Category Archives: Policy

The social dynamics around shared sanitation in an informal settlement of Lusaka, Zambia

The social dynamics around shared sanitation in an informal settlement of Lusaka, Zambia. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, December 2018.

This study explored the social dynamics affecting collective management of shared sanitation in Bauleni compound of Lusaka, Zambia. journal.jpeg

Pit latrines were predominantly shared by landlords and tenants on residential plots. However, unwelcome non-plot members also used the latrines due to a lack of physical boundaries. Not all plot members equally fulfilled their cleaning responsibilities, thereby compromising the intended benefits for those conforming.

Landlords typically decided on latrine improvements independent of tenants. Latrines were not systematically monitored or maintained, but punishment for non-conformers was proportionate to the level of infraction. There was no system in place for conflict resolution, nor local organizations to regulate the management of sanitation.

Lastly, there were few enterprises associated with peri-urban sanitation. Social capital was moderately high, and tenants were willing to invest money into improving sanitation. The social dynamics illuminated here provide an important basis for the development of a behavioural intervention targeted towards improving urban sanitation.

Event Invitation: Realizing the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation – 14 September 2018

WSSCC is inviting you to a session: Realizing the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: Tackling stigma and discrimination: From menstruation to access to WASH for people on the move that will take place next Friday 14 September 2018 / 13h30 – 15h00 at Palais des Nations, Room XXVII (Geneva, Switzerland).

PROGRAMME

Welcome and Opening Remarks from the co-chairs
Keynote speech: Mr. Leo Heller, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation
Remarks by: Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, WSSCC Executive Director
Presentations:
– Ms. Inga Winker, Human Rights Expert, Columbia University (NY)
– Mr. Labo Madougou, Director of Development and Extension of Sanitation Services from the Water and Sanitation Ministry of Niger
– Ms. Khadi Sonkho, MHM Trainer for West and Central Africa, Louga (Senegal)
Q/A and Moderated Discussion
Closing remarks:
Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, WSSCC Executive Director
Permanent Mission of Niger

This session is an opportunity to:

  • Reinforce evidence-based advocacy for sustainable access to WASH provisions (water, sanitation and hygiene) for all in public policies
  • Share evidence, best practice and innovations in programming and policy at the national level
  • Build a community of stakeholders committed to promoting and fostering menstrual health
  • Discuss how the agenda for menstrual health and other stigmatized topics can be advanced at the global level
  • Emphasize the impact of stigma, psycho-social stress and lack of body literacy as issues that have thus far received less attention
  • Contribute to the dissemination of the recommendations from the most recent report of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitatio
  • Understand important barriers to and solutions for implementing the Human
  • Rights to Water and Sanitation for all for people on the move
  • Explore the roles and responsibilities for different stakeholders

Fore more info, read the Event Program and the Concept Note.

Snacks will be provided at 13h00 at the entrance of the room.

Please RSVP to anthony.dedouche@wsscc.org before 12 September 2018.

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

New call for researchers (WSUP – Urban Sanitation Research Initiative)

Analysis of citizen and decision-maker attitudes to freshwater pollution in Bangladesh cities as a basis for more effective regulation.

This research project is jointly commissioned by the REACH global research programme (led by Oxford University) and the Urban Sanitation Research Initiative, (a 2017-2020 research programme led by Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor, WSUP). The project will be managed by the Urban Sanitation Research Initiative team with single point-of-contact, but should aim to align with the broad vision and specific requirements of both research programmes.

The research will investigate citizen and decision-maker attitudes to pollution of watercourses in urban environments in Bangladesh, and attitudes towards regulation to reduce such pollution. We require detailed consideration of two specific types of pollution, and of their associated regulation, namely a) faecal contamination arising from widespread discharge from septic tanks, pit latrines, and hanging toilets to surface drains and water bodies and to subsurface water bodies, and b) industrial discharge to surface and subsurface water bodies. However, we would expect detailed consideration of these specific issues to be embedded within a wider framework of analysis of urban freshwater pollution, and its regulation, in Bangladeshi cities.

Bids due: Before 1700 (UK) Tuesday 13th March 2018

Focus country: Bangladesh

Maximum budget: GBP 80,000

For more information and details on the bidding process, see the Urban Sanitation Research Initiative website (‘Current research calls’).

SACOSAN 7: registration closes 15 December

SACOSAN logo

South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN),  a government led biennial convention held on a rotational basis in each SAARC country (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), provides a platform for interaction on sanitation.

SACOSAN VII will be held on 13-17 February 2018 in Pakistan, hosted by Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan.

The deadline for registration is 15 December 2017.

Below is an overview of the theme papers and country leads

Theme papers

Lead country

Sanitation as cross cutting (Health and Nutrition)

Afghanistan

Climate Change/Environment and Sanitation

Bangladesh

Sociology of Sanitation

Bhutan

Operation, Maintenance and Sustainability of WASH

India

Policy, Strategy and Sector Planning (institutional arrangements)

Maldives

Human Resource Development for WASH

Nepal

Accountability and Regulation

Monitoring and Evaluation

Pakistan or Sri Lanka? [conflicting info on website]

WASH Financing

Sri Lanka or Pakistan? [conflicting info on website]

For more information and updates go to: sacosan.com/

Don’t neglect shared latrines in drive for sanitation for all, agencies warn

Shared toilets in Kenya. Photo: Sanergy

Shared toilets in Kenya. Photo: Sanergy

• WaterAid joins WSUP, World Bank and leading academics in urging donors, policymakers and planners not to neglect shared sanitation
• Where private household toilets aren’t yet an option, safe, well-managed shared toilets are a crucial step to further improvement

Funding for safe, shared toilets in fast-growing developing-world cities is at risk of neglect from donors, policymakers and planners, a new journal article authored by sanitation specialists, senior economists and leading academics has warned.

Authors from the World Bank, WaterAid and Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor have joined leading academics from the University of Leeds and the University of Colorado – Boulder in calling for shared toilets as an essential stepping-stone towards universal sanitation.

Continue reading

UNC Water Institute WASH Research Policy Digests

These useful UNC research digests discuss a key article and include literature reviews on the selected topic:

Issue #1, July 2015: Sanitation Subsidies
Our first Digest deals with the difficult issue of when and how to use subsidies for on-site sanitation.

Issue #2, October 2015: WaSH in Healthcare Facilities
Issue two of the WasH Policy Research Digest digs in to the critical issue of WaSH in health care facilities, including a detailed review of WHO and UNICEF’s 2015 report on the topic and a synthesis of literature and solutions to address its impact on infection, mortality, maternal and neonatal health.

Issue #3, March 2016: Handpump Functionality Monitoring
The third issue of the WaSH Policy Research Digest focuses on handpump functionality monitoring. This issue of the Digest explores recent literature on this topic, focusing on policy implications, recommendations, and a call for standardized functionality measurements.

Issue #4, August 2016: Sanitation and Nutrition
Our fourth digest addresses sanitation and nutrition. This issue explores recent literature and the emerging evidence base on the connection between sanitation, nutritional outcomes, and child stunting.