Category Archives: Research

Recent WASH research – September 7, 2017





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.

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

Recent WASH research – August 30, 2017

3ie Systematic reviews & Scoping papers

Promoting handwashing and sanitation behaviour change in low- and middle-income countries A mixed-method systematic review, June 2017. This systematic review shows which promotional approaches are effective in changing handwashing and sanitation behaviour and which implementation factors affect the success or failure of such interventions.

Promoting latrine use in India, August 2017. The major barriers to use appear to be poor latrine quality and certain inhibiting knowledge, attitudes and practices (e.g. perceived convenience and pleasure of open defecation, despite knowing the health consequences). The importance of the design and location of the latrine appear to carry significant implications for use.


Multipathway Quantitative Assessment of Exposure to Fecal Contamination for Young Children in Low-Income Urban Environments in Accra, Ghana: The SaniPath Analytical Approach. AJTMH, August 21, 2017. Although we observed variation in estimated exposure (108–1016 CFU/day for Escherichia coli) between different age groups and neighborhoods, the greatest contribution was consistently from food. Hands played a pivotal role in fecal microbe transfer, linking environmental sources to oral ingestion.

Clean and Green: a new implementation framework for sustainable rural sanitation. SEI, 2017. Clean and Green is the first rural sanitation implementation framework that explicitly addresses efficient local resource management, including waste reuse, in parallel with sanitation and hygiene promotion. The framework centres on certifications to reward progress along parallel Clean (risk management) and Green (resource management) tracks.

Black Soldier Fly Biowaste Processing. EAWAG, 2017. The grown larvae make an excellent protein source in animal feed and their sale can, thus, contribute to lower treatment cost and to a lucrative business with organic waste.

Beyond Scarcity: Water Security in the Middle East and North Africa. World Bank, August 2017. This report shows that achieving water security means much more than coping with water scarcity. It means managing water resources in a sustainable, efficient, and equitable way.

Effectiveness of table top water pitcher filters to remove arsenic from drinking water. Environmental Research, October 2017. Thus, the ZeroWater® pitcher filter is a cost effective and short-term solution to remove arsenic from drinking water and its use reduces plastic waste associated with bottled water.

Recent WASH research, updates to Global Waters




Recent WASH research – August 9, 2017


Understanding open defecation in rural India: Untouchability, pollution, and latrine pits. Diane Coffey, Aashish Gupta, Payal Hathi, Dean Spears, Nikhil Srivastav, Sangita Vyas, December 2016.

Human Rights and Taxation of Menstrual Hygiene Products in an Unequal World. book chapter in HUMAN RIGHTS AND TAX IN AN UNEQUAL WORLD (Philip G. Alston and Nikki Reisch eds., Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2018.

UNICEF Field Notes on Community Approaches to Total Sanitation: LEARNING FROM FIVE COUNTRY PROGRAMMES. UNICEF, June 2017.

EXPLORING CROSS-SECTOR LINKAGES BETWEEN POPULATION, HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT, NUTRITION AND FOOD SECURITY: A Review of Best Practices and Lessons Learned. ABCG, June 30, 2017. Incorporate WASH into nutrition and food security programming to enhance outcomes of the nutrition programs and to build a more comprehensive program to improve health.


Does depression moderate handwashing in children? BMC Public Health, August 1, 2017.

Antibacterial efficacy of local plants and their contribution to public health in rural Ethiopia. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, July 28, 2017. Proper hand hygiene with soap and detergents prevents the transmission of many infectious diseases. This study aims to determine the antibacterial activities of some of the plants against bacteria isolated from humans.

Human Health Risk Assessment Applied to Rural Populations Dependent on Unregulated Drinking Water Sources: A Scoping Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, July 28, 2017.

The global burden of disease study 2013: What does it mean for the NTDs? PLoS NTDs, August 3, 2017.

Empirical evidence of the public health benefits of tropical forest conservation in Cambodia: a generalised linear mixed-effects model analysis. Lancet Planetary Health, August 2017. Strictly managed protected areas in Amazonia seem to have reduced biophysical disruption from deforestation and restricted people’s exposure to disease sources, which might have reduced the incidence of malaria, acute respiratory infections, and diarrhea.

