Category Archives: Research

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

USAID WASH updates | Literature review on WASH systems

USAID Updates

Journal Articles

System Approaches to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: A Systematic Literature Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020. Authors: by Nicholas Valcourt 1,2,*,Amy Javernick-Will 1,2,Jeffrey Walters 2,3 and Karl Linden 1,2 – 1-Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder 2-USAID Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership, United State Agency for International Development | 3-College of Engineering, George Fox University, Newberg, OR 97132, USA

We conducted a wide-ranging systematic literature review of systems approaches for WASH across peer-reviewed, grey, and organizational literature. Our results show a myriad of methods, scopes, and applications within the sector, but an inadequate level of information in the literature to evaluate the utility and efficacy of systems approaches for improving WASH service sustainability. Based on this analysis, we propose four recommendations for improving the evidence base including: diversifying methods that explicitly evaluate interconnections between factors within WASH systems; expanding geopolitical applications; improving reporting on resources required to implement given approaches; and enhancing documentation of effects of systems approaches on WASH services.

Social Network Analysis for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH): Application in Governance of Decentralized Wastewater Treatment in India Using a Novel Validation Methodology. Frontiers in Environmental Science, January 2020. Authors: Abishek Sankara Narayan1,2*, Manuel Fischer 1,3 and Christoph Lüthi 1 – 1 Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dubendorf, Switzerland, 2 Institute of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, ETH, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

The use of SNA as an appropriate diagnostic tool for planning Citywide Inclusive Sanitation is explored. Missing data is a major problem for SNA in the studies of governance situations, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Therefore, a novel validation methodology for incomplete SNA data, relying on information from internal and external experts is proposed. SNA and the validation method is then applied to study the governance of decentralized wastewater treatment in four cities of India. The results corroborate key differences between mega and secondary cities in terms of institutions, community engagement and overall sanitation situation including aspects of decentralized wastewater treatment plants, based on the city types.

Menstrual Hygiene Preparedness Among Schools in India: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of System-and Policy-Level Actions. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jan 19. Authors: Sharma S1,2, Mehra – 1 Researcher, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, 2 MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child.

Less than half of the girls were aware of menstruation before menarche. Teachers were a less common source of information about menstruation to girls. Separate toilets for girls were present in around half of the schools.

Videos

Video – Transforming health systems: the vital role of water, sanitation and hygiene. WaterAid, January 2020. 

Dan Campbell

USAID WASH updates | WASH research on MHM, hygiene, financing, etc.

USAID Reports/Blog Posts

Tackling Southern Africa’s freshwater challenges by Dr Chris Brooks, USAID Resilient Waters Programme. IUCN, January 2020. Local communities in Southern Africa are facing severe water challenges regarding freshwater for drinking, sanitation, and other services. The Okavango and Limpopo river basins are key transboundary water bodies in this region, where USAID’s Resilient Waters Program operates.

USAID/CENTRAL ASIA ENVIRONMENT AND WATER FACTSHEET. USAID, Jan 2020. USAID’s introduction of integrated water resources management principles at the basin level provide a model for cooperation, governance and climate change adaptation that demonstrate the benefits of shared water management to the broader watershed.

PARTNERSHIPS FOR ENHANCED ENGAGEMENT IN RESEARCH (PEER) FACT SHEET. USAID, Jan 2020. The goal of PEER in Central Asia is to improve domestic and regional water management for better cross-border cooperation and less water waste.

Water for Life: Using CLA to Transform a WASH System into a Self-Reliant Apparatus. CLA, 2019. The CLA approach, still ongoing, has resulted in a self-reliant, functioning system that connects self-managed and self-financed community structures to local government institutes that are now implementing transparent and evidence-based resource allocation for WASH needs, and to trained, accountable government service providers and a stronger WASH private sector.

Globalwaters.org – New blog posts, stories, news and events

Reports

The Global Risks Report 2020. WEF, Jan 2020. Water crises, in acknowledgement of their far-reaching consequences, are now categorized as a societal risk.

