Author Archives: amylynngrossman

Focusing Attention on the Critical Role of Gender in Water and Sanitation

In Nepal, reducing the time it takes to fetch water by just one hour could increase girls’ school enrollment by 30%.

While women’s lives around the world have improved dramatically, gaps remain in many areas, including water and sanitation. For example, a recent study in 44 developing countries found that women carry water more often than men by a ration of nearly 2 to 1. Time is but one cost. There are many. How can we draw more attention to gender issues in water and sanitation ? Perhaps through drawings.

The World Bank/WSP 2012 Calendar combines illustrations,  humor, and data to focus attention on the role of gender in developing countries’ ability to ensure improved water and sanitation services for all citizens.  Gender is also the focus of the World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development .

Take a look. Images are worth a thousand words– and they can speak on behalf of billions.

Comments and feedback on the calendar are welcome at wsp@worldbank.org.

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Behavioral Determinants of Handwashing with Soap in Senegal and Peru: Emergent Learning

A new Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) Learning Note found that beliefs and ease of access to soap and water were correlated with handwashing with soap behaviors for given proxy measures among mothers and caretakers in Peru and Senegal.

“Behavioral Determinants of Handwashing with Soap Among Mothers and Caretakers: Emergent Learning from Senegal and Peru,” is based on survey data from nearly 3,500 households in Peru and 1,500 households in Senegal. This data was analyzed using FOAM, a conceptual framework developed by WSP to help identify factors that might facilitate or impeded handwashing with soap practices at critical times.

The analysis revealed that the impact of different determinants varies depending on the chosen proxy measure, such as the presence of a handwashing station or its distance from kitchen or latrine facilities. Given this variability, the Learning Note found that program managers must clearly define the exact behavior they seek to improve before choosing which determinant to focus on in their formative research.

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Research-Based Campaign Messaging is Critical for Sustaining Handwashing Behavior Change

Using data from formative research to focus messaging on mothers’ aspirations for their children and fine-tuning activities based on feedback from the field and household survey data have been key to developing and implementing a handwashing with soap behavior change program in Vietnam.

A new Learning Note, Vietnam: A Handwashing Behavior Change Journey for the Caretakers’ Program published by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), describes the steps that were taken to design, implement, and monitor the program to aid program managers in developing other handwashing and hygiene promotion efforts.

Working closely with the Woman’s Union, the program’s activities in Vietnam reached 540 communes in 10 provinces. The project also trained more than 15,000 community motivators who reached more than 1.76 million women through interpersonal communications activities. As the Learning Note reports, these activities evolved over time based on information from the monitoring systems.

“As the target audiences move beyond knowledge to intention to handwash with soap, behavior change messages must also be modified,” the report found, adding that as the project progressed, opportunities arose to “fine-tune the interpersonal communications activities based on feedback from the field and from the household monitoring data.”

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Leveraging Partnerships to Achieve Total Sanitation in East Africa

A 2010 analysis showed that most East African countries have national sanitation policies and plans in place, but that the actual programs often lack coordination. To meet the Millennium Development Goals for sanitation, such programs must combine their efforts to achieve behavior-change outcomes and focus on commonalities, which include an emphasis on learning, demand creation, and capacity building.

These key understandings are among several discussed in a new Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) Learning Note, Partnering on the Road Towards Achieving Total Sanitation in East Africa. The report highlights the objectives and initial outcomes of a learning exchange held in Tanzania, which focused on how governments and agencies can work effectively as partners to achieve sustained sanitation scale up.

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Developing a Decentralized Performance Monitoring System

Large-scale projects that engage multiple government and non-government agencies entail specific considerations when designing and implementing a management information system (MIS) to support performance monitoring. Training and independent evaluation are key.

These and other insights are summarized in a new Learning Note from the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), Developing a Decentralized Performance Monitoring System in Senegal, by Seydou Koita, based on an MIS system developed to support the Global Scaling Up Handwashing Project in Sengal.

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Utilizing Results-Based Financing to Strengthen Sanitation Services

Results-Based Financing (RBF), which offers incentives for behavior change based on results,  has achieved practical success in both the health and education sectors. To date, however, applications of RBF in the sanitation sector have been limited.

In Identifying the Potential for Results-Based Financing for Sanitation, a new Working Paper published by the Water and Sanitation Program and the SHARE consortium, Sophie Trémolet offers practical ideas to apply RBF financing mechanisms to improve the delivery of sustainable sanitation services. Continue reading

Sustaining Behavior Change Interventions: Enabling Environment for Handwashing with Soap in Peru

A new endline report discusses how Peru’s enabling environment for handwashing with soap has progressed since 2007.  The research, conducted by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), indicates that the enabling environment has been strengthened at both national and regional levels. In addition, efforts to integrate and institutionalize handwashing with soap behavior change into national, regional, and local policies related to health and nutrition, education, water, and sanitation have largely been achieved.

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