Tag Archives: Kenya

Webinar: WASH in Schools, 13 December 2012

Webinar: WASH in Schools

National Policy Changed by WASH in Schools Research

Date: Thursday 13 December 2012

Time: 14:30 – 15:30 CET (Central European Time)
19:00 – 20:00 New Delhi
16:30 – 17:30 Nairobi
08:30 – 09:30 New York

Presenters:

Mamita Bora Thakkar, UNICEF India
Brooks Keene and Jason Oyugi, CARE

Whether you like it or not, governments have a role to play in effective implementation of WASH in Schools programmes. This webinar will explore how national policy is influenced by the work of UNICEF in India and SWASH+ in Kenya.

Combining experiences in Kenya and India, the webinar aims to do three things:

  • examine how UNICEF India supports the Indian government in identifying and overcoming obstacles that prevent the achievement of sustainable WASH in Schools
  • explore how the SWASH+ research helped change the national policy on school WASH in Kenya
  • provide insights into how best to track progress and results.

Register herehttps://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/428349031

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Space is limited so please reserve your Webinar seat on time if you want to participate.

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Contact organisers

Ingeborg Krukkert, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre
Krukkert@irc.nl

Malaika Cheney-Choker, CARE USA
mcheneycoker@care.org

Peepoo toilets in flood emergencies in Sindh, Pakistan and Kisumu, Kenya

SWASH+ Website Launch – 6 Years of School WASH Research Have Come Together!

From: Julie Straw, MPH
CARE USA Water Team

SWASH+ is an action-research and advocacy project focused on increasing the scale, impact and sustainability of school water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions in Kenya. Since September 2006, SWASH+ has collaborated with teachers and students in 185 primary schools in four districts in Nyanza Province, Kenya to identify challenges and analyze innovative solutions for sustaining school WASH. The project’s randomized controlled trials and numerous sub-studies have resulted in a compendium of research publications, one-page research summaries, stories from the field, photo essays and short films now available for the public on the new SWASH+ website.

Six years of research was not conducted to simply share findings among academics and non-government organizations; from day 1 the project was designed with a strong advocacy-for-policy-change to reach successful implementation of school WASH throughout Kenya. The Government of Kenya has been a key contributor and the ultimate target audience for the lessons and recommendations from the SWASH+ project.

This research-based advocacy approach has led to wide-spread change across Kenya. SWASH+ research directly contributed to the Kenya’s Ministry of Education decision to double funding for school WASH ($840,000/year) with potentially more to come.  This increase makes a difference in whether or not a school is able to purchase consumables such as soap, WaterGuard for treating water, and latrine cleaning supplies – thus affecting student wellbeing and attendance. Research also brought national attention to the menstrual hygiene needs of young women in Kenya, resulting in Kenyan government allocation of $3.4 million for sanitary pads for school girls this year. SWASH+ research also impacted the adoption of new curriculum and…(want to read more? Check out the new SWASH+ website)

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Kenya – WASH in Schools Lessons Learned

Source – WASHfunders Blog, Aug 17, 2012

Editor’s Note: This guest post was authored by Malaika Cheney-Coker, the learning and influencing advisor of the Water Team at CARE USA. Her work includes support on internal and external communications, the application and use of monitoring and evaluation tools, and technical guidance on learning strategies and activities within partnership programs of the Water Team. In this post, Malaika discusses the implications of a school WASH project study on action-research projects.

In the summer of 2007, SWASH+, a school WASH project in Nyanza Province, Kenya, with a large and complex research operation, conducted a small study. The study was a simple identification of the recurrent costs needed to pay for materials and for labor to maintain and repair water containers, stands, taps, and to re-purchase soap and water purification items. Very different from the larger randomized controlled trials and studies being conducted by the project, this study  cost little and did not require a large research team (it was conducted by a graduate student over the course of a summer) or complex design and analysis. However, the findings of this simple cost research were immediately adopted by the Ministry of Education and resulted in a doubling of the Ministry’s Free Primary Education allotment for electricity, water, and conservancy — a budget line item that schools have traditionally used to pay for WASH costs.

