Johan Holmberg will be stepping down as Chair of the EUWI Finance Working Group after three busy and intensive years which have seen the FWG creating a strong niche in promoting a more strategic approach to water sector financing. Alan Hall has been appointed to take over as Chair from 1 December 2009.
The EU Water Initiative Finance Working Group (FWG) was established in 2002 as a crosscutting advisory and support group to the EU Water Initiative (www.euwi.net). The FWG has concentrated on providing technical assistance to develop country level WSS finance strategies; developing guidance on approaches, tools and methodologies to develop WSS finance strategies and organising meetings, seminars and workshops in support of its objectives.
The FWG Secretariat moved from DFID London to Stockholm in July 2006 where it is hosted by the Global Water Partnership Organisation. Its key partners include the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Global Water Partnership (Global Water Partnership). Its membership includes representatives from the public and private sectors and from civil society.
The new FWG Chair, Alan Hall, is well known within the EUWI membership as well as within the GWP Network. He has more than 30 years of experience in development as a water sector and water policy specialist. His involvement in GWP started in 1997 with the development of the Framework for Action and has continued ever since, at first through the HR Wallingford Resource Centre and subsequently as a member of the GWP Secretariat. He was co-author of the recent GWP TEC Paper 12 on Water Financing and Governance. In addition to his new role as Chair of the FWG, Alan is now a Senior Advisor to GWP working specifically on financing water resource management.
Johan Holmberg’s role as Chair was noted and greatly appreciated by the FWG members at the last FWG meeting in August 2009 when he advised of his intention to stand down and concentrate on his other work, in particular in the Balkan region. “Johan Holmberg has expanded the FWG activities promoting a greater focus on the financing aspects of providing water for people. Focusing on strategic financial planning, he has established a strong partnership with OECD and on developing capacities of water professionals on finance. With his friendly, frank and direct communication, he has been most appreciated as FWG Chair as well as close colleague in the GWP Secretariat. Johan has given great contributions during his time as FWG Chair and wish him all the best in future undertakings.” says Martin Walshe, the first Chair of the FWG (from 2002 to 2004) and now GWP Deputy Executive Secretary.