Albagua, from Scottish Water and Fujitsu, test the hygiene app they made as part of the Nicaragua challenge: