Can the poor pay for drinking water?

by Rob Hope

Economists often ask awkward questions. With safe drinking water a human right as well one of the world’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) there must be the money to pay for everyone to get drinking water, right? Apparently not. With over two billion people without safely-managed water and 663 million without basic water the costs to meet the target by 2030 runs to US$114 billion per year.

The policy puzzle is how to square safe water for everyone with financial sustainability? As words fly up, delivery on the ground remains tricky. So if we ask the question from the perspective of the poor, and what they will pay, does that help us think of new ways forward? Continue reading

Are we achieving gender equality? Can we do more?

by Emma Jeanes

Gender equality is firmly back on the public agenda. Unless you’ve switched off the television and radio, disconnected from social media and abandoned the printed press you can’t fail to notice that gender equality and related topics of sexual harassment, that disproportionately affects women, are regular topics of conversation. Social media has played a crucial role in spreading the word, with many campaigns such as #MeToo and #HeForShe drawing attention to gender inequality, and coalescing support to tackle it. This is all fantastic news and a step in the right direction. What is also heartening is the role men are playing in this as women cannot address gender inequality on their own. Continue reading

Balance for Better: improving outcomes in research and innovation

by Jennifer Rubin

BalanceforBetter is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day and helpfully articulates the need to pursue balance if we want to improve diversity and inclusiveness in the environments in which we live and work. In our research and innovation environment there are several ways we can improve balance and improve outcomes. Continue reading