Category Archives: Publications

Emergency WASH – Water Currents

Emergency WASH – Water Currents, September 5, 2017.

The current cholera crisis in Yemen is just the latest example of the need for practical evidence-based recommendations and updated research on WASH in emergency settings.This issue focuses on case studies, recent research, and innovative approaches to implementing WASH services in emergencies, and includes links to recent publications about water treatment, menstrual hygiene management, container-based sanitation, among other topics. Also featured are links to relevant websites and select WASH news items, including several on the cholera epidemic in Yemen. watercurrentsissue

Publications and Videos 
WASH Interventions in Disease Outbreak ResponseOxfam, February 2017. This synthesis identifies, combines, and evaluates existing evidence from 47 studies on the impacts of 10 different WASH interventions during disease outbreaks in 51 humanitarian contexts in 19 low and middle-income countries.

Short-Term WASH Interventions in Emergency Responses in Low and Middle-Income CountriesInternational Initiative for Impact Evaluation, February 2017. WASH interventions are used in nearly all emergency contexts, but limited evidence is available to support best practices and effective use. This literature review synthesizes findings from 106 studies to assess the effectiveness of 13 specific interventions.

Read the complete issue.

WSSCC Releases New Global Sanitation Fund Equality and Non-Discrimination Study

How can WASH programmes leave no one behind, as called for in the Sustaionable Development Goals? WSSCC’s new study, Scoping and Diagnosis of the Global Sanitation Fund’s Approach to Equality and Non-Discrimination, helps answer this question.

The study reveals that many people who may be considered disadvantaged have benefited positively from WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund (GSF)-supported programmes, particularly in open defecation free verified areas. In addition, a range of positive outcomes and impacts related to empowerment, safety, convenience, ease of use, self-esteem, health, dignity, an improved environment and income generation were reported by people who may be considered disadvantaged.

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Photo Credit: WSSCC

However, the study finds that GSF has not yet systematically integrated EQND throughout the programme cycle. Across all countries, there are people who have either fallen through the net or whose lives have become more difficult after being unduly pressured, or after taking out loans and selling assets to build toilets. More proactive attention is needed throughout the programme cycle to build on current successes and ensure that people are not left behind or harmed through the actions or omissions of supported programmes.

GSF is in the process of putting the study’s recommendations into practice through revised guidelines, minimum standards, practical tools and other mechanisms.

Download the full study, plus a summarized version with GSF reflections, and annexes

World Bank WASH reports on gender, commercial finance & the WASH Poverty Diagnostic

Reducing Inequalities in Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene in the Era of the Sustainable Development Goals: Synthesis Report of the Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Poverty Diagnostic Initiative. World Bank, August 2017.

The Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Poverty Diagnostic Initiative focuses on what it would take to reduce existing inequalities in WASH services worldwide. This report, a synthesis of that global initiative, offers new insights on how data can be used to inform allocation decisions to reduce inequalities and prioritize investment in WASH to boost human capital. It also offers a fresh perspective on service delivery that considers how institutional arrangements affect the incentives of a range of actors.

Easing the Transition to Commercial Finance for Sustainable Water and Sanitation. World Bank, August 2017.

Providing sustainable water supply and sanitation (WSS) services in developing countries remains an immense, and increasingly urgent, challenge. Chapter two sets out how the sector is currently funded and why business as usual is insufficient for meeting WSS-related goals, covering the size of the investment gap, and the challenges presented by the status quo. Chapter three proposes a financing framework toward more effective use of existing funds to enable the mobilization of new sources of finance, and explains the benefits and costs of commercial finance. Chapters four to six detail the three components of the financing framework, providing practical advice and global experiences that demonstrate how countries can begin to make progress. Chapter seven summarizes how stakeholders can bring the three components together to mobilize commercial finance, and provides the main conclusions and recommendations of the report

The Rising Tide: A New Look at Water and Gender. World Bank, August 2017.

The report reviews a vast body of literature to present a “thinking device” that visualizes water as an asset, a service, and a “space.” It shows water an arena where gender relations play out in ways that often mirror inequalities between the sexes. And it examines norms and practices related to water that often exacerbate ingrained gender and other hierarchies. Informal institutions, taboos, rituals, and norms all play a part in maintaining these hierarchies and can even reinforce gender inequality. The report’s key message is clear—interventions in water-related domains are important in and of themselves and for enhancing gender equality more broadly. The report discusses examples of initiatives that have had intended and unintended consequences for gender equality, and makes the important point that gender inequality does not always show up where we might expect.

Robert Chambers – Can We Know Better?: Reflections for Development

Can We Know Better?: Reflections for Development. Robert Chambers, Practical Action, June 2017.

