Author Archives: WSSCC

SCA and WSSCC partner to break silence around menstruation

Geneva, 17 November 2014 – SCA, a leading global hygiene and forest products company, and the Geneva-based Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), the only United Nations body devoted solely to the sanitation and hygiene needs of vulnerable and marginalized people, have today entered into an innovative new partnership to break the silence around menstruation for women and girls around the world. SCA and WSSCC will jointly work to educate on menstrual issues and the importance of good hygiene.

The parties announced the partnership in Cape Town, South Africa, in connection with Team SCA’s first stop-over in the Volvo Ocean Race round the world competition. During the Cape Town stop-over, Team SCA attended a menstrual hygiene workshop with girls and women from the townships of Khayelitsha and Gugaletu, where experts from WSSCC, the Volunteer Centre (a Cape Town NGO), and SCA led a training session and discussion of the challenges the women face in managing their periods.

The partnership will include actions during, and between, the race stopovers until June 2015. These include Brazil (Itajai), China (Sanya), New Zealand (Auckland), Portugal (Lisbon), South Africa (Cape Town), Sweden (Gothenburg), The Netherlands (The Hague), United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi) and the USA (Newport).

“Safe and hygienic menstruation is a basic human right and fundamental to women’s equality,” said Chris Williams, executive director of WSSCC. “Securing this right requires action at every level of society, from the girls and women of Khayelitsha and Gugaletu to multinational companies like SCA. I am proud that SCA has stepped up to the challenge, and I look forward to working closely with them to continue breaking the silence around menstruation.”

“Breaking the silence is the first step towards change”, said Rockaya Aidara, Programme Officer for Policy, Media, Advocacy and Communications at WSSCC.  Photo credit: Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi

“Breaking the silence is the first step towards change”, said Rockaya Aidara, Programme Officer for Policy, Media, Advocacy and Communications at WSSCC.
Photo credit: Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi

“A majority of adolescent girls and women in the world do not have access to adequate information about menstruation nor access to sanitation or hygiene products,” said Jan Johansson, President and CEO of SCA. “With the WSSCC partnership SCA aims to break the menstrual taboos that jeopardize the health of millions of women every day, raise the awareness of menstrual hygiene and empower women and communities to take action, as menstruation should not hold women back to participate fully in society socially, educationally and professionally.”

“They asked a lot of good questions,” said Sally Barkow who also emphasized the importance of talking to young girls about these issues. “You can even see a bit of their confidence now after only a couple of hours training.” Photo credit: Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi

“They asked a lot of good questions,” said Sally Barkow of Team SCA, who also emphasized the importance of talking to young girls about these issues. “You can even see a bit of their confidence now after only a couple of hours training.”
Photo credit: Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi

In many developing countries, millions of women and girls are left to manage their periods with solutions at hand, such as cloth, paper or clay and no access to private toilets, water or soap. Sanitary products like pads are unaffordable or simply unavailable, and urinary or reproductive tract infections are common. As a result, girls miss valuable days in school, and women are unable to work, stifling productivity and advancement.

Watch:

Facts:

  • On any given day, more than 800 million women between the ages of 15-49 are menstruating. Adequate and appropriate sanitation and hygiene facilities can provide a comfortable space for them to manage their menstruation with privacy and dignity.[1]
  • 70.9% of girls in India had no idea what was happening to them when they started their first period.[2]
  • One school study in Ethiopia reported over 50% of girls missing between one and four days of school per month due to menstruation.[3]
  • A factory case study in Bangladesh showed that 60% of female workers used rags from the factory floor as menstrual cloths. This resulted in infections that caused 73% of the women workforce missing work for an average of six days a month. An intervention to change this saw absenteeism drop to 3% resulting in significant economic gains for workers and factory owner.[4]
  • Women and girls living without any toilets (which also provide safe spaces for managing menstruation) spend 97 billion hours each year finding a place to go.[5]
  • 23% of Indian girls drop out of school after reaching puberty.[7]
  • Only 12% of India’s 355 million menstruating women use sanitary napkins.[8]

About WSSCC — The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council is at the heart of the global movement to improve sanitation and hygiene, so that all people can enjoy healthy and productive lives. Established in 1990, WSSCC is the only United Nations body devoted solely to the sanitation needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized people. In collaboration with our members in 150 countries, WSSCC advocates for the billions of people worldwide who lack access to good sanitation, shares solutions that empower communities, and operates the Global Sanitation Fund, which since 2008 has committed $97 million to transform lives in developing countries. Learn more at www.wsscc.org.

