Category Archives: Campaigns and Events

Global Handwashing Day 2018 – Water Currents, October 10, 2018

Global Handwashing Day 2018 – Water Currents, October 10, 2018

Celebrate Global Handwashing Day (GHD) on October 15, 2018. Organized by the Global Handwashing Partnership, this important international advocacy day is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap (HWS). HWS is one of the most effective and affordable ways to prevent diarrhea and pneumonia––the leading causes of death for children under the age of 5. ghd2018

The theme of this year’s celebration, “Clean Hands—A Recipe for Health,” emphasizes the key role that handwashing plays in reducing the prevalence of diarrheal disease and increasing overall health. For that reason, USAID and local partners promote improved handwashing behavior—educating the public about the health benefits of regular handwashing with soap; encouraging handwashing behavior change; and improving handwashing infrastructure in schools, health facilities, businesses, and households around the world to help create healthier, more self-reliant communities.

Hygiene and handwashing behavior change are also highlighted in the 2017 U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and USAID’s Water and Development Plan.

This issue contains contributions from the Global Handwashing Partnership, USAID, and others, as well as the latest studies on handwashing and food hygiene.

Join the #GlobalHandwashingDay conversation @USAIDWater.

infocus

Global Handwashing Partnership Resources
Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) website – GHP is a coalition of international stakeholders who work explicitly to promote handwashing with soap and recognize hygiene as a pillar of international development and public health. GHP has importantresources on its website for promoting GHD.

Norms, Nudges, or Addiction: Understanding Drivers for Handwashing BehaviorGHPUSAID, September 2017. In this webinar, Nga Ngyuen of USAID, Dr. Reshmaan Hussam, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Dr. Hans Mosler of the University of Zurich and EAWAG present updates on recent research and key implications of two frameworks for handwashing behavior change.

The Forgotten Juncture? Handwashing and Safe Management of Child FecesGHPUSAID; International Water Center; Water and Engineering Center for Development; UNICEF, August 2018. Safe disposal of children’s feces is a critical practice. This webinar discusses the present status and impact of child feces disposal practices and handwashing, shares experiences across regions, and reviews key considerations for practitioners.

USAID Resources
Global Handwashing Day 2018: Clean Hands—A Recipe for HealthGlobal Waters, September 2018. This collection of photos highlights USAID’s support for improved handwashing practices and how the Agency is helping create healthier communities around the world.

Read the complete issue.

UNICEF Regional WASH Innovation Challenge

We are delighted to share with you details of the Regional WASH Innovation challenge which UNICEF recently launched in partnership with BRAC and ask your support in sharing the contacts and details throughout your sectors and networks.

This year the focus is on handwashing – looking for innovative ways to get Mothers and caregivers to wash their hands with soap at critical times. washinnovation

HANDWASHING + SOAP = SAVED LIVES – If it’s simple in theory why is it so hard to practice?

This challenge is open to applicants from all countries in South Asia and there is a $5,000 prize for each of the three categories, full details and applications can be made through the following links and I have also included some specific details in the text below.

The closing date is September 10, 2018 – so please join us on facebook, twitter and Instagram and visit our website. But most importantly help us spread the word about this important challenge so that we can solve the equation and save more lives through improved handwashing.

Regional WASH Innovation Challenge

Purpose and Problems to be addressed by the Challenge – The purpose of the Regional WASH Innovation Challenge will be to identify innovative solutions to promote handwashing with soap that can be implemented to scale in the South Asia region. The promotion will focus on:

  • Improving education and awareness of handwashing with soap, identifying the benefits of using soap, understanding of proper handwashing techniques and critical times for handwashing; and
  • Behaviour change, resulting in and sustaining the increase of good practice of handwashing with soap using proper techniques and at critical times;
  • Health impact where the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections is reduced, improving children’s health and mitigating the risk of preventable child deaths.

Continue reading

Sanitation and health: what do we want to know?

Experts meet to discuss reaching a consensus on what the evidence tells us.