Parent volunteer helps monitor school WASH conditions by ensuring soapy water is available for hand-washing, drinking water is treated, and latrines are clean. Credit: CARE / Brendan Bannon, Kenya, 2012

From this experience, the SWASH+ team gained some important insights into how action-research projects can achieve results:

  • Various forms of inquiry are needed to produce and buttress an evolving story. The simple study on WASH costs was a logical next step after a study on the sustainability of a safe water systems pilot in 55 schools identified adequate financing as one of four domains of sustainability. A problem tree analysis also identified inadequate or poorly planned financing as a key threat to sustainability. Similarly, SWASH+ findings from a randomized controlled trial on the effects of school WASH on pupil absence provided evidence for one of the potential impacts of improved school WASH (an average of six days less of absence for school girls) and helped make the case for increasing investments in school WASH.
  • Research needs to be made available to policymakers in practical terms. The budget for operations costs drafted by SWASH+ offered specific and practical recommendations that could be more readily adopted than a general injunction to the Ministry of Education to increase its funding.
  • To make research available in practical terms, action-research organizations need to be adept at canvassing entry points and opportunities for influence. A SWASH+ review of the national school WASH strategy draft revealed that the cost estimates related to school WASH seemed arbitrary. By having had cultivated relationships within the Ministry, SWASH+ was able to point this out and suggest that these numbers be revised using figures provided by the research.

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6 years of school WASH research have come together!

SWASH+ is an action-research and advocacy project focused on increasing the scale, impact and sustainability of school water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions in Kenya. Since September 2006, SWASH+ has worked in 185 primary schools in four districts in Nyanza Province, Kenya to identify challenges and analyse innovative solutions for sustaining school WASH. The project’s randomized controlled trials and numerous sub-studies have resulted in a compendium of journal articles, research reports, one-page research summaries, stories from the field, photo essays and videos now available on the new SWASH+ website.

Advocacy-for-policy-change focus

From day one the project was designed with a strong advocacy-for-policy-change focus in order to contribute to successful implementation of school WASH throughout Kenya. SWASH+ research directly contributed to the Kenya’s Ministry of Education decision to double funding for school WASH (US$ 840,000/year) with potentially more to come. SWASH+ Research also helped bring national attention to the menstrual hygiene needs of school-aged girls in Kenya, resulting in a government allocation of US$ 3.4 million for sanitary pads for school girls this year.

Now the launch of the new website brings the voices of students, teachers, staff and government officials to a global audience along with years of research and lessons learned.

Partners

The partners that form the SWASH+ consortium are CARE, Emory University, the Great Lakes University of Kisumu, the Government of Kenya, and Water.org. SWASH+ is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Water Challenge. The new website is created and hosted by IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre.

Nairobi’s Garbage Dump Pits Pickers Against Neighbors

Source: David Conrad – Pulitzer Center Blog – May 14, 2012

Weighted with two heavy sacks of discarded milk bags and meat bones slung across her back, a plastic bag of rotted cabbage in her hand, Rahab Ruguru walks through a smoky landscape of mountainous piles of burning waste, scavenging for a living.

“Working here is how I am able to feed my children,” says the 42-year-old mother of six, stooping to pocket a handful of discarded candy from the ground. “Of course it is not a usual job. Dodging pigs [and] used condoms, eating what I find. No, it’s not good for me. But it is a job and I have to persevere.”

Rahab Ruguru, 42, a mother of six children—between the ages of four and 17—moved to a small home directly bordering Dandora after the country’s 2007 post-election violence forced her family from their Eldoret farm near the western border of Kenya. Image by Micah Albert. Kenya, 2012.

Ms. Ruguru is one of an estimated 6,000 people who come daily to mine the Dandora city dump, a sprawling 12-hectare wasteland about 15 kilometres from Nairobi’s thriving central business district. They sort and place into large sacks waste that can either be eaten or sold to recycling companies – mostly metals, rubber, glass, milk bags, plastics, meat bones and electronics. Nobody earns more than $2.50 (U.S.) a day.

Nearly one million people live in the slums that surround the dump, the only one serving the Kenyan capital. While the Dandora garbage dump provides a source of income for some – Ms. Ruguru, for instance, says her scavenged items bring her money for her children’s food, school fees, books and uniforms – it is at the centre of a political controversy.

