Dr. Robert Bos
International Water Association
Senior Advisor
Dr. Robert Bos is a Dutch public health biologist who completed a 32-year career in the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2013. He has worked on a range of issues on the interface of water, environment and human health.

He holds M.Sc.'s from the University of Amsterdam in medical biology and in basic and clinical immunology. He has worked in East, West and southern Africa, in South and South-East Asia, and in Central America.
Currently, Dr. Robert Bos is senior advisor to the International Water Association on a part-time basis, tasked with work on the human rights to water and sanitation, human resources assessment and resource mobilization strategies.

2013: Retired from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

2009 - 2013: In his position of Coordinator, Water, Sanitation, and Health, he led WHO efforts in the global monitoring of access to sanitation and drinking-water, in normative (drinking-) water quality work, in the promotion of drinking-water and sanitation in different settings and on incorporating a health component into water resources development and management. Under his leadership, a WHO Assembly Resolution was adopted in 2011, setting the policy framework for WHO's activities until 2020, and proposed WASH targets and indicators were developed for the post-2015 development agenda.

As the Executive Secretary of the joint WHO/FAO/UNEP Panel of Experts on Environmental Management for Vector Control, he promoted the development of health impact assessment (HIA) and managed technical assistance, research and capacity building on the reduction of vector-borne disease transmission in the context of water resources development (dams, irrigation schemes). He led the development of innovative, problem-based learning approaches for HIA in Central America, Africa and SE Asia.
He managed a multi-disciplinary research project in Cote d'Ivoire and Mali on the links between irrigated rice production systems and malaria and schistomomiasis. He contributed to the development of norms and standards for safe use of wastewater in agriculture as laid down in the 3rd edition of WHO's guidelines on this subject (2006) and managed their field testing in Ghana, Senegal and Jordan.
He represented WHO in the negotiations on the Stockholm Convention on the Elimination of Persistent Organic Pollutants.

1981-2013: 32 years career at WHO.
International Water Association


IWA supports a series of strategic programmes on subjects critical to the water sector's wider development.