Category Archives: Campaigns and Events

July 9th webinar – The Clean Clinic Approach: Strengthening WASH in Health Care Facilities to Improve Health Outcome for Mothers and Newborns

The Clean Clinic Approach: Strengthening WASH in Health Care Facilities to Improve Health Outcome for Mothers and Newborns

    • Monday July 09, 2018
    • 8:00 a.m.- 9:30 a.m. EST

Dear Colleagues,

We cordially invite you to join us for a webinar presentation by Stephen Sara, the WASH Team Lead on USAID’s Flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) on implementing the Clean Clinic Approach, MCSP’s approach for improving WASH in health care facilities. usaidmcsp

The approach focuses on facilitating incremental, low-cost WASH improvements to support maternal and newborn health outcomes. The webinar will review existing standards and tools, discuss the relationship between WASH and infection prevention & control (IPC) and share experiences and lessons learned from implementing the Clean Clinic Approach as part of an integrated health program.

Kindly note that we will plan to hold webinar again later in July (in the evening US time) for participants who are not able to attend this session due to being on a different time zone.  The webinar will also be recorded and available for playback as well.

Join Skype Meeting

https://meet.lync.com/savechildrenusa/ssara/MRN9W892

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Examining Sustainability of USAID’s Millennium Water Alliance Activity in Ethiopia – May 17, 2018 Webinar

The USAID Water Office is hosting a webinar on May 17, 2018, at 9 a.m. EDT (New York time): Examining Sustainability of USAID’s Millennium Water Alliance Activity in Ethiopia. mwa.png

  • Thursday, May 17 | 9 a.m. EDT (New York time)

The Millennium Water Alliance-Ethiopia Program (MWA-EP) has worked to improve WASH access and local capacity in the country since 2004, supporting more than 700,000 people as well as a large number of schools and health facilities, across five regions. This event presents key findings from a soon-to-be released USAID ex-post evaluation of MWA-EP’s work between 2004 and 2009 in 24 rural woredas (districts) of Ethiopia.

The webinar will focus on the extent to which MWA-EP’s outcomes have been sustained and the factors affecting sustainability. Kari Nelson will present evaluation findings on the long-term outcomes related to rural water point construction and rehabilitation, community management of those water points, as well as sanitation and hygiene education activities.

Join the webinar:  https://ac.usaid.gov/what-we-are-learning-ethiopia-mwa/

About the Presenter – Dr. Kari Nelson is a Senior Technical Specialist at Social Impact with ten years of experience conducting monitoring and evaluation activities in international development. In her current role at Social Impact, Dr. Nelson oversees performance evaluation teams, reviewing methodologies, data collection tools, and analysis to ensure quality. She plays a senior advisory role to the ex-post evaluation series for the USAID Water CKM Project.

Seeking inputs for “consensus” meeting on sanitation interventions

Following the publication of results from a number of recent studies investigating links between improvements in sanitation and health (such as the WaSHBenefits study, studies in Tamil Nadu, Madya Pradesh and Orissa in India and others) some of you have contacted the Gates Foundation WSH team with questions and concerns about the seeming lack of consensus about the relationship between sanitation and health demonstrated in those studies.

Looking at a number of historical studies, it is hard to imagine that improvements in sanitation did not play a significant role in improving population health. And indeed, older as well as more recent historical evidence from US, Europe and developing countries establish causal relationships between sanitation and health. However, when considering more granular evidence considering the effects of individual and categories of interventions, there is less alignment.

Understandably, this has led to concerns about the meaning of this evidence, and questions about how it should be interpreted and used by practitioners, working to design and implement sanitation programs.

Partly in response to those concerns, WHO is convening an expert meeting in May this year, to develop a “consensus statement” around two specific questions:
• Are particular sanitation interventions more likely to have protective effects?
• What pre-conditions are likely to impact the effectiveness of these sanitation interventions?

The meeting will bring together researchers, from both life and social science backgrounds from around the world for two days of deliberations, informed by evidence and identifying points of agreement and contention. The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene team at the foundation strongly supports the organization of this meeting, and to make sure that issues relevant to practitioners are considered (and hopefully answered) during the discussions, we would like to invite you to share with us the most important questions you (and your teams) face when considering the use of evidence in program design.

The consensus meeting is scheduled to take place on May 24 and 25. To allow for review and incorporation into the agenda, the deadline for the submission of questions for consideration is end of day Thursday May 17.

There is no particular format for submission, although when we say we are looking for questions, we mean just that; a short sentence with a question mark at the end (no need to over-think it). If you are concerned that there is the possibility of mis-interpretation, you should feel free to provide some context and explanation.

Following the meeting, the results will be published and broadly disseminated.

We look forward to hearing from you what concerns you. If you have any questions about the process (or the scope) of this effort, please feel free to get in touch.

Jan Willem Rosenboom and Radu Ban

Contact:  janwillem.rosenboom [at] gatesfoundation.org

What does an enabling environment look like for urban sanitation? WSUP Webinar

What does an enabling environment look like for urban sanitation?

This week, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) held a webinar to explore what an enabling environment for urban sanitation really looks like. wsup-logox2

Despite its evident importance to achieving scale, the components of a well-functioning enabling environment for urban sanitation are weakly understood.

