"We started to develop a new model: one that puts communities first. We knew that lack of access to healthcare was multidimensional. There is no single quick fix. In order to sustainably strengthen health systems, we knew we had to develop a model that acknowledges the wider ecosystem. So, that's the model Amref has built."
- My Public Health Journey blog
Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO, AMREF Health Africa
A passionate advocate for pro-poor Universal Health Coverage, Githinji leads the largest Africa-led international organisation, reaching more than 11 million people each year through 150 projects across 35 countries.
"This economist has a plan to fix capitalism.
It's time we all listened."
Mariana Mazzucato (PhD) Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London, Co-Chair of the Global Commission on the Economics of Water
Named one of the three most important thinkers about innovation (New Republic), one of the 50 most creative people in business (Fast Company) and one of the 25 leaders shaping the future of capitalism (Wired). Her latest book is: Mission Economy: a moonshot guide to changing capitalism.
"We made a lot of strides ... but have a lot of problems with respect to polluting the ocean, the sea and also the water bodies. These are the areas that require collaborative efforts by all stakeholders especially the districts that are the implementation hands of the SDGs as well as the national development plan at the sub-national level."
- Ghana Today
Dr Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa, Director General National Development Planning Commission, Republic of Ghana
An impressive CV which includes Global Policy Advisor for the United Nations Development Programme, and work with the United Nations Capital Development Fund, Netherlands Development Organisation and many others.
"Non-dreamers might think this is an insurmountable task. If you want immediate gratification from your projects so you can tick your boxes and move on or an eager project evaluator insisting on transformative development impacts in one project span, then this is not your cup of tea."
- Asian Development Blog
Neeta Pokhrel, Chief of Water Sector Group, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Dept, Asian Development Bank
An environmental engineer who brings 25 years' of experience working on innovative urban development and water supply and sanitation projects.
"Climate action is not some form of charity work, it's a last attempt to save ourselves. We know if we don't act now, they will inevitably lead to fatal famine, to conflict over the last drops of fresh water, and to climate refugees ... We can decide to change that."
- TEDxTalk – How the most boring thing ever could save the world.
Hajar Yagkoubi, Youth Inclusion Expert and former UN Youth Representative for the Netherlands
An unstoppable force for change, Hajar has been collecting representing young people's views and ideas on international platforms since she was 18 years old. She is particularly passionate about human rights, the climate crisis, and water, sanitation and hygiene – and of course, the interconnections between them.
"Worldwide, water is the number one global risk, the connecting challenge across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and our best opportunity for inclusive and comprehensive action!"
Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Government of the Netherlands
The world's first Water Ambassador, Henk Ovink works across the world initiating innovative approaches to address our biggest challenges. He is Sherpa for the UN 2023 Water Conference and leads the government of the Netherlands as co-host of the conference. He's Principal of 'Rebuild by Design' and served on President Obama's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.
"Floods and droughts are some of the most tangible – and devastating – consequences of the climate crisis. They increasingly affect communities across the planet. The toll in human suffering and in economic costs is staggering. It is crucial that societies adapt and that governments prioritize, accelerate, and scale up their response mechanisms in the coming decade."
- World Bank Blogs
Kitty van der Heijden, Director-General International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Netherlands
With responsibilities including development cooperation policy, implementation and funding, Kitty brings a wealth of insights and experience in areas such as gender, sustainable economic development and climate policies. Previously VP at the World Resources Institute in Washington and Dutch Ambassador for Sustainable Development.
With more to be announced!