Category Archives: Uncategorized

2 reports on menstrual hygiene management in humanitarian settings

Practice Note: Menstrual Health Management in Humanitarian Settings. Chapter 45 in the Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies, July 2020.

The authors are volunteers or staff with WoMena, an NGO that works to improve menstrual health and management in Uganda. Based on this experience and focusing on Uganda and Nepal, this practice note probes how the issue is approached in different contexts and at different stages—comparing urgent response after a sudden onset disaster (for example, earthquakes) to protracted crises (for example, long-term refugee settings). 

The authors discuss how interventions can be made sustainable beyond the short-term ‘kit culture’ response; they highlight experiences with more developmental approaches involving policy support, community participation, capacity building, and the use of products that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

Innovative Strategies for Providing Menstruation-Supportive Water, Sanitation And Hygiene Facilities: Learning From Refugee Camps In Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Research Square, July 2020.

Background: There is growing attention to addressing the menstrual hygiene management (MHM) needs of the over 21 million displaced adolescent girls and women globally. Current approaches to MHM-related humanitarian programming often prioritize the provision of menstrual materials and information. However, a critical component of an MHM response includes the construction and maintenance of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, including more female-friendly toilets. This enables spaces for menstruating girls and women to change, dispose, wash and dry menstrual materials; all of which are integral tasks required for MHM. A global assessment identi􀂦ed a number of innovations focused on designing and implementing menstruation-supportive WASH facilities in the refugee camps located in Cox’s Bazar (CXB), Bangladesh. These pilot efforts strove to include the use of more participatory methodologies in the process of developing the new MHM-supportive WASH approaches.

Results: Key findings included one, the identification of new female-driven consultation methods aimed at improving female beneficiary involvement and buy-in during the design and construction phases; two, the design of new multi-purpose WASH facilities to increase female beneficiary usage; three, new menstrual waste disposal innovations being piloted in communal and institutional settings, with female users indicating at least initial acceptability; and four, novel strategies for engaging male beneficiaries in the design of female WASH facilities, including promoting dialogue to generate buy-in regarding the importance of these facilities and debate about their placement.

Conclusions: Although the identified innovative participatory methodologies and design approaches are promising, the long term viability of the facilities, including plans to expand them, may be dependent on the continued engagement of girls and women, and the availability of resources.

Learning in the Sanitation and Hygiene Sector

Learning in the Sanitation and Hygiene Sector. Sanitation Learning Hub, July 2020.

How do you think we learn best? What barriers do you see and experience that make it more difficult for us to learn? And what steps should we be taking to reduce the barriers and improve how we learn more effectively?

This SLH Learning Paper summarises the key learning from a rapid topic exploration on ‘Learning in the Sanitation and Hygiene Sector’.

The study looked at how people in the WASH sector learn, the processes utilised and what works best, as well as the barriers and challenges to learning. It looks at learning from communities and peer-to-peer and how the learning gets translated into action at scale.

This paper shares the lessons from sector and associated actors working in low- and middle-income contexts around the world and makes recommendation on how to strengthen learning and sharing processes, as well as building capacities and confidence for learning, with the ultimate aim of turning that learning into action at scale.

Download/view the report.

Five Notes on the Inextricable Link Between WASH and COVID-19

Five Notes on the Inextricable Link Between WASH and COVID-19 by Pallavi Bharadwai. Engineering for Change, July 16, 2020.

One of the newer sad facts about poverty is that it makes the coronavirus harder to contain. Three billion people do not have access to handwashing facilities at home, making it difficult to perform on the basic preventive measures to protect against infection.

Global aid organizations are aware of the fact. This week, I had the fortune to attend the launch of the United Nations SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) 6 Global Acceleration Framework. The event aimed to mobilize UN agencies, governments, civil society, private and all other stakeholders to drive progress on SDG6, Safe Water and Sanitation for All.

In more normal times, this event may have carried less weight. However, the urgency shared by all the panelists makes one realize the inextricable link between the pandemic and need for safe, potable water and sanitation for all. Thinking about discussions held at the conference and their place in these times, I’ve noted five takeaways on the links between WASH and COVID-19.

IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU LIVE IN A RURAL OR AN URBAN SETTING

COVID-19 has proved to be an unfortunate reality check for the already vulnerable communities that were facing a lack of water and sanitation services globally. More than half of the world’s 8 billion people lack access to safe sanitation. We are recommended to wash our hands several times a day, however 3 billion people lack basic handwashing facilities.

I contributed to a recent study on water, climate and the migration crisis as a reviewer. The study attempts to explain how to assess water-migration interlinkages as water and climate crises are disproportionately impacting vulnerable individuals and groups. These may include water pollution, inability to meet daily water needs, climate extremes and limited options to income generation, especially for those who largely depend on land and water resources for survival. We witnessed this first-hand in the migration labor crisis in India.

Read the complete article.

Oxfam video on emergency sanitation – In Her Shoes

IN HER SHOES: The True Story of Emergency Sanitation

This new video In Her Shoes, made by Oxfam, highlights the drama faced by so many women and young girls in using communal latrines.

What is Sani Tweaks?
Recent research across our refugee response programmes has shown that a worrying number of women and girls are not using the latrines we provide. Low sanitation usage rates mean that we are not meeting the needs of the communities we work with and will additionally result in increased public health risks in emergency situations.

To address this, the Oxfam WASH team has developed a series of communications tools that seek to promote best practices in sanitation. The ‘tweaks’ highlighted by the series are intended to inform technical staff, to encourage continuous improvement and ultimately inspire a more effective approach to the design and construction of latrines. For it is such small improvements that will make the difference between whether a woman or girl uses the latrine or not.

Who is it for?
The series is aimed at technical WASH staff at field level, with the aim of encouraging proactive and practical implementation of the best practices highlighted. It is also very much intended to be used as universal guidance by all agencies and adapted to suit individual needs.
https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/our-approach/toolkits-and-guidelines/sani-tweaks

COVID-19 & Water Utilities – Water Currents, July 9, 2020

COVID-19 & Water Utilities – Water Currents, July 9, 2020

This issue contains recent studies, reports, blog posts, and webinars that discuss water utilities and COVID-19 on a global, regional, and country basis.

Overviews
USAID Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): Strategic Approach to COVID-19 ResponseUSAID, April 2020. This document provides a comprehensive overview of USAID’s strategic approaches to WASH within the context of COVID-19 across health, emergency, and longer term recovery programming.

Utilities in Developing Countries, in Financial Tailspin, Try to Keep Water Flowing During Pandemic and BeyondNew Security Beat, June 2020. The global coronavirus pandemic is precipitating a financial crisis for water utilities in low- and middle-income countries as many of these service providers face drastic cuts in revenue and rising costs to respond to the public health emergency.

Supporting Water Utilities During COVID-19World Bank, June 2020. This blog post links to reports and tools which discuss challenges faced by water utilities during the pandemic.

COVID-19: A Utility Leaders’ ResponseInternational Water Association (IWA), May 2020. This online discussion brings together water utility leaders to share their perspectives, experiences, and response to COVID-19 challenges, the lessons being learned in adapting to a changing situation, and the main messages they are communicating to their customers.

The Unsung Heroes of the COVID-19 PandemicWaterAid, June 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention across the world to the vital roles of key workers such as those employed in health care and sanitation. This article highlights the daily dangers sanitation workers, who are often doing their jobs with minimal protective equipment, faced prior to the coronavirus and how the pandemic has exacerbated these working conditions.

What Water and Sanitation Operators Can Do in the Fight Against COVID-19Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA), March 2020. Water and sanitation service providers (small-scale providers, utilities, and local authorities) can be instrumental in stalling the advance of COVID-19. Public utilities should work closely with local health officials and other relevant bodies to launch awareness campaigns about COVID-19 transmission.

Read the complete article.

Emergency WASH Network Biweekly Update, July 1, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

CKM’s role in managing the Emergency WASH Network will end later this year so we are searching for organizations that would be interested in managing the Network in the future. Please contact me if this is something you would like to discuss.

