Category Archives: Research

USAID WASH updates | World Water Week and COVID-19 updates | WASH research

UPDATES to Globalwaters.org

NEWS

World Water Week 2020 is cancelled – SIWI.

COVID-19

How Do You Wash Your Hands To Fend Off Coronavirus If Water Is Scarce? NPR Goats and Soda, March 30.

Access to water and COVID-19: seven measures countries in Asia can take now. SEI, April 2020.

COVID-19: The link between transmission, sanitation and hygiene services. WSSCC Blog, April 2020.

Key Recommendations on Water Sanitation and Hygiene: COVID-19 in the community. PAHO, April 2020.

HANDWASHING

Effects of Individual and Combined Water, Sanitation, Handwashing, and Nutritional Interventions on Child Respiratory Infections in Rural Kenya: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 30 March 2020.

Impact of Housing and Infrastructure on handwashing in Peru. International Health, April 2020.

USAID WASH updates | COVID-19 | Recent WASH research

USAID UPDATES

Updates to Globalwaters.org

Exploring a Network’s Value. Lessons from Ethiopia. USAID Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership, March 2020. Overall, it was an important finding that the members find a change of perspective a core value of the network. The project is using a systems approach and seeks to achieve a change in stakeholder understanding through the interventions.

HANDWASHING/HYGIENE

The determinants of handwashing behaviour in domestic settings: An integrative systematic review. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, June 2020. This review demonstrates that our understanding of behavioral determinants remains sub-optimal. We found that there are limitations in the way behavioral determinants are conceptualized and measured and that research is biased towards exploring a narrow range of behavioral determinants.

Webinar on reducing the spread of COVID-19 through handwashing promotion. Wash’Em, March 2020. Webinar – FrenchSpanish | Wash’Em COVID-19 Resources |

Handwashing with soap – a life-saving act. World Bank Water Blog, March 2020. Resources are also needed during a pandemic response to ensure that WASH services continue to function.

Coronavirus: what might more hand washing mean in countries with water shortages?. The Conservation, March 30, 2020. In places where a regular, safe water supply doesn’t exist, the risk of infection could multiply.

Current Priority: Coronavirus. Water Environment Federation, March 27, 2020. Currently, there is no evidence that coronavirus survives the disinfection process for drinking water and wastewater. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. The risk of transmission through feces is expected to be low based on data from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses. At this time, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 through sewerage systems is thought to be low.

USAID WASH updates | Research on WASH impacts, health, water quality

UPDATES TO Globalwaters.org

PRO-WASH JOB OPENING

Senior Specialist, WASH Governance and Infrastructure – PRO-WASH (Practices, Research and Operations in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is a five-year project led by Save the Children and funded by the USAID Office of Food for Peace (FFP). The Senior Specialist for WASH Governance and Infrastructure has a broad range of experience working across relevant water approaches including IWRM, water governance, water service provisioning, watershed management, and infrastructure.

ECONOMICS/FINANCING

Forecasts of mortality and economic losses from poor water and sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa. PLoS One, March 2020. Our simulations suggest that WASH-related mortality will continue to differ markedly across countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In many countries, expected economic growth alone will not be sufficient to eliminate WASH-related mortality or eliminate the economic losses associated with poor access to water and sanitation infrastructure by 2050. In other countries, WASH-related mortality will sharply decline, although the economic losses associated with the time spent collecting water are forecast to persist.

Framing the future for water sector financing. IWA, February 2020. The water sector needs to secure much greater investment, but also to direct this at the most appropriate solutions and to build creditworthy utilities

HEALTH ASPECTS

Changes in historical typhoid transmission across 16 U.S. cities, 1889-1931: Quantifying the impact of investments in water and sewer infrastructures. PLoS NTDs, March 2020. Our findings have important implications for the understanding of typhoid transmission dynamics and potential impact of improvements in water and sanitation infrastructure.

Effect of sanitation improvements on pathogens and microbial source tracking markers in the rural Bangladeshi household environment. Environ. Sci. Technol., March 13, 2020. Incomplete removal of child and animal feces or the compound (versus community-wide) scale of intervention could explain the limited impacts of improved sanitation.

Front-line rural health clinics: Water, sanitation and hygiene access in Ntcheu District (Malawi). Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, 20 March 2020. This study found that rural village health clinics generally had good coverage of water and sanitation, and better access than reported nationwide in rural households or schools, handwashing facilities are an important gap.

