Category Archives: Africa

Shared Sanitation Management and the Role of Social Capital: Findings from an Urban Sanitation Intervention in Maputo, Mozambique

Shared Sanitation Management and the Role of Social Capital: Findings from an Urban Sanitation Intervention in Maputo, MozambiqueInt. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102222

Shared sanitation—sanitation facilities shared by multiple households—is increasingly common in rapidly growing urban areas in low-income countries. However, shared sanitation facilities are often poorly maintained, dissuading regular use and potentially increasing disease risk.

In a series of focus group discussions and in-depth interviews, we explored the determinants of shared sanitation management within the context of a larger-scale health impact evaluation of an improved, shared sanitation facility in Maputo, Mozambique. ijerph-logo

We identified a range of formal management practices users developed to maintain shared sanitation facilities, and found that management strategies were associated with perceived latrine quality.

However—even within an intervention context—many users reported that there was no formal system for management of sanitation facilities at the compound level. Social capital played a critical role in the success of both formal and informal management strategies, and low social capital was associated with collective action failure.

Shared sanitation facilities should consider ways to support social capital within target communities and identify simple, replicable behavior change models that are not dependent on complex social processes.

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.

Collective Efficacy: Development and Validation of a Measurement Scale for Use in Public Health and Development Programmes

Collective Efficacy: Development and Validation of a Measurement Scale for Use in Public Health and Development ProgrammesInt. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2139. ijerph-logo

Impact evaluations of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions have demonstrated lower than expected health gains, in some cases due to low uptake and sustained adoption of interventions at a community level. These findings represent common challenges for public health and development programmes relying on collective action.

One possible explanation may be low collective efficacy (CE)—perceptions regarding a group’s ability to execute actions related to a common goal. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a metric to assess factors related to CE. We conducted this research within a cluster-randomised sanitation and hygiene trial in Amhara, Ethiopia.

Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were carried out to examine underlying structures of CE for men and women in rural Ethiopia. We produced three CE scales: one each for men and women that allow for examinations of gender-specific mechanisms through which CE operates, and one 26-item CE scale that can be used across genders.

All scales demonstrated high construct validity. CE factor scores were significantly higher for men than women, even among household-level male-female dyads. These CE scales will allow implementers to better design and target community-level interventions, and examine the role of CE in the effectiveness of community-based programming.

SEI – How can sanitation policy deliver in Africa? Insights from Rwanda and Uganda

How can sanitation policy deliver in Africa? Insights from Rwanda and Uganda. Stockholm Environment Institute, August 2018.

Sanitation is currently high on the international development agenda. But for policy to be effective, basic enabling factors are required – the right institutional environment and the right governance structures – which in many countries are not yet fully in place.

It is even more important to get these basic factors right as increasing numbers of public, private, and philanthropic bodies at different levels of society become involved in promoting and providing sanitation, driven largely by global goals and international development agendas.

This growing focus on sanitation has led to top-down pressure to meet prescribed targets, which in most cases miss the complexity of context, distort service priorities, and in some cases compromise sustainability.

Based on four years of research in Rwanda and Uganda examining sanitation governance structures, the author sets out policy insights on what is needed for sanitation policy to succeed in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Scoop on Poop: How Open Defecation Free Data Led to Activity Program Pivots in Ethiopia’s Lowlands

The Scoop on Poop: How Open Defecation Free Data Led to Activity Program Pivots in Ethiopia’s Lowlands. Author(s):Nikita Salgaonkar. Organization(s):USAID/Ethiopia, AECOM, September 2018. cla

Sanitation behavior change is a notoriously complex intervention. In the harsh, remote environment of the Ethiopian lowlands, this is particularly so. Community-Led Total Sanitation and Hygiene (CLTSH) interventions, while successful in Ethiopia’s densely populated highland areas, have never been implemented at scale in the lowlands.

We learned that in these communities, dominated by (semi-) pastoralist groups, that the operating conditions for effective, sustained behavior change are highly variable. A Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) approach helped the program team define, pivot and re-design activities that addressed project effectiveness.

Our experience is drawn from the USAID/Ethiopia-funded Lowland Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Activity that works to accelerate access to improved WASH in three rural lowland regions: Afar, Somali, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples (SNNP).

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Money from waste? Revamp your view on sanitation

Money from waste? Revamp your view on sanitation. Water Blog, July 2018.

As an undergraduate student in Kampala, my head was full of thoughts about how I was going to make a living after my studies. Back then Rich Dad Poor Dad was still a best-seller, and I thought to myself: I can become a billionaire if I sell a billion of something to a billion people. Needless to say, it would have to be something that anyone can afford, like toothpaste or chewing gum. uganda.jpg

So, I wondered, what does every human need? It dawned on me: everyone needs water, food, and energy, every day. The next question was how I could make valuable goods from all the three as a civil engineer.

A fascination with sanitation

Over the course of my studies, I became interested in the intimate connections between water, food, and energy. I learnt about the water and nutrient cycles, and how we can recover resources from waste and use them to fertilize crops and generate energy.

Looking at the supply side, each of us generates about 1.5 litres of excreta daily – all together, a huge amount of waste. We can, of course, flush it down the drain and into our rivers, lakes, and oceans; or we can turn our pee and poo into valuable resources, like power and protein.

Read the complete article.

 

Mobile Communities in Ethiopia Seek Fixed Solutions to Their Water and Sanitation Challenges – Global Waters

Mobile Communities in Ethiopia Seek Fixed Solutions to Their Water and Sanitation Challenges – Global Waters, July 24, 2018.

In many respects, Ethiopia’s lowlands represent the final frontier for the country’s ambitious plans to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) coverage through its One WASH National Program. ethiopia

These harsh, arid lands are home to predominantly pastoral communities that roam with their livestock in search of water and grazing lands. Water sources are few and far between, and even when available often do not provide safe drinking water.

Open defecation is the norm for a mobile population that lacks a fixed address upon which to build longer-lasting sanitation infrastructure.

Adding to these challenges are the pressures of regular droughts, depleted groundwater tables, and a lack of institutional capacity on the human and data side.

Read the complete article.