Category Archives: Hygiene Promotion

Handwashing research – Water Currents

Handwashing research – Water Currents, August 8, 2017.

Highlighting the most recent handwashing research, this issue of Currents includes literature reviews by the Global Handwashing Partnership, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, and an interesting report on handwashing and rational addiction. Articles discuss handwashing research in Bangladesh, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe as well as studies on handwashing and infectious diseases, among other topics. Handwashing as an important role in preventing infection

Reports 
The State of Handwashing in 2016: Annual ReviewGlobal Handwashing Partnership (GHP), March 2017. This GHP review summarizes key themes and findings from 59 peer-reviewed handwashing-related research papers published in 2016.

Promoting Handwashing and Sanitation Behaviour Change in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Mixed-Method Systematic ReviewInternational Initiative for Impact Evaluation, June 2017. The purpose of this review was to learn which factors might change handwashing and sanitation behavior, finding that a combination of different promotional elements may be the most effective strategy.

Habit Formation and Rational Addiction: A Field Experiment in HandwashingYale University, Economic Growth Center, December 2016. The researchers in this study designed and implemented an experiment to test predictions of the rational addiction model in the context of handwashing. The findings are presented in a video from a 2016 conference.

Read the complete issue.

 

Global Sanitation Fund reports improvements in sanitation and hygiene for millions of people

People-centred, nationally-led programmes empower millions to end open defecation, improve sanitation, and increase dignity and safety

Geneva, 28 June 2017 – A new report shows that WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) has supported governments and thousands of partners across 13 countries, stretching from Cambodia to Senegal, to enable over 15 million people to end open defecation.

 

As the funding arm of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), GSF-supported programmes are contributing to the Council’s vision of universal access to sustainable and equitable sanitation and hygiene across countries throughout south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Focused on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 6.2, GSF focuses on improving sanitation and hygiene in the poorest and most marginalized communities, thereby contributing to associated development goals for education, health, women’s empowerment, climate change and urban development.

The 2016 GSF Progress Report highlights activities and results achieved from the inception of the Fund to the end of the year. Cumulative results to 31 December 2016 include:

  • 15.2 million people have been empowered to live in ODF environments, just over the target of 15 million.
  • 12.8 million people have gained access to improved toilets, 16% more than the target of 11 million.
  • 20 million people have gained access to handwashing facilities, 81% more than the target of 11 million.

Read more or download the report in English or French

Freddy the Fly – an animated video about a community’s journey to ODF status

Meet Freddy, a fly who loves toilet fondue! Find out what happens to him when the village he lives in is triggered into cleaning up their act to become open defecation free (ODF). Please share this video widely and use Freddy to illustrate how behaviour change methods, including Community-Led Total Sanitation, work to help communities become healthier and more productive. And join the ODF movement at wsscc.org!

USAID WASHpals grant – Habit Formation Approaches and Gender Equity & Social Inclusion Innovations for Hygiene Behavior Change

Request for Expressions of Interest for “Habit Formation Approaches and Gender Equity & Social Inclusion Innovations for Hygiene Behavior Change”

  • Opportunity Number: WASHPaLS-EOI-001
  • Issuance Date: June 2, 2017
  • Questions Due Date: June 8, 2017; 12 noon ET
  • EOI Submission Due Date: June 23, 2017; 5:00 pm ET
  • Submit to: Opportunities@washpals.org

The WASHPaLS Grant program contributes to the project’s learning agenda by supporting grantees to investigate innovative ideas in programming for the adoption of key hygiene behaviors. usaidlogo

Over the life of the project and through several rounds of solicitations WASHPaLS expects to award at least 10 grants to investigate the effectiveness of innovative approaches to improving and sustaining hygiene behaviors.

The objective of this initial round of grants is to support learning related to the application of habit formation and Gender and Social Inclusion principles to hygiene behavior change (HBC). Applicants must specify which of the two areas their EOI addresses. EOIs may be for new stand-alone activities or for activities that build-on or complement on-going projects. For purposes of this REOI, HBC refers to those behaviors that link directly to diarrheal disease and mortality and morbidity of children under age five in the household, including:

(1) safe disposal of adult and child feces;

(2) handwashing with soap;

(3) safe drinking water management; and

(4) food hygiene.

