Category Archives: Uncategorized

CDC webinars on IPC in healthcare settings for COVID-19

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is launching a new weekly webinar series for IPC in healthcare settings. Speakers from CDC, WHO, and IPC professional societies around the world will focus on practical advice and implementation considerations for IPC for COVID-19. These 90-minute sessions will give equal time for presentations and for answering questions.

IPC professionals, Ministry of Health staff, partner organizations, and any interested healthcare workers are encouraged to participate. Simultaneous translation is available in Arabic, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. CME credit is also available.

Webinars will be held every Thursday, May 14 – July 30, 2020 | 8:00-9:30am EDT │ 12:00-1:30 UTC
Registration link –

Webinar Series Topics:

• June 4: WASH in healthcare settings in the context of COVID-19

• June 11: Assessing SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers and inpatients

• June 18: Post-mortem considerations in the context of COVID-19

• June 25: Cleaning and disinfection in the context of COVID-19

• July 2: Limiting the introduction of COVID-19 in healthcare settings

• July 9: Rational use of personal protective equipment and emergency strategies

• July 16: Advice on the use of medical and non-medical masks

• July 23: Considerations for SARI treatment centers

• July 30: IPC in nursing homes and long-term care settings

Water Currents: Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020

Thursday, May 28 is Menstrual Hygiene (MH) Day and to mark the occasion, this special issue brings together the voices and actions of nonprofits, government agencies, individuals, the private sector, and the media to advocate for all menstruators.

The inability to manage menstruation prevents millions of women and girls from reaching their full potential.

Lack of education and accurate information on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) issues, persisting taboos and stigma, limited access to hygienic menstrual products, and poor sanitation infrastructure are some of the factors that undermine the educational opportunities, health, dignity, and social status of women and girls around the world.

USAID works to address these factors by developing design standards for female-friendly facilities, creating educational resources, promoting the availability of MH supplies, and destigmatizing menstruation. USAID also works with host governments to draft national MHM strategies.

The USAID Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) project and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health provided content suggestions for this issue.

May 28, 2020, Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020 – MH Day helps raise awareness and change negative social norms around MHM and engage decision-makers to increase the political priority and catalyze action for MHM, at global, national, and local levels. Content on the website includes Campaign MaterialsMHM ResourcesNews, and additional information.

May 28, 2020, Webinar. Dignity, Agency, Power: Exploring the Linkages Between Women’s Economic Empowerment and Workplace MHM – In this webinar, the USAID WASHPaLS project will present the current body of evidence related to MHM and women’s opportunities for economic empowerment and growth worldwide, as well as early efforts of an action research initiative to further understand this relationship. Here is the link for registration and additional information

Improving the Impact of Menstrual Health Innovations in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Theory of Change and Measurement FrameworkJournal of Global Health Reports, March 2020. This paper seeks to introduce the Theory of Change and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework as supportive resources that provide a common framework for the global community as both investors and social entrepreneurs seek to develop more scalable menstrual solutions globally.

Read the complete issue.

WASH & COVID-19 update – May 18, 2020


Summary report on doing community engagement at a distance. COVID-19 Hygiene Hub, May 2020.

Summary report on COVID-19 transmission via faecal-oral routes. COVID-19 Hygiene Hub, May 2020.

Summary report on considering gender in COVID-19 hygiene promotion programmes. COVID-19 Hygiene Hub, May 2020.

Water for the urban poor and Covid-19. IDS Help Desk, May 2020.

Handwashing Stations and Supplies for the COVID-19 Response. UNICEF, May 2020.

COVID-19: The environmental implications of shedding SARS-CoV-2 in human faeces. Environment International, July 2020.

Climate-smart cassava gets new use in Zambia: hand sanitizer. Reuters, May 1, 2020.

WEBCAST | Where Deforestation and Disease Collide: Sustainability and COVID-19 in the Brazilian Amazon. Wilson Center, May 14.

3ie WASH impact evaluations in 2020

Below are links to 2020 WASH evaluations by 3ie on the safe disposal of child feces, sanitation programming, and water saving technologies

Impacts of low-cost interventions to improve latrine use and safe disposal of child faeces in rural Odisha, India. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 119, April 2020.

Our result demonstrates that theory-informed interventions designed to change behavior can be impactful. Latrine use behavior is changing in the research area overall, but increased 6.3 per cent more in the intervention area. Importantly, our intervention also increased reported safe child feces disposal by over 20 per cent. Safe feces disposal practices were not widely practiced in our research area before the intervention, primarily because their importance was not understood.

Additional investment in refining this and similar interventions is warranted to bring these efforts to scale, particularly as safe child feces disposal has yet to be an investment and communication priority in government campaigns to date. The costs needed for safe management of child feces disposal programmes, like ours, do not need to be extensive to enable change.

Moving forward, policymakers should leverage this and similar programs to not only continue to influence behavior change, but also to sustain changes already made. Increased investment to develop and evaluate evidence-based interventions specifically targeting behaviors is warranted. In turn, researchers need to engage target populations, apply theory to intervention design and conduct rigorous process evaluations to inform future adaptation and scale-up.

Improving households’ attitudes and behaviours to increase toilet use in Bihar, India. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 118, April 2020.

