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Remembering Nugroho Tri Utomo

It is with great sadness that we take a moment to remember and pay tribute to our friend and colleague in the global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) world Nugroho Tri Utomo.
Remembering Nugroho Tri Utomo

Remembering a WASH champion

Pak Nugroho was the Director of Housing and Settlements, National Development Planning Board of Indonesia (BAPPENAS), but for us here at the International WaterCentre and for many others in the WASH community he was also an energetic champion for achieving universal access to water and sanitation and an inspiring leader for change.

Pak Nugroho was the type of champion who could make the impossible seem possible. Some champions work tirelessly for change, but Pak Nugroho never seemed tired. He was enthusiastic, motivated and excited for the opportunities that good ideas can unlock.

We have been fortunate to work with Pak Nugroho over the years on a number of projects and initiatives in the WASH space. 

In 2014 Pak Nugroho championed a shift in understanding relating to the performance barriers of regional urban utilities in Indonesia. He called for a greater focus on the relationships between water supply stakeholders, seeing this as the key to unlocking performance related decisions. This focus has been explored through the development of “social contracts” and may prove to be an integral tool that contributes to achieving universal access to water in Indonesia. Pak Nugroho believed that the “benefits from a social contract will only be harvested when the process has become ‘auto run’, and when local stakeholders can hold each other to account and there is little need for external facilitation in the process.” 

Read more on social contracts in Indonesia.

Most recently he joined us as a keynote speaker at this year’s WASH Futures Conference in Brisbane where he filled us all with a sense of achieving what is deemed by many to be an impossible task. In his own words he believed that “there is no task too big or impossible,” and achieving universal access to sanitation is a goal worth striving for. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this time. The world has lost a great man, and for us all in the WASH community a great leader and friend. Pak Nugroho will continue to inspire us all as we work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It is up to us to ensure his legacy lives on through our resolve to achieving universal access for all by 2020.

Watch Pak Nugroho’s keynote address at the WASH Futures Conference in May.




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