Poonam Sewak leads the Programs & Partnerships unit at Safe Water Network India. She brings rich multi-disciplinary experience in policy, strategy consulting, research, entrepreneurship, and institution building. She founded the organization’s flagship sustainable and affordable social enterprise model—locally branded as iJal—which has consistently provided safe drinking water to communities throughout India. She has pioneered the development of Safe Water Network’s knowledge hub, consisting of tool kits and educational modules that assist in promoting livelihoods by training social entrepreneurs in safe water.
A public policy professional, Poonam has co-authored various water sector reports, including a number of Safe Water Network’s city water assessments and a recurring review that assesses the state of urban and rural water supply in India. She has provided policy recommendations for the Indian Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation’s National Rural Drinking Water Program, part of India’s Har Ghar Jal initiative (which aims to bring “water to every household” by 2024). Poonam also convenes Safe Water Network India’s annual Beyond the Pipe Forums, which serve as national-level engagements with government officials, multilateral organizations, industry, and civil society. In addition, she conceptualized and launched the Small Water Enterprise Alliance, a multi-sectoral partnership for sector collaboration and the advancement of affordable safe drinking water for the poor.
Poonam is a health professional with more than 25 years of experience in education, consulting, training, and communication. This experience includes consultation for the pharmaceutical industry on medico marketing and drug registration, as well as the United Nations Asia Pacific Center for Technology Transfer concerning tools to promote women entrepreneurship. A recipient of the Indian Drug Manufacturer Award and credited with more than 70 publications on the subject of marketing and the scientific domain, Poonam has been affiliated with several pharmaceutical associations, and is currently a member of the Bureau of Indian Standards committee and serves as a guest speaker at international forums.
Poonam holds a Master’s degree in Pharmacy from the Nagpur University, and was recognized as a Gold Medalist in Pharmacy during her graduation.
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