About SCA — SCA is a leading global hygiene and forest products company. The Group develops and produces sustainable personal care, tissue and forest products. Sales are conducted in about 100 countries under many strong brands, including the leading global brands TENA and Tork, and regional brands, such as Libero, Libresse, Lotus, Nosotras, Saba, Tempo and Vinda. As Europe’s largest private forest owner, SCA places considerable emphasis on sustainable forest management. The Group has about 44,000 employees. Sales in 2013 amounted to approximately SEK 93bn (EUR 10.7bn). SCA was founded in 1929, has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. For more information, visit www.sca.com.


[1] Team SCA is the only all-female crew in this year’s Volvo Ocean Race. www.teamsca.com/

[1] Needs and Trends in Menstrual Management: A Global Analysis; Ashwini Sebastian and Vivian Hoffmann, University of Maryland and Sarah Adelman, Mount Holyoke College

[2] In 2012, WSSCC designed and ran a Menstrual Hygiene Lab as part of the Great Wash Yatra that journeyed through five Indian states and 2,000km over 51 days. Twelve thousand girls and women took part in focus group discussions and 747 completed formal surveys.

[3] Menstrual hygiene matters, WaterAid 2012

[4] Jennifer Schappert, HER project and BSR at the Celebrating Women meeting in Geneva, March 8th, 2013

[5] WaterAid: Briefing note – 1 in 3 women lack access to safe toilets (19 November 2012).

[7] WSSCC

[8] IBID

WSSCC Appoints David Shimkus to Lead Global Sanitation Fund

Geneva, 1 October 2014 – The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) announced today that David Shimkus has joined the Global Sanitation Fund as its new Programme Director, bringing to the Fund over fifteen years of experience in international health and development.  He will oversee the Fund’s ongoing efforts to support community-led sanitation programmes in developing countries, including resource mobilization, financial management, capacity building and programme monitoring and evaluation.

“We are thrilled to have David Shimkus at the helm of WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund,” said WSSCC Executive Director Chris Williams. “He is a proven manager, leader and facilitator with a deep understanding of empowerment and community development.  I am confident that under his leadership, the Fund and its partners will help end open defecation and bring sanitation equity to millions more people in the developing world.”

Mr. Shimkus joins WSSCC from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), where he served as Senior Manager of Global Health Partnerships. In that role, Mr. Shimkus provided financial and programmatic oversight for collaborations between UNOPS and major global health organizations.  Prior to joining UNOPS, Mr. Shimkus was the Director of Business Development for Pathfinder International, where he led global planning and resource mobilization for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment and maternal and child health.

“I believe that sanitation is the crossroads of development – the focal point where wise investments can have a catalytic impact on all aspects of a community’s growth, from health to education to economic opportunity,” said Shimkus. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues at WSSCC and our many partners to build on the Fund’s strong foundation and expand our reach in the years to come.”

About the Global Sanitation Fund
The Global Sanitation Fund is the financing arm of WSSCC, providing targeted investments to sanitation programmes in the world’s most vulnerable communities.  It is the first and only international fund devoted solely to sanitation.  With a focus on sustainable, community-led initiatives, GSF helps fill the funding gap in countries where sanitation policies are in place but have not been fully implemented due to financial limitations.  Since its launch in 2010, the Fund has helped 3.7 million people in 14,000 communities stop defecating in the open.  Today, the Fund supports programmes in 11 countries with commitments totaling USD 97 million.

Video: 7 journalists win prestigious media awards for excellence in reporting on critical water, sanitation and hygiene issues

Seven journalists win prestigious media awards for excellence in reporting on critical water, sanitation and hygiene issues

WMA-Winners

Geneva/Stockholm, 5 September 2014 – Seven journalists were named today as winners of the “2014 WASH Media Awards” competition for their excellence in reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene-related (WASH) issues.

 The journalists, their winning entries, and the award categories are:

  • Marcelo Leite (Brazil):The Battle of Belo Monte” (Category: Water and Energy)
  • Natasha Khan (Canada) and Ketaki Gokhale (USA) No Menstrual Hygiene For Indian Women Holds Economy Back(Category: Equity and Inclusion in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)
  • Seun Aikoye (Nigeria):Lagosians shun public toilets as open defecation continues(Category: Ending Open Defecation)
  • Mbali Chiya (South Africa):Human Rights to Water and Sanitation (Category: The Human Right to Water and Sanitation)
  • Umaru Sanda Amadu (Ghana): “Water Wahala(Category: WASH in the Future: The Post-2015 Development Agenda)
  • Dilrukshi Handunnetti (Sri Lanka): “Sri Lankan Girls Miss out on Sanitation Gains(Category: Monitoring WASH Commitments)

The winning entries can be viewed here: http://www.wsscc.org/media/wash-media-awards/2012-2014. A high resolution photograph and summary video can also be found there or at the World Water Week page.