WASHPaLS anticipates awarding up to four (4) grants from this solicitation. The number of awards is dependent upon the number of meritorious applications received and available funding. Depending on the applications received, WASHPaLS will determine how many awards will be issued to each focus area. WASHPaLS and USAID reserve the right to award none, one, or multiple grants as a result of this solicitation. Awards are anticipated to range from $50,000 to $300,000. In accordance with Automated Directives System (ADS) 302.3.4.13, U.S.-based organizations are limited to $100,000.

Additional information is available in this document.

Also, there is a helpful Questions and Answers document.

Lessons learned from WASH and NTD projects

wash-combat-ntd-150pxWater, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are essential for preventing and managing diseases including neglected tropical diseases (NTD) which affect over 1 billion people among the poorest communities.

Closer coordination of WASH and NTD programmes is needed to ensure WASH services are reaching the most vulnerable populations. Many WASH and NTD actors have started to work together on the planning and implementation of their projects and have documented their experiences and lessons learnt.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a paper that draws on examples from eighteen countries to summarise emerging successes and challenges. Several examples relate to WASH in Schools projects. Two case studies are highlighted: the Lao PDR and Cambodia CL-SWASH initiative and the CARE Integrated WASH and NTDs Programme in Ethiopia.

WHO, 2017. Water, sanitation and hygiene to combat neglected tropical diseases : initial lessons from project implementation. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization. 6 p. WHO reference number: WHO/FWC/WSH/17.02. Available at: www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/wash-to-combat-neglected-tropical-diseases/en/

 

Recent sanitation/WASH research

OPEN ACCESS

Behavioral antecedents for handwashing in a low-income urban setting in Bangladesh: an exploratory study. BMC Public Health, May 2017. We argue that handwashing with soap is influenced by broader range of antecedents, many unrelated to fecal contamination, that indicate to people when and where to wash their hands. This exploratory study aimed to identify and characterize this broader range of handwashing antecedents for use in future handwashing promotion efforts.

Provision versus promotion to develop a handwashing station: the effect on desired handwashing behavior. BMC Public Health, May 2017. We conducted a three-month pilot intervention to evaluate two options for setting up handwashing stations: i) provide a handwashing station, or ii) help the family to make their own from available materials. Additionally, we assessed the feasibility of this intervention to be integrated with a child feeding program.

ABSTRACT

Impact of Community Health Clubs on Diarrhea and Anthropometry in Western Rwanda: Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. FASEB Jnl, May 2017. (Abstract/order) – The CHC approach, as implemented in this setting in western Rwanda, had no impact on any main outcomes, but it had a positive impact on household water treatment and type and structure of sanitation facility. Our results raise questions about the value of implementing this intervention at scale.

Diet Quality, Water and Toilets Remain a Lingering Challenge for Undernutrition in India. FASEB Jnl, May 2017. (Abstract/order) – Using data from 2005–06, our regression analyses demonstrate a positive synergistic effect of better complementary feeding and better toilets for all anthropometric indicators, but not for improved drinking water or better ways of disposing child stools.

Evaluation of Student Handwashing Practices During a School-Based Hygiene Program in Rural Western Kenya, 2007. International Quarterly of Community Health Education, May 2017. (Abstract/order) – Teacher training and installation of water stations resulted in observed improvements in pupils’ hygiene, particularly when water stations were located

Consistency of Use and Effectiveness of Household Water Treatment Among Indian Households Claiming to Treat Their Water. Am Jnl Trop Med Hyg, online first. (Abstract/order) – Our findings raise questions about the value of the data gathered through the international monitoring of HWT as predictors of water quality in the home, as well as questioning the ability of HWT, as actually practiced by vulnerable populations, to reduce exposure to waterborne diseases.

Adding a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Intervention and a Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplement to an Integrated Agriculture and Nutrition Program Improved the Nutritional Status of Young Burkinabé Children. FASEB Jnl, May 2017. (Abstract/order) – Adding WASH to the program in 2014 led to a significantly greater reduction in anemia, and including both WASH and LNS in communities with prior EHFP program exposure led to the largest and most diverse nutritional impacts including significant reductions in anemia, IDA and VAD. These results highlight the importance of addressing the multiple causes of undernutrition simultaneously, through multisectoral programs.

