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Supplies and Logistics

UNICEF Stakeholder Consultation on Real Time E. coli Testing Devices

UNICEF is seeking innovative solutions to improve the ability of governments, aid agencies, and communities to monitor faecal contamination in drinking water. On 22 November 2016, UNICEF Supply Division and the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme on Water Supply and Sanitation hosted an event bringing together practitioners, subject matter experts, and product developers to identify possible solutions and determine a strategy for accelerating the development of products which meet UNICEF’s needs. The event took place at UNICEF Supply Division in Copenhagen, Denmark.

E. coli is the WHO preferred indicator for measuring faecal contamination of water, and is used by UNICEF and its partners to monitor water quality at the community and household level.  Unfortunately, the only reliable methods to quantify E. coli contamination involve overnight incubation and require specialized training for staff performing the test.  This limits the ability to test drinking water on-site for behavioural change communication and during nationally representative household surveys—two key programmatic activities for UNICEF and its partners that could significantly improve access to clean drinking water for the estimated 1.8 billion people who still rely on drinking water sources that contain evidence of faecal contamination (WHO/UNICEF 2014).

As a result, UNICEF is challenging product developers to identify an easy to use detection method that can accurately determine faecal contamination as rapidly as possible, while also meeting needs specific to development and humanitarian contexts. For more information on UNICEF’s needs and desired requirements, please consult the Target Product Profile.

For more information on UNICEF’s Real Time E. coli Project please visit our Innovation page.

Additional questions and inquiries regarding the event or the TPP should be sent to WASHsupply@unicef.org with the subject line “Real Time E. coli Detection”.



List of participants 

Wrap Up Note 

Session 1: UNICEF Water Quality Introduction by Peter Harvey, Chief of Water Sanitation and Education Centre (WSEC)

Session 2: UNICEF Product Innovation by Jessica Tribbe, Innovation Project Consultant (WASH), Innovation Unit (IU)

Session 3: UNICEF Real Time E. coli Detection Target Product Profile by Robert Bain, WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP)

Session 4: UNICEF Current and Potential Demand for Target Product Profile Use Cases 

Session 5: Water Quality Monitoring in Sub-Saharan Africa by Ranjiv Khush, Aquaya 

Session 6: WHO What's in the Pipeline? Rick Johnston, WHO 

Session 7: Trade offs and Challenges by Joe Brown PHD PE, Georgia Tech University 

Session 8: Partnering for Impact by Mads Twomey-Madsen, VP Novozymes  

Session 9: UNICEF Public Procurement Principles by Anne Cabrera-Clerget, Contracts Manager, WASH 



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