Author Archives: usaidwaterckm

Frontiers of Sanitation (16): Incontinence: We Need to Talk About Leaks

The new Frontiers of Sanitation (16): Incontinence: We Need to Talk About Leaks aims to provide the WASH sector with:

  • A basic introduction to incontinence and the realities that people living with incontinence face;
  • Practical suggestions for how to identify and engage with people living with incontinence to start ‘talking about leaks, ‘How to Talk About Leaks: A Checklist’ accompanies the Frontiers;
  • Practical suggestions for the WASH sector (and others) to contribute to reducing inequalities associated with incontinence.

The Sanitation Learning Hub would like to extend many thanks to the excellent authors who created the guide and checklist: Claire Rosato-Scott, Dr Dani Barrington, Dr Amita Bhakta, Dr Sarah House, Dr Islay Mactaggart and Jane Wilbur.

A WASH update from USAID Water CKM

The purpose of this informal research update is to highlight some of the most recent WASH sector studies and resources by USAID and others. Please send links to recent or upcoming studies and events that you would like to feature in upcoming issues. We welcome your suggestions to make the updates more useful.  This biweekly features:

  • updates
  • Other USAID updates
  • Events
  • Water quality/water security studies
  • Health studies
  • Sanitation studies
  • WASH & COVID-19 updates

USAID Global Water and Development Report FY 2018–2019. USAID, October 2020. During the first two years of the U.S. Global Water Strategy implementation (Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019), USAID provided $835 million to support water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities in 51 countries.

What Does it Take to Sustain Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Outcomes? Lessons from Six Ex-Post Evaluations. USAID Water CKM Team, October 2020. Through its commitment to identifying sustainable approaches to WASH, USAID commissioned a series of six ex-post evaluations of its WASH activities completed three to 10 years prior. These studies identified what outcomes had been sustained years later and why. Link to the October 22, 2020 webinar.

USAID Water and Development Technical Series. These technical briefs provide guidance on important topics for developing and implementing water and sanitation activities in support of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and USAID’s plan under the strategy. Technical Briefs are available on: Rural Water Services, Rural Sanitation Services, WASH and Its Links to Nutrition, Gender Equality and Female Empowerment in WASH, and Urban Sanitation Services.

USAID Transform WASH: Ethiopia’s Business Environment and Business and How It Influences WASH Market Development. IRC WASH, September 2020. This Learning Note explores challenges in the private sector enabling environment and highlights opportunities for growth and investment in the WASH sector. Additional Learning Notes

USAID Global Water and Development Report FY 2018–2019

USAID Global Water and Development Report FY 2018–2019. USAID, October 2020.

This year’s Global Water and Development Report of Water and Sanitation Activities explores USAID  water, sanitation, and hygiene programming two years into the implementation of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy

Key areas of programmatic focus include governance and finance, sanitation and hygiene, safe drinking water, and water resources management. Read the report to learn how USAID is achieving these development goals in eight different countries.

We are proud to share that in FY 2018 and 2019, USAID provided $835 million to support water, sanitation, and hygiene activities in 51 countries.

As a result of USAID support from FY 2008 to FY 2019, 53.7 million people gained access to sustainable water services, and 38 million people gained access to sustainable sanitation services. 

Rapid Action Learning and COVID-19 – Sanitation Learning Hub

Rapid Action Learning and COVID-19 – Sanitation Learning Hub, October 2020.

A-ha! A moment etched in my memory: 20 or so researchers were gathered in a room in Delhi. All were engaged in field research projects relevant to sanitation, health and the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission- Gramin. The SBMG campaign was huge and thought to be the largest behaviour change programme ever in the world.

It had the high-profile target of an open defecation free rural India in about two years from the time of this meeting. The Secretary responsible for leading and driving the programme came briefly to see what he could learn.

The field researchers explained that it was too early to be able to say anything definite but in a year or two they would have something for him….the Secretary’s response was stark and emphatic, ‘I don’t want to know in a year or two. I need to know now!’

In parallel and in contrast with the more conventional research reported in this Delhi meeting, the Sanitation Learning Hub at IDS, with our partners WSSCC, WaterAid India, Praxis, Delhi University and others, were working on what we called RAL (Rapid Action Learning).

Read the complete blog post.

Rapid Action Learning for Sanitation and Hygiene Programming

Rapid Action Learning for Sanitation and Hygiene Programming
Frontiers of Sanitation 15, September 2020

Over the past few years, the Sanitation Learning Hub, in collaboration with the Government of India, Praxis, WSSCC and WaterAid India, have been developing Rapid Action Learning approaches. Multiple approaches have been trialled, with flexible formats, but the essential criteria is that learning is timely, relevant and actionable.

These learning approaches are the focus of the latest edition of the Frontiers of Sanitation series. This Frontiers explains the advantages and disadvantages of the approaches trialled and sets out a challenge to those working in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector to:

  • Reflect on what, for you, constitutes rigour.
  • Adopt and adapt approaches to fit your context and needs.
  • Develop your own approaches.
  • Record your experiences and lessons learnt.

Nine Myths to Dispel About Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Nine Myths to Dispel About Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, by Pallavi Bharadwa. Engineering for Change, September 2020.

