Category Archives: Sanitation and Health

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.

 

Why WASH organizations need to hire and grow business-savvy leaders

Ghana_Sama Sama Launch_IMG_3045 (1)

Valerie Labi, iDE WASH Director in Ghana, speaks at the launch of Sama Sama, a sanitation social enterprise in northern Ghana.

By Yi Wei, iDE Global WASH Director

Every organization knows the pain and disruption caused by bad hiring decisions, or waiting for an employee to develop the necessary skills to excel in a position he or she is not a fit for. I work for iDE, a nonprofit organization that has been implementing market-based development programs for over 30 years. When it comes to successfully managing a sanitation marketing program, hiring business-savvy program leadership is critical.

If we truly want to drive progress towards the U.N.’s goal to “ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all,” I believe these four things should be considered by any organization working in WASH:

  1. Invest in recruiting talent with business acumen.
  2. Identify and develop business leadership skills.
  3. Incentivize potential leaders competitively, taking into account the opportunity cost candidates face forgoing potentially lucrative private sector positions, and not just the prevailing wages of the nonprofit labor market.
  4. Incubate and foster an organizational focus on training and knowledge sharing.

Dive deeper into the four strategies for building a business-savvy team. 

Global Waters: In Mali, Communities Take Health and Well-Being into their Own Hands

In Mali, Communities Take Health and Well-Being into their Own Hands. Global Waters, July 18, 2017.

In the center of Simaye village in Mali’s Mopti Region, men, women, and children gather under a large tree to listen. Two USAID-trained facilitators discuss the health challenges facing the village.

Tackling open defecation in communities is a starting point for improved health. Ensuring the drinking water sources are clean is another. USAID works with local artisans in communities like Anga to repair or rehabilitate artesian drilling, such as this one, as an incentive to become ODF-certified. Photo Credit: CARE Mali

Tackling open defecation in communities is a starting point for improved health. Ensuring the drinking water sources are clean is another. USAID works with local artisans in communities like Anga to repair or rehabilitate artesian drilling, such as this one, as an incentive to become ODF-certified. Photo Credit: CARE Mali

Only three latrines serve many families, so more than half of the people are practicing open defecation; the water point no longer functions, so most families are pulling dirty water from the river; many of the infants and young children are not benefitting from exclusive breastfeeding or a diversified diet, so they are malnourished.

Holding a glass of clear water and pointing to feces on the ground, the facilitators paint a clear picture of the health risks associated with leaving feces in the open — contaminated drinking sources, diarrheal disease, and poor outcomes for children and their families.

Their objective: to trigger a sense of disgust, a determination in the community to control their own health and well-being, and to set in motion plans and solutions to create open defecation free (ODF) communities through a process known as community-led total sanitation (CLTS).

Read the complete article.

The life and death struggle against cholera in Yemen – WHO

The life and death struggle against cholera in Yemen. WHO, July 2017.

Cholera continues to spread in Yemen, causing more than 390 000 suspected cases of the disease and more than 1800 deaths since 27 April.

WHO and its partners are responding to the cholera outbreak in Yemen, working closely with UNICEF, local health authorities and others to treat the sick and stop the spread of the disease. cholera

Each of these cholera cases is a person with a family, a story, hopes and dreams. In the centres, where patients are treated, local health workers work long hours, often without pay, to fight off death and help their patients make a full recovery.

Read the complete article.

Shared toilets as the path to health and dignity

Shared toilets as the path to health and dignity. World Bank Water Blog, July 19, 2017.

Mollar Bosti is a crowded slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh, home to 10,000 people: garment workers, rickshaw drivers, and small traders, all living side-by-side in tiny rooms sandwiched along narrow passageways.

With the land subject to monsoon flooding, and no municipal services to speak of, the people of Mollar Basti have been struggling with a very real problem: what to do with an enormous and growing amount of human faeces.

Traditionally, their ‘hanging latrines’ consisted of bamboo and corrugated metal structures suspended on poles above the ground, allowing waste to fall straight down into a soup of mud and trash below. Residents tell stories of rooms flooded with smelly muck during monsoons; outbreaks of diarrhoea and fever would quickly follow.

But conditions have improved for much of the slum. With help of a local NGO, the residents negotiated permission for improvement from a private landowner, and mapped out areas of need. Today, they proudly show visitors their pristine, well-lit community latrines and water points. They report fewer problems with flooding and disease.

Read the complete article.

WASH’NUTRITION 2017 GUIDEBOOK – Integrating water, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition to save lives

WASH’NUTRITION 2017 GUIDEBOOK – Integrating water, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition to save lives. Action Against Hunger.

The “WASH’Nutrition Practical Guidebook”  was developed to offer practical guidance to help practitioners design and implement programs in both humanitarian and development contexts. Undernutrition in all its forms is the underlying cause of an estimated 45 percent of all child deaths each year. 2017_acf_wash_nutrition_guidebook_bd_cover2

Evidence has shown that in many settings, there is a link between undernutrition and poor hygiene, poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water, emphasizing the need for integrated, multisectoral approaches to improving nutrition.

By compiling concrete programmatic examples in a variety of contexts, this manual provides guidance on how WASH activities can contribute to the reduction of undernutrition incidence, and also to the optimization of its treatment,” said Marie-Sophie Whitney, global nutrition expert with the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.

The “WASH’Nutrition Practical Guidebook” comprises six chapters, delving into key concepts relevant to WASH and nutrition, as well as existing evidence on the links between nutrition and WASH, practical guidance on implementing integrated programs, setting up monitoring and evaluation systems to measure progress and impact, and tools for advocacy and capacity building for projects and project staff.

The guidebook places special emphasis on integrating WASH and nutrition programs in humanitarian emergencies: safe drinking water and sanitation, in addition to food and shelter, are vital to safeguarding the health of communities affected by crisis. The guide also provides a resources section, which offers tools and examples from the field on how integration efforts may be placed within each phase of a classical project cycle.

 

Water Safety Plans – Water Currents, July 10, 2017

Water Safety Plans – Water Currents, July 10, 2017.

Water Safety Plans (WSPs) were introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2004 as a health-based, risk assessment approach to managing drinking water quality.

WSPs identify potential threats to water quality at each step in the water supply chain and are recognized as the most reliable and effective way to manage drinking-water supplies to safeguard public health. watercurrents

This issue contains primarily 2016 and 2017 publications from WHO, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Water Association (IWA), and others as well as links to WSP–related websites.

Read the complete issue.