Mike Trapanese is an executive at analytics company VantageScore Solutions, where he has helped to scale operations through a period of rapid growth. He has previously held roles in strategy and corporate development within the financial services industry. Mike holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and Philosophy from Boston College and a MBA from The Wharton School.
“I’m thrilled to join the Board of The Water Trust at this pivotal time in its history. After ten years helping the rural poor to access water and prevent disease, The Water Trust now has built a pioneering program, and it’s time to scale it up.
Access to clean water is a fundamental need shared by every living person. We need water to sate our thirst, wash our bodies, cook our dinners, and make our crops grow. Yet for one out of every seven people globally, access to clean water is a daily struggle. In rural Uganda, it’s not uncommon for a villager to walk several miles to draw water from a murky pool of standing water. The impact is devastating.
Putting wells in the ground, however, only goes halfway toward solving this problem. In order for this investment to be sustainable and scalable, these wells must be maintained and the water put to hygienic use. The Water Trust addresses these three challenges holistically.
I first became involved with The Water Trust as a donor. I was drawn both to the enormity of its mission but also to its commitment to transparency and data-driven decisions. Team members on the ground in Uganda routinely survey water quality, community behaviors, and health outcomes. These data are analyzed and debated internally, posted to a public website, and shared with other researchers and programs. They are the spark for new approaches and the yardstick against which everything gets measured.
What truly makes this organization unique, however, is its ability to innovate and change. The Water Trust not only digs wells, but pilots adjacent programs to empower communities to save for repairs, embrace handwashing, and practice good sanitation. Those programs that are empirically effective become a part of the core approach, while others are either refined or discarded. In my experience, there are very few organizations—for profit or NGO— with this nimbleness and commitment to rigorous evaluation.
If you’ve read this far, I urge you to peruse our annual report; follow us on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram; and consider a donation. Clean water is a noble cause and your contribution to The Water Trust will go a long way.”