In these uncertain times, it can be difficult to determine what is true and what is not. This includes the news from around the world for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). This article attempts to dispel nine myths that may have appeared in response to WASH events.


If you have not seen the news highlighting racism in international publishing, you might think that all peer-reviewed journals were created equal. A reseach team based in South Africa, Australia and Denmark brought this debate front and center on Twitter and on E4C, and they keep the conversation going on breaking racial barriers.


In continuation to the above, the Rural Water Supply Network shared an article by Euphresia Luseka. It caused an online furor on the state of relationships between the global South and global West when it comes to WASH knowledge. Two key sections from Euphresia’s article have been summarized well on the SuSanA forum. The author argues that, while the physical state of colonization is a thing of the past, it is still alive and well when it comes to the WASH knowledge. Also, “It’s 2020 and still it is puzzling how north donor organizations design strategies, policy documents, frameworks, guidelines and so on to guide Africa’s water sector and they are endorsed for sector practice with zero participation in authoring, editing or overall contributions by Africans, including those from their organizations,” the author writes. A new approach needs to be applied to not only systems thinking but also alleviate institutional biases.


After the upsetting news from the above revelations, we could use a break provided by this article on How (not) to write about global health, by Desmond T Jumbam in BMJ Global Health Journal. The article was inspired by a famous satirical article by the Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina, “How to write about Africa,” and presents guidelines for how to write about global health poorly. “There has been little guidance on how to write about global health in a way that advances equity and justice. I present some guidelines for how (not) to write about global health,” the author writes.

Read the complete article.

USAID Water and Development Technical Series: Urban Sanitation Services

USAID Water and Development Technical Series: Urban Sanitation Services, September 2020.


• Urban sanitation is more than just toilets. Dense urban environments require consideration of the whole sanitation service chain to ensure safely managed sanitation: fecal waste containment, collection, transport, treatment, and final disposal or reuse.
• Effective urban sanitation is city-wide and inclusive. There is no simple solution – rapidly growing cities require a range of technical solutions across the sanitation service chain. Ensuring that everyone benefits from safely managed sanitation requires specific approaches to target the underserved.
• Apply commercial principles to service provision. Management of sanitation services is as important as the technologies involved, and financial viability is a critical element of sustainable services. Local governments and providers must understand what the costs are for safely managed sanitation and how costs will be covered.
• Aim for strategic, incremental improvements. The sanitation challenge in urban areas is likely to overwhelm any single actor, so it is important to identify a manageable gap for USAID programming to address. Large investments in master planning and infrastructure are required, but urban migration, political dynamics, and logistical complexity require an incremental, locally relevant, and dynamic approach.

USAID WASH Project in Georgia (Video)

Josh’s Water Jobs – U.S. citizens and legal residents: Director of Engineering (WASH)

DigDeep USA | Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: Full-Time | Organization Type: NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: Senior (10+ Years) | Degree Required: Bachelor’s (Or Equivalent)

Simply Put: DigDeep is the only WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) organization serving the more than 2 million Americans who still don’t have a tap or toilet at home. DigDeep is growing fast. We won the 2018 US Water Prize for our Navajo Water Project, which has brought clean, running water to hundreds of Native families across New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

The Opportunity:

The Director of Engineering leads and coordinates DigDeep’s water, sanitation, and hygiene systems, including the design, technical implementation, operational excellence, and long-term sustainability. This position will support headquarters and field programs by creatively identifying appropriate technology, preparing and reviewing designs, monitoring system performance, and providing leadership and oversight throughout the project cycle.

The Director of Engineering is responsible for actively participating in the development and completion of projects, ensuring quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of DigDeep’s WASH systems, providing expert guidance and support, and maintaining positive relationships with both internal and external stakeholders,

Additional information/Apply

WASHPaLS RFP – Advancement of Metrics for Menstrual Hygiene Management in the Workplace

Tetra Tech ARD Request for Proposal (RFP) No. 1866-003 – Date: September 8, 2020

  • RFP ISSUANCE DATE: September 8, 2020
  • RFP CLOSING DATE FOR QUESTIONS: September 18, 2020, 4:00pm EDT
  • SUBMISSION DEADLINE: October 7, 2020, 4:00pm EDT
  • AUTHORITY: Tetra Tech ARD
  • DESCRIPTION: Tetra Tech ARD Request for Proposal No. 1866-003 entitled “Advancement of Metrics for Menstrual Hygiene Management in the Workplace”
  • REQUESTOR: Tetra Tech ARD WASHPaLS Project
  • E-mail:

The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) project is a centrally funded activity of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Health Bureau, implemented by Tetra Tech ARD and partners.

The objective of this RFP is to adapt existing MHM measure(s), as appropriate, for applicability to the workplace and/or advance development of metrics to more comprehensively capture menstrual needs, practices/behaviors, as well as attitudes and social norms relating to MHM in the workplace, and field test these in two or more countries to develop a set of validated metrics which can be considered for inclusion in broad-scale, national surveys such as the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS).

  • A detailed RFP can be requested via email to
  • All proposals must be submitted no later than October 7, 2020.
  • The email subject in response to this solicitation should reference the RFP number.