Category Archives: IYS Themes

Global Handwashing Day – Water Currents

Global Handwashing Day – Water Currents, October 13, 2017

Global Handwashing Day is celebrated each year on October 15 to increase awareness and understanding around the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. USAID recognizes washing hands with soap at critical times as a vital step in curbing the spread of diarrhea and respiratory illness, and promoting healthy growth.

Photo credits: Morgana Wingard/USAID (left) and Be Secure/USAID (right)

Photo credits: Morgana Wingard/USAID (left) and Be Secure/USAID (right)

USAID works with vulnerable populations around the world who lack access to soap and water in the home and are often miles away from a safe and clean facility.

Join your soapy hands together to celebrate this year’s Global Handwashing Day theme, “Our Hands, Our Future.”

USAID handwashing efforts work toward a future where soap and water are accessible to every home and handwashing is a regular habit.

Events 
Interventions to Promote Handwashing and Sanitation Webinar. October 24, 2017. This Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) webinar will discuss the recent WSSCC/3ie systematic review, “Approaches to Promote Handwashing and Sanitation Behavior Change in Low and Middle Income Countries.”

Publications/Blogs
Handwashing ResearchWater Currents, August 2017. This issue highlights recent handwashing studies including research in Bangladesh, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, as well as studies on handwashing and infectious diseases, among other topics.

Read the complete issue.

Wastewater as a Resource Leaders Forum, 15 November 2017

As part of the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition in Buenos Aires, there will be a special, invitation-only,  Leadership Forum on wastewater reuse:

Wastewater Management and Reuse to build Water Wise Cities: Innovative Solutions for Engagement, Planning and Investment, 15 November 2017

Co-organised with World Bank, CAF and IFC

The Forum will take place in three sessions that will lead to the development of a framework to be carried forward and presented at the World Water Forum in Brazil in 2018.

The three sessions are on:

  • The wastewater challenge and reuse opportunity
  • Unlocking barriers and enabling reuse and recovery – innovative solutions/cases
  • A vision and roadmap for wastewater management and reuse to 2030

Learn more and invitation

 

WSSCC Webinar: Handwashing and sanitation behaviour change in WASH interventions, 24 October

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) would like to invite you to register to the online learning event: Handwashing and sanitation behaviour change in WASH interventions.

A webinar for WASH practitioners.

Learn about the most effective interventions to promote handwashing and sanitation.

Presented by Emmy De Buck, Manager and Lead Researcher, Centre for Evidence-Based Practice, (CEBaP), Belgian Red Cross-Flanders.

Moderated by Chaitali Chattopadhyay, Senior Programme Officer, Monitoring
and Evaluation, WSSCC

To register click here.

Read ahead:

Attention is increasingly focusing on programme design and approaches that promote water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) behaviour change in efforts to achieve UN Sanitation Goal 6. Several approaches have been developed over the last 2 decades that promote uptake of WASH interventions and sustain WASH behaviour change. While the evidence base for interventions in low and medium-income countries is extensive, there is a gap in behaviour change approaches in WASH interventions.

The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), in partnership with the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), funded a systematic review to help fill in this evidence gap. It looked at which promotional approaches might change handwashing and sanitation behaviour, and which implementation factors affect the success or failure of such promotional approaches. It synthesises evidence from 42 quantitative studies on the effectiveness of behaviour change approaches and 28 qualitative studies on the implementation of such programme.

Join the webinar on 24th October 2017 for the launch of this recent systematic review “Approaches to promote handwashing and sanitation behaviour change in low- and middle-income countries.”

The “Look it up Club” got me hooked: Sanitation Wikipedia needs you, too.

By Diane Kellogg, Chair Sanitation Wikipedia Project

My father always said:  “Your ticket off the chicken farm is your education.” My parents did their part.  They enrolled us in the “Look it up Club” by buying the World Book Encyclopedia, one book at a time—A through Z.   To any question we asked, our parents’ answer was the same:  “You’re a member of the Look it up Club aren’t you? Look it up.”

Education mattered so much that “I have homework” could get you out of gathering eggs after school.  As a result, all five of “the McKinney Kids” got good grades.   Still, I wanted off that chicken farm badly.  More degrees could get you even farther from the chicken farm, right?

I got so far from my practical roots that I actually ended up warning my students against looking it up.  At least not on Wikipedia.  The “pedia” of today couldn’t possibly be as good as the encyclopedia, right?  Anyone and everyone can add “stuff” to Wikipedia, so how could it be any good?

Was I ever wrong. 

You can’t get anything past the Wikipedia Warriors out there on the planet.  Yes, anyone can add things, but there will be an army of eyes on your work.  The article on cholera, for example.  A total of 244 people have the cholera article on their “watchlist.”  Many of those have probably asked Wikipedia to notify them by e-mail when “changes were made to an article you’re watching.”   If you make an assertion without referencing credible sources or insert your own opinion, you will hear from someone.  Wikipedia specializes in facts.  Objective facts.  Wikipedia’s standards keep going up.  It’s the best kind of crowd-sourcing:  the best version of the article is what sticks.

What bothers me is that some of the articles on sanitation are so unreadable:  Out of 100 points possible on the Flesch Readability Score, the page on “diarrhea” gets a 38.  And get this:  2700 people click on that article every day.  Multiply that by 365 days in a year, and you’ve got to wonder.  I wonder if those clickers are finding what they’re looking for.  Mothers in Mali with a sick baby want to know how much time they have to get fluids into that little body. Shouldn’t that diarrhea article be more easy to read and understand?