The winners received their awards today during a ceremony at the closing plenary session of the annual World Water Week in Stockholm.  In Stockholm this week, the journalists shared their experiences with leading water, sanitation, environment and development experts. The week concluded with a 2014 Stockholm Statement on Water, a collection of films and papers calling for a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Water.

Journalists are key partners for sanitation, hygiene and water sector professionals in their awareness raising, advocacy and behaviour change work. Journalists play a central role in the highlighting of water and gender related issues and positioning of women as environmental leaders. They greatly contribute to bringing in the spotlight the too often neglected issues of the necessity of toilets and hand washing for a dignified, safe and healthy life for billions of people.

The biannual WASH Media Awards competition is sponsored by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC, www.wsscc.org) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI, www.siwi.org). More than 100 entries from 30 countries were evaluated by a Mr. Mark Tran, a notable international correspondent for The Guardian, UK.

New results report from the WSSCC Global Sanitation Fund

GSF Logo 15kb (EN)According to its latest Progress Report update, national programs supported through the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) show consistent strong growth and have made significant progress in eradicating the practice of open defecation.

Almost six million people now live in open-defecation free (ODF) communes, villages and districts. This is two million more than six months ago The total number of 3.1 million people with an improved latrine as a result of GSF-funded programs is around double the number reported a year ago.

As of 1 July 2014, the Global Sanitation Fund supports work actively in Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda. In those countries, more than 140 sub-grantees have raised awareness of sanitation and hygiene nationally and in a number of regions. As a result of their work, more than three million people have access to improved toilets, among other leading indicators of progress.

The total number of 3.1 million people with an improved latrine as a result of GSF-funded programs is around double the number reported a year ago (1.6 million in June 2013). It is encouraging that the number of people in ODF environments and the number of people with improved latrines has continued to increase.

It suggests that efforts by WSSCC in the initial years to build consultative processes, introduce new systems and familiarize sub-grantees and local governments with methods of community-led total sanitation were a sound investment.

This mid-year progress update presents the on-going results of GSF program implementation.

To download a copy of the report, click here.

The UN Deputy Secretary-General invites you to view the global launch of the UN sanitation campaign to end open defecation

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2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to basic level sanitation. The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson has initiated, on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a renewed effort to drive progress on sanitation in the lead up to the 2015 target date of the Millennium Development goals and beyond.

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, from 10:00-11:00am US Eastern Standard Time, you can watch the launch of the new campaign live on UN TV, here:

http://webtv.un.org/

 

 

 

Beyond the anecdotal, unscientific or hard-to-validate: new grant opportunity from WSSCC on impact evaluation in sanitation

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) has announced a Call For Proposals (CFP) for grant support for work relating to the ‘design and implementation of impact evaluation of sanitation and hygiene programmes’.  The deadline for submissions is June 15, 2014. 

Over 2.5 billion people – one-third of the world’s population – will remain without access to improved sanitation in 2015. Yet monitoring and evaluation of scaled-up sanitation and hygiene behaviour change programmes, advocacy, policy influencing, capacity building, research and knowledge management are often anecdotal, unscientific or hard to validate. WSSCC’s grant support therefore aims to address this situation by developing more robust ways of measuring behaviour change, and developing benchmarks and meaningful indicators across the water and sanitation hygiene (WASH) sector.

The main objectives of the grant support activities are to:

  • Identify, research and carry out impact evaluations of three or more sector programmes or projects related to sanitation and hygiene, which will include an assessment of the impact of WSSCC’s work. Findings will be used for tracing gap-maps in sanitation and hygiene, and subsequently inform strategies for the sector and that of WSSCC post-2015; 
  • Assess the progress to date in implementation of the WSSCC Medium-Term Strategic Plan (MTSP), including a review of its delivery and operational mechanisms and approaches. Based on the findings, recommend subsequent course corrections to achieve its outcomes in a more efficient and effective manner;
  • Create an evaluation that identifies WSSCC’s niche, effectiveness of its approaches, its value addition and strategic relevance in the sector and beyond;
  • Advise on, and facilitate, the dissemination of the evaluation, uptake by WSSCC and sector actors to internalize the lessons and recommendations and incorporate them into planning, forecasting and strategy.

As a collaborating organization within the WASH sector, WSSCC aims to inform and support advancement of the sector’s evaluation culture, especially in relation to impact assessment. In addition to improving the effectiveness of its own work, the evaluation will help to build understanding and promote sector learning and practices around impact evaluations applicable to the post-2015 development landscape.

A description of the scope of work required, general instructions for submitting the proposal, eligibility criteria and other key submission information can be found at the WSSCC jobs/opportunities page