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Merck Fellows To Join Safe Water Network India

Merck Fellows will soon join Safe Water Network for three month in-the-field engagements as part of our three-year India initiative announced earlier this year. The Merck Fellows are a key element in a broader effort to establish best practice, standardize processes and package our learning in ways that others can easily replicate at scale. 

Safe Water Network’s partnership with Merck includes adding a dozen sites to our existing field projects in Andhra Pradesh, India, where we already provide nearly 50,000 people access to clean water. The additional systems will make safe water access available to another 20,000 – 30,000 people. 

The joint initiative leverages Merck’s consumer marketing, operational and health expertise to help us establish a fact-based approach to improving demand generation programs. The objective is to accelerate adoption rates and increase daily customer counts and household consumption levels by improving awareness of the importance of clean water and hygiene. We will test and refine messaging to optimize communication. 

Baseline and endline studies will document progress and measure the health impact of providing safe, affordable water. Merck Fellows will play important roles in all of these efforts. 

Project assignments include: 

Behavior Change & Demand Generation: Increasing consumer usage through demand generation programs, pricing strategies and extended distribution. Swapna Purani.

Health Impact Assessment: Expanding our evidence-based documentation by implementing impact studies to determine long-term health impacts. Linda Nelsen and Shazia Khawaja.

Market Research: Determining the potential for commercial approaches to the provision of water in off-grid markets; also consumer preferences and needs. Irfan Taraji.