I’ve done penance in various ways.  I’ve assigned a few Wikpedia articles so students will know I am no longer snooty about the quality of what can be found there.  I’ve edited a few Wikipedia articles where I thought the experts were making concepts more obscure and complex than they needed to be.  (Thankfully, the Wikipedia Warriors said “Thank you: that makes the point more clear.”)  I’ve even asked colleagues to assign their students to do original research on WASH topics to see if they could find more recent information to add to articles.

Now I’m chairing a SuSanA drive to improve WASH content on Wikipedia ahead of World Toilet Day on 19 November 2017.

It’s that readability thing that has me so motivated.  Our goal is to raise the average readability of all WASH articles to 60-70.  The average is now 37.    (You can check the readability of your own writing at this link.)  In the spirit of  practice what you preach, I just did that for my blog:  65.

On World Toilet Day, we will award $500 Honorariums to especially dedicated Sanitation Wikipedia volunteers.  Click  on this page to join the team or email Wikipedia@SuSanA.org to offer a few hours of your time.  We make it fun.

 

 

Despite initial hiccups, Swachh Bharat mission scores on health report card

Despite initial hiccups, Swachh Bharat mission scores on health report card. ThePrint, October 4, 2017.

Narendra Modi participating in a construction of a twin toilet pit in Varanasi on 22 September.| Source: @NarendraModi

Narendra Modi participating in a construction of a twin toilet pit in Varanasi on 22 September.| Source: @NarendraModi

Study reveals health indicators for children, women have shown improvement in areas that have become open defecation-free under Swachh Bharat in the past year.

Even as questions are being raised over the Narendra Modi government’s track record of delivering on the Swachh Bharat mission, there is one report card where the PM’s pet project seems to be scoring well — the state of health report.

A study, undertaken by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on behalf of the drinking water and sanitation ministry to assess the health impact of the Swachh mission in rural areas, reveals that health indicators for children and women have shown considerable improvement in areas that have become open defecation-free (ODF) in the past one year.

The report, accessed by ThePrint, shows that the cases of diarrhoea among children are 46 per cent more in non-ODF areas; there are 78 per cent higher cases of worms in stools of children in non-ODF areas; 58 per cent higher cases of stunting among children and 48 per cent more cases of women with lower body mass index (BMI) than those in non-ODF areas.

The study observes that “becoming ODF had a positive impact on child’s health and nutrition, evident from the fact that the health and nutritional indicators of the children and mothers belonging to the ODF areas were comparatively better than their non-ODF counterparts”.

Read the complete article.

How Breaking Down Boundaries Can Solve Sanitation – John Sauer

How Breaking Down Boundaries Can Solve Sanitation. WASHfunders, September 2017. by John Sauer, Senior Technical Advisor for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at Population Services International. 

Photo: IPS, from a market development workshop in Senegal February 2017

Photo: IPS, from a market development workshop in Senegal February 2017

If we believe leading thinking on collaboration, we know we need to do more of it. But it’s also common sense that bad collaboration could be worse than no collaboration at all.

I think it’s fair to say that despite lots of talk and good intentions to collaborate, the sanitation sector – with a few possible exceptions – is still figuring out how to make collaboration translate into results.

Following are some ideas for how we can activate collaboration that is relevant and practical, built on existing efforts.

There are several movements underway in the sanitation space that joined together are the ingredients needed to enable significant progress towards achieving sanitation for all.

Examining these movements and what they respectively offer also gives insights into how collaboration focused on results might concretely happen and why we need to ultimately merge these for scale to happen.

By working collectively on market systems, public finance and developing social enterprises we can unlock the potential to achieve progress.

Operationalizing this within sanitation will also be proof of concept for collective impact within international development and support a needed paradigm shift.

Read the complete article.

Focus on Swachh Bharat – Water Currents

Focus on Swachh Bharat – Water Currents, October 2, 2017.

The Prime Minister of India launched the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission on October 2, 2014, to improve the level of sanitation and cleanliness by October 2, 2019, marking the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Swachh Bharat has two components: Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) for rural areas and the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) for urban areas.

In the city of Visakhapatnam (Vizag), India, improved sanitation facilities in schools are helping female students. Photo Credit: USAID/India

In the city of Visakhapatnam (Vizag), India, improved sanitation facilities in schools are helping female students. Photo Credit: USAID/India

To date, this campaign has rallied all corners of Indian society toward its ambitious sanitation goals, including enlisting Bollywood stars and prominent athletes to create awareness.

USAID partners with the Government of India to help drive changes in water and sanitation that make cities cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous by harnessing expertise and innovation. For example, USAID/India and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation support the Government of India’s efforts to eliminate open defecation and sustainably provide sanitation services.

This collaboration has resulted in 1078 out of 4041 cities being certified as open defecation free (ODF), helping improve the living conditions of more than 150 million people. USAID also partners with local civil society, U.S. universities, and the private sector, including the Coca-Cola Company, Google, and the Gap Inc. to address India’s water and sanitation challenges.

Featured below are select presentations, blogs, videos, and articles that highlight the wide-ranging accomplishments, trends, and challenges of Swachh Bharat.

Challenges and Progress 
National Policy on Faecal Sludge and Septage ManagementMinistry of Urban Development, February 2017. This national policy focuses Government of India efforts beyond ODF status to management of the entire fecal sludge and septage cycle.

Swachh Bharat Mission Highlights for the Year 2016-17Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, 2017. This report gives an update on the number of ODF villages, new initiatives to promote community participation, and other information.

Read the complete issue.