Category Archives: Resources

The e-waste mountains – in pictures

The e-waste mountains – in pictures. The Guardian, October 18 2016.

Sustainable development goal target 12.5 is to reduce waste. But with a planet increasingly dependent on technology, is that even possible?


As of today, over 30m tonnes of electronic waste has been thrown out so far this year, according to the World Counts. Most e-waste is sent to landfills in Asia and Africa where it is recycled by hand, exposing the people who do it to environmental hazards. Photograph: Kai Loeffelbein/laif

Kai Loeffelbein’s photographs of e-waste recycling in Guiyu, southern China show what happens to discarded computers.

Read the complete article.

Science, Silver Bullets, and Sanitation: How Operational Research Improved Plan’s Global Programming

Science, Silver Bullets, and Sanitation: How Operational Research Improved Plan’s Global Programming. 

Plan International is a pioneer of the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach — a method that triggers community-wide behavior change on sanitation practices, ending open defecation, and stimulating household investment in toilets.

We tested, implemented, and evaluated the relative effect of different CLTS facilitation methods to examine how scalability and sustainability improved under alternate models. This comparison was coupled with “deep dive” evaluations in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Kenya, complemented by seven rapid evaluations worldwide to compare and contrast the findings.

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UNC Water Institute WASH Research Policy Digests

These useful UNC research digests discuss a key article and include literature reviews on the selected topic:

Issue #1, July 2015: Sanitation Subsidies
Our first Digest deals with the difficult issue of when and how to use subsidies for on-site sanitation.

Issue #2, October 2015: WaSH in Healthcare Facilities
Issue two of the WasH Policy Research Digest digs in to the critical issue of WaSH in health care facilities, including a detailed review of WHO and UNICEF’s 2015 report on the topic and a synthesis of literature and solutions to address its impact on infection, mortality, maternal and neonatal health.

Issue #3, March 2016: Handpump Functionality Monitoring
The third issue of the WaSH Policy Research Digest focuses on handpump functionality monitoring. This issue of the Digest explores recent literature on this topic, focusing on policy implications, recommendations, and a call for standardized functionality measurements.

Issue #4, August 2016: Sanitation and Nutrition
Our fourth digest addresses sanitation and nutrition. This issue explores recent literature and the emerging evidence base on the connection between sanitation, nutritional outcomes, and child stunting.

State Department Notice of Intent To Solicit Comments and Conduct a Public Scoping Meeting on a Global Water Strategy

State Department Notice of Intent To Solicit Comments and Conduct a Public Scoping Meeting on a Global Water Strategy – October 17, 2016.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of State (Department) will host a listening session to solicit public comments on the development and content of a strategy to address global water challenges including, but not necessarily limited to: (1) Increasing access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene; (2) improving water resource management; and (3) promoting cooperation on shared waters. Participants will be asked to provide brief remarks (up to 3 minutes) highlighting specific challenges that should be addressed and opportunities to strengthen U.S. engagement on international water issues.

DATES: This session will take place on Friday, October 28 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in the George C. Marshall Center at the U.S. Department of State, 2201 C St. NW., (21st Street Entrance), Washington, DC. Attendees must confirm their attendance at A photo identification will be necessary to attend the session. Written comments must be received no later than November 12, 2016.

Written comments may be submitted to by following the prompts.

Comments may also be submitted by mail, addressed to: Global Water Strategy Manager, Office of Conservation and Water, Room 2657, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20520 and/or by email to Written comments may also be submitted at the public scoping meeting on Friday, October 28, 2016 from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

15 October was Global Handwashing Day: take the quiz!


Photo: IRC

Are you a Handwashing Champion?

Each year on 15 October, over 200 million people in over 100 countries celebrate Global Handwashing Day. Their aim is to increase awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap. This simple intervention is an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Promoting handwashing with soap reduces the risk of diarrhoea by at least 23% according to a 2014 systematic review of research. Handwashing with soap impacts more than just health: it is also beneficial for nutrition, education, economics, and equity.

Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing, and is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times. This year’s theme is “Make Handwashing a Habit!” For handwashing to be effective it must be practised consistently at key times, such as after using the toilet or before contact with food. While habits must be developed over time, this theme emphasises the importance of handwashing as a ritual behaviour for long-term sustainability.

IRC is proud to be an affiliate member of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing. Especially for Global Handwashing Day we created a fun quiz so that you can not only test your knowledge but also learn a bit about what we are doing to promote handwashing.

Don’t forget to visit the Global Handwashing Day website for resources and updates on  global handwashing promotion. For the latest research and developments, also check out the handwashing posts on Sanitation Updates.

Now take the quiz to see if you are a Handwashing Champion!

This blog was originally posted on the IRC website.


Habits matter for Global Handwashing Day. This is why you should promote them!

Habits matter for Global Handwashing Day. This is why you should promote them! Source: by Bijan Manavizadeh, PPPHW, Oct 7 2016 |

Celebrated annually on October 15, Global Handwashing Day is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. 5things-to-do-after-ghd-1

This year’s theme is “Make Handwashing a Habit!”. In light of this theme, I would like to take this opportunity to discuss how promoting habits as part of your celebration might lead to the development of sustained handwashing behavior.

Habit formation is an ongoing process and it requires continuous effort to encourage practitioners to not lose motivation and revert back to poor handwashing behavior. In order to effectively promote routine handwashing, stations must be accessible, properly maintained, and always stocked with soap and water.

So, for instance, if you host a handwashing demonstration at a community center for Global Handwashing Day, make sure permanent, functional handwashing facilities are available so the behavior can be sustained.

Pairing habit-formation initiatives with small doable actions can be an effective strategy. Behaviors are more likely to be adopted into a routine when they are both desirable and feasible for the practitioner.

Read the complete article.

Overcoming Barriers to System-Wide Action in the WASH Sector: WEDC Side Event Synthesis

Overcoming Barriers to System-Wide Action in the WASH Sector: WEDC Side Event Synthesis | Source: Improve International, Sept 2016 |

Much discussion has been devoted to what will be required of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector stakeholders in order to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets of universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water and adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene by 2030. wedc-side-event-synthesis-cover-203x300

The reigning consensus is that a swift and intentional alignment with “system-wide” approaches, which address critical gaps in policy and the capacity to implement and finance at all levels of the sector, is necessary. This philosophy has been well-articulated by Aguaconsult, WaterAid, IRC, and Water For People in the “Agenda for Change”.

To turn discussion into meaningful action, policy-makers and policy-takers in the WASH sector need to have a sound understanding of the fundamental barriers that are preventing diffuse adoption of system-wide approaches, as well as information on promising approaches.

This side event provided global, national, and local stakeholders from government, donor, and practitioner agencies with an opportunity to identify specific barriers in their respective domains, and to learn of some specific examples of pilot solutions.

In July 2016, a workshop was convened by WEDC and co-organized by Victoria Cuéllar (Desert Research Institute), Susan Davis (Improve International), Andrew Armstrong (Water Mission), and Emma Goring (Whave).

Read a summary of the discussions here.