Tag Archives: WASH in schools

Kenya – WASH in Schools Lessons Learned

Source – WASHfunders Blog, Aug 17, 2012

Editor’s Note: This guest post was authored by Malaika Cheney-Coker, the learning and influencing advisor of the Water Team at CARE USA. Her work includes support on internal and external communications, the application and use of monitoring and evaluation tools, and technical guidance on learning strategies and activities within partnership programs of the Water Team. In this post, Malaika discusses the implications of a school WASH project study on action-research projects.

In the summer of 2007, SWASH+, a school WASH project in Nyanza Province, Kenya, with a large and complex research operation, conducted a small study. The study was a simple identification of the recurrent costs needed to pay for materials and for labor to maintain and repair water containers, stands, taps, and to re-purchase soap and water purification items. Very different from the larger randomized controlled trials and studies being conducted by the project, this study  cost little and did not require a large research team (it was conducted by a graduate student over the course of a summer) or complex design and analysis. However, the findings of this simple cost research were immediately adopted by the Ministry of Education and resulted in a doubling of the Ministry’s Free Primary Education allotment for electricity, water, and conservancy — a budget line item that schools have traditionally used to pay for WASH costs.

Parent volunteer helps monitor school WASH conditions by ensuring soapy water is available for hand-washing, drinking water is treated, and latrines are clean. Credit: CARE / Brendan Bannon, Kenya, 2012

From this experience, the SWASH+ team gained some important insights into how action-research projects can achieve results:

  • Various forms of inquiry are needed to produce and buttress an evolving story. The simple study on WASH costs was a logical next step after a study on the sustainability of a safe water systems pilot in 55 schools identified adequate financing as one of four domains of sustainability. A problem tree analysis also identified inadequate or poorly planned financing as a key threat to sustainability. Similarly, SWASH+ findings from a randomized controlled trial on the effects of school WASH on pupil absence provided evidence for one of the potential impacts of improved school WASH (an average of six days less of absence for school girls) and helped make the case for increasing investments in school WASH.
  • Research needs to be made available to policymakers in practical terms. The budget for operations costs drafted by SWASH+ offered specific and practical recommendations that could be more readily adopted than a general injunction to the Ministry of Education to increase its funding.
  • To make research available in practical terms, action-research organizations need to be adept at canvassing entry points and opportunities for influence. A SWASH+ review of the national school WASH strategy draft revealed that the cost estimates related to school WASH seemed arbitrary. By having had cultivated relationships within the Ministry, SWASH+ was able to point this out and suggest that these numbers be revised using figures provided by the research.

Continue reading

Water and Sanitation in Schools: A Systematic Review of the Health and Educational Outcomes

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(8), 2772-2787

Water and Sanitation in Schools: A Systematic Review of the Health and Educational Outcomes

Christian Jasper1 , Thanh-Tam Le2 and Jamie Bartram1,
1 The Water Institute, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 135 Dauer Drive, CB #7431, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2 Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 120 South Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA

A systematic review of the literature on the effects of water and sanitation in schools was performed. The goal was to characterize the impacts of water and sanitation inadequacies in the academic environment. Published peer reviewed literature was screened and articles that documented the provision of water and sanitation at schools were considered. Forty-one peer-reviewed papers met the criteria of exploring the effects of the availability of water and/or sanitation facilities in educational establishments.

Chosen studies were divided into six fields based on their specific foci: water for drinking, water for handwashing, water for drinking and handwashing, water for sanitation, sanitation for menstruation and combined water and sanitation. The studies provide evidence for an increase in water intake with increased provision of water and increased access to water facilities.

Articles also report an increase in absenteeism from schools in developing countries during menses due to inadequate sanitation facilities. Lastly, there is a reported decrease in diarrheal and gastrointestinal diseases with increased access to adequate sanitation facilities in schools. Ensuring ready access to safe drinking water, and hygienic toilets that offer privacy to users has great potential to beneficially impact children’s health.

Additional studies that examine the relationship between sanitation provisions in schools are needed to more adequately characterize the impact of water and sanitation on educational achievements.

Sanitation Matters: Health and Hygiene – Focus on Handwashing

Sanitation Matters: Health and Hygiene – Focus on Handwashing, April 2012 issue

Water Information Network, South Africa.

Contents: 

  • A Tool For Measuring The Effectiveness Of Handwashing 3-7
  • Five Best Practices Of Hygiene Promotion Interventions In the WASH Sector 8-9
  • Washing Your Hands With Soap: Why Is It Important? 10-11
  • Appropriate Sanitation Infrastructure At Schools Improves Access To Education 12-13
  • Management Of Menstruation For Girls Of School Going Age: Lessons
  • Learnt From Pilot Work In Kwekwe 14 -15
  • WIN-SA Breaks The Silence On Menstrual Hygiene Management 16
  • Joining Hands To Help Keep Girls In Schools 17
  • The Girl-Child And Menstrual Management :The Stories Of Young Zimbabwean Girls. 18-19
  • Toilet Rehabilitation At Nciphizeni JSS And Mtyu JSS Schools 20 – 23

Factors leading to poor water sanitation hygiene among primary school going children in Chitungwiza

Journal of Public Health in Africa, March 2012

Factors leading to poor water sanitation hygiene among primary school going children in Chitungwiza

Blessing Dube, James January

Although the world has progressed in the area of water and sanitation, more than 2.3 billion people still live without access to sanitation facilities and some are unable to practice basic hygiene. Access to water and basic sanitation has deteriorated in Chitungwiza and children are at risk of developing illness and missing school due to the deterioration.