Untreated and Unsafe: Solving the Urban Sanitation Crisis in the Global South. World Resources Institute, Dec 2019. Cities must ensure universal access to safe, reliable, and affordable sanitation so that all urban residents can lead productive, healthy, and thriving lives. New analysis of 15 cities in the global South shows that on average, 62 percent of sewage and fecal sludge is unsafely managed somewhere along the sanitation service chain.

Journal Articles

Ruminant Fecal Contamination of Drinking Water Introduced Post-Collection in Rural Kenyan Households. IJERPH, Jan 2020. Authors: Latifah Hamzah, Alexandria B. Boehm, Jennifer Davis, Amy J. Pickering, Marlene Wolfe, Maryanne Mureithi and Angela Harris
Three combinations were identified:(i) ruminants in the compound, safe water extraction methods, and long storage time, (ii) ruminants, unsafe water extraction methods, and no soap at the household handwashing station, and (iii) long storage time and no soap.

Antimicrobial resistant enteric bacteria are widely distributed amongst people, animals and the environment in Tanzania. Nature Communicatons, Jan 2020. Multivariate models show no evidence that veterinary antibiotic use increased the odds of detecting AR bacteria, whereas there is a strong association with livelihood factors related to bacterial transmission, demonstrating that to be effective, interventions need to accommodate different cultural practices and resource limitations.

Can we ‘WaSH’ infectious diseases out of slums? International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Jan 2020. Authors: Allen G. Ross, Mahbubur Rahman, Munirul Alam, K. Zaman, & Firdausi Qadri –
In sum, a range of low cost WaSH solutions have been trialed but their impact has been modest when deployed with vaccination. Clinical trials of more expensive WaSH options are required in order to determine the best available technology at an affordable price. We can WaSH infectious diseases out of slums but at what cost?

What’s missing in MHM? Moving beyond hygiene in menstrual hygiene management. SRHM, Dec 2019. A focus on rights emphasizes both the naturalness of menstruation and the individual girl or woman as a rights-bearing agent. This reorientation can help to begin to shed the stigma around menstruation, and also to act as a catalyst to bring new voices into the global movement for better menstrual practices.

Poultry Ownership Associated with Increased Risk of Child Diarrhea: Cross-Sectional Evidence from Uganda. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Jan 2020. Children in households with the above-median number (> 5) of poultry had 83% higher diarrhea prevalence than those with ≤ 5 poultry (adjusted PR = 1.83 [1.04, 3.23], P = 0.04). Children in households with the above-median number (> 2) of cows had 48% lower prevalence of respiratory infection than those with ≤ 2 cows (adjusted PR = 0.52 [0.35, 0.76], P < 0.005). There were no other significant associations between domestic animals and child health.

Blogs

Closing gaps and financing taps: The next step for rural water supply. Water Blog, Jan 2020.  A new model in Tanzania is experimenting with a bold solution combining blended financing with emerging technologies. The pilot seeks to demonstrate that rural communities can repay 40% of the capital investment and maintenance service contracts without increasing the price of water.

Solving the big challenges of inclusive services through peer-to-peer learning. WSUP, Jan 2020. There is no greater way for city authorities and regulators to learn about developing inclusive water and sanitation services than from their peers – other institutions around the world who are confronting similar issues.

Research on water economics, CLTS and other WASH research updates

The latest issue of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy has several interesting articles:

Evidence-based policy analysis? The strange case of the randomized controlled trials of community-led total sanitation. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Spring 2020. We show that cost–benefit analysis may still ‘save’ CLTS because small treatment effects may still yield net positive economic benefits if the costs of implementing CLTS programmes are modest. We also discuss the need to move beyond the desire for sanitation policies that are proven to be effective globally, and the importance of focusing on analysis of the local sanitation situation.

ntds

Shelmel Terefa, a school teacher, demonstrates face washing to students at his school in Aware-Golje village in the North Shewa Zone, Oromia, Ethiopia. Photo credit: Michael Amendolia/The Fred Hollows Foundation

Rethinking the economics of water: an assessment. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Spring 2020. The conventional economic policy recommendations—privatization, pricing, and property rights—have struggled due to a failure to account adequately for the politics of water and the associated distributional conflicts.

We identify distinctive social and physical characteristics of water supply and demand, and explore their implications for three central areas of water policy: financing infrastructure, pricing, and property rights reform.