Also, let us know if you have research, reports or upcoming events that can be featured in the next biweekly update. 

Member Updates

From Michelle Tran – michelle.tran@ouce.ox.ac.uk
A Survey on Faecal Sludge Management in Emergencies: University of Oxford – Purpose of Survey: This survey inquires about the importance of FSM in WASH responses during first-phase emergencies (approximately the first 6 months of the response) and whether later stages of the FSM chain are prioritized in emergencies. The results of this study will estimate demand for FSM products and guidance among WASH practitioners. Survey results will be shared within the wider emergency WASH sector after publication of this research (September-November 2020).

Upcoming Webinars

July 14 (in English and French) Make Me a Change Agent: An SBC Resource for WASH, Agriculture, and Livelihoods Activities – USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)-funded SCALE and PRO-WASH awards invite you to this interactive webinar to dive into the Make Me a Change Agent: An SBC Resource for WASH, Agriculture, and Livelihoods Activities training manual, and discuss how these fundamental skills can improve your WASH, agriculture and livelihoods programming.

Culture, Context and Hygiene Promotion for COVID-19. This is a free interactive online module, delivered live by RedR UK’s hygiene promotion experts. You will learn the key public health risks related to COVID-19 and how these can be addressed by appropriate hygiene promotion.

News

USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance Fact Sheet, June 2020 – BHA leads and coordinates the U.S. Government’s humanitarian assistance efforts overseas. The Bureau responds to an average of 75 disasters in more than 70 countries every year.

Twelve finalists in the running for the EIC Horizon Prize for Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid. European Commission, June 2020 – LORAWAN monitoring by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), real-time solutions for water tanker and water reservoir remote monitoring to improve the effectiveness of water trucking programming globally. WATER4HUMANITY by Tel Aviv University, a new circular economy solution allowing ultra-filtration of water using discarded “artificial kidney” filters.

WASH in Humanitarian Situations

Lebanon: Menstrual Hygiene Management Among Syrian Refugee Women in the Bekaa. Oxfam, June 2020. The research provides potential solutions and recommendations for integrating menstrual hygiene management in humanitarian responses, particularly targeted at the WASH, protection, education and health sectors.

Strengthening Local Governance of Watershed Management for Water Supply and Irrigation in the Dry Corridor of Honduras

Emerging Learning Brief: Strengthening Local Governance of Watershed Management for Water Supply and Irrigation in the Dry Corridor of Honduras. Global Communities, June 2020.

Under the Dry Corridor Alliance Program (ACS-USAID), the Government of Honduras and USAID aim to reduce extreme poverty and malnutrition in rural areas of Honduras.

Since 2017, Global Communities has been implementing the “Watershed Management and Conservation” component of ACS-USAID in the departments of La Paz, Intibucá and Lempira, working with national government agencies, local and regional governments, communities and water organizations to address weak management of watersheds, which often results in severely deforested lands.

The Project provides grants to communities to reduce rates of degradation and reforest the watersheds, providing sustainable access to water for consumption and irrigation.

Global Communities also provides technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of local communities and organizations to manage water resources.

This Learning Brief describes the Project’s participatory approach, shares results to date and identifies key emerging lessons that will help to strengthen the Project moving forward.

WASH & Financing – Water Currents, June 2020

Below is an excerpt from the Water Currents issue on WASH and financing and the complete issue is on the Globalwaters.org website.

Overviews
How Improved Financing Enhances Water and Sanitation Service Delivery . Global Waters Radio, March 2019. How can better financing help extend water and sanitation services to those most in need? To answer that question, Global Waters Radio speaks with two experts: Ella Lazarte, senior water and sanitation advisor at USAID, and Barbara Kazimbaya-Senkwe, global knowledge management and communications lead with the USAID–supported WASH-FIN program.

Reform and Finance for the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector . World Bank, August 2019. This summary note integrates three lines of work—utility reform, sector reform, and sector finance—for readers to understand the critical links among the three spheres.