Animal-related factors associated with moderate-to-severe diarrhea in children younger than five years in western Kenya: A matched case-control study. PLoS NTDs, August 4, 2017.

Recent WASH research – August 3, 2017

Report from the IMPRESS Workshop: ‘Incontinence Needs in LMICs’, July 30, 2017

‘Unfit for human consumption’: a study of the contamination of formula milk fed to young children in East Java, Indonesia. TMIH, July 3017. (ABSTRACT/ORDER) The high levels of contamination found highlight that bottles are an important fecal-oral exposure pathway resulting from poor hygiene practices during bottle preparation.

Sanitation practices and perceptions in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya: Comparing the status quo with a novel service-based approach. PLoS One, July 2017. OPEN ACCESS


Behaviour change intervention to improve shared toilet maintenance and cleanliness in urban slums of Dhaka: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. TMIH, August 2017. (ABSTRACT/ORDER) In one of few efforts to promote shared toilet cleanliness, intervention compounds were significantly more likely to have cleaner toilets after six months. Future research might explore how residents can self-finance toilet maintenance, or employ mass media to reduce per-capita costs of behaviour change.

If I do not have enough water, then how could I bring additional water for toilet cleaning?! Addressing water scarcity to promote hygienic use of shared toilets in Dhaka, Bangladesh. TMIH, early view 2017. (ABSTRACT/ORDER)

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, early view, 2017. OPEN ACCESS

Improving the built environment in urban areas to control Aedes aegypti-borne diseases. WHO Bulletin, August 2017. OPEN ACCESS

Household and Individual Risk Factors for Cholera among Cholera Vaccine Recipients in Rural Haiti. AJTMH, August 2017. OPEN ACCESS

Identifying Potential Sources of Exposure Along the Child Feces Management Pathway: A Cross-Sectional Study Among Urban Slums in Odisha, India. AJTMH, early view. OPEN ACCESS

Optimizing Household Chlorination Marketing Strategies: A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effect of Price and Promotion on Adoption in Haiti. AJTMH, July 2017. ABSTRACT/ORDER



Recent WASH research – July 31, 2017

Open Access

Water works: how a simple technology in Dhaka is changing the way people get clean water. Water Blog, July 27. Amy Pickering of Tufts University discusses a novel treatment product that automatically dispenses small amounts of chlorine to create safe drinking water.

Identifying Potential Sources of Exposure Along the Child Feces Management Pathway: A Cross-Sectional Study Among Urban Slums in Odisha, India. AJTMH, July 24, 2017. While proper disposal of child feces in an improved latrine still represents a major challenge, control of the risks presented requires attention to the full range of exposures associated to the management of child feces, and not simply the place of disposal.

Beyond menstrual hygiene: addressing vaginal bleeding throughout the life course in low and middle income countries. BMJ Global Health, June 2017. This paper aims to highlight the key vaginal bleeding experiences throughout a woman’s life course and the intersection of these bleeding experiences with their access to adequate water and sanitation facilities, information and education sources, and supplies.

Differences in Child Health across Rural, Urban, and Slum Areas: Evidence from India. Claus C Pörtner, June 2017. We estimate that slum conditions—which the survey does not adequately capture, such as overcrowding and open sewers—are associated with 20–37% of slum children’s stunting risk.

Multi-Method Approach to identify Community Practices for Sanitation Systems. University of Colorado Boulder, June 2017. This paper compares the use of three methods—semistructured interviews, photovoice, and focus groups—to identify community priorities for sanitation.


Evaluating the effectiveness of a community-based hygiene promotion program in a rural Salvadoran setting. Global Health Promotion, July 27.

Use of Serologic Responses against Enteropathogens to Assess the Impact of a Point-of-Use Water Filter: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Western Province, Rwanda. AJTMH, July 24.

Working with complexity: a participatory systems-based process for planning and evaluating rural water, sanitation and hygiene services. Jnl WASH for Dev, July 24.

In the News

You Probably Don’t Want To Know About Haiti’s Sewage Problems. NPR Goats and Soda, July 2017

SOAPEN | This soap crayon can help prevent 1.5 million child deaths each year. July 27, 2017.