Advancing Data for Good with Benetech Labs: Improving Access to Clean Water in Latin America

In Summer 2013, Benetech Labs set out to create a platform that empowers water and sanitation community managers in Latin America to share best practices and improve their services, and that also enables institutional funders to evaluate investments in the water and sanitation sector. We’ve made excellent progress with this project and built a diagnostic tool to improve community-based water and sanitation providers’ capacity to provide water and sanitation services to their communities. I’m delighted to share that the Paraguayan government is now using our tool in a nationwide project that aims to advance access to clean water in the country. This is a major step forward in a collaborative effort to tackle the challenges that Latin American community water and sanitation organizations face.

Technology in the Service of Human Rights and the UN: Human Rights Day 2013

Today, December 10th, we’re delighted to join the Silicon Valley United Nations Association in observance of Human Rights Day, which marks this year the 65th anniversary of the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Tonight, at 6pm, at the Calabazas Branch Library, I’ll be giving a talk for the Silicon Valley United Nations Association about some of the ways in which we at Benetech are working on human rights issues globally and in support of the United Nations. I cannot imagine a more fitting group or day to speak about this subject!

Hunting for Rocket Fuel

I’m on the hunt for rocket fuel because new social enterprises—ones that five years from now could reinvent a part of the social sector—cost money to identify, to explore and to grow the most promising ones into self-sufficiency. Just like for-profit tech ventures search for angel investors, we need you—the philanthropic investors—to provide the rocket fuel that drives innovation. Are you a social investor? Are you a donor with passion for BIG ideas that can lead to BIG change? Then we have the opportunity for you! This Giving Tuesday, give different. Invest in innovation with Benetech and become part of the creative process that yields disruptive solutions for social good.

Benetech Labs Explores Tech for Essential Community Services

Gerardo Capiel, Benetech’s VP of Engineering, and I were here in San Bernardino, Paraguay, as representatives of Benetech Labs. We were invited by the leaders of Fundación Avina to investigate how technology could be leveraged to help organizations provide essential services, like clean water and sanitation, to their communities in more efficient ways. It was the perfect place to do so, as the conference brought together community leaders and water managers to discuss shared concerns about the future of these services across rural Latin America.