Will SDG6 Fail? A Socratic Method Discussion by Leaders in the Field


With the window of opportunity closing to reach SDG6, it’s time to ask ourselves some hard questions about the reality of reaching our goals, and to evaluate the pros and cons associated with doing so. Join our panel of world-class WASH experts for a sober discussion on the topic — hopefully leading to positive changes that give us a greater chance of success.


Barika Poole, OLS Manager & Facilitator – ROCKBlue

Barika is the founder and president of BRP Consulting, Inc., an engineering consulting services firm specializing in water resources management, supply design, technical analysis and training. From 2020 to 2021, she served as executive director of SPOUTS, a Uganda-based NGO that provides access to safe, clean drinking water through ceramic water filter technology. For 12 years, she was a water resources project manager with CDM Smith, a leading global engineering and construction consulting firm. A professional engineer with nearly 20 years of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) experience, she has worked with municipalities, government agencies and private sector clients.


Joel Kolker, Program Manager - World Bank, GWSP

Joel is the Program Manager of the Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership (GWSP) – the World Bank’s Trust Fund supporting analytical work, including research, technical assistance and capacity development, across all aspects of the water sector. He previously coordinated the World Bank Water Practice’s global effort to meet financing gaps in the sector. He facilitates increased creditworthiness. He advises on project finance, PPP, credit enhancements, financial enhancements and institutional, regulatory and governance arrangements. He holds a bachelor's from George Washington University and master’s in Urban Planning and Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Cécile Laborderie, Chief WASHSector Leader - SNV

Cécile is a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) researcher, evaluator and team leader with 20 years of professional experience in more than 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. She has worked with various international agencies and institutions including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, the EU, UNICEF and UNHCR. Her experience includes emergency aid, institutional strengthening, market-based approaches, business models, social accountability and governance. She has worked with utilities, the private sector, government institutions, municipalities and civil society.  

Dr. William Muhairwe, Founder - 2ML Consulting Limited

William is the Founder of 2ML Consulting Limited, a management and leadership consulting firm, and Executive Director of the Global Water Leaders’ Group – UK. He has 30 years of international experience spanning the public and private sectors focused on the management of water sector companies and organizations. His areas of expertise within the water utility sector include change management, performance improvement programs (PIP), concept and business development, policies and operational procedures, tariff studies and performance analysis. William has been managing water industry reform projects for more than 20 years. He is responsible for one of the African water industry's great success stories: the turnaround of Uganda’s National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC). He has been involved in over 25 projects of similar characteristics in Africa, the Caribbean and Middle East.

Marieke van Nood, Regional Director Asia, East and Southern Africa - World Waternet
Marieke is a water professional and project manager with more than 15 years of experience in water resource management, having worked in Sri Lanka and Japan in addition to being responsible for improving water management in the Danube basin for the European Commission. She currently oversees connecting World Waternet's expertise in sustainable water solutions to the needs of public water organizations in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.  

Nat Paynter Independent - International WWASH Consultant
Nat is an international development consultant dedicated to solving the persistent challenges of sustainability, scale, and impactful interventions in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector. For the past two decades, he worked with corporations, development agencies, governments, foundations, and NGOs to develop and implement programs with real results on the ground. He brings field-tested expertise in program and strategy design, program assessments, knowledge products and business development.

Gisela Kaiser, Vice President - Water Globe Consultants
Gisela Kaiser is a registered professional civil engineer with nearly 30 years of experience in the development and management of diverse infrastructure projects and programs in South Africa. She has excelled in transformational development within various sectors including local government, industrial development, higher education and retail. Gisela was the technical lead of the team that successfully steered Cape Town through a devastating drought between 2015-2017, earning international acclaim for being the world’s number one water-saving city. In June 2019 she joined Water Globe Consultants as Vice President responsible for Sustainable Water Management, taking a deep dive into desalination technology while advocating the compelling case of holistic sustainable water management, especially in water-stressed lower income countries and other metropolitan municipalities in South Africa. 

Robert Gakubia, Director - Blackburn Associates

Robert is a water and sanitation professional with more than 30 years in the planning, development and management of public water and sanitation services, including planning, design and operation, financing, management and regulation. He was involved in institutional reform of the water and sanitation sector focusing on policy implementation and regulation of water and sanitation services and more specifically on governance, the creditworthiness of water utilities including the development of sustainable financing models for water services. His work includes laying the groundwork for public-private partnerships in the water sector, improving accountability and integrity in the WASH sector for the progressive realization of the rights to water and sanitation.


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