USAID WASH updates | Research on MHM, sanitation, nutrition, health

UPDATES TO GLOBALWATERS.ORG:

Menstrual Hygiene Management and Women’s Economic Empowerment: A Review of Existing Evidence. WASHPaLS, 2019. This report presents the findings of the review and describes some of the challenges experienced by working women and provides guidance for future investments.

The State of Women and Water in Cotton Growing Communities in India – One-third of surveyed women in Maharashtra express concerns with the stressful nature of sourcing water.

USAID Launches Bureau for Resilience and Food Security – USAID in the News.

WASH & NUTRITION

Risk factors for child food contamination in low‐income neighbourhoods of Maputo, Mozambique: An exploratory, cross‐sectional study. Maternal & Child Nutrition, March 12. Risk factors for child food contamination were identified, including type of food, food preparation practices, and hygiene behaviors. Critical control points included cooking/reheating of food and food storage and handling.

How water impacts early childhood nutrition: An integrated water and nutrition framework. World Bank Water Blog, March 2020. In collaboration with the teams focusing on Agriculture and Health issues at the Bank, the Water team developed an integrated water and nutrition framework to aid in understanding the various ways that water impacts early child nutrition.

SANITATION

Assessing the Impact and Equity of an Integrated Rural Sanitation Approach: A Longitudinal Evaluation in 11 Sub-Saharan Africa and Asian Countries. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, March 2020. We estimate that 4.8 million people gained access to basic sanitation in these areas during the project period. Most countries also demonstrated movement up the sanitation ladder, in addition to increases in handwashing stations and safe disposal of child feces. Results from this study revealed a successful model of rural sanitation service delivery.

This Women’s Day, we need to talk about toilet taxes. ICTD, March 2020.  They found that female traders paid up to 18 times more for their daily use of toilets than they paid in market taxes – equivalent to 20% of their daily income.

USAID WASH updates | Research on open defecation, MHM, water utilities, etc.


Updates to Globalwaters.org
:

Sanitation Studies and Reports

Understanding Open Defecation in the Age of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Agency, Accountability, and Anger in Rural Bihar. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, February 2020. Our study used ethnographic methods to explore perspectives on open defecation and latrine use, and the socio-economic and political reasons for these perspectives, in rural Bihar.

Human fecal contamination of water, soil, and surfaces in households sharing poor-quality sanitation facilities in Maputo, Mozambique. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2020 Mar 2. Our results describe a setting impacted by pervasive domestic fecal contamination, including from human sources, that was largely disconnected from the observed variation in socioeconomic and sanitary conditions.

Practices and Perspectives on Latrine Use, Child Feces Disposal, and Clean Play Environments in Western Kenya. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, March 2020. Barriers to safe disposal of child feces were lack of latrines, time associated with safe disposal practices, beliefs that infant feces were not harmful, and not knowing where children had defecated. Primary barriers of clean play environments were associated with creating and maintaining play spaces, and shared human and animal compounds.

Associations between enteric pathogen carriage and height-for-age, weight-for-age and weight-for-height in children under 5 years old in urban Dhaka, Bangladesh. Epidemiology and Infection, February 2020.  Stool-based enteric pathogen detection provides a direct indication of previous exposure that may be useful as a broader endpoint of trials of environmental interventions.

USAID WASH updates | Studies on WASH financing, WASH systems, health/MHM

Updates to Globalwaters.org

Emerging Lessons on Sustaining Rural Water Services in Uganda: A Case Study of Whave’s Preventive Maintenance Model. Whave’s approach focuses on results-based payment for avoiding breakdowns, rather than payment for repairs. By incentivizing performance, their goal is to establish a system that reduces water source downtime and therefore improves the reliability of water supply systems. Additional reports are on the Sustainable WASH Systems (SWS) Learning Partnership website.

Maintenance Approaches to Improve the Sustainability of Rural Water Supplies. This document reviews literature about the factors influencing the sustainability of rural water services, and the emerging maintenance approaches seeking to address these factors and improve service reliability. Additional reports are on the Sustainable WASH Systems (SWS) Learning Partnership website.

Events – Sanitation and Water for All Finance Ministers’ Meeting, Washington DC, April 17, 2020 –

Health/MHM

Lessons from Rwanda on tackling unsafe drinking water and household air pollution. The Conversation, February 2020. A 2012 pilot demonstrated the viability and impact of this programme: households started, and continued, to use the water filters and cookstoves. These findings led to a larger roll-out which started in 2014.