Radu Ban

Radu Ban

Jan Willem Rosenboom

Jan Willem Rosenbom

This is the first of two blogs written about the “Sanitation and health evidence consensus meeting”, convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Seattle on May 24 and 25 of 2018. It was written by Jan Willem Rosenboom and Radu Ban, who are both Sr. Program Officers on the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WSH) team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This first blog will describe the process used to arrive at the consensus, while the second blog will describe the outcome of the consensus and will come out once the results of the consensus meeting have been published. Also, mark your calendars for a session during the 2018 UNC Water and Health conference dedicated to this consensus!

Cambodia - India Two sides of sanitation rubbish and cleanliness. Credit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Two sides of sanitation: rubbish and cleanliness. Credit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cambodia/India

Introduction: What is this about?

It is hard to imagine that making improvements in sanitation wouldn’t play a role in improving health. After all, we know that shit spreads disease and the F diagram shows us that sanitation is an important tool in blocking the transmission of pathogens from one person to the next, thus lowering exposure. And sure enough: we have strong evidence about the effectiveness of sanitation interventions and improving health and human capital outcomes from rigorous historical studies, from high- as well as low- and middle-income countries.

At the same time, looking at the specific impact of programmatic sanitation interventions, it can be hard to figure out what the evidence is really telling us. On the one hand, a systematic review of the whole body of evidence on sanitation and health (carried out by Freeman et al. in 2017) suggests that sanitation protects against diarrhoea, active trachoma, some soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections and schistosomiasis. It also improves height-for-age scores of children (i.e. it decreases stunting, which is an important measure of human capacity). On the other hand, several recent sanitation intervention studies have found limited or no impact on different health outcomes. The table below (copied with permission from a presentation by Tom Clasen), provides a summary of key findings from the most recent sanitation studies:

Sanitation blog - Summary of effects from recent sanitation studies

  1. Fewer observed flies and feces; no change in fecal contamination of water
  2. Fewer observed soiled hands and less fecal contamination of water
  3. Except in the study arm considering just water quality improvements

This seeming lack of agreement is confusing, and partly in response to questions from practitioners, on May 24 and 25 of this year WHO convened a meeting of experts to review the existing evidence and reach a consensus about what it is telling us. The group of experts consisted of researchers across multiple disciplines who had written extensively on the topic of sanitation and health. We thought it was necessary to reach consensus among researchers before engaging, in a unified voice, the practitioner community.

At the same time, to make sure that the concerns of practitioners would be considered in the meeting, we published a “request for input” online (through the SuSanA network as well as the Sanitation Updates blog) and we will summarise the responses here. But first…

Continue reading

July 9th webinar – The Clean Clinic Approach: Strengthening WASH in Health Care Facilities to Improve Health Outcome for Mothers and Newborns

The Clean Clinic Approach: Strengthening WASH in Health Care Facilities to Improve Health Outcome for Mothers and Newborns

    • Monday July 09, 2018
    • 8:00 a.m.- 9:30 a.m. EST

Dear Colleagues,

We cordially invite you to join us for a webinar presentation by Stephen Sara, the WASH Team Lead on USAID’s Flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) on implementing the Clean Clinic Approach, MCSP’s approach for improving WASH in health care facilities. usaidmcsp

The approach focuses on facilitating incremental, low-cost WASH improvements to support maternal and newborn health outcomes. The webinar will review existing standards and tools, discuss the relationship between WASH and infection prevention & control (IPC) and share experiences and lessons learned from implementing the Clean Clinic Approach as part of an integrated health program.

Kindly note that we will plan to hold webinar again later in July (in the evening US time) for participants who are not able to attend this session due to being on a different time zone.  The webinar will also be recorded and available for playback as well.

