By Richard Gledhill, ICAI lead commissioner for WASH review
62.9 million people – almost the population of the UK – that’s how many people in developing countries DFID claimed to have reached with WASH interventions between 2011 and 2015.
It’s an impressive figure. And – in our first ever ‘impact review’ – it’s a figure the Independent Commission for Aid Impact found to be based on credible evidence.
We assessed the results claim made by DFID about WASH, testing the evidence and visiting projects to see the results for ourselves. We concluded that the claim was credible – calculated using appropriate methods and conservative assumptions.
But what does reaching 62.9 million people really mean? Have lives been transformed? And have the results been sustainable?
Towards Gender Equality through Sanitation Access. UN Women, 2016.
This discussion paper reviews the extensive literature on sanitation to show that inadequate access to this basic service prevents the realization of a range of human rights and of gender equality.
Financing Sanitation for Low-Income Urban Communities: Lessons from the Center for Community Organization and Development (CCODE) and the Federation in Malawi. International Institute for Environment and Development, 2016.
By utilizing social capital and promoting ecological sanitation, an organization in Malawi has enabled thousands of urban poor households to afford better toilets. This study shows that the CCODE model could do this for most of Malawi’s urban poor.
Association of Safe Disposal of Child Feces and Reported Diarrhea in Indonesia: Need for Stronger Focus on a Neglected Risk. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, March 2016.
This study examines the association between diarrhea in children aged less than 24 months with WASH interventions and population characteristics.
Webinar on the Partial Usage of Toilets, April 7, 2016. Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Knowledge Hub, March 2016.
The CLTS Knowledge Hub will be offering a free webinar on the issue of partial usage of toilets and why some members of a household continue to defecate in the open.
Process Evaluation of the National Sanitation Campaign of Tanzania, 2011-2015. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity (SHARE), 2016.
This report summarizes the findings of an evaluation of the Government of Tanzania’s National Sanitation Campaign that was conducted by SHARE researchers and partners.
Determinants of Usage of Communal Sanitation Facilities in Informal Settlements of Kisumu, Kenya. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity (SHARE), 2016.
This study found that such factors as location/siting, inadequate maintenance, economic aspects, and gender issues influence the use of communal facilities. The paper concludes by summarizing implications for policy, practice and research.
Do donor restrictions affect sustainability of water and sanitation interventions? Results from a Pilot Survey, 2015. Improve International.
During August-September 2015, Improve International prepared and distributed a survey via Survey Monkey. Out of 14 questions, five allowed open-ended responses, six were multiple-choice and three were yes/no. Three multiple-choice questions allowed for more than one response and seven questions contained comments sections.
The survey was intended for international development organizations (for-profit or not-for profit), civic groups, universities, volunteer groups, or community-based organizations that raise funds from US-based donors to implement or fund water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions.
Sanitation and child health in India, 2015. Britta Augsburg (IFS) and Paul Rodriguez-Lesmes (UCL).
Our study contributes to the understanding of key drivers of stunted growth, a factor widely recognized as major impediment to human capital development. Specifically, we examine the effects of sanitation coverage and usage on child height for age in a semi-urban setting in Northern India.
We use instrumental variables to control for endogeneity of sanitation usage coverage. We find that sanitation coverage plays a significant and positive role in height growth during the first years of life.
WHO estimates of the global burden of foodborne diseases, 2015. World Health Organization.
Foodborne diseases are an important cause of morbidity and mortality, and a significant impediment to socioeconomic development worldwide, but the full extent and burden of unsafe food, and especially the burden arising from chemical and parasitic contaminants, has been unknown.
Precise information on the burden of foodborne diseases can adequately inform policy-makers and to allocate appropriate resources for food safety control and intervention efforts.
This report, resulting from the WHO Initiative to Estimate the Global Burden of Foodborne Diseases and prepared by the WHO Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG), provides the first estimates of global foodborne disease incidence, mortality, and disease burden in terms of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs).
Building towards a future in which urban sanitation “leaves no one behind,” 2015. Diana Mitlin, IIED.
Plans to improve access to sanitation in towns and cities of the global South are hampered by multiple challenges. One is a lack of reliable information. In particular, global and national-level data often diverge from data on particular settlements, collected by inhabitants of those settlements themselves. Local data highlight the inadequacy of living conditions – and in so doing evidence the difficulties in securing improvements. Another challenge lies in the setting of standards around acceptable sanitation. At a global level, for instance, shared sanitation is not considered part of “improved” sanitation. Yet the reality for many low-income urban populations is that communal sanitation can be hygienic, cost-effective and locally acceptable.
The difficulties in reaching a consensus around data and standards point to the importance of diverse approaches to increasing and improving sanitation, including considering both on-site and off-site solutions.
They also highlight how crucial it is for the planning and implementation of all such solutions to be inclusive of those often missing from global debates, such as the low-income urban groups that cannot afford substantial sanitation spending. Financial and political commitments, drawing on the circumstances and approaches articulated by low-income groups themselves, will be key to securing a future in which everyone has access to the sanitation they need.