Water Security conference in December 2015 in Oxford; Credit: John Cairns

19 February 2019

27-29 March | REACH Conference on Water Security and Poverty


Improved understanding of water risks, of the drivers of poverty, and of institutional constraints is central to the development of policies and practices that aim to achieve and maintain water security for the poor. In an increasingly complex landscape of demographic, climatic, environmental, political and economic change, this requires moving beyond sectoral and disciplinary silos and traditional approaches which isolate drinking water from water resources. Since 2015, the DFID-funded REACH programme has been collaborating with government, practitioner and enterprise stakeholders to improve water security for millions of poor people in Africa and South Asia by delivering world-class science that influences policy and practice.

On 27-29 March, REACH’s international conference on Water Security and Poverty will convene leading practitioners and scientists in Keble College, Oxford with the aim to:

  • Discuss key findings to date from REACH on the successes and barriers for improving water security for the poor in Bangladesh, Kenya and Ethiopia;
  • Continue to shape major academic, policy and practice debates around water security and poverty;
  • Strengthen global science-practitioner partnership to support the development of new approaches, tools, policies, and practices to sustainably deliver water security for millions of poor people

The full programme, with a full list of speakers, is now publicized on the conference website.

The conference will include participation from senior government representatives and leading practitioners including H.E. Dr. Seleshi Bekele, the Ethiopian Minister for Water, Irrigation and Electricity; Mr Abul Kalam Azad, the Chief Coordinator for SDG Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office in Bangladesh; Professor Louise Richardson, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and many others from UNICEF, DFID, IWMI, Oxfam, Sida, IFPRI, IWA, icddr,b and more. 

Last but not least, we are excited to announce that half of the speakers are women and half are from Africa and Asia. We recognize the barriers that women, and certain minorities face in participating in and benefiting from conferences, and are working hard to ensure all have equal opportunities to participate and actively engage in discussions as speakers, in networking opportunities, or as members of the audiences.

We hope to see you in late March in Oxford! For any questions please email reach2019conference@ouce.ox.ac.uk


Kelly Ann Naylor, Associate Director, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Section, Programme Division, UNICEF

'Our partnership with REACH recognises science has a critical role in designing and delivering effective policy and improving practice on the ground.'

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