Household Flooring Associated with Reduced Infant Diarrheal Illness in Zimbabwe in Households with and without WASH interventions. Trop Med Intl Health, February 2020. Our findings support the hypothesis that household flooring is an important pathway for the transmission of diarrheal pathogens, even in settings where other aspects of sanitation are sub‐optimal.

Sanitation topics – Water Currents, February 21, 2020

Because sanitation uptake continues to lag behind drinking water in terms of access gains, development practitioners are taking a closer look at what has and hasn’t worked in the past, modifying approaches that delivered early wins but not sustainable gains in coverage, and making sanitation financing a priority.
 
USAID is doing its part to fill evidence gaps related to sanitation and behavior change and support the reduction of open defecation and movement of communities up the sanitation ladder by identifying, researching, and sharing best practices for the delivery of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services and sustained behavior change.

The Agency has also made it a priority to close financing gaps to help countries achieve universal access to WASH services through sustainable and creditworthy business models, increased public funding, and expanded market finance for infrastructure investment.
 
This issue contains recent studies and resources on a variety of sanitation-related topics such as market-based sanitation, community-led total sanitation, fecal sludge management, sanitation financing, and others.

Read the complete issue.

USAID WASH updates | Research on WASH and health, water recycling, etc.

USAID WASH UPDATES

USAID Sustainable WASH Systems newsletter on Preventive Maintenance, February 2020. This edition of the Sustainable WASH Systems newsletter focuses on experiences with developing and scaling effective and innovative approaches to maintenance of rural water service delivery. SWS is working with a number of in-country partners to assess promising maintenance models, capture information about their performance, and critically analyze the systems that underpin these models. 

USAID Participation at the 20th AfWA Conference – Kampala, Uganda, February 2020 – The overall theme of AfWA 2020 is “Breaking new grounds to accelerate access to water and sanitation for all in Africa.”

USAID/Uganda Sanitation for Health Activity (USHA) Factsheet – The Uganda Sanitation for Health Activity (USHA) is a five-year project (2018 – 2023) financed by USAID. The project aims to increase the number of people with access to improved and sustainable WASH services, ultimately leading to improved health at household, community, and district levels in three geographic clusters: Central East, Central West and Northern Uganda.

REPORTS/BLOGS

Getting WASH into Health Care Facilities: An Urgent Global Health Need. Think Global Health, February 2020. Will the UN’s prioritization of clean water, sanitation and hand washing in health care facilities finally breed action?

USAID WASH updates | Research on toilet alarms, handwashing, FSM, etc.

Globalwaters.org updates

USAID Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership study – System Approaches to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: A Systematic Literature Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Jan 2020. We conducted a wide-ranging systematic literature review of systems approaches for WASH across peer-reviewed, grey, and organizational literature.

Blog post – Breaking Gender Stereotypes, One Toilet at a Time – Merab Namiwanda is an instructor at Ssanje Community Polytechnic Institute and a professional plumber. The mother of four attended a mason training conducted by USAID’s Uganda Sanitation for Health Activity in Kyotera, which demonstrated an improved sanitation product called SATO.

Other USAID updates

Interview with Women in Science: Meet Elizabeth Jordan, USAID WASH Advisor. Feed the Future, Feb 10, 2020. Meet Elizabeth Jordan and learn more about her experience and advice for the next generation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

USAID/CENTRAL ASIA ENVIRONMENT AND WATER FACT SHEET, January 2020. USAID’s Smart Waters Project seeks to build a cadre of professionals in Central Asia and Afghanistan who are capable of managing shared water resources to maximize the economic value of water equitably over the long term in the face of climate change and other pressures.

Announcements

Special Issue “Solutions for Improving Essential Environmental Conditions in Healthcare Facilities in Low- and Middle-Income Countries” A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020. In this Special Issue, we are interested in papers that illuminate the scope of the problem, identify potential solutions and effective implementation approaches, and test novel technologies that could help to improve essential environmental conditions (e.g., infrastructure, hygienic items, clean surfaces, behaviors) in HCFs.

Reports

Achieving Abundance: Understanding the Cost of a Sustainable Water Future. WRI, January 2020. The paper estimates the costs of delivering sustainable water management for all countries and major basins—estimated globally as US$1.04 trillion (2015$) annually from 2015 to 2030.