Join Skype Meeting

https://meet.lync.com/savechildrenusa/ssara/MRN9W892

Examining Sustainability of USAID’s Millennium Water Alliance Activity in Ethiopia – May 17, 2018 Webinar

The USAID Water Office is hosting a webinar on May 17, 2018, at 9 a.m. EDT (New York time): Examining Sustainability of USAID’s Millennium Water Alliance Activity in Ethiopia. mwa.png

  • Thursday, May 17 | 9 a.m. EDT (New York time)

The Millennium Water Alliance-Ethiopia Program (MWA-EP) has worked to improve WASH access and local capacity in the country since 2004, supporting more than 700,000 people as well as a large number of schools and health facilities, across five regions. This event presents key findings from a soon-to-be released USAID ex-post evaluation of MWA-EP’s work between 2004 and 2009 in 24 rural woredas (districts) of Ethiopia.

The webinar will focus on the extent to which MWA-EP’s outcomes have been sustained and the factors affecting sustainability. Kari Nelson will present evaluation findings on the long-term outcomes related to rural water point construction and rehabilitation, community management of those water points, as well as sanitation and hygiene education activities.

Join the webinar:  https://ac.usaid.gov/what-we-are-learning-ethiopia-mwa/

About the Presenter – Dr. Kari Nelson is a Senior Technical Specialist at Social Impact with ten years of experience conducting monitoring and evaluation activities in international development. In her current role at Social Impact, Dr. Nelson oversees performance evaluation teams, reviewing methodologies, data collection tools, and analysis to ensure quality. She plays a senior advisory role to the ex-post evaluation series for the USAID Water CKM Project.

Seeking inputs for “consensus” meeting on sanitation interventions

Following the publication of results from a number of recent studies investigating links between improvements in sanitation and health (such as the WaSHBenefits study, studies in Tamil Nadu, Madya Pradesh and Orissa in India and others) some of you have contacted the Gates Foundation WSH team with questions and concerns about the seeming lack of consensus about the relationship between sanitation and health demonstrated in those studies.

Looking at a number of historical studies, it is hard to imagine that improvements in sanitation did not play a significant role in improving population health. And indeed, older as well as more recent historical evidence from US, Europe and developing countries establish causal relationships between sanitation and health. However, when considering more granular evidence considering the effects of individual and categories of interventions, there is less alignment.

Understandably, this has led to concerns about the meaning of this evidence, and questions about how it should be interpreted and used by practitioners, working to design and implement sanitation programs.

Partly in response to those concerns, WHO is convening an expert meeting in May this year, to develop a “consensus statement” around two specific questions:
• Are particular sanitation interventions more likely to have protective effects?
• What pre-conditions are likely to impact the effectiveness of these sanitation interventions?

The meeting will bring together researchers, from both life and social science backgrounds from around the world for two days of deliberations, informed by evidence and identifying points of agreement and contention. The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene team at the foundation strongly supports the organization of this meeting, and to make sure that issues relevant to practitioners are considered (and hopefully answered) during the discussions, we would like to invite you to share with us the most important questions you (and your teams) face when considering the use of evidence in program design.

The consensus meeting is scheduled to take place on May 24 and 25. To allow for review and incorporation into the agenda, the deadline for the submission of questions for consideration is end of day Thursday May 17.

There is no particular format for submission, although when we say we are looking for questions, we mean just that; a short sentence with a question mark at the end (no need to over-think it). If you are concerned that there is the possibility of mis-interpretation, you should feel free to provide some context and explanation.

Following the meeting, the results will be published and broadly disseminated.

We look forward to hearing from you what concerns you. If you have any questions about the process (or the scope) of this effort, please feel free to get in touch.

Jan Willem Rosenboom and Radu Ban

Contact:  janwillem.rosenboom [at] gatesfoundation.org

What does an enabling environment look like for urban sanitation? WSUP Webinar

What does an enabling environment look like for urban sanitation?

This week, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) held a webinar to explore what an enabling environment for urban sanitation really looks like. wsup-logox2

Despite its evident importance to achieving scale, the components of a well-functioning enabling environment for urban sanitation are weakly understood.

This webinar shared lessons from a 5-year programme – funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – which aimed to catalyse the market for on-site sanitation services in Bangladesh, Kenya and Zambia, through the development of flexible public-private arrangements.

Watch a recording of the webinar.