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Meet the international aid and development experts supporting RISE’s Build

6 December 2021

RISE is moving closer to constructing water and sanitation upgrades in our first six communities in Indonesia and first six in Fiji. We have established an International Development Advisory Board (IDAB) to provide independent, strategic, advisory support for this critical ‘Build’ work in both countries.

November saw the inaugural meeting of the Board, which includes:

  • Alison Baker Technical Director, International Development Assistance, GHD
  • Sumila Gulyani Program Leader for Infrastructure and Sustainable Development, India, World Bank
  • Sarah Mecartney Principal Strategy Advisor, Pacific Community (SPC)
  • Christian Nielsen International Climate Change Leadership and Resilient Development, Certified Expert Climate Change Finance, MSc Environmental and Development Studies
  • Anthea Spinks Director of Programs, Oxfam Australia
  • Daniel Sullivan CEO, Iota Services
  • Joris Van Etten Senior Urban Development Specialist, Southeast Urban Development and Water Division, Asian Development Bank

The Board is chaired by RISE's former Program Manager Dr Matthew French, who has intimate knowledge of the program and extensive experience in the global international development field. French, now Director of Research Missions and Global Impact at Monash, is excited to convene the Board to provide advisory support to the RISE program relating to the international development aspects.

‘It’s a real delight being able to stay involved in this next important phase of the RISE journey,’ French says. ‘The time has come to deliver on the program’s commitment to construct the water and sanitation infrastructure that RISE teams planned with communities in Indonesia and Fiji over months. We know that it comes with great responsibility to deliver this work well and safely’.

This group of new ‘critical friends’ brings a range of expertise and experience at the intersections of international development, construction oversight and management, and transnational capacity building and exchange. They will provide the RISE Executive advisory input on the ‘build’ risk management, best practices in safeguards including gender and grievance mechanisms, and identify opportunities for capacity building and scaling-up.

It complements RISE’s key governance groups: the Governance Advisory Panel, which oversees the overall risk framework and strategic program-wide aspects, the International Scientific Advisory Panel, which advises on the scientific integrity of the RISE trial, and the Data Advisory Panel, advising on RISE’s research data strategy. The IDAB rounds out these key forums, providing important advisory support for the program.

With the first Board meeting having taken place before the year’s end, IDAB members raised interest about all aspects of RISE’s construction plans, from diversity and inclusion in co-designing the infrastructure, to land use, cost analysis, and more.

An open and transparent body, the Board will convene at key program timeframes to incorporate feedback directly into RISE’s build operations.