“Now we feel like respected adults” – Positive change in gender roles and relations in a Timor-Leste WASH program. WaterAid, Jan 2020. The findings from this research indicate that with just a little conscious effort, WASH programs may achieve not only positive practical outcomes for women, but also small but significant changes for women’s strategic gender interests.

Training manual for fecal sludge-based compost production and application. IWMI, 2020. Based on IWMI’s experience, this training manual has been compiled for plant managers and trainers to help ensure that staff involved in FS treatment and production adopt best practices in all processes involved.

Global Experiences on Waste Processing with Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens): From Technology to Business. IWMI, 2019. The report showcases some of the leading global businesses in Black Soldier Fly production.

Journal Articles

Child handwashing in an internally displaced persons camp in Northern Iraq: A qualitative multi-method exploration of motivational drivers and other handwashing determinants. PLoS One, Feb 2020. Provision of soap and water alone is not sufficient to encourage children to practice handwashing with soap in a humanitarian context. Our findings suggest that equal consideration should be given to the quality and location of handwashing materials and facilities and social norms could be leveraged to promote and enhance child handwashing.

Toilet Alarms: A Novel Application of Latrine Sensors and Machine Learning for Optimizing Sanitation Services in Informal Settlements. Development Engineering, February 2020. This study used cellular-connected motion sensors and machine learning to dynamically predict when daily latrine servicing could be skipped with a low risk of overflow.

A transdisciplinary methodology for introducing SODIS to rural communities in Malawi – formative research findings. IEAM, Feb 2020. Our study used a transdisciplinary methodology to co‐create an innovative SODIS system in rural Malawi.

Designing integrated interventions to improve nutrition and WASH behaviors in Kenya. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, Feb 2020. This study highlights the need to take a multi-sectorial, integrated approach that integrates contextually relevant behavior change theories with the experiential knowledge gleaned from stakeholders into the design of interventions that seek to reduce child stunting.

Blogs

Q&A: How to plug the WASH financing gaps. Devex, Feb 2020. “Invest in systems of accountability and you’ll see you are planting seeds that will flourish very quickly. You will attract investments and build confidence among donors.”— Catarina de Albuquerque, CEO, Sanitation and Water for All.

Recent research on water ATMs, water tariffs, MHM, sanitation

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Pop-up infrastructure: Water ATMs and new delivery networks in India. Water Alternatives, 2020.
The article develops a novel approach to water ATMs as ‘pop-up infrastructure’ in which the movement of matter is operationally independent from, and only contingently reliant on, existing water delivery networks.

Reflecting SDG 6.1 in Rural Water Supply Tariffs: Considering ‘Affordability’ Versus ‘Operations and Maintenance Costs’ in Malawi. Sustainability, January 2020.
Local tariffs in the form of household contributions are the primary financial mechanism to fund the maintenance of rural water supplies in Malawi. An investigation was conducted into the tariffs set by rural service providers to sustain drilled boreholes equipped with Afridev handpumps.

Stool-Based Pathogen Detection Offers Advantages as an Outcome Measure for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Trials. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 5 Feb 2020.
Stool-based enteric pathogen detection offers several advantages over the conventional WASH trial outcome of caregiver-reported diarrhea.

Menstrual health intervention and school attendance in Uganda (MENISCUS-2): a pilot intervention study. BMJ Open 2020.
The intervention comprised training teachers to improve delivery of government guidelines for puberty education, training in use of a menstrual kit and pain management, a drama skit, provision of analgesics and improvements to school water and sanitation hygiene facilities.

The value of monitoring data in a process evaluation of hygiene behaviour change in Community Health Clubs to explain findings from a cluster-randomised controlled trial in Rwanda. BMC Public Health, January 2020. A cluster-Randomised Controlled Trial evaluation of the impact of the Community Health Clubs (CHCs) in the Community Based Environmental Health Promotion Programme in Rwanda in 2015 appeared to find little uptake of 7 hygiene indicators 1 year after the end of the intervention, and low impact on prevention of diarrhoea and stunting.

REPORTS

Planning and communicating prototype tests for the Nano Membrane Toilet: A critical review and proposed visual tool. Gates Open Research, November 2019. A visual test planning tool is proposed that encompasses the entire product development process and can be used to plan and communicate prototype tests for the Nano Membrane Toilet to ultimately achieve compliance with international standards