Since 2006, researchers from the CGSW have partnered with General Electric Foundation’s (GEF) Developing Health Globally (DHG) program to improve healthcare delivery to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations by addressing safe water in healthcare facilities in five countries (Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Honduras, and Cambodia).

The initial CGSW-GEF partnership was done in collaboration with Assist International and focused on GEF’s interest in transitioning the safe water program away from a water technology focus to improving the long-term sustainability of the GE water treatment systems donated in Ghana and Honduras. Members of the CGSW performed several desk studies on the sustainability of water interventions and designed a specialized assessment tool that measured the sustainability of water treatment systems installed in healthcare settings (known as the Safe Water Sustainability Metric).

In 2009, GEF invested in a formal evaluation of the performance of the GE water treatment systems installed by Assist International in resource-limited settings. GEF engaged researchers from the CGSW as its primary research collaborator. The partnership continued to expand over the next nine years to include CGSW participation in the expansion of the safe water program to three additional countries (Rwanda, Cambodia, and Uganda). Programmatic components included the piloting of a water kiosk business model in Rwanda to further promote economic sustainability of the treatment system, training clinicians, and hospital maintenance staff in Cambodia and Uganda on WASH and infection prevention and control, and encouraging partnerships between GEF, UNICEF, where GEF became the first major donor to fund international advocacy for the improvement of WASH conditions in healthcare facilities globally.