Tag Archives: SWASH+

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.

Rethinking schools-based programming

“Schools are graveyards of failed infrastructure”, says Water For People CEO Ned Breslin in his blog Rising Tide on 27 August 2010. To rectify this, Water For People is now promoting integrated water and sanitation programs that cater both for schools and communities. “We don’t help a school and not help a family”.

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Central America: SWASH+ program expands to 150 more schools

Photo; Water For People

With new funds from the Inter-American Development Bank and The Coca-Cola Foundation, the SWASH+ program will provide safe drinking water, restroom facilities, and improved hygiene education to over 15,000 more students at 150 schools in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

SWASH+ (School Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Education Plus Community Impact) Central America is a regional of the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) that is be implemented by the US NGOs Water For People, CARE and Catholic Relief Services. So far the program has provided school sanitation facilities to 17,331 students in 152 schools.

In Guatemala, SWASH+ is targeting 65 additional schools and communities in Guatemala. In each school, the program trains the Parent-Teacher Association and school director to build a water supply system. Training on water treatment is also provided. The community helps to build or renovate school restrooms.

Co-financing from local governments and communities is a key part of SWASH+.

Parents and students also participate in hygiene training that emphasizes the importance of handwashing to prevent disease.

UNICEF, ITT and the Global Water Challenge have also been key supporters of the SWASH+ program.

Related web site: SWASH+

Source: Water for People, 23 Aug 2010

SWASH+: School WASH website launched

The SWASH+ consortium has launched a new web site: www.swashplus.org

SWASH+ Kenya was developed from a pilot initiative funded by the Coca Cola Africa Foundation. The initiative began in 2005, when the Millennium Water Alliance, CARE, Water.org (formerly Water Partners International), and Kenya-based SANA implemented a school and community WASH project. SWASH+ Kenya’s current partners are CARE, Emory University’s Center for Global Safe Water, Water.org, and the Kenya Water and Health Organisation. It is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Water Challenge.

SWASH+ Central America, launched in early 2008 and based in part upon SWASH+ Kenya, is the first regional program of the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA), a group of 11 US-based NGOs that work in the WASH sector. The project is being implemented in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, by MWA partners CARE, Catholic Relief Services, and Water For People. The project is coordinated by the Millennium Water Program Secretariat, which is hosted by Water For People in the Regional Office for Central America in Honduras. It is funded by each partner, Global Water Challenge, UNICEF, ITT Corporation, and other key donors including national and local municipal governments.

As a learning project, SWASH+ in Kenya focused on gathering data on the impact of school WASH interventions on schools and communities through research that included randomised controlled trials in 185 schools.

The new web site presents downloadable research reports on topics ranging from latrine maintenance, to menstrual management, to rainwater harvesting. Reports on impacts of school WASH on pupil absenteeism and links to other organisations will soon be available.

SWASH+ news updates are published in the SWASH+ blog.