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?
Through successful WASH intervention, communities access a new service that improves their quality of life, and also learn about equity and inclusion.
Blog by development expert Suvojit Chattopadhyay
The abysmal state of access to safe water and sanitation facilities in the developing world is currently a major cause for alarm; 580,000 children die every year from preventable diarrheal diseases. This is due largely to the 2.5 billion people around the globe who do not have access to safe sanitation. Not only can an effective WASH intervention save lives, it can also engineer changes in the social fabric of communities that adopt these behavioural changes. This points to a key attribute of a successful WASH intervention – that through these programmes, communities not only access a new service that improves their quality of life, but they also learn from being part of a concrete intervention that emphasises equity and inclusion.
Let me explain how. Safe sanitation is essentially ‘total’. In a community, even one family practising open defecation puts the health of other families at risk. Also, unsafe sanitation practices pollute local potable and drinking water sources in the habitations. Together, this can undo any gains from partial coverage of WASH interventions. This much is now widely accepted by sanitation practitioners around the world. However, there remains a serious challenge when it comes to the implementation of this concept.
When a community is introduced to a WASH-focused behaviour change campaign, there are often variations in the levels of take-up in different families. This could be because of several barriers – financial ability, cultural beliefs, education levels, etc. In response, external agencies have many options. They can focus more on families in their behaviour change campaigns, offer them material and financial support or incentives, or exert peer pressure (which may in some cases become coercive, etc).
However, the best approach – whether facilitated by an external agent or not – is for a community to devise a collective response. The issue should be framed as a collective action problem that requires solving for the creation of a public good. In many instances, communities have come together to support the poorest families – social engineering at its finest. At its best, recognising the needs of every member of a community will lead to a recognition of the challenges that the typically marginalised groups face. It is this recognition that could prompt a rethink of social norms and relationships.
Read the full article on the WSSCC Guardian partner zone.
Job Location: London, UK
Closing Date: 30th June 2014
WSUP Advisory is a consultancy service providing technical expertise to those seeking to address the challenges of providing urban WASH services to low-income urban consumers. WSUP Advisory takes the lessons learned from WSUP’s programmes and makes them available to countries across the world.
To meet its goals, WSUP Advisory is seeking an Urban Water & Sanitation Specialist who is interested in supporting cities across the world to adopt successful service models that reach low income consumers, and who is also interested in helping to build an advisory business. This is an opportunity to play a key role in a growing organisation. The role will require creative thinking and tenacity to seek continual improvement.
To read more about the role and find out how to apply, please visit http://www.wsup.com/programme/vacancies.
Posted in Africa, South Asia
Tagged Africa, Asia, Global, Job, jobs, London, NGOs, Region Tagged Advisory, sanitation, UK, urban, vacancies, Vacancy, WASH, water, WSUP
Issue 91 | March 8, 2013 | Focus on Gender Issues
March 8, 2013, is International Women’s Day, a day that has been observed since the early 1900s. Gender is an important issue in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). In most societies women have the primary responsibility for managing the household water supply, sanitation, and health.
Water is necessary not only for drinking, but also for food production and preparation, care of domestic animals, personal hygiene, care of the sick, cleaning, washing, and waste disposal. A UN policy paper explains that because of their dependence on water, women have accumulated considerable knowledge about water resources, including location, quality, and storage methods. Despite this, women’s central role in water management is often overlooked.
From Katie Carroll of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing
Many of you are aware that the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be ending in 2015. Over the past two years, the United Nations and its partners have started a process to develop a post-2015 development plan. The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW) encourages you to take a few simple steps in January and February to advocate for handwashing and hygiene, along with broader WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) goals to be included in this post-2015 plan.
What You Can Do Today
The UN has set up a process called The World We Want ( to allow people all over the world to contribute their input into the post-2015 development plan. The consultative process includes the creation of a High Level Panel, over 50 national and thematic consultations, community-based discussions and a Global Online Conversation, all of which will contribute to a vision for The World We Want beyond 2015. The UN has organized the online consultations into 11 thematic areas:
- Growth and Employment
- Conflict and Fragility
- Food Security and Nutrition, Energy
- Water – http://www.worldwewant2015.org/water
- Environmental Sustainability
- Population Dynamics
WSSCC has an exciting senior-level (P4) monitoring and evaluation (M&E) position based in Geneva, Switzerland. The application deadline is 30 December 2012. The purpose of the post is to coordinate the effective monitoring and evaluation of WSSCC’s work in line with its Medium Term Strategic Plan (MTSP)for the period 2012-2016. The incumbent is expected to establish a conceptual framework for the monitoring & evaluation practice, provide leadership to strengthen WSSCC’s capacity, and to develop systems and engagement strategies to enable WSSCC to:
- Effectively monitor and evaluate progress against its MTSP for the period 2012-2016, and regularly derive evidence-based data and information feeding into organizational and wider sector knowledge and learning.
- Identify and collaborate on evaluation research initiatives of relevance to the sector as a whole.
- Represent WSSCC in inter-agency meetings and high-level forums on monitoring and evaluation.
- Develop partnerships and facilitate inter-institutional relations with key research institutions specializing in water, sanitation and hygiene.
WSSCC’s mission is to ensure sustainable sanitation, better hygiene and safe drinking water for all people. Good sanitation and hygiene lead to economic and social development, yielding health, productivity, educational and environmental benefits. WSSCC manages the Global Sanitation Fund, facilitates coordination at national, regional and global levels, supports professional development, and advocates on behalf of the 2.5 billion people without a clean, safe toilet to use. WSSCC is hosted by UNOPS, supports coalitions in more than 30 countries and has members around the world.
For information on the United Nations salary scale and post adjustment formula, visit here: http://www.un.org/Depts/OHRM/salaries_allowances/salary.htm.
Issue 72 September 28, 2012 | Focus on Entrepreneurship in WASH and Household Energy
This issue contains some of the latest news and announcements about the role of entrepreneurs in providing water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and household energy products and services. This includes several winners of the Social Entrepreneurs 2012 award by the Schwab Foundation and USAID support for commercializing hand washing and establishing markets for cookstoves in Haiti. Also included is a link to cookstove market assessments by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which provide suggestions for removing barriers that prevent the creation of a cookstove market for more than 20 countries.