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Translating Research into National-Scale Change: A Case Study from Kenya of WASH in Schools

Translating Research into National-Scale Change: A Case Study from Kenya of WASH in Schools, 2011. SWASH Project.

Over the past 5 years CARE, Emory University’s Center for Global Safe Water, and Water.org, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Sustaining and Scaling School Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Plus Community Impact (SWASH+) project, have worked to achieve sustainable and national-scale school WASH services in Kenya through applied research and advocacy. The project tested a multi-armed school WASH intervention through a randomized, controlled trial with multiple policy-relevant sub-studies. Research results were then used to advocate for policy change to bring about sustainable school WASH services nationally. These efforts have focused on improving budgeting for operations and maintenance costs, improving accountability systems with a focus on monitoring and evaluation, and more effectively promoting knowledge of WASH through teacher training and the national curriculum.

Advocacy objectives were developed through a problem-tree analysis and stakeholder analyses. SWASH+ used Outcome Mapping to track progress against these objectives. Specific advocacy goals were to identify important policy intervention areas, work with policymakers to update knowledge and identify learning gaps and then act as a learning adviser to the relevant ministries.

Though the project has not achieved all advocacy objectives, it can claim some advances. Lessons for effective school WASH advocacy gained from the program successes and mistakes are as follows:
1) Having a rigorous evidence base creates large amounts of credibility with policymakers.
2) Significant time and follow-up are needed as well as having staff with appropriate skills.
3) The “ripeness” of the external policy environment is crucial and can make or break efforts to affect national-scale change. Successful advocacy initiatives avoid being insular, focus on the external policy environment at the outset, assess data needs and stakeholder roles and responsibilities, and set
reasonable objectives.

Assessing the impact of a school-based water treatment, hygiene and sanitation programme on pupil absence

Tropical Medicine & International Health, December 2011

Assessing the impact of a school-based water treatment, hygiene and sanitation programme on pupil absence in Nyanza Province, Kenya: a cluster-randomized trial

Matthew C. Freeman, Leslie E. Greene, et al.

Objectives  There has been increased attention to access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) at schools in developing countries, but a dearth of empirical studies on the impact. We conducted a cluster-randomized trial of school-based WASH on pupil absence in Nyanza Province, Kenya, from 2007 to 2008.

Methods  Public primary schools nested in three geographical strata were randomly assigned and allocated to one of three study arms [water treatment and hygiene promotion (WT & HP), additional sanitation improvement, or control] to assess the effects on pupil absence at 2-year follow-up.

Results  We found no overall effect of the intervention on absence. However, among schools in two of the geographical areas not affected by post-election violence, those that received WT and HP showed a 58% reduction in the odds of absence for girls (OR 0.42, CI 0.21–0.85). In the same strata, sanitation improvement in combination with WT and HP resulted in a comparable drop in absence, although results were marginally significant (OR 0.47, 0.21–1.05). Boys were not impacted by the intervention.

Conclusion  School WASH improvements can improve school attendance for girls, and mechanisms for gendered impacts should be explored. Incomplete intervention compliance highlights the challenges of achieving consistent results across all settings.

Access full article here.

Kenya – Experts link poor WASH services to a surge in chronic diseases

Experts link poor water and sanitation services to a surge in chronic diseases

Fresh evidence linking rising cases of non communicable diseases (NCD) with poor water and sanitation services in Kenya could inform increased international cooperation over the issue at an international summit next week (19 to 20 September 2011).

Data presented by officials from the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MPHS) during the first National Forum on Non Communicable Diseases in Nairobi identified poor water and sanitation delivery as one of leading causes of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.

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Danish company gets Sida grant to sell menstrual cups in Kenya

Danish firm Makit ApS has been awarded a small grant from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to further develop and market a menstrual cup for the Kenyan market. Makit is one of twelve companies that have been granted funds of up to 20,000 Euros in the first round of the Swedish Innovations Against Poverty programme.

Ruby Cup is a menstrual cup made of medical grade non-allergenic and non-toxic silicone that can be re‐used up to 10 years. Rather than absorbing the menstrual fluid like disposable products, Ruby Cup collects it during the period. When full, it is emptied, washed, and applied again. In order to ensure hygienic use, the cup needs to be boiled and stored between menstrual periods.

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