GAIN Prize Winners Discuss New Alliance

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The Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN) staff welcomes GAIN Prize winners to its Washington, D.C., office May 9 to discuss the developing partnership involving technology solutions between two of the 2012 GAIN Prize winners, Engineers Without Borders-USA, Austin Chapter, and Positive Innovation for the Next Generation (PING). Pictured above, from left, is GAIN Science and Technology Director Bruno Sánchez Andrade-Nuño, Daniel Aviles with PING, Laura Read with EWB, Katy Digovich with PING, GAIN Director of Communications Jamie Carson, and GAIN Vice President of Development Tim Wierzbicki.

The sound waves of the adaptation conversation are reverberating in the days following the 2012 Annual Meeting & Scientific Convening of the Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN) May 9-10 as new alliances between GAIN Prize winners are created in an effort to build resilience to global challenges.

One such alliance developed from one organization’s need for a technological-based solution to track live data and another organization’s expertise in doing just that. Engineers Without Borders (EWB)-USA, Austin Chapter, works with a community in Peru to help it adjust to changing precipitation patterns by increasing the availability of reliable irrigation water through reuse of wastewater from a nearby wastewater treatment plant. Positive Innovation for the Next Generation (PING), has created a case-reporting app accessed via smartphone to drastically improve disease reporting in Botswana.

After meeting, the two innovative groups determined that with a few programming tweaks, the app could be easily morphed into a remote diagnosis tool for smart phones to report data for management of the wastewater facility in Peru.

With this technology sharing agreement, PING will utilize its expertise in data management to help EWB improve the maintenance of its Climate Adaptation in Mountain Basins in the Andean Region (CAMBIAR) initiative. PING will seek to leverage an in-kind donation from corporate partners to achieve these goals.

“The maintenance and monitoring of treatment systems is imperative to its operational success. PING technology provides an innovative and lightweight solution through which local community members and engineering professionals collectively can maintain and operate a treatment system,” said Fernando Salas, EWB-USA.  

“At GAIN, we are excited to see new adaptation alliances that arising from the Annual Meeting conversations,” said Dr. Bruno Sánchez Andrade-Nuño, GAIN Director of Science & Technology. “We commend these two organizations for their innovative efforts.”

In its inaugural year, the 2012 GAIN Prize was awarded to four organizations – EWB-USA, Austin Chapter; MEDA; PING; and Ushahidi – which are working on the ground in developing countries. The GAIN Prize is a recognition and monetary award for work in adaptation to urbanization, population growth, climate change and other global challenges. Visit the GAIN Prize website at gain.org/prize for more information. 

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