This book is intended for all who are committed to human wellbeing and who want to make our world fairer, safer and more fulfilling for everyone, especially those who are ‘last’. It argues that to do better we need to know better. It provides evidence that what we believe we know in international development is often distorted or unbalanced by errors, myths, biases and blind spots. chambers

Undue weight has been attached to standardised methodologies such as randomized control trials, systematic reviews, and competitive bidding: these are shown to have huge transaction costs which are rarely if ever recognized in their enormity. To confront the challenges of complex and emergent realities requires a revolutionary new professionalism. Promising developments include rapid innovations in participatory ICTs, participatory statistics, and the Reality Check Approach with its up-to-date and rigorously grounded insights.

An excerpt – Beginning on page 37, Chambers discusses Out of the closet: blind spots of WASH. Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is a source of examples of past and present (though diminishing) blind spots and biases.

Infant poo. Andres Hueso has called infant poo the blind spot of blind spots (pers. comm.). Explanations can be sought in terms of biases: cleaning children’s faeces is overwhelmingly women’s work and women often lack time and resources to deal with it hygienically; it is less smelly and disgusting than adults’; it is widely regarded as harmless, although it carries a heavier pathogen load than that of adults. So in rural areas where there is open defecation, it is common practice to leave infant poo in the
open near dwellings or to throw it on rubbish heaps together with rags or other material used for wiping bottoms. For many it would be too expensive or time consuming to do anything else.

View/download the entire book or individual chapters.

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, www.washdata.org, 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: https://washdata.org/report/jmp-2017-report-launch-version0

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

Press release: http://who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/water-sanitation-hygiene/en/

 

Global Sanitation Fund reports improvements in sanitation and hygiene for millions of people

People-centred, nationally-led programmes empower millions to end open defecation, improve sanitation, and increase dignity and safety

Geneva, 28 June 2017 – A new report shows that WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) has supported governments and thousands of partners across 13 countries, stretching from Cambodia to Senegal, to enable over 15 million people to end open defecation.

 

As the funding arm of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), GSF-supported programmes are contributing to the Council’s vision of universal access to sustainable and equitable sanitation and hygiene across countries throughout south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Focused on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 6.2, GSF focuses on improving sanitation and hygiene in the poorest and most marginalized communities, thereby contributing to associated development goals for education, health, women’s empowerment, climate change and urban development.

The 2016 GSF Progress Report highlights activities and results achieved from the inception of the Fund to the end of the year. Cumulative results to 31 December 2016 include:

  • 15.2 million people have been empowered to live in ODF environments, just over the target of 15 million.
  • 12.8 million people have gained access to improved toilets, 16% more than the target of 11 million.
  • 20 million people have gained access to handwashing facilities, 81% more than the target of 11 million.

Read more or download the report in English or French

The true costs of participatory sanitation

Plan International USA and The Water Institute at UNC have conducted the first study to present comprehensive, accurate, disaggregated costs of a WaSH behaviour-change programme.  The study calculated programme costs, and local investments for four community-led total sanitation (CLTS) interventions in Ghana and Ethiopia.

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Jonny Crocker, Darren Saywell, Katherine F. Shields, Pete Kolsky, Jamie Bartram, The true costs of participatory sanitation : evidence from community-led total sanitation studies in Ghana and Ethiopia. Science of The Total Environment, vol. 601–602, 1 Dec 2017, pp: 1075-1083. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.279 [Open access]

Abstract

Evidence on sanitation and hygiene program costs is used for many purposes. The few studies that report costs use top-down costing methods that are inaccurate and inappropriate. Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) is a participatory behaviour-change approach that presents difficulties for cost analysis. We used implementation tracking and bottom-up, activity-based costing to assess the process, program costs, and local investments for four CLTS interventions in Ghana and Ethiopia. Data collection included implementation checklists, surveys, and financial records review. Financial costs and value-of-time spent on CLTS by different actors were assessed. Results are disaggregated by intervention, cost category, actor, geographic area, and project month. The average household size was 4.0 people in Ghana, and 5.8 people in Ethiopia. The program cost of CLTS was $30.34–$81.56 per household targeted in Ghana, and $14.15–$19.21 in Ethiopia. Most program costs were from training for three of four interventions. Local investments ranged from $7.93–$22.36 per household targeted in Ghana, and $2.35–$3.41 in Ethiopia. This is the first study to present comprehensive, disaggregated costs of a sanitation and hygiene behaviour-change intervention. The findings can be used to inform policy and finance decisions, plan program scale-up, perform cost-effectiveness and benefit studies, and compare different interventions. The costing method is applicable to other public health behaviour-change programs.