Sustainability Science Program

Scaling-Up Distribution of Water Treatment Technologies in Developing Countries

12 December 2008

Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University

Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Michael Kremer, Gates Professor of Developing Countries and Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Harvard University

Workshop description
On December 12th, 2008, the Sustainability Science Program hosted a workshop entitled "Scaling-Up Distribution of Water Treatment Technologies in Developing Countries." While treatment of household water can reduce diarrhea significantly, efforts to induce widespread adoption and use of household water treatment technologies have met with mixed results, even in regions where diarrhea is a major cause of child mortality and morbidity. The objectives for this workshop were to understand some of the barriers to wide-spread adoption, preview a range of distribution channels that are being piloted in the field, and explore ideas for how some of these may be scaled up. The workshop brought together practitioners and academics who have been working to expand access to clean water technologies. The first half of the day was devoted to understanding some of the barriers to widespread adoption of these technologies and previewing a range of ideas on how to distribute them in ways that take these barriers into account. The second half of the day included a discussion session on addressing the technological and marketing challenges to scaling up alternative distribution models.

Workshop report

Program and presentation slides

Participant contact information and Biographies

Contact Info
Robyn Meeks, Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow in Sustainability and doctoral candidate in public policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University,

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