Effective water management is one key element of agricultural innovation and growth. This talk: outlines evolving and changing good global practices with respect to water management and agriculture; examines developments in both water and agriculture in Africa; and suggests avenues which might be explored in improving water management and increasing agricultural productivity in Africa.
John Briscoe is the Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering and Environmental Health at Harvard University where he directs the Harvard Water Security Initiative. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on water management and development. In 2010 he was nominated for the Joseph R. Levenson Prize for exceptional teaching of Harvard undergraduates.
Briscoe's career has focused on the issues of water, other natural resources and economic development. He has worked as an engineer in the government water agencies of South Africa and Mozambique; as an epidemiologist at the Cholera Research Center in Bangladesh; and as a professor of water resources at the University of North Carolina. In his 20-year career at the World Bank, he held high-level technical positions, including Country Director for Brazil (the World Bank’s biggest borrower). Mr. Briscoe's role in shaping the governance and strategy of the World Bank is the subject of a chapter in the definitive recent history of the Bank, Sebastian Mallaby's The World's Banker (Penguin, 2006).
Jennifer Burney is an Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Policy in the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She is also an affiliate of Stanford University's Center on Food Security and the Environment (FSE), where she was previously a postdoctoral researcher. Jennifer is a physicist by training whose research focuses on simultaneously achieving global food security and mitigating climate change. She designs, implements, and evaluates technologies for poverty alleviation and agricultural adaptation, and she studies the links between energy poverty and food and nutrition security, the mechanisms by which energy services can help alleviate poverty, and the environmental impacts of food production and consumption. Much of Jennifer's current research focuses on the developing world.