Category Archives: Dignity and Social Development

Incontinence and WASH Focusing on people in humanitarian and low- and middle-income contexts

Incontinence and WASH: Focusing on people in humanitarian and low- and middle-income contexts

Incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine and/or faeces

People of any gender, age or ability can experience incontinence: they cannot hold on to their urine and/or faeces (‘the involuntary loss of urine or faeces’), and need to manage their urine and/or faeces leaking out. Leakage can occur at any time, day or night (commonly referred to in children as ‘bedwetting’). Incontinence has a significant impact on the quality of life of life of those who experience it, and that of their family members and carers: incontinence

The children (in Zaatari refugee camp, Jordon) are really suffering. The problem is that the mothers have been trying to cope for so long that basically they’ve given up. Night after night of urine and they can’t keep them clean. It’s soul-destroying (Venema, 2015)

Members of an informal email group on incontinence in humanitarian and development settings* have identified a lack of acknowledgement and support for people with incontinence. In response the group has been developing tools and collating resources to enable development and humanitarian professionals to create a supportive environment for people in low- and middle-income countries to manage their incontinence hygienically, safely, in privacy and with dignity.

We have identified that anyone who experiences incontinence has increased water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) needs compared to the rest of the population. WASH-related tools and resources have been collated on this webpage to help improve the knowledge and practices of the WASH sector

Read the complete article.

July 16, 2019 – Webinar on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergencies Toolkit

July 16, 2019 Webinar on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergencies Toolkit

  • Organized by Columbia University , International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  • 12:00pm — 1:00pm mhday

Please join us for a webinar on the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergencies Toolkit. Feel free to invite any colleagues who may be interested in this event!

Discussion topics include:

  • Conducting a rapid MHM assessment
  • Sector responsibilities on MHM (WASH, Protection, Shelter, Health, Education, Camp Management)
  • Monitoring & evaluating MHM activities
  • Key findings from ongoing implementation and research

Additional info and registration

Identifying the last 10% of households practising open defecation in rural Tanzania

Since 2017, SNV and the Government of Tanzania have been implementing the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) programme in eight Tanzanian districts. To date, the number of households that use toilets has increased to 90%. In the period March–April 2019, SNV Tanzania undertook a household survey in the eight project districts to identify the 10% of households still practising open defecation or sharing toilets despite the concerted government and SNV sanitation interventions. The findings show the majority of the households still practising open defecation and sharing latrines in the rural districts of Tanzania are not those commonly cited by the literature and sanitation programming – the people in poverty, the elderly people, people with disabilities, and those with other specific vulnerabilities. The majority in ‘the last mile’ are: 1) the ‘defiant’ households that have the socio-economic resources to build themselves latrines but prefer to practise open defecation or share toilets; 2) the socially isolated households that do not have a financially able family member who can support them; and 3) the geographically isolated households that are far from information centres. The SNV study also revealed a relatively high percentage of households headed by single mothers and those living in difficult terrains as part of the last mile. Furthermore, the study identified opportunities to increase access to sanitation among the last mile groups. These are: 1) introduction of behaviour change re-enforcement interventions tailored to different target groups; 2) promotion of context-specific sanitation technologies; and 3) introduction of community-led ‘social exclusion’ strategies.

Read the full report. SNV, 2019. Identifying the last 10% of households practising open defecation in rural Tanzania. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: SNV Tanzania. 14 p.

Water Currents: Menstrual Hygiene Day 2019

Menstrual Hygiene Day 2019. Water Currents, May 23, 2019.

Every May 28, Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) raises awareness and combats taboos associated with menstrual hygiene with the goal of enabling women and girls to achieve their full potential. mhday2019

The theme of Menstrual Hygiene Day 2019—It’s Time for Action—not only emphasizes the urgency of this public health issue, but also highlights the transformative power of improved menstrual hygiene to unlock economic and educational opportunities for women and girls.

Empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality are core operating principles of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and USAID Water and Development Plan. To alleviate a major constraint to women’s and girls’ participation in education and public life, USAID seeks to integrate menstrual hygiene management (MHM) interventions where practical and improve MHM in key settings, including schools.

