Category Archives: Resources

Recent WASH research – July 20, 2017


Assessment of Fecal Exposure Pathways in Low-Income Urban Neighborhoods in Accra, Ghana: Rationale, Design, Methods, and Key Findings of the SaniPath Study. AJTMH, July 17, 2017.
The study results highlight widespread and often high levels of fecal contamination in the public and private domains and food supply. The dominant fecal exposure pathway for young children in the household was through consumption of uncooked produce. The SaniPath Study provides critical information on exposure to fecal contamination in low-income, urban environments and ultimately can inform investments and policies to reduce these public health risks.

Women still carry most of the world’s water. The Conversation, July 16, 2017.
In this article, Bethany Caruso of Emory University discusses her research in India, Bolivia and Kenya on the water and sanitation challenges that women and girls confront and how these experiences influence their lives.

Decision-making on shared sanitation in the informal settlements of Kisumu, Kenya. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, July 13, 2017.
Using a grounded theory approach, landlords and tenants were interviewed to identify sanitation decisions, individuals involved in decision-making and factors influencing decision-making. The results indicate that the main sanitation decisions are on investment, emptying, repair and cleaning. Sanitation interventions in informal settlements should thus, target landlords and tenants, with investment efforts being directed at landlords and maintenance efforts at tenants.


The effect of young children’s faeces disposal practices on child growth: Evidence from 34 countries. TMIH, July 16, 2017.
Improved child faeces disposal practices could achieve greater reductions in child undernutrition than improving toilet access alone. Additionally, the common classification of child faeces disposal as ‘safe’ regardless of the type of toilet used for disposal may underestimate the benefits of disposal in an improved toilet and overestimate the benefits of disposal in an unimproved toilet.

Open defecation explains differences in nutritional status between Bengali and tribal children in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. Ethnicity & Health, July 1, 2017.
We describe differences in linear growth as measured by height-for-age z-score (HAZ) between children from Bengali and tribal populations in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh and examine factors associated with HAZ in both groups. Different responses among Bengali and tribal children to village-level open defecation are an explanatory factor for the difference in HAZ between Bengali and tribal populations. Open defecation may also act a proxy for unmeasured factors such as household environmental conditions and food hygiene.

Water Currents issues – USAID Water Team

Water Currents is a biweekly compilation of recent research on a specific WASH topic. watercurrentsPlease send us an email if you have suggestions for Water Currents topics or comments on how to make Water Currents more useful to you.

Recent WASH research – July 18, 2017

WASHwatch – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Maps – Projections of use of basic and safely managed sanitation 2000-2030. These maps have been produced by the WASHwatch team, based on data from WHO/UNICEF’s 2017 Progress Report on Drinking Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. All data points after 2015 are WASHwatch calculations using the average rates of progress between 2000 and 2015.

Household sanitation is associated with lower risk of bacterial and protozoal enteric infections, but not viral infections and diarrhoea, in a cohort study in a low-income urban neighbourhood in Vellore, India. TMIH, July 17, 2017. The presence of a household toilet was associated with lower risk of bacterial and protozoal enteric infections, but not diarrhoea or viral infections, suggesting the health effects of sanitation may be more accurately estimated using outcome measures that account for aetiologic agents.

Identifying behavioural determinants for interventions to increase handwashing practices among primary school children in rural Burundi and urban Zimbabwe. BMC Research Notes, July 14, 2017. This article presents the development of a school handwashing programme in two different sub-Saharan countries that applies the RANAS (risk, attitudes, norms, ability, and self-regulation) systematic approach to behaviour change.

Sanitation practices and perceptions in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya: Comparing the status quo with a novel service-based approach. PLoS One, July 13, 2017. This study used qualitative and quantitative methods to design, implement, and pilot a novel sanitation system in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya. An initial round of 12 pre-implementation focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with Dinka and Somali residents to understand sanitation practices, perceptions, and needs.

