Updates from WHO | Recent WASH research |ADB study on sanitation

We hope these informal WASH research updates have been useful to you in 2019. Please let us know if you have suggestions for future updates or if you wish to be removed from the subscriber list.

3-2-iDE-Cambodia WASH DIB-PR-07_Photo by Chhom Dinat

Also, be sure to check out Globalwaters.org for new blog posts, publications, events and news.


Water for Life: Using CLA to Transform a WASH System into a Self-Reliant Apparatus. CLA, 2019. The development challenge addressed in this case is increasing access to safe water for marginalized and under-served populations.

Transforming Communities and Staff One Latrine at a Time in Rural Angola. CLA, 2019. The WASH Project Team uses experiential exercises like the CLTS methodology to inspire community members to explore, discover and decide the best way to improve their water, sanitation and hygiene resources in Songo.


Water, sanitation, hygiene and health: a primer for health professionals. WHO, 2019. This WASH and health primer summarizes the status of WASH services globally and gives an overview of WASH interventions and linkages with health.

New global review of WASH and health – Safer Water Better Health. WHO, 2019. The comprehensive global review presented in Safer Water, Better Health updates the overall disease burden attributable to quantifiable effects of inadequate WASH for 12 major diseases, adverse health outcomes and injuries.

Position paper: Implications of recent WASH and nutrition studies for WASH policy and practice. WHO, 2019. In 2018, the WASH sector was surprised by three new high-quality studies that showed little or no impact of selected WASH interventions on reducing childhood diarrhoea and stunting. The WHO/UNICEF position paper summarizes the studies, contextualizes the findings within the wider body of evidence and distils the implications for future investments.


Product Design Supporting Improved Water, Sanitation, and Energy Services Delivery in Low-Income Settings. Sustainability, November 2019. Several approaches have been proposed in the literature supporting product design applied in low-income settings. These approaches have typically focused on individual- and household-level beneficiaries, with an emphasis on participatory, human-centered co-design methods. In this paper, we present a design approach that is, in contrast, focused on supporting providers of improved water, sanitation, and energy services.

Extending the use of the World Health Organisations’ water sanitation and hygiene assessment tool for surveys in hospitals – from WASH-FIT to WASH-FAST. PLoS One, Dec 2019. The World Health Organisations’ Water and Sanitation for Health Facility Improvement Tool (WASH-FIT) was designed for self-assessment. The tool was designed for small primary care facilities mainly providing outpatient and limited inpatient care and was not designed to compare hospital performance. Together with technical experts, we worked to adapt the tool for use in larger facilities with multiple inpatient units (wards), allowing for comparison between facilities and prompt action at different levels of the health system.

Quantitative assessment of fecal contamination in multiple environmental sample types in urban communities in Dhaka, Bangladesh using SaniPath microbial approach. PLoS One, Dec 2019. Future studies should examine behavior that brings people into contact with the environment and assess the extent of exposure to fecal contamination in the environment through multiple pathways and associated risks.

Lessons learned from the national sanitation campaign in Njombe district, Tanzania. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, December 2019. The best mix of sanitation education, regulation and enforcement was instrumental in raising community awareness, changing collective behavior, making people comply with the village sanitation laws, and the overall success in the sanitation campaign.

Effectiveness of a Behavior Change Intervention with Hand Sanitizer Use and Respiratory Hygiene in Reducing Laboratory-Confirmed Influenza among Schoolchildren in Bangladesh: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Dec 2019. The incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza was 53% lower in the intervention schools than in the control schools. Hand sanitizer and respiratory hygiene education can help to reduce the risk of influenza virus transmission in schools.


Water Insecurity and Sanitation in Asia. ADB, November 2019. This volume brings together 17 studies that examine various innovations in the water and sanitation sector in Asia and, most importantly, identify their spillover effects.


What does evidence on nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene mean for programming and policy? WaterAid, Dec 2019. What implications does the evidence have for WASH for nutrition programming and policy? Megan Wilson-Jones and Kyla Smith, with Action Against Hunger, the World Bank and the SHARE Consortium, take a view from a collaboration and partnership session at the University of North Carolina WASH and Health conference.

15 Videos from the Global Sanitation Economy Summit 2019 – The Summit featured the world’s 1st Smart Sanitation City a demonstration of the benefits of the digitization of sanitation systems for cities and a growing marketplace of new sanitation business solutions to provide sanitation access while recovering valuable resources and data from sanitation systems that can provide solutions for water, food and energy security.

Five lessons for sustainable business development. WSUP, December 2019. Highlights from a global knowledge exchange with WSUP’s business development leads.

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