Category Archives: Dignity and Social Development

The 10 Most Innovative Health Technologies Saving Millions In The Developing World

The 10 Most Innovative Health Technologies Saving Millions In The Developing World | Source: Medical Futurist, July 19, 2016 |

There are striking differences in the general social, economic or political background of the developed and developing country-groups, and developing countries are in dire need for creative and innovative medical solutions. Here are the 10 most innovative health technologies which could save millions of lives in these corners of the Earth. 102213836-padeducation1.530x298

Featured in this article are innovations on the manufacture of sanitary pads and water purification.

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Penn project aims to stop open defecation by changing social norms

Penn project aims to stop open defecation by changing social norms | Source: Penn Current, July 21 2016 |

Cristina Bicchieri’s work is not for the faint of heart.

The Penn professor of philosophy, legal studies, and psychology looks at how social norms affect community behaviors. Recently, she has been studying open defecation and trying to shift what is acceptable in developing countries.

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Cristina Bicchieri, the S. J. Patterson Harvie Professor of Social Thought and Comparative Ethics in the School of Arts & Sciences.

This fall, through a new three-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, her work will take her to India, a country where 48 percent of the population engages in this practice, according to UNICEF.

Open defecation is a well-established traditional practice in India, deeply ingrained from early childhood, UNICEF reports. This is partly because it is socially taboo to discuss sanitation, so few people do, and also because poverty means other life necessities get prioritized over toilets.

“It’s very unsanitary; it spreads diseases,” says Bicchieri, the S. J. Patterson Harvie Professor of Social Thought and Comparative Ethics in the School of Arts & Sciences.

Despite attempts by the Indian government to curb the problem with incentives to build latrines, the practice continues, polluting water and food. To better understand why, Bicchieri will conduct research in villages and cities in the states of Tamil Nadu and Bihar.

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The Dawn of a Sanitation Revolution in India – World Bank

The sanitation campaign in India is helping Rajasthan become a top performing state in ending open defecation. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan declared sanitation as one of the state’s top development priorities, with a target of eliminating open defecation by 2018.

To bring this vision to fruition, an innovative Community Led Total Sanitation Campaign (CLTS) was launched in many districts with the leadership of district collectors.

The approach focuses on crucial issues: Behavior Change and Demand Creation. From Health Centers, to Schools, to door-to-door visits, the message of sanitation and hygiene was effectively communicated.

Health is blooming, one home at a time. One village at a time. And Rajasthan is on course to becoming open defecation free.

USAID Joins 100,000 Women in India to Bring Dignity, Safety, and Health to a City of Two Million

USAID Joins 100,000 Women in India to Bring Dignity, Safety, and Health to a City of Two Million | Source: Christian Holmes/USAID, Global Waters, June 27, 2016 |

At USAID we recognize the threat poor sanitation combined with rapid urbanization presents to human health, dignity, and prosperity. This is why we have made urban sanitation a global priority for the Agency. During a recent visit to India, I was able to see some of the work being done to bring sanitation services to urban areas, and had the good fortune to meet some inspiring women who are advancing these efforts in their communities.

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USAID Global Water Coordinator Christian Holmes visits with young students at a Vizag municipal school. Children also have a role to play as change agents in ending open defecation in their communities. Their school is now the number one-ranked Swachh Bharat school in the entire city, and its students’ academic performance has improved considerably. Photo Credit: USAID/India

Currently, more than 300 million people live in India’s urban areas, a number that is quickly increasing. The growing population of city dwellers is straining the country’s ability to provide safe drinking water and sanitation services.

To address this, the Government of India has committed to providing sanitation and household toilet facilities for all 4,041 cities in India through Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Campaign.

India’s commitment to this effort is vital. Close to 600 million people in the country practice open defecation, which contaminates water and can spread diseases. Lack of access to sanitation can keep people from productive activities such as work and school, either due to illness or time spent searching for private, safe locations to defecate. In India, it is estimated this lack of access results in an annual economic loss of approximately $54 billion or 6.4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

Read the complete article.

Shifting the perspective: how urban CLTS can contribute to achieving universal access to sanitation

Shifting the perspective: how urban CLTS can contribute to achieving universal access to sanitation. Source: CLTS Blog, July 6 2016 |

Author: Sue Cavill

Urban sanitation differs from rural sanitation in many ways however one of the fundamental differences is that in urban areas one group, (usually the wealthy), benefits from the public provision of sanitation at the expense of others  (usually the poor). Poor households in urban areas must often find their own solutions to failures in sanitation services. During a workshop on urban CLTS (U-CLTS) held in Ethiopia and hosted by Plan International, we explored the potential of CLTS to support safely managed, city-wide sanitation. clts

We heard how communities in Ethiopia, Mauritania, India, Madagascar, Kenya and Nepal have participated in the design and management of sanitation services and exerted influence over public and private service providers through a U-CLTS approach. The examples highlighted how the collective nature of sanitation means that community structures, rather than individual choices, are critical to sanitation service delivery. The case studies illustrated how the ‘community-led’ aspect of U-CLTS has resulted in: (1) provision of sanitation facilities to substitute for public/private sanitation providers and to compensate for weak government institutions, (2) collaboration between communities and government to coproduce a range of services across the sanitation chain as well as (3) increasing poor people’s ability to make demands on government for universal access.

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Trash and treasure in Brazil’s Jóquei landfill – in pictures

Trash and treasure in Brazil’s Jóquei landfill – in pictures | Source: The Guardian, July 6 2016 |

The Lixão do Jóquei is one of the largest open landfills in Latin America. Under a 2010 federal law, all solid waste in Brazil should be put in modern landfills that have been lined to stop toxins soaking into the soil. brazil

Jóquei, which does not meet those requirements, is scheduled to be closed this year, but hundreds of people still make a dangerous living from scavenging amid its mounds of trash.

Exact numbers of people working at the site are hard to come by. According to municipal authorities, about 600 people sort rubbish here, but the workers themselves, known as catadores, put the figure at more than 2,600.

Read the complete article.

Improving CLTS targeting: Evidence from Nigeria

Improving CLTS targeting: Evidence from Nigeria, 2016. 

Co-authored by WaterAid and EDePo at IFS: Laura Abramovsky, Britta Augsburg, Erin Flynn, Francisco Oteiza.

CLTS works with an entire community to identify the negative effects of poor sanitation, especially the practice of open defecation, and empowers them to collectively find solutions. CLTS is understood to be more suitable for small, rural and homogeneous communities, however it is still considered an appropriate solution for more urbanised areas.

In this brief, we provide quantitative evidence to support this conjecture and bring forward a simple rule of thumb that allows more efficient programme targeting. We suggest that using this information can improve the targeting of CLTS in Nigeria, and possibly other countries, freeing up scarce resources to identify and test complementary sanitation approaches suitable for more urbanised communities.