Menstrual hygiene management among Bangladeshi adolescent schoolgirls and risk factors affecting school absence: results from a cross-sectional survey. BMJ Open, July 2017. Risk factors for school absence included girl’s attitude, misconceptions about menstruation, insufficient and inadequate facilities at school, and family restriction.

Assessing development assistance for child survival between 2000 and 2014: A multi-sectoral perspective. PLoS One, July 11, 2017. Aid for water and sanitation grew from 4.17 billion ($0.86 per capita) in 2000 to 7.27 billion ($1.23 per capita) in 2014 with an average annual growth rate of 5.0%. During this period, the top 10 countries received largest amount of aid (India, China, Viet Nam, Iraq, Morocco, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Jordan, Indonesia, and Ethiopia) accounted for 35% of total aid in water and sanitation (S8 Table), and nine of them were Countdown countries.


Young Water Solutions – the Young Water Fellowship Program

Young Water Solutions – Young Water Fellowship Program

The Young Water Fellowship Program aims to empower young leaders from low and middle income countries to implement projects to tackle water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH), water pollution and water scarcity issues, by offering them an intensive training program, seed funding grants for their projects, and mentoring support by senior level experts during one year. Logo_YWF_1706__color-1030x547.png

This program will bring about in its first edition (2017) 10 young community leaders capable of successfully designing and implementing sustainable and inclusive water projects that significantly improve living conditions in their communities, while contributing to the achievement of SDG #6 (water and sanitation for all).

Read more.


Recent WASH research – July 14, 2017


Counting how many people have water, sanitation and hygiene. WASHwatch, July 13, 2017.
New data from UNICEF/WHO estimate the percentage of the global population using at least a basic level of service for drinking water and sanitation to be 89% and 68%, respectively. Stuart Kempster, WaterAid’s Policy Analyst for Monitoring and Accountability, looks into what we can tell from the estimates.

Habit Formation and Rational Addiction: A Field Experiment in Handwashing. Reshmaan Hussam, December 2016.
Motivated by scholarship that suggests handwashing is habitual, we design, implement and analyze a randomized field experiment aimed to test the main predictions of the rational addiction model.

Assessing Women’s Negative Sanitation Experiences and Concerns: The Development of a Novel Sanitation Insecurity Measure. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, July 11, 2017.
We developed a sanitation insecurity measure to capture the range and frequency of women’s sanitation-related concerns and negative experiences. The final sanitation insecurity measure includes 50 items across seven factors that reflect the physical environment, the social environment, and individual-level constraints. This measure will enable researchers to evaluate how sanitation insecurity affects health and to determine if and how sanitation interventions ameliorate women’s concerns and negative experiences associated with sanitation.

Prediction of Human Development from Environmental Indicators. Social Indicators Research, July 8, 2017. The results showed that exposure to unsafe sanitation, access to drinking water, tree cover loss, unsafe water quality, wastewater treatment level, and household air pollution are excellent predictors of human development index of a population. This tool can help stakeholders to monitor and control indicators attributed to good health and well-being, quality education, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities and life on land sustainable development goals.


Effects of sanitation on cognitive development and school absence: A systematic review. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, July 1, 2017.
While studies to date provide some support for positive effects from sanitation on cognitive development, the effects on school absence are uncertain. Differences in effects may be due to differences in study settings, type of sanitation exposure and most notably in outcome definitions.

Switching to sanitation: Understanding latrine adoption in a representative panel of rural Indian households. Social Science & Medicine, July 6, 2017.
Among rural households that defecated in the open in 2005, we investigate what baseline properties and what changes over time are associated with switching to latrine use between 2005 and 2012.

Animal feces contribute to domestic fecal contamination: Evidence from E. coli measured in water, hands, food, flies and soil in Bangladesh. Environ. Sci. Technol., July 7, 2017.
We provide empirical evidence of fecal transmission in the domestic environment despite on-site sanitation. Animal feces contribute to fecal contamination, and fecal indicator bacteria do not strictly indicate human fecal contamination when animals are present.