Rethinking the economics of rural water in Africa. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Spring 2020. We explore why rural water is different for communities, schools, and healthcare facilities across characteristics of scale, institutions, demand, and finance. The findings conclude with policy recommendations to (i) network rural services at scale, (ii) unlock rural payments by creating value, and (iii) design and test performance-based funding models at national and regional scales.

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WASH research on privatization, child feces management, city sanitation planning and others

Also, be sure to check out the latest updates to Globalwaters.org:

  • 2019: The Year in Review – Take a look at some of the highlights of the year to see how USAID is making an impact.
  • USAID’s Impact: Ex-Post Evaluation Series – The positive impacts of USAID’s water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities are often hard to dispute, especially during the immediate time period after projects comes to a close. But how sustainable are these outcomes several years later?
  • USAID in the News – recent articles from Feed the Future, Haiti and Malawi

USAID Kenya Article globalwaters

The impact of the private provision of WASH services on sustainable economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, December 2019. By Michael W.Nicholson, USAID/Kenya – This paper analyzes the expanded role of the private sector in the provision of WASH services in Africa.  The  current  analysis  provides  an  empirical  inquiry  into  the  conditions  under which the private sector is attracted to the provision of WASH services and estimates its subsequent impact on both economic growth and inclusive development.

Upcoming Webinars

PRO-WASH – Prochain webinaire : Partage des expériences avec USAID/ACCES sur les stratégies de vente marketing et les mécanismes de financement pour l’assainissement rural – Quand? : Le mercredi 22 janvier à 9 h EST/UTC-5 en français.

Journal Articles

Child feces management (CFM) practices and fecal contamination: A cross-sectional study in rural Odisha, India. Science of The Total Environment, 20 March 2020. Authors: Valerie Bauza, Fiona Majorin, Parimita Routray, Gloria D.Sclar, Bethany A.Caruso, Thomas Clasen – Current CFM practices were found to increase fecal contamination in the environment and on hands. CFM hardware of potties and scoops can reduce fecal contamination, but had low use and shortcomings.

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Updates from WHO | Recent WASH research |ADB study on sanitation

We hope these informal WASH research updates have been useful to you in 2019. Please let us know if you have suggestions for future updates or if you wish to be removed from the subscriber list.

3-2-iDE-Cambodia WASH DIB-PR-07_Photo by Chhom Dinat

Also, be sure to check out Globalwaters.org for new blog posts, publications, events and news.

USAID/CLA

Water for Life: Using CLA to Transform a WASH System into a Self-Reliant Apparatus. CLA, 2019. The development challenge addressed in this case is increasing access to safe water for marginalized and under-served populations.

Transforming Communities and Staff One Latrine at a Time in Rural Angola. CLA, 2019. The WASH Project Team uses experiential exercises like the CLTS methodology to inspire community members to explore, discover and decide the best way to improve their water, sanitation and hygiene resources in Songo.

WHO

Water, sanitation, hygiene and health: a primer for health professionals. WHO, 2019. This WASH and health primer summarizes the status of WASH services globally and gives an overview of WASH interventions and linkages with health.

New global review of WASH and health – Safer Water Better Health. WHO, 2019. The comprehensive global review presented in Safer Water, Better Health updates the overall disease burden attributable to quantifiable effects of inadequate WASH for 12 major diseases, adverse health outcomes and injuries.

Position paper: Implications of recent WASH and nutrition studies for WASH policy and practice. WHO, 2019. In 2018, the WASH sector was surprised by three new high-quality studies that showed little or no impact of selected WASH interventions on reducing childhood diarrhoea and stunting. The WHO/UNICEF position paper summarizes the studies, contextualizes the findings within the wider body of evidence and distils the implications for future investments.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Product Design Supporting Improved Water, Sanitation, and Energy Services Delivery in Low-Income Settings. Sustainability, November 2019. Several approaches have been proposed in the literature supporting product design applied in low-income settings. These approaches have typically focused on individual- and household-level beneficiaries, with an emphasis on participatory, human-centered co-design methods. In this paper, we present a design approach that is, in contrast, focused on supporting providers of improved water, sanitation, and energy services.

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