We find a comparable and significant increase in toilet use across treatment and control areas. Self-reported toilet use increased substantially across three different measures of use (usual use, last time use and last three times use). Treatment areas did, however, show an increase in knowledge on correct pit filling rates, and decomposition rates, as well as an increase in the perceived convenience of pit emptying. Most households, however, still reported relying on hiring someone for pit emptying, not always waiting until decomposition was complete.

These results suggest the need for future sanitation programming to focus on knowledge of decomposition rates and the correct disposal of fecal matter, and to emphasize the ease of self-emptying. Sanitation programming must recognize deep-seated social and caste biases, which require sanitation to be treated as a social as well as a health issue.

Access to safe drinking water: experimental evidence from new water sources in Bangladesh. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 109, March 2020.

The programme reduced arsenic contamination in household drinking water, but not faecal contamination. Each tubewell installed under the programme led to a reduction in arsenic contamination of household drinking water that is equivalent to its elimination at the World Health Organization level for about five households. However, each of these tubewells also led to an increase in faecal contamination that is equivalent to introducing faecal contamination into the drinking water of about two households (although we cannot reject a small reduction or no effect on faecal contamination in household drinking water).

Modest improvements in source water quality, with respect to faecal contamination, are offset by an increase in travel time and possibly by changes in storage behaviour. The programme somewhat improved faecal contamination at the source level, but also slightly increased travel time and induced small changes in storage behaviour, both of which increase the risk of faecal contamination in drinking water.

Our best estimates suggest that walking an extra minute to collect drinking water increases the risk of faecal contamination by approximately 1.7 per cent, while storing drinking water in the house increases the risk of faecal contamination by approximately 7 per cent. The consequences of these negative effects are modest because few households walk more than a minute to collect drinking water, and the majority of households did not change their storage behaviour as a result of the intervention.

Impact of alternate wetting and drying on farm incomes and water savings in Bangladesh. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 108, March 2020. This impact evaluation highlights the impact of alternate wetting and drying, a water-saving technology used to reduce irrigation water consumption in rice fields, as compared to conventional flood irrigation on water savings and farm incomes in Bangladesh.

The 5 Star Toilet Campaign: improving toilet use in rural Gujarat. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 105, February 2020. This impact evaluation evaluated the effect of the 5 Star Toilet Campaign on toilet use in rural Gujarat. The Campaign was launched to address the complex determinants of low toilet use and improve use among all members of households having access to government or contractor-built toilets in selected villages of Bhavnagar, Gujarat.

Improving School Attendance and Positive Feelings about Menstruation for Girls in Ghana through a Holistic Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management Approach.

Improving School Attendance and Positive Feelings about Menstruation for Girls in Ghana through a Holistic Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management Approach. Global Communities, May 2020.


Key Findings:

Girls reporting difficulties in attending schools was reduced from 47% to 10% as a result of the pilot intervention, suggesting that a holistic MHH approach, that includes providing sustainable period products and education effectively reduced barriers to girls’ school attendance.

As a result of the intervention, 92% of girls reported positive feelings about menstruation and 88% of boys reported feeling more comfortable around girls during their period, suggesting that SmartCycle® MHH education increased boys’ and girls’ awareness of reproductive growth and menstruation as natural biological processes.

The intervention was similarly impactful in rural and urban areas, with students in both regions experiencing a roughly fi ve fold decrease in reported difficulties attending school during menstruation. However, there is an underlying rural-urban divide, with 58% of girls in rural areas reporting difficulties attending school prior to the intervention, as compared to 41% of girls in urban areas.

COVID-19 & WASH updates, May 4, 2020


The Economic Impact of COVID-19 around the World: A Round-Up of the Most Recent Analysis. Center For Global Development.

Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research. Our World in Data.

Menstruation & COVID-19 Studies and Resources. Global Menstrual Collective.

Journal Articles/Reports

U.S. Department of State COVID-19 Fact Sheet, April 22, 2020.

COVID19 Handwashing with Soap Facilities: Compendium of Indicative Layouts, Designs and Cost Estimates. UNICEF, April 2020.

Mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 and menstrual health and hygiene. UNICEF, April 2020.

What key principles should we use to guide our coronavirus hygiene programming? COVID-19 Hygiene Hub, April 2020.

Built to Last – Upgrading Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Through Results-Based Financing: The Vietnam Experience

Built to Last – Upgrading Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Through Results-Based Financing: The Vietnam Experience. World Bank, April 2019.

Challenge – As in most rural areas in Vietnam, access to safe water and sanitation services in eight provinces in the Red River Delta was a significant challenge. In 2012, only 36% of households had access to ‘clean’ water, defined as meeting the national quality standards.

Groundwater, which generations of local people used for cooking and drinking, was becoming increasingly contaminated by toxic hazards. Piped water networks were either broken or failing to reach households. At the same time, only 56% of rural households had hygienic latrines and less than 20% of people washed their hands with soap at key moments.

Approach – Vietnam rolled out an ambitious National Target Program for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation – Phase 3 (NTP3) in 2013. This project used the World Bank’s Program-for-Results (PforR) lending instrument, which for the first time linked the disbursement of IDA financing to results achieved on the ground.

The PforR framework created powerful incentives to drive results and achieve the sustainability of water and sanitation services. For example, a commune was deemed qualifying to receive funding only if it had met all criteria for the ‘Community-Wide Sanitation’ (CWS) status: 100% of public schools and health centers have clean water and hygienic sanitation facilities; at least 70% of households have hygienic sanitation meeting government standards; 100% of households use latrines of some kind; and the commune is open-defecation free.