Afghan villagers share stories of banding together to improve community hygiene. Practitioners discuss how microfinance can bring water and sanitation to the rural poor. USAID office directors opine on topics ranging from the importance of cooperating with faith-based groups to ways to leverage Millennium Development Goal successes.
These views and others are all found in Global Waters, the USAID Water Office’s quarterly magazine. Launched in 2010 as a newsletter, Global Waters has since expanded into a magazine with sophisticated design and provocative articles, interviews, and op-eds about a range of water-related development issues.
“Because water is a cross-cutting issue, Global Waters covers everything from health to climate change to energy and agriculture,” said Celia Zeilberger, Global Waters editor in chief. “We aim to start debates about water issues and to spotlight the stories behind USAID’s water projects,” she said.
ME&A, a Bethesda-based consulting firm that focuses on development issues, produces Global Waters as part of its USAID-funded Water Sector Communications and Knowledge Management Program (CKM). Since 2006, ME&A has been working with USAID’s Water Office to synthesize data, identify best practices, and share lessons learned through tools like annual reports, videos, exhibits, and learning events.
To further USAID’s knowledge-sharing goals, Global Waters tailors its content toward USAID priorities. For example, after USAID released its first-ever Water and Development Strategy last spring, which changed the way USAID approaches water programming, Global Waters published a special edition devoted to the Strategy. The issue served as a repository for opinions on the Strategy by everyone from congressmen to NGO heads and explored the on-the-ground impacts of USAID’s new priorities.
Due to unique content like this, Global Waters has developed a devoted international readership. “I am most pleased with the way Global Waters and the CKM team has grown, along with our long term relationship with USAID’s Water Office.” said ME&A CEO, Thomas England. “Over the last few years, knowledge management has become an increasingly important part of our corporate portfolio.”