Category Archives: Equality and non-discrimination

Assessing equity: a way to improve sanitation service delivery in South African informal settlements

Assessing equity: a way to improve sanitation service delivery in South African informal settlements. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, September 2018.

This paper discusses the need to incorporate equity assessment into the planning and monitoring of sanitation service delivery to South African informal settlements. Equity assessment criteria were drawn from literature and a study of sanitation service delivery to informal settlements in three South African municipalities (Cape Town, Johannesburg and eThekwini) over the period 2012–2015. wash

Three key dimensions of equity – resource allocation, access and stakeholder perceptions – were identified. These had eight associated criteria: (1) funds allocated for basic sanitation, (2) number of staff allocated to informal settlements, (3) disparities in access, (4) proportion of functioning sanitation facilities, (5) menstrual hygiene management (MHM) inclusion, (6) access to information, (7) meets users’ notions of dignity, and (8) integration of the perspectives of key stakeholders.

Key findings of the study indicate that the current focus on reducing service backlogs largely ignores equity and there is a need to better address this through the incorporation of: equity assessments, improving access to information, and the inclusion of marginalised communities in the planning of sanitation services.

Sylvia Cabus on Gender Mainstreaming in Water and Sanitation Programming – Global Waters Radio

Sylvia Cabus on Gender Mainstreaming in Water and Sanitation Programming. Global Waters Radio, August 24, 2018.

Sylvia Cabus serves as Senior Gender Advisor for USAID’s Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. cabus

In this podcast, Sylvia speaks with Global Waters Radio about some of the many ways the Agency integrates gender into its water, sanitation, and hygiene programming, and talks about how gender mainstreaming contributes to improved livelihood opportunities for women, better educational access for girls, and greater sustainability for WASH development interventions.

The strong connections between WASH improvements and girls and women’s empowerment received prominent mention in the U.S. Government’s first-ever Global Water Strategy, released in 2017, which notes as part of its first Strategic Objective that “access to sanitation for women and girls is particularly crucial to preserving basic dignity, improving access to education and economic opportunities, and reducing gender-based violence.”

Link to the podcast and transcript.

Gender & WASH – Water Currents, December 21, 2017

Gender & WASH – Water Currents, December 21, 2017

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by lack of access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. Their needs differ from men in terms of sanitation, they spend more of their time collecting water, yet they have less say about household and community decisions made on WASH services. gender

Similarly, women throughout the developing world face different barriers than men in terms of their involvement in WASH-related professions, such as utility management.

This issue on gender and WASH focuses on a new batch of reports, journal articles, and podcasts and provides links to relevant websites and news articles that consider gender issues in the WASH sector and gender-related aspects of agricultural water management.

We are always looking for ideas and suggestions to make Water Currents more useful and relevant, so we would appreciate your responses to this brief survey.

Water and Gender

The Rising Tide: A New Look at Water and GenderThe World Bank, August 2017. Water-related societal roles often reflect, and even reinforce, gender inequality. This report discusses the consequences of some water initiatives—intended and unintended—for gender equality. It makes the important point that gender inequality does not always show up where we might expect.

Gender-Responsive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Key Elements for Effective WASH ProgrammingUNICEF, March 2017. Effective gender-responsive programming in the WASH sector can contribute to gender equality while yielding important WASH results. This document outlines essential elements that WASH practitioners should take into account to enhance a gender-responsive approach to their work.

Gender Equality and Disability Inclusion within Water, Sanitation and HygieneWaterAid, March 2017. This discussion paper is based on WaterAid’s experiences in applying integrated gender and disability support to rights-based WASH programs in Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea.

Read the complete issue.

WSSCC Releases New Global Sanitation Fund Equality and Non-Discrimination Study

How can WASH programmes leave no one behind, as called for in the Sustaionable Development Goals? WSSCC’s new study, Scoping and Diagnosis of the Global Sanitation Fund’s Approach to Equality and Non-Discrimination, helps answer this question.

The study reveals that many people who may be considered disadvantaged have benefited positively from WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund (GSF)-supported programmes, particularly in open defecation free verified areas. In addition, a range of positive outcomes and impacts related to empowerment, safety, convenience, ease of use, self-esteem, health, dignity, an improved environment and income generation were reported by people who may be considered disadvantaged.

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Photo Credit: WSSCC

However, the study finds that GSF has not yet systematically integrated EQND throughout the programme cycle. Across all countries, there are people who have either fallen through the net or whose lives have become more difficult after being unduly pressured, or after taking out loans and selling assets to build toilets. More proactive attention is needed throughout the programme cycle to build on current successes and ensure that people are not left behind or harmed through the actions or omissions of supported programmes.

GSF is in the process of putting the study’s recommendations into practice through revised guidelines, minimum standards, practical tools and other mechanisms.

Download the full study, plus a summarized version with GSF reflections, and annexes