New publication: WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme 2017 report

New publication: WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme 2017 report

The WHO/UNICEF JMP has published its first report of the SDG period, Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG baselines. The report introduces and defines the new indicators of safely managed drinking water and sanitation services. Estimates of safely managed drinking water services, the indicator for SDG target 6.1, are presented for 96 countries, while estimates are provided for safely managed sanitation services (target 6.2) for 84 countries. SDG target 6.2 also includes hygiene, and the JMP has rebranded itself as the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene. This first SDG report presents data on the availability of handwashing facilities with soap and water in the home for 70 countries.

The newly updated JMP website,, allows visitors to interactively access the full dataset, and download individual country files which include all of the data used to produce the estimates. (Login with username “washdata” and password “preview”.)

The report finds that in 2015, 29% of the global population (2.1 billion people) lacked safely managed drinking water services – meaning water at home, available, and safe. 61% of the global population (4.5 billion people) lacked safely managed sanitation services – meaning use of a toilet or latrine that leads to treatment or safe disposal of excreta. Data on handwashing were too few to make a global estimate, but in sub-Saharan Africa, 15% of the population had access to a handwashing facility with soap and water.

The 2.1 billion people without safely managed drinking water services includes 1.3 billion people with basic services, meaning an improved water source located within 30 minutes; 263 million people with limited services, or an improved water source requiring more than 30 minutes to collect water; 423 million people taking water from unprotected wells and springs, and 159 million people collecting untreated surface waterfrom lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.

The 4.5 billion people without safely managed sanitation services includes 2.1 billion people with basic services, meaning an improved sanitation facility which is not shared; 600 million people with limited services, or an improved sanitation facility which is shared; 856 million people using unprotected latrines or bucket toilets, and 892 million people collecting practising open defecation.

Safely managed services represent an ambitious new global benchmark and estimates are not yet available for all countries. The report identifies a number of critical data gaps that will need to be addressed in order to enable systematic monitoring of SDG targets, if we are to realise the SDGs commitment to “leave no one behind”.

Yet the data we have now are more than enough to show the tasks at hand: to eliminate open defecation for the nearly 900 million people who continue to lack even the most rudimentary sanitation; to bring basic water, sanitation and hygiene within the reach of the most disadvantaged; and to support progress for those who already have basic services, but still don’t have truly safe drinking water or adequate sanitation.

These SDG baseline findings set a clear agenda on the work to be done for all of us across the world to progress towards the shared vision of Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health for All.

Link to the report:

JMP website:  (Login with username “washdata” and password “preview”)

Press release:


July 19, 2017 – Franchising Sanitation’ with Julie McBride of MSA Worldwide

JULY MODULE: ‘Franchising Sanitation’  w/ Julie McBride of MSA Worldwide

  • July 19, 2017
  • 16h00 CEST / 10h00 EST

MSA is “the leading strategic and tactical advisory firm in franchising” according to the International Franchise Association. Our reputation is built on our proven ability in creating sustainable franchise programs that our clients can manage and grow successfully.

This is part of the Toilet Accelerator Fast Forward Series. Julie McBride is a thought leader in the field of social franchising and was recently named one of “Five Innovative Consultants that are changing the world” in Inc. Magazine. toilet

Julie has devoted her career to helping low income people around the globe gain access to products and services they need to live healthy and productive lives.

Along the way she has gained experience in both commercial and social sectors, including pharmaceutical marketing, social franchising of health care in the developing world, and currently as a social franchise consultant for MSA Worldwide.

Her experience has convinced her that the only way to solve some of the longstanding problems associated with poverty is to combine the proven tools of the commercial and social sectors to create new and better approaches to understanding and meeting people’s needs. For Julie, the most promise lies in the emerging field of social franchising.