This webinar shared lessons from a 5-year programme – funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – which aimed to catalyse the market for on-site sanitation services in Bangladesh, Kenya and Zambia, through the development of flexible public-private arrangements.

Watch a recording of the webinar.

Toilet Board Coalition – Open Call for Entrepreneurs!

tbc

The Toilet Accelerator works with promising sanitation businesses for a duration of 12 months through a small business-large business mentorship programme model.

Since 2016, the corporate Accelerator has supported sanitation businesses and entrepreneurs serving low-income markets to help them overcome barriers to scale in order to bridge the gap of 2.4 billion people still lacking access to sanitation.

More than toilets alone, we are supporting commercially viable businesses at every point of the Sanitation Economy, including sanitation infrastructure, service providers, collection, treatment, transformation (up cycling of toilet resources – waste), digital and preventative healthcare.

Click here for more information or email accelerator@toiletboard.org and follow this link to directly apply.

Deadline for applications: 30th April 2018!

Is Bollywood’s Pad Man movie too good to be true?

Checking the facts and assumptions about menstrual hygiene in developing countries.

Mensrual hygiene painting-crop

Painting by students of the Dr. M.M. den Hertogschool, The Hague, on the importance of menstrual hygiene management and school WASH. Photo: IRC

March 8th was International Women’s Day. Which approach to menstrual hygiene management fits best with this year’s theme urging everyone to #PressforProgress on gender parity? Is it pressing for access to affordable menstrual products or is there more to it?

A few weeks ago, I joined a group of my female colleagues and family to watch “Pad Man”, the Bollywood film inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham.  He is an acclaimed Indian social activist and entrepreneur who invented a low-cost sanitary pad-making machine. Muruganantham famously tested sanitary pads on himself, using a bladder with animal blood, while riding his bicycle. “Pad Man” is a feel good, uplifting movie. We left the cinema dancing to the tune of the Pad Man Song.

Too good to be true?

But then, a few days later an IRC colleague from India referred us to a blog that claimed to tell the “real story” about the man, who “shot to fame by selling shame”. The author, Sinu Joseph, is Managing Trustee of the Myrthi Speaks Trust, a Bengaluru-based social activist group working on issues including menstrual health and sanitation. Sinu had initially been involved in distributing Mr. Muruganantham’s sanitary pads until angry mothers complained that she was “trying to get rid of some cheap stuff by dumping it” on their daughters.

Fact check

Sinu counters several of the “facts” mentioned in “Pad Man”, which are also regularly quoted in the media. The first is that Indian women use ash, sand and husks as menstrual absorbents and consequently suffer “from Reproductive Tract Infections for want of a Pad”.  Sinu has found no evidence of this, both from her own experience and the literature. In fact, she says there is no evidence linking the use of menstrual products such as cloth to any menstrual disorder.

Second is the widely quoted statistic that only 12% of Indian women use sanitary napkins. Wrong again, says Sinu: the National Family Health Study of 2015-16 found that the real number is 57.6% , 48.5% in rural, 77.5% in urban areas. Finally, there is no evidence that girls in India drop out of school owing to menstruation and the lack of sanitary napkins. Similar findings emerged from a 2010 study in Nepal, which at the time was not welcomed by the pro-sanitary napkin development lobby.

A developing country problem?

The evidence Sinu refers to, comes from a review of 90 papers, which Myrthi Speaks conducted in 2016. The review not only dispels the “facts” mentioned above but also challenges the assumption that developing countries have a greater prevalence of menstrual disorders than in the West. In fact, the review found that the opposite is true. In developed nations, a higher percentage of adult women and adolescents suffer from heavy bleeding and painful or irregular periods than in developing countries.

Shame

So why has the real-life Pad Man attracted so much uncritical support? Is it because this unlikely hero, an uneducated man, took it upon himself to elevate Indian women from their shameful state? Indeed, most of the women in the Pad Man movie are portrayed as ignorant, led by superstition. In Sinu’s words, “shame has been sold to us in a nice package with celebrity endorsements”.

Glorifying traditional practices?

Sinu has been criticised for promoting the traditional practice of seclusion, which she says provides women who are part of joint families “privacy and comfort during menstruation”. A 2015 blog by Eco Femme, an Indian social enterprise producing washable sanitary pads, said that Sinu neglects those women who experience being excluded as degrading. Harrowing stories about the illegal Nepali practice of Chhaupadi, where girls are forced to spend their periods in cattle sheds, come to mind. The Pad Man film similarly condemns the segregation of women during menstruation.

Interestingly, Arunachalam Muruganantham, Sinu Joseph, Eco Femme, along with many development agencies all claim that they understand women’s needs. Whose view do you support? Or have they all got it wrong?

This blog was originally posted on the IRC website.

Update, 21 March 2018

On 16 March 2018 a TEDxKLETech talk by Sinu Joseph on the “Super science behind Menstrual practices” carried the following warning by TEDx “This talk contains several assertions about Ayurveda that are not supported by studies in gynecological medicine. While some viewers might find advice provided in this talk to be helpful as a complementary approach, please do not look to this talk for medical advice”.

A listing of 2018 WASH conferences

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

  • May 28 – Menstrual Hygiene Day – Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global platform that brings together non-profits, government agencies, the private sector, the media and individuals to promote Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).

JULY

AUGUST

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER