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We are excited to introduce our new vice president of water, Dr. Greg Allgood, who comes to us from Procter & Gamble, with 30+ years of water research and non-profit work. Find out what inspired him to join World Vision in solving the clean water crisis.
I’m thrilled to be part of the World Vision team helping provide clean drinking water in the developing world. While I’m relatively new to World Vision, I’ve been working in the water area for most of my 30+ year career including doing water research at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and creating and leading a not-for-profit effort to provide clean drinking water at the consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (P&G). The P&G program provided 6 billion liters of clean drinking water in the developing world before I retired, and they committed to scale-up to save one life every hour in the developing world by 2020. I’m proud to say that World Vision continues to be one of the most important partners in that effort.
I’ve been blessed to see the positive impact that clean drinking water has in saving lives. And, I have witnessed the tragedy of children suffering and dying when clean water is not available. Witnessing this has led to my life’s mission to help end the global clean drinking water crisis. And, I believe that we will be able to accomplish this important goal within the next 15 to 20 years. I believe that it’s one of the most important tasks of our generation and that we have a moral mandate to address something that still takes the lives of 1,600 children every day, more than HIV and AIDS, and malaria combined.
At P&G, I created and led a program that now provides more than 1 billion liters of clean drinking water every year - at a cost of about $13 million per year. That’s a lot of water and has helped millions of people. President Bill Clinton, who I’ve gotten to know pretty well over the last decade, said once that if every organization pro-rated a commitment for their size, then we could solve the global water crisis. So, in thinking about this and where I’d go after my retirement from P&G, I decided to go to the place where I believed I could have the biggest impact on addressing the global water crisis – World Vision.
I’ve always admired World Vision’s work. In fact, when I was at P&G, I pursued World Vision for many years to be a partner. I wrote about this on the last World Water Day for two blogs hosted by World Vision. If you want more details, visit: Part 1, Part 2. The next logical step for me after retirement from P&G was to go from being a partner with World Vision to becoming part of the world-class World Vision water team.
The scale of the water efforts at World Vision are impressive as we’ve quadrupled our efforts to provide sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene in communities in just the last two years and are in the middle of a six-year program that will provide clean water to 6 million people and spend $400 million on water projects. We’re now at the pace of providing clean drinking water to one new person every 30 seconds, making us the leading NGO (nongovernmental organization) in providing clean drinking water in the developing world!
Providing clean water to a person every 30 seconds is amazing to me but what attracted me to World Vision was not only the scale but the quality of the work. By visiting World Vision water programs in about a dozen countries over many years, I’ve became a believer in our deep community engagement model that transforms communities. I’ve seen that our unique community involvement model, built over 60 years, helps people adopt positive behaviors that result in sustained water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions. Water continues to flow after we leave because communities have ownership of the water points and can maintain and repair them.
Importantly, we work with communities to address not only their water needs but a variety of challenges including health, education, and jobs in order to provide a full solution capable of helping people to lift themselves out of poverty.
My job at World Vision will include helping shine a spotlight on our water projects in the developing world and sharing stories about our approach. And, we’ll get some help from our friends along the way. One of the most effective people to shine a spotlight on development programs is President Clinton and, during one of my first days on the job at World Vision, I was thrilled to host President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton at a World Vision program in Rwanda. In seeing our Rwanda program and learning that we’re reaching one new person every 30 seconds with clean water, President Clinton called World Vision “a treasure of an NGO.” We also hosted Chelsea Clinton in a World Vision program in Myanmar and she complemented our unique approach of helping people during emergencies as well as providing sustained efforts.
As part of ramping up our water offering, we’ve launched a new logo for World Vision water and will regularly communicate through our expert corner on our Clean Water page. You can also keep up with us by following me on Twitter @DrGregAllgood.
Thanks for being part of our journey to end the global clean drinking water crisis.