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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Conduct research to expand public access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in nine developing across Africa and Asia to create a new advocacy communications framework and theory of change.  

Detailed research report analyzing existing strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improving WASH advocacy in the targeted countries including a theory of change and new ​advocacy framework that helped guide $265 million in subsequent foundation grants.


The Gates Foundation’s water, sanitation and hygiene division hired Bigger Impact to develop advocacy approaches that would expand access to lifesaving WASH. The core objectives were to identify communication strategies and tactics, and produce a theory of change, for persuading policymakers and other influencers in each nation to invest more in providing clean water and sanitation services to their citizens.


I assembled and led a 12-person multi-national team and collaborated with external organizations and issue experts to gain a better understanding of which WASH expansion efforts had and had not worked during a two-year period in the selected countries. I also examined other policy influence programs that shared similarities with the WASH sector for any relative insights about effective advocacy strategies.This entailed a qualitative and quantitative assessment that revealed, among other issues, the extent to which national leaders understood WASH to be vital for improved health and economic development.

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