EMW, BPN join hands in another iNGO merger

A boy enjoys clean water from a new pump installed with the assistance of the Blue Planet Network and Water for People in Malawi. The BPN will merge with East Meets West, another nonprofit that works in the water and sanitation sector. Photo by: BPN

A month after Save the Children and Merlin, another merger is announced in the aid community.

U.S.-based nonprofits East Meets West and Blue Planet Network have decided to join forces in a deal which will come into effect on September 6, both NGOs — which have been working together since 2006 — said in a statement.

EMW chief financial officer Tom Low explained that by combining their resources, the organizations hope to “accelerate innovation across the global water and sanitation community, amplifying the reach and sustainability of our efforts to bring clean water and improved sanitation and hygiene to more people in more places.”

“BPN’s expert analytical capabilities and EMW’s deep experience implementing in-country will allow us to drive innovation and results in new ways to better serve the global water and sanitation community,” Low told Devex.

Both NGOs have a long-standing working relationship since 2006, when EMW joined BPN’s web- and mobile phone-based platform collaborate on, plan, track and monitor water sanitation projects worth $42 million to benefit 1.2 million people in a total of 27 countries across the globe. 

Low noted that while mergers are still relatively uncommon in the nonprofit world, EMW sees these operations as an opportunity to “combines the talents and experience of [two organizations] to extend global reach and spur the creation of innovative solutions to difficult development challenges.” He added that mergers are a way for NGOs to increase efficiency and enhance results in a sector traditionally not focused on these aspects taken into account more by for-profit entities.

READ:iNGO mergers: A solution but no silver bullet

EMW, established in 1988, manages water sanitation projects that benefit almost 6 million people in Asia and West Africa, while BPN was established in 2006 with the goal of increasing access to safe drinking water in underprivileged communities.

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    Carlos Santamaria

    Carlos is a former associate editor for breaking news in Devex's Manila-based news team. He joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE ,and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York, and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.

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