As a contribution to MH Day 2019, this issue contains links to recent studies on “period poverty,” MHM and its impact on schooling/education, MHM in humanitarian situations, and other MHM–related topics.

Events
Menstrual Hygiene Day 2019 – This global advocacy platform for MH Day brings together the voices and actions of nonprofits, government agencies, individuals, the private sector, and the media to promote MHM for all women and girls. This website contains campaign materials for this year’s theme—It’s Time for Action—and a list of events and resources.

WASH Innovation Challenge on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and Incontinence – Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund is launching a challenge May 23, 2019, and will be seeking innovative projects exploring how to design safe and dignified MHM spaces in emergency camp settings and how to better engage with and understand the needs of people with incontinence in emergencies. Additional information will soon be posted on the Elrha’s website.

MHM Overviews
What Is the Point of a Period? Scientific American, May 2019. Age-old taboos against menstruation have led to a lack of research on how women’s menstrual cycles work, with serious consequences for their health.

Period Poverty Impact on the Economic Empowerment of WomenKnowledge, Learning and Evidence for Knowledge, January 2019. Period poverty refers to a lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints. The problem exists in high as well as low- and middle-income countries.

Read the complete issue.

Cloth, cow dung, cups: how the world’s women manage their periods

Cloth, cow dung, cups: how the world’s women manage their periods. The Guardian, April 2019.

For women living without access to basic sanitation, menstruation can be especially challenging. Their resourcefulness knows no bounds mhm.jpg

From animal skins and old rags to cow patties and silicon cups, women around the world use all sorts of materials to manage their periods each month.

Basic necessities for dealing properly with menstruation, such as access to clean water or a decent toilet, are simply unavailable to millions of women and girls.

Without these services, menstruation can negatively affect women’s health as well as their involvement in social and economic activities, says Louisa Gosling of WaterAid, which has published a photo gallery detailing the various ways women around the world manage their periods.

Read the complete article.

Webinar – Female-friendly public and community toilets

WaterAid, UNICEF and WSUP would like to invite you to the upcoming webinar on Female Friendly Public and Community toilets.
Date: Wednesday 3rd April
Time: 10am GMT

Join using this link: https://meet.lync.com/wateraid/andreshueso/CK25SZ4Y. If you have trouble joining, try the Skype Web App https://meet.lync.com/wateraid/andreshueso/CK25SZ4Y?sl=1.

Female-Friendly Public and Community Toilets: a discussion about why we need them and how to design them

Public and community toilets are often dirty, poorly maintained and have not been designed to meet the requirements of women and girls. But Governments and city planners can and should improve this situation by a) including women in the planning process and b) following basic principles of universal design that ensure public and community toilets are accessible for all users, are secure and well located, include context specific menstrual health features, cater for caring responsibilities (of all genders) and are maintained for cleanliness and safety. The practical “Female-friendly public and community toilets” guide is designed to help city authorities, planners and NGOs identify areas that lack public and community toilets and check if existing toilets are female-friendly while also giving some practical guidance for non-negotiable design elements. The webinar will highlight why it is important to look at public and community toilets through a gender lens, giving time for discussion and hoping for feedback from participants.

Presenters:
Priya Nath: Equality, Inclusion and Rights Advisor, WaterAid, UK
Olutayo Bankole Bolawole: East Africa Regional Director, WaterAid, Uganda
Lizette Burgers: Senior Advisor WASH, UNICEF, USA
Sam Drabble: Head of Research and Learning, WSUP, UK

The webinar will be recorded for those that cannot attend.

On World Water Day, gender equality and empowerment require attention

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On World Water Day, gender equality and empowerment require attention. Lancet Planetary Health, March 18, 2019. By Sheela S Sinharoy; Bethany A Caruso.

What would promotion of gender equality and empowerment in relation to water look like? At a minimum, it would necessitate a recognition of gender differences, as opposed to gender blindness.

This requires collection of improved gender data. At the global level, an opportunity exists to enable sex-disaggregated data collection through the WHO and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme, which is revising core questions for monitoring household water, sanitation, and hygiene.

This effort should include questions to assess differences in responsibilities for water-related tasks—including but not limited to drinking water—based on gender as well as on age, socioeconomic status, and other characteristics, such as caste, as part of an intersectional approach.