Recent WASH research – June 30, 2017


Status of water sector regulation in the Middle East and North Africa. World Bank, June 2017. This desk study is a first step intended to provide some basic information on selected countries that will serve as a foundation for determining where further support in the area of regulatory reform might be best concentrated. The authors review the status of regulatory institutions and practices in five MENA countries which were chosen to include different historic and legal frameworks and fragile/conflict states as well as those that are attempting broader sector reform

Bureaucratic blockages : water, civil servants, and community in Tanzania. World Bank, June 2017. How do civil servants in district water and sanitation departments address problems of water access in rural communities in Tanzania? What are the bureaucratic procedures they follow? How do the bureaucratic procedures around formulating budgets, managing money, and interacting with communities impede or enhance their ability to manage water projects? This report addresses these and related questions.

Performance of Water Utilities in Africa. World Bank, 2017. This report looks into how African utilities are doing using a data panel of about 120 utilities in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, which represent about 53 percent of the urban population served by piped network services and covered 14 countries in different parts of Africa.

Groundwater and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa: a short investigation highlighting outstanding knowledge gaps. UPGro Research, 2017. A short study was undertaken in the first quarter of 2017 by the UPGro research programme, to investigate the linkages between groundwater and poverty. The study consisted of four main tasks: a literature review; an overview of UPGro’s contribution to the understanding of groundwater-poverty relationships; three sets of analyses of relevant data; and an investigation into groundwater in selected urban settings.

Ebola virus disease fact sheet. WHO, June 2017. Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, infection prevention and control practices, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilisation.

Assessing patterns and determinants of latrine use in rural settings: A longitudinal study in Odisha, India. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, July 2017. Results highlight the low and inconsistent use of subsidized latrines built under the TSC in rural Odisha. This study identifies individual and household levels factors that may be used to target behavior change campaigns to drive consistent use of sanitation facilities by all.

Positive steps with negative studies in the WASH sector. Lancet Global Health, July 2017. By agreeing to publish negative results, journals continue the fight against publication bias by choosing to publish well designed, implemented, and reported studies, even in the face of negative findings. Such negative studies are frequently disappointing to the authors, funders, and implementing organisations. Allowing methodologically sound but disappointingly negative results to receive widespread attention through publication in high-impact journals is the only way that the WASH sector can move forward to find interventions that truly are effective and to jettison conventional wisdom about effective programmes.


Household sanitation is associated with lower risk of bacterial and protozoal enteric infections, but not viral infections and diarrhea, in a cohort study in a low-income urban neighborhood in Vellore, India. Trop Med Int Health. 2017 Jun 27. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12915. The presence of a household toilet was associated with lower risk of bacterial and protozoal enteric infections, but not diarrhea or viral infections, suggesting the health effects of sanitation may be more accurately estimated using outcome measures that account for etiologic agents.

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