Category Archives: Research

Recent WASH research on water security, handwashing, intermittent water supply

Water Security Planning: Toolkit #3. Sustainable Water Partnership, 2018. Toolkit #3 discusses how to prepare a water security action plan. Future toolkits will discuss funding, implementation and the monitoring and evaluation of water security plans.

WaSH Policy Research Digest, ISSUE #7: INTERMITTENT WATER SUPPLY. UNC Water Institute, January 2018. Longer term approaches must address the systematic problems, such as high water losses and poor management, that result in intermittent supply. Continuous water supply is achievable and should be one of the aims of any program of utility reform.

Comparing the behavioural impact of a nudge-based handwashing intervention to high-intensity hygiene education: a cluster-randomised trial in rural Bangladesh. TMIH, January 2018. Our trial demonstrates sustained improved handwashing behaviour 5 months after the nudge intervention.

Enteric Infections in Young Children are Associated with Environmental Enteropathy and Impaired Growth. TMIH, January 2018. Enteric infections were significantly associated with EE and impaired growth in rural Bangladesh. These findings provide further evidence to support the hypothesis that contaminated soil in child play spaces can lead to enteric infections, many of which are likely subclinical, resulting in EE and impaired growth in young children.

Menstrual health and school absenteeism among adolescent girls in Uganda (MENISCUS): a feasibility study. BMC Women’s Health, January 2018. In this peri-urban Ugandan population, menstruation was strongly associated with school attendance. Evaluation of a menstrual management intervention that address both psychosocial (e.g. self-confidence, attitudes) and physical (e.g. management of pain, use of adequate menstrual hygiene materials, improved water and sanitation facilities) aspects of menstruation are needed.

Can Escherichia coli fly? The role of flies as transmitters of E. coli to food in an urban slum in Bangladesh. TMIH, January 2018. Flies may transmit large quantities of E. coli to food under field settings.

The influence of maternal psychosocial circumstances and physical environment on the risk of severe wasting in rural Gambian infants: a mixed methods approach. BMC Public Health, January 2018. In rural Gambia, inappropriate infant feeding practices were associated with severe wasting in infants.

Innovations in WASH Impact Measures: Water and Sanitation Measurement Technologies and Practices to Inform the Sustainable Development Goals. World Bank, 2018.

Gendered Experiences of Adaptation to Drought: Patterns of Change in El Sauce, Nicaragua. Latin American Research Review, 2017. These gendered inequalities in access to and control over different forms of capital has led to a gender-differentiated capacity to respond to climate change, men being able to adapt and women experiencing a downward spiral in capacity and increasing vulnerability to drought.

Recent WASH research and resources

In addition to the items below, there are also new blog posts and resources on the website.


  • Menstrual Health Hub (MH Hub) – is a global and interdisciplinary Community of Practice (CoP) for menstrual health actors and practitioners.


Recent WASH studies, December 4, 2017

Comparison of respondent-reported and sensor-recorded latrine utilization measures in rural Bangladesh: a cross-sectional study. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Nov 10.

Respondent-reported latrine utilization data should be interpreted with caution, as evidence suggests use is exaggerated. Coupling reported utilization data with objective measures of use may aid in the estimation of latrine use.

FAQ: Using Nudges to Encourage Handwashing with Soap. GHP, Nov 6.

Although the evidence base for nudges is still emerging and nudges for handwashing have been tested primarily in single contexts or on a limited scale, this brief answers some frequently asked questions about nudges and provides examples of how they have been used in efforts to increase handwashing.

Delivering gender positive WASH in the SDG era. IRC, Nov 2017. In this WASH Talk episode host Andy Narracott talks to Gabrielle Halcrow of SNV Asia about delivering gender positive water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in the SDG era. Gabrielle is SNV’s programme coordinator for the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (rural) Programme in Asia.

Contributing to the debate on categorising shared sanitation facilities as ‘unimproved’: An account based on field researchers’ observations and householders’ opinions in three regions, Tanzania. PLoS One, Nov 6.

Having an ‘improved’ latrine remains important as JMP recommends, but based on our study findings, we argue that possessing a non-shared latrine neither guarantees safety to its users nor its categorisation as ‘improved’. Instead, the state of the latrine, the construction technology used and the behaviours of the users may be more important.

A systematic review of zoonotic enteric parasitic diseases among nomadic and pastoral people. PLoS One, Nov 30.

The most common parasite studied was Echinococcosis spp. and contact with dogs was recognized as a leading risk factor for zoonotic enteric parasites followed by contact with livestock and/or wildlife, water, sanitation, and hygiene barriers, home slaughter of animals, environmental water exposures, household member age and sex, and consumption of unwashed produce or raw, unprocessed, or undercooked milk or meat.

Pneumonia & Diarrhea Progress Report. IVAC, Nov 2017.

The report evaluates the annual progress made in prevention and control of pneumonia and diarrhea by scoring the top 15 highest burden countries

San-Dem: Formative Research in Zambia: Briefing Note – SHARE

San-Dem: Formative Research in Zambia: Briefing Note. SHARE, November 2017.

Conclusions: Shared sanitation in Bauleni compound and possibly other similar settings present challenges for coordinating, cleaning and ensuring proper use of toilets by plot members. Share_Logo_MAIN_STRAP_RGB

Improvements are dependent on landlords whose primary motives for making these improvements are financial, social, and familial.

Properly designed demand-side interventions may be able to increase peri-urban sanitation quality in a cost-effective way.

Recommendations for the intervention

  • Target landlords as the primary target audience because they are responsible and financially capable of making toilet improvements.
  • Aim towards strengthening social cohesion on plots, as toilets are maintained as a shared resource
  • Primarily use the status and nurture motives, which scored highest, while also emphasizing justice and disgust to promote social cohesion and cleanliness
  • Encourage the use of different financial investment schemes by landlords to encourage savings for deliberate, planned toilet improvements

Recent WASH research – October 17, 2017

Gender Publications

New WHO Publications


Blog Posts

Recent WASH research – October 5, 2017







Selected papers from the 2017 WEDC conference

There were 146 papers accepted for the July 2017 WEDC conference and the link to these is:

Papers accepted for WEDC conferences go through a rigorous review process and are useful for learning about recent WASH innovations and lessons learned.

Below are links to selected papers on Behavior Change, Financing, Emergency WASH, Menstrual Hygiene Management, Sanitation, WASH & Nutrition and Sustainability.