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Ben Harris

Ben joined Itad in 2017 as a consultant in the Social Protection and Livelihoods theme and his main interest is in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

Ben has experience as both a practitioner and researcher in the WASH sector, particularly in the challenges of delivering sustainable water and sanitation services, and the wider systems needed to support them. Ben’s experience includes researching the institutional and financial performance of water services and applying this in practice to improve service delivery.

Ben is currently working on several projects including the independent verification of results achieved under Payment by Results WASH programmes and an evaluation of the use of development prizes to incentivise district-wide sanitation improvements.

Prior to joining Itad, Ben worked with Concern Worldwide in Northern Uganda where he managed community development and behaviour change components of a WASH programme across two districts and supported water sector reform at the district level.

Ben has an MSc in Community Water and Sanitation from Cranfield University, where he gained significant research experience in India whilst contributing several case studies to a major AustralianAid-funded research project that explored successful community-managed water supplies. Ben previously worked for a non-departmental public body on higher education funding.

Nationality: British
Languages: English (native), French (intermediate)
Country Experience:

Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, United Kingdom

Qualifications:

2014 - 2015
MSc Community Water and Sanitation
Cranfield University
2003 - 2006
BSc (Hons) Physics
Imperial College, London

Employment:

2017 - Ongoing
Consultant
Itad Ltd.

2016 - 2017
WASH Sustainability Manager
Concern Worldwide, Pader, Uganda

2015 - 2016
WASH Programme Support Officer
Concern Worldwide, Pader, Uganda

2013 - 2014
Project Officer
Sustrans Cymru, Caerphilly

2010 - 2011
Funding Round Adviser
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)

2008 - 2010
Higher Education Policy Adviser
HEFCE

2007
Postgraduate and Faculty Union Coordinator
Imperial College Union

2006 - 2007
Deputy President (Education and Welfare)
Imperial College Union

Training:

2016
Planning & Design of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. Eawag (online course)
2015
Designing for behaviour change: Social and Behaviour Change Communication. Concern Worldwide, Uganda (internal training)

Project Experience:

2018 - ongoing
Ideas to Impact (DFID Innovation Prizes for Environment and Development)
(DFID, Ghana) - Lead Evaluator
Ben is leading the evaluation of stage 2 of the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana (SC4G) prize – one of a portfolio of innovation prizes funded through DFID’s Ideas to Impact (I2I) programme. The SC4G aims to incentivise district authorities to address poor sanitation practices through innovative interventions. The evaluation seeks to use a theory-based approach to assess the value and use of innovation prizes for responding to environment and development issues including the additional benefits of using the prize modality as compared to other funding modalities. Stage 2 of the prize covers of the implementation of district-wide sanitation plans developed during stage 1.
2017 - ongoing
Monitoring, Verification and Evaluation Service Provider for the WASH Results Programme
(DFID, multi-country) - Deputy Verifier (South Asia Wash Results Programme) and Programme Management Support
The programme aims to improve poor people's health through sustained access to water supply, sanitation and hygiene services across 11 countries. Itad leads the monitoring and verification of the programme, including the verification of Payment by Results achievements.

Ben is the Deputy Verifier for one of three implementing partners (covering Bangladesh), involved in the design and implementation of results verification. Ben also provides technical and programme management support to the project leadership team, including specific inputs on sustainability and aggregation of results across all three supplier programmes.

2017 - 2018
Assessment of Co-op/One Foundation WASH projects
(Co-op Group, Malawi) - Project Manager and Consultant
Assessment of the outcomes and impacts achieved by rural water and sanitation projects funded from donations raised by sales of Co-op branded bottled water. Ben led the project, including a review of existing project monitoring data, fieldwork to provide illustrative data on the sustainability of project outcomes and examples of social impact, and providing advice on future monitoring and data collection. Findings were included in the Co-op Way ethics and sustainability report published April 2018.
2016 - 2017
Strengthing Operation and Maintenance to Improve Functionality of Rural Water Supply in Pader and Agago districts
(Austrian Development Cooperation/Concern Worldwide, Uganda) - WASH Sustainability Manager
Provided technical advice and support on financial and institutional arrangements for sustainable WASH water services, with local government in Northern Uganda. This included establishing government-led monitoring systems and facilitating sector planning and review processes, involving stakeholders from communities, government and service providers.
2015 - 2015
Community Water Plus in India
(AustralianAid/Cranfield University, India) - Case Study Lead
Working on Australian Aid funded ‘Community Water’ project documenting successful community-managed rural water supplies in three states in north-west India. Included 10 weeks’ fieldwork, working closely with local research partners, overseeing data collection and analysing data. Final outputs comprised three detailed case duties and one synthesis paper exploring underling trends and identifying success factors.

Publications:

  • Gravity-fed water supply in Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh. (2016)
    Cranfield University/MNIT/IRC.
    Harris, B., Brighu, U., Poonia, R.

  • Community-managed water supplies in rural Jaipur: the Swajaldhara scheme 15 years on (2015)
    Cranfield University/MNIT/IRC
    Harris, B., Brighu, U., & Poonia, R.

  • 24x7 water supply in Punjab: international funding for local action (2015)
    Cranfield University/MNIT/IRC
    Harris, B., Brighu, U., & Poonia, R.

  • Determining success in community managed rural water supply using household surveys (2015)
    Cranfield University/IRC
    Amin, J., Denis, J., Harris, B., Ibenegbu, N., Javorszky, M., Maillot, E. & Tripp, S.