Utilities in Developing Countries, in Financial Tailspin, Try to Keep Water Flowing During Pandemic and Beyond . Circle of Blue, May 2020. Water utilities are experiencing a “double hit” in their finances that could hinder operations into the future.

Rethinking the Economics of Rural Water in Africa . Oxford Review of Economic Policy, January 2020. The findings conclude with policy recommendations to network rural services at scale, unlock rural payments by creating value, and design and test performance-based funding models at national and regional scales.

Channeling Financial Flows for Urban Water and Sanitation . Center for Strategic and International Studies, November 2019. New sources of financing are needed to provide clean water and sanitation for citizens around the world. The challenge is particularly acute in cities where population growth and urbanization are stretching resources and deteriorating living conditions.

Financing for Water—Water for Financing: A Global Review of Policy and Practice . Sustainability, February 2019. The relationship between the water and financial sectors is explored through a review of past and current policies and practices, and new needs driven by growing water insecurity (i.e., drought and floods) and climate change.

Read the complete issue.

Sanitation Learning Hub launched

Sanitation Learning Hub

Following the start of a new four-year programme funded by Sida, the Institute of  Development Studies (IDS) launched the Sanitation Learning Hub website on 22 June 2020.

The website is divided into into three main sections:

Practical Support 

This section presents recommended approaches and practical tools to help sanitation and hygiene practitioners do their job well. It reflects our commitment to adaptable, ‘combinable’ and context-specific learning and sanitation approaches. Each approach page has an introduction recommended resources.

Current Thinking

Resources are divided by nine essential themes in this section. Each theme has an introduction, recommended resources, and sub-themes that get into more detail.

Connect, Share, Learn

The desire to bring together sanitation and hygiene professionals is reflected here. You can find blogs, news, events in the sector and more information about workshops, including stories from participants of past workshops. You can also submit a blog in this section.

Watch this video introduction to the new website.

Resources from the Center for Water and Sanitation (C-WAS), CEPT University in India

Center for Water and Sanitation (C-WAS), CEPT University in India – CEPT’s Center of Water and Sanitation (CWAS) works on urban water and sanitation related action research. In Maharashtra, the C-WAS team works closely with the state government and local government to support implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission. There is also a link to C-WAS at CEPT University.

Selected reports and resources include:

Policy Brief: Financing and Business Models for Faecal Sludge and Septage Treatment for Urban India. CWAS, July 2019. This policy brief identifies the possible financing options and business models for setting up Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTPs) as a part of citywide FSSM services. The research findings highlight that capital financing requirement for FSTPs is only a small proportion of the total urban sector outlay at both the national and state levels. Thus, there is a need to create better awareness at both national and state levels to explicitly incorporate FSSM related components in national programs.

Exploring Development Impact Bonds: Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM). CWAS, July 2019. In this Roundtable Discussion, participants shared preliminary ideas on DIB in FSSM, assessed opportunities and challenges and discussed the potential impact on investors and outcome funders.

Development Impact Bonds for Urban Sanitation in India. World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden 2019. Development Impact Bonds or a Social Impact Bond (SIB/DIB) can help unlock private financing while focusing on social outcomes. This video discuses CEPT and partner initiatives to develop SIB/DIB for urban sanitation in small towns in India.

15th Finance Commission: Covid-19 Warrants Rethink of Local Government Allocations. Ideas for India, April 2020. In this post, Meera Mehta and Dinesh Mehta provide suggestions with regard to increasing allocation for sanitation, and making available more untied funds for urban local governments to enable them to meet exigencies of Covid-19-like situations.

Sanitation Taxes for Waste Treatment Plants and Pay-for-Success in Desludging. OECD. Technical assistance provided by CEPT enabled municipal governments in Wai and Sinnar in the India State of Maharashtra to establish a sanitation tax as part of existing property taxes and to introduce city-wide fecal sludge and septage management services. The approach uses a public-private partnership to deliver scheduled emptying and establish fecal sludge treatment plants.