Beyond technology: the role of innovation in achieving universal access to drinking water

The Sustainable Development Goal target 6.1. aims to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030. This global goal will not be reached unless there is a dramatic shift in the way in which water services are delivered in low-income countries, especially in remote rural communities and informal urban settlements. How can the increased emphasis on water safety and affordability be addressed adequately and what is the role of innovation and research in driving this ambitious agenda? Where should innovators and researchers concentrate their efforts and how important is technology with respect to the transformative roles of governments, donors and development partners? Why do research and innovation appear to have uneven and often minimal impacts? Dr. Peter Harvey from UNICEF will address these questions based on his extensive experience across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America, using examples from the field, and will present priority innovation challenges for achieving universal access to drinking water.