#InDeepShit

By Ingeborg Krukkert, Lead Asia Programmes | Sanitation and hygiene specialist, IRC

Human beings are being used to plug the gaps in failing sanitation systems – Bezwada Wilson.

#InDeepShit is the title of an event I attended on Saturday 22 April 2017. Talking about toilets and who is able to use one – or not; talking about who cleans them and how – sometimes literally with their hands deep in shit. I know this does not sound like an event a sane person would like to join on their day off. But you are mistaken! And I was not the only one. Around 80 young and critical people in the room showed that this was an event important enough to spend their free Saturday morning on.

I was triggered by the quote on the invitation saying: “Any human cannot clean somebody’s shit for the sake of roti. This is Independent India?”. The quote is from Bezwada Wilson, an Indian activist against manual scavenging. He was one of eight very interesting speakers invited to address the meeting. They covered a wide range of challenges: from barriers disabled people face when wanting to use a toilet (“we can’t hire you because we do not have a toilet for you”), to safety issues for transgender people (“we have progressive laws on paper, but this is not what I encounter in real life”), to accountability and manual scavenging.

Nine years

Almost nine years ago Bezwada Wilson was an inspiring and eloquent speaker at the IRC Symposium on Urban Sanitation for the Poor. Nine years and the same problems still need to be addressed. At that time he said: “sanitation is much broader than simply toilets. Effective sanitation also requires hygiene education – people have to change their practice as well as get access to toilets. It is inevitable that the main focus is on the early part of the chain (building toilets), but there is increasing awareness that the most difficult problems relate to the removal of faecal sludge […]. In many cities, treatment, disposal or reuse is not managed” and – as Bezwada Wilson put it so eloquently in his presentation during the symposium: “human beings are being used to plug the gaps in failing sanitation systems”.

Bezwada Wilson

Bezwada Wilson

Nine years later, this is exactly what is happening with the Swachh Bharat Mission. With the hard deadline of 2019 to reach the target of a toilet for every household, state and districts seem to have no choice but to focus on constructing toilets and on doing it fast. More than 700 million toilets to go…. There is no time to focus on use, no time to focus on what is happening with all that human waste after using the toilet, no focus on what happens when the pit is full, and no focus on who is emptying the toilet or how it is done.

Nine years of activism and there is still manual scavenging. Bezwada Wilson has not changed; he seems more motivated than ever. And with reason! It’s not only about dignity, safety is a huge issue too. Workers are dying, even in 2017, he points out referring to the recent sewage plant accident in Noida.

Chief Executive VK Madhavan from WaterAid India, however, also sees positive developments. He acknowledges that we cannot change where we are born, or in which family or caste. So true and yet so easy to forget: that privilege – or not – is no contribution of us as individuals, no contribution at all. What we can do is provide a space to those who are denied to speak up or to interact with the government. That is why WaterAid India together with Youth Ki Awaaz organised this event. Youth Ki Awaaz is India’s largest platform where young people can publish their stories to drive impact.

And this is what Bezwada Wilson has also done. He is founder and National Convenor of the Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA), a national movement committed to the total eradication of manual scavenging and the rehabilitation of all scavengers for dignified occupations. SKA was instrumental in eradicating manual scavenging in as many as 139 districts in India since 2009. He created a change of perspective. And he is not alone. Mrs Lali Bai, a former manual scavenger, also shared her experiences with us. She is now an activist and founder of Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, a national campaign for dignity and eradication of manual scavenging. For a long time many of us, including government officials, ignored or even denied the existence of manual scavenging. But there are many examples that manual scavenging is still going on as this picture from Cambodia shows.

Manual scavenger in Cambodia (photo by Danny Dourng)

Manual scavenger in Cambodia (photo by Danny Dourng)

Any shortcuts to change?

In India more and more authorities start to acknowledge the problem. Our role is to provide space to make this happen. It all goes terribly slowly though and I asked the panel if there is no shortcut to change. Nobody could answer that question. Can you?

The blog was originally posted on 24 April 2017 on the IRC website.