We sought to investigate the predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors that are causally related to water- and sanitation- related hygiene practices among school going children. A random sample of 400 primary school children (196 males, 204 females) in four schools in Chitungwiza town, Zimbabwe was interviewed. Behavioural factors were assessed through cross examination of the PROCEED PRECEDE Model. The respondents had been stratified through the random sampling where strata were classes. A structured observation checklist was also administered to assess hygiene enabling facilities for each school.

Children’s knowledge and perceptions were inconsistent with hygienic behaviour. The family institution seemed to play a more important role in life skills training and positive reinforcement compared to the school (50% vs 27.3%). There was no association between a child’s sex, age and parents’ occupation with any of the factors assessed (P=0.646). Schools did not provide a hygiene enabling environment as there were no learning materials, policy and resources on hygiene and health. The challenges lay in the provision of hygiene enabling facilities, particularly, the lack of access to sanitation for the maturing girl child and a school curriculum that provides positive reinforcement and practical life skills training approach.

Translating Research into National-Scale Change: A Case Study from Kenya of WASH in Schools

Translating Research into National-Scale Change: A Case Study from Kenya of WASH in Schools, 2011. SWASH Project.

Over the past 5 years CARE, Emory University’s Center for Global Safe Water, and Water.org, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Sustaining and Scaling School Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Plus Community Impact (SWASH+) project, have worked to achieve sustainable and national-scale school WASH services in Kenya through applied research and advocacy. The project tested a multi-armed school WASH intervention through a randomized, controlled trial with multiple policy-relevant sub-studies. Research results were then used to advocate for policy change to bring about sustainable school WASH services nationally. These efforts have focused on improving budgeting for operations and maintenance costs, improving accountability systems with a focus on monitoring and evaluation, and more effectively promoting knowledge of WASH through teacher training and the national curriculum.

Advocacy objectives were developed through a problem-tree analysis and stakeholder analyses. SWASH+ used Outcome Mapping to track progress against these objectives. Specific advocacy goals were to identify important policy intervention areas, work with policymakers to update knowledge and identify learning gaps and then act as a learning adviser to the relevant ministries.

Though the project has not achieved all advocacy objectives, it can claim some advances. Lessons for effective school WASH advocacy gained from the program successes and mistakes are as follows:
1) Having a rigorous evidence base creates large amounts of credibility with policymakers.
2) Significant time and follow-up are needed as well as having staff with appropriate skills.
3) The “ripeness” of the external policy environment is crucial and can make or break efforts to affect national-scale change. Successful advocacy initiatives avoid being insular, focus on the external policy environment at the outset, assess data needs and stakeholder roles and responsibilities, and set
reasonable objectives.

Assessing the impact of a school-based water treatment, hygiene and sanitation programme on pupil absence

Tropical Medicine & International Health, December 2011

Assessing the impact of a school-based water treatment, hygiene and sanitation programme on pupil absence in Nyanza Province, Kenya: a cluster-randomized trial

Matthew C. Freeman, Leslie E. Greene, et al.

Objectives  There has been increased attention to access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) at schools in developing countries, but a dearth of empirical studies on the impact. We conducted a cluster-randomized trial of school-based WASH on pupil absence in Nyanza Province, Kenya, from 2007 to 2008.

Methods  Public primary schools nested in three geographical strata were randomly assigned and allocated to one of three study arms [water treatment and hygiene promotion (WT & HP), additional sanitation improvement, or control] to assess the effects on pupil absence at 2-year follow-up.

Results  We found no overall effect of the intervention on absence. However, among schools in two of the geographical areas not affected by post-election violence, those that received WT and HP showed a 58% reduction in the odds of absence for girls (OR 0.42, CI 0.21–0.85). In the same strata, sanitation improvement in combination with WT and HP resulted in a comparable drop in absence, although results were marginally significant (OR 0.47, 0.21–1.05). Boys were not impacted by the intervention.

Conclusion  School WASH improvements can improve school attendance for girls, and mechanisms for gendered impacts should be explored. Incomplete intervention compliance highlights the challenges of achieving consistent results across all settings.

Access full article here.

Kenya – WASH in schools improves academic performance

June 24, 2011 – Healthy schools improve national academic performance

PUPILS WHO STUDY IN SCHOOLS THAT, FOR INSTANCE, PROVIDE WATER AND SOAP ARE MORE LIKELY TO WASH HANDS THAN THOSE IN SCHOOLS THAT DO NOT HAVE THE FACILITIES

NAIROBI (Xinhua) — Schools that promote a healthy learning environment for pupils help to improve their academic performances, a team of researchers has said.

The researchers said such schools, among other things, ensure that the institutions have access to water and sanitation facilities and teachers engage pupils frequently on discussions about health.

This promotes teaching and learning thus increasing student’s chances of excelling in their academics.

The researchers from the Nairobi-based African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) worked with 22 primary schools in two informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya under an initiative dubbed Health Promoting Schools ( HPS ).

Continue reading

Sarah Bramley – Education and WASH sectors find new synergies on World Water Day

by Sarah Bramley, WASHplus Project, CARE

Photo credit: PATH

On World Water Day, a day on which people around the world joined together to recognize the importance of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene education (WASH), I spent the morning thinking about the number of children who do not have access to these basic necessities at school. Therese Dooley, Senior WASH Advisor for UNICEF once said, “Currently, investment [in schools] can be quite low, and sometimes WASH in schools falls between the cracks…we just need to make sure there is funding allocated and that it does get priority.”[1]

Addressing improvements to water and sanitation in schools has been elevated on the global stage in the last several years. However, more often than not, theseconversations have been missing a key component: key stakeholders in the education sector. The creation of silos between WASH and education has been occurring for years due to funding. All too often grants are awarded with so many guidelines they can only be used for either improvements in WASH or for educational development, which make program collaboration difficult. There are often stipulations that educational funding can’t be used to improve water and sanitation services at school.

Continue reading