Category Archives: Dignity and Social Development

Living standards lag behind economic growth

Living standards lag behind economic growth. Eureka Alert, February 13, 2017.

As incomes rise in developing countries, access to basic amenities such as electricity, clean cooking energy, water, and sanitation, also improves–but not uniformly, and not as quickly as income growth, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The study looked at historical rates of energy access compared to other living standards and GDP.

“What we found is that income growth alone isn’t enough on its own to get these basic necessities to all people in society,” explains IIASA researcher Narasimha D. Rao, who led the study.

The researchers also found that access to clean cooking energy and sanitation lagged behind access to electricity and water, a finding which has an outsize impact on the poorest members of society, and especially on women.

“Women bear the brunt of health risks that come from cooking with solid fuels, as well as from lack of sanitation, because women are predominantly responsible for cooking and household work,” explains IIASA researcher Shonali Pachauri, who also worked on the study.

Read the complete article.

In Burkina Faso the political commitment for sanitation is unequivocal

The first lady of Burkina Faso has pledged her support for the “Fasotoilettes 2017” campaign.

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IRC and their partners have been saying it for years: to achieve universal sanitation by 2030 (SDG6-2), the commitment of all stakeholders is essential – from the top to the active participation of citizens at grass roots level. We all remember that the President of Burkina Faso made water and sanitation a priority in his electoral campaign and since his election the Government has continued to show its commitment to sanitation and supports the participatory approach promoted by many NGOs by calling on all the citizens of Burkina to get involved.

And on 23 January, it is the wife of the President, Mrs. Sika Kaboré, who added her voice to this movement, showing the importance she accords to the subject by joining the people’s campaign for toilets, “FASOTOILETTES 2017, presiding the opening ceremony.

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Fasotoilettes 2017 launch ceremony by Mrs Sika Kaboré

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Trading in trash: Nairobi’s e-waste entrepreneurs – in pictures

Trading in trash: Nairobi’s e-waste entrepreneurs – in pictures. The Guardian, February 1, 2017.

From small-scale traders to a company processing hundreds of tonnes of e-waste, we explore Nairobi’s relationship with a burgeoning waste stream and visit the people turning it into a resource. Photographs and words by Nathan Siegel.  nairobi

John Obanda, who owns a repair shop, fixes a broken motherboard. Obanda sources items from collectors who work in nearby landfill sites and is one of thousands of traders who buy and recycle discarded electrical and electronic goods in Nairobi.

E-waste has ballooned in the city in the past decade due to rising mobile phone penetration and a burgeoning middle class.

Read the complete article.

Without Access to Clean, Safe Toilets, Women Face Assault and Illness

Without Access to Clean, Safe Toilets, Women Face Assault and Illness. News Deeply, February 3, 2017.

Over 940 million people globally have to defecate outside because they lack access to toilets. In a nomad camp in Pakistan, women tell of how relieving themselves behind bushes or in fields puts them at risk of health problems, harassment and sexual assault every day. 

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Nasreen Bibi, 27, is busy preparing lunch for her family outside their squalid tent. Ten years ago, poverty drove her and her husband to move their three children and a camel from Sheikhupura, Punjab, to Peshawar in Pakistan to look for work.

Since then, they have been living in a tent in a nomad camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, selling camel’s milk on the roadside for $2.50 a day. Their makeshift home has no water, electricity or toilets.

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Nasreen Bibi prepares lunch outside her family’s tent in a nomad camp in Peshawar. They live with no running water, no electricity and no toilets, so when Bibi goes to defecate in the open, her husband or her son have to stand guard against harassers. Photo by Mahwish Qayyum

“To answer the call of nature, we have to go to nearby fields. Sometimes men try to [watch] us secretly when we defecate in the open,” Bibi says. “In order to ward off harassers, my husband or my son accompany me to the field and stand watch.”

Around 2.4 billion people – roughly one third of the world’s population – don’t have access to toilets, according to a 2015 report by UNICEF and WHO.

Among them are over 945 million people who, like Bibi and her family, are forced to defecate in the open.

Lack of access to clean, private toilets puts women at risk of infection and disease, say health experts.

And as these women suffer the indignity of having to defecate behind bushes or out in a field, every trip to the bathroom makes them vulnerable to harassment, sexual assault or even animal attack.

Read the complete article.

Understanding Open Defecation in Rural India: Untouchability, Pollution, and Latrine Pits

Understanding Open Defecation in Rural India: Untouchability, Pollution, and Latrine Pits. Economic & Political Weekly, January 7, 2017.

Authors: Diane Coffey, Aashish Gupta, Payal Hathi, Dean Spears, Nikhil Srivastav, Sangita Vyas

India has far higher open defecation rates than other developing regions where people are poorer, literacy rates are lower, and water is relatively more scarce. In practice, government programmes in rural India have paid little attention in understanding why so many rural Indians defecate in the open rather than use affordable pit latrines.

Drawing on new data, a study points out that widespread open defecation in rural India is on account of beliefs, values, and norms about purity, pollution, caste, and untouchability that cause people to reject affordable latrines.

Future rural sanitation programmes must address villagers’ ideas about pollution, pit-emptying, and untouchability, and should do so in ways that accelerate progress towards social equality for Dalits rather than delay it.

Aditi Gupta Is Breaking Menstrual Taboos Through Her Comic Book Guide, Menstrupedia

Aditi Gupta Is Breaking Menstrual Taboos Through Her Comic Book Guide, Menstrupedia. India Times, January 18, 2017.

“Chumming” is one of the most natural biological processes that half of the world’s population experiences every month, yet most of us in India can’t gather enough courage to put away the euphemism and say the word, period. menstrupedia_1484728044

For many women in India and South Asia, being on their periods is a nightmare. Some are shunned from the kitchen, others are shunned from their home altogether. Other than the social stigma attached to menstruation, there is also a lack of awareness and sanitation, which then paves way for period myths and misconceptions.

According to Dasra, an organisation documenting the rights and welfare of women, 88% of India’s 355 million menstruating women do not have access to sanitary pads. Also, an estimated 23% of girls in the country drop out of school when they begin menstruating.

Read the complete article.

Keeping Track: CLTS Monitoring, Certification and Verification

Keeping Track: CLTS Monitoring, Certification and Verification: CLTS Knowledge Hub Learning Paper, January 2017keeping_track_cover

Author: Katherine Pasteur

Monitoring, verification and certification are critical elements of the CLTS process and contribute to ensuring sustainability of ODF as well as learning about changes that are needed to improve implementation. Monitoring includes both process and progress monitoring.

Verification tends to be led by NGOs or government with clear criteria and methodologies being developed, often incorporating multiple assessment visits over an extended period of time. Certification and celebration of ODF communities acknowledge their achievement and helps to raise awareness in the surrounding areas.

The adoption of CLTS as a national approach in many countries has resulted in national protocols and guidance documents as well as various methodologies for community engagement and data collection to aid the processes of monitoring, verification and certification. Increasingly, the importance of post ODF monitoring is being recognised. We need to know more about how to incorporate this into implementation to ensure longer term sustainability of behaviour change and of toilets.

Similarly, effective collection, management and utilisation of data are a challenge. Other emerging issues relate to reliability and accuracy of monitoring and verification; encouraging appropriate attitudes to encourage learning rather than fault finding; and how to incentivise staff involved in monitoring and verification. We also need to know more about monitoring for long term sustainability of behaviour change and inclusion. Many of these issues are being investigated through local, national and international learning processes.

This Learning Paper summarises challenges, innovations and gaps in knowledge in the area of monitoring, verification and certification.