Global Innovation Challenge: 2016

Team Veritas: 2016 Global Innovation Challenge Winners

Team Veritas.

Team Veritas, Global Innovation Challenge 2016 Winners

Global Innovation Challenge (GIC) 2016 participants assessed problems and developed innovative social, economic, technological, and public-policy solutions to meet the sanitation needs of one of the world's most vulnerable populations: the 360 million children and adults with disabilities worldwide.

GIC winning teams were funded by the Randwood Foundation and the HealthyWorld Foundation

Project Updates

There is significant data regarding Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) at different levels from various organizations, but data regarding inclusive WaSH is scarce. The winning team of the 2016 Global Innovation Challenge, Team Veritas, aims to develop strategies that motivate key actors to prioritize inclusive WaSH in schools, in turn, promoting the education of all children, irrespective of gender, age, or ability (inclusive education).
"The inclusion of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), necessitates the development of national, regional and global estimates of WASH in schools (WinS) coverage to track progress over time...[Core questions and indicators for monitoring WASH in Schools in the Sustainable Development Goals] presents recommended core questions to support harmonized monitoring of WinS as part of the SDGs..agreed upon by the Global Task Team for Monitoring WASH in Schools in the SDGs, convened by the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water and Sanitation (JMP).
As a participant of the Community for Global Health Equity’s (CGHE) first Global Innovation Challenge, I learned that children with disabilities around the world often do not attend school because they cannot access water and sanitation facilities. These facilities are not being monitored or assessed, leading to a large portion of the population uneducated and unable to find quality work.
Worldwide, 800 million people with disabilities live in low- and middle-income countries. Designing safe, accessible, and usable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) facilities is a critical imperative – not only important for ensuring public health but also for promoting equal access to education, employment, and social services. In Uganda, for example, 94% of children with disabilities do not complete primary school; unsafe and inaccessible WaSH facilities are one contributing factor. The University at Buffalo is partnering with the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme, as well as WaterAid and ATC Uganda, to build knowledge, capacity, and tools on accessible WaSH facilities in schools. This partnership led to the first global monitoring instrument, Core Questions and Indicators for Monitoring WASH in Schools in the Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2016. The session held at WEDC 2017 provided training and solicited feedback on this work.

Global Innovation Challenge: 2016


In 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.” Using a five-day workshop format, Global Innovation Challenge: 2016 will focus on UN Sustainable Development Goal 6: Water and Sanitation for All, with an emphasis on meeting the sanitation needs of one of the world’s most vulnerable populations: the 360 million children and adults with disabilities worldwide.

Among the greatest challenges in the world today, sanitation solutions require innovative thinking from diverse perspectives. As such, Global Innovation Challenge: 2016 is open to undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students from all majors: anthropology to architecture, English to engineering, media to management, political science to public health. Students will participate in team-building exercises and will develop innovative proposals.

Program Materials

Experts in Residence

The Community for Global Health Equity invited three international colleagues to UB who have expertise in the fields of water, sanitation, and hygiene and research and policy for people with disabilities. 2016 experts offered contextual guidance and support to students and faculty throughout the Innovation Challenge.
Ashabrick Nantege Bamutaze
Senior Training and Development Officer, Appropriate Technology Centre for Water and Sanitation
Mukono, Uganda

Asha's training and work experience focus around research, geography, the environment, and public health. She developed an interest in issues of equity and inclusion as a result of field experiences where she witnessed the unspeakable challenges people with physical disabilities go through in an effort to access water and sanitation. Since 2011, she has been engaged in a number of activities to develop experimental technological innovations to address the plight of vulnerable people needing access to water and sanitation.
Mahesh Chandrasekar
Director, Research and Advocacy, Dream a Dream
Bengaluru, India

Mr. Chandrasekar specializes in advocacy, policy, program development and training. As Director for research and advocacy at Dream a Dream, he leads the policy influencing initiatives in life skills, child development, youth development and education. He has contributed to critical policy amends as the lead of civil society networks such as - International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), BOND Disability and Development Task Group and Community Based Rehabilitation India Network. His extensive work with impoverished communities in urban and rural areas is based on the principles of equity and dismantling structural barriers.
Reena Sen, PhD, MA
Executive Director, Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy
Kolkata, India

Dr. Sen is a teacher by profession and has worked intensively in the classroom with children with cerebral palsy with varying degrees of abilities. This has provided excellent opportunities for her to learn about all aspects of basic management of cerebral palsy and neuro-motor disabilities. During 1984-87 she lived in Kochi where she founded Raksha, an NGO that continues to thrive as a nodal centre for disability in Kerala. Her area of specialization is literacy and intervention for specific learning difficulties; she works for all issues related to equal access and opportunities for marginalised groups, particularly persons with disability to high quality education.  Apart from her work with persons with cerebral palsy, she coordinates IICP’s work with mainstream schools helping them to meet the needs of students who have learning, emotional and behavioural problems through assessment and guidance, and training practitioners and policy makers.