WASHPaLS RFP – Advancement of Metrics for Menstrual Hygiene Management in the Workplace

Tetra Tech ARD Request for Proposal (RFP) No. 1866-003 – Date: September 8, 2020

  • RFP ISSUANCE DATE: September 8, 2020
  • RFP CLOSING DATE FOR QUESTIONS: September 18, 2020, 4:00pm EDT
  • SUBMISSION DEADLINE: October 7, 2020, 4:00pm EDT
  • SUBCONTRACT ISSUANCE DATE: December 1, 2020
  • AUTHORITY: Tetra Tech ARD
  • USAID GEOGRAPHIC CODE: 937
  • DESCRIPTION: Tetra Tech ARD Request for Proposal No. 1866-003 entitled “Advancement of Metrics for Menstrual Hygiene Management in the Workplace”
  • REQUESTOR: Tetra Tech ARD WASHPaLS Project
  • E-mail: Mahlet.Dessalegn@WASHPaLS.org

The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) project is a centrally funded activity of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Health Bureau, implemented by Tetra Tech ARD and partners.

The objective of this RFP is to adapt existing MHM measure(s), as appropriate, for applicability to the workplace and/or advance development of metrics to more comprehensively capture menstrual needs, practices/behaviors, as well as attitudes and social norms relating to MHM in the workplace, and field test these in two or more countries to develop a set of validated metrics which can be considered for inclusion in broad-scale, national surveys such as the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS).

  • A detailed RFP can be requested via email to Mahlet.Dessalegn@WASHPaLS.org.
  • All proposals must be submitted no later than October 7, 2020.
  • The email subject in response to this solicitation should reference the RFP number.

USAID WASH & Gender Brief | WASH research | WASH & COVID-19 Update

CKM Team Updates to Globalwaters.org

Technical Brief: USAID Water and Development Technical Series: Gender Equality and Female Empowerment in WASH – This Water and Development Technical Brief provides guidance for designing strategies, projects, and activities that improve women’s and girl’s empowerment in WASH.

Activities should account for women and girls as more than beneficiaries of water and sanitation services. They are consumers, customers, influencers, professionals, household deciders, and keepers of traditional knowledge and solutions. Water and sanitation activities that empower women to be change agents have multiple benefits.

Participatory approaches are key. Gender-related barriers to WASH vary widely by geographic, religious, legal, and cultural context, and whether multiple layers of vulnerability––such as disability or extreme poverty––exist. Programs must take the time to understand the preferences, needs, and experiences of the women and girls and the specific barriers they face. The economic, health, educational, environmental, and social benefits to women’s empowerment in the water and sanitation sector must be a priority for all.

Innovative Finance in Action: Cambodia DIB at World Water Week

When: Thursday, August 27 at 5:00pm Stockholm time

Where: Your home (online)

Innovative finance is an important tool for bridging the financing gap for SDG 6. Yet WASH has proved challenging for impact investment—despite great interest.

The Cambodia Rural Sanitation Development Impact Bond is the world’s first DIB in WASH. It is a nearly $10m partnership between iDE, the Stone Family Foundation and USAID to achieve 1,600 open defecation free villages, in support of the Cambodian government’s goal of universal sanitation by 2025.

The DIB demonstrates how innovative finance can help achieve national sanitation outcomes, and can provide important insights for others looking to develop similar mechanisms.

This session will start with a brief introduction to the DIB and then share how it was developed from the perspective of the three partners, including key lessons , such as: 

  • Ensuring the right finance at the right time.
  • Aligning incentives and playing to organizational strengths.
  • Focusing on social outcomes in line with national government strategy.

The audience will then be invited to pose questions to the panel and to share their experiences of innovative WASH financing.

WaterAid webinar: Safety and well-being of sanitation workers during COVID-19 in South Asia – Sept. 3, 2020

WaterAid webinar: Safety and well-being of sanitation workers during COVID-19 in South Asia

Sanitation workers provide an essential public service – keeping our cities, towns and villages running and clean, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite working in a dangerous profession under heightened risks, little is known about how sanitation workers are coping with COVID-19.

WaterAid facilitated rapid assessments in four South Asian countries – Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan – which identify the challenges being faced by sanitation workers in the midst of lockdowns, and proposes potential solutions to address both immediate and longer-term needs of workers.

There has always been a strong, but neglected, moral and public health imperative to protect sanitation workers’ rights. The COVID-19 pandemic not only strengthens that case, but also represents an opportunity to redress the historical neglect.

 We invite you to join us as we share the regional synthesis of these studies in a webinar on 3rd September 2020, followed by a panel discussion with members of worker communities, and experts from government and civil society across these countries.

Date: Thursday, 3rd September 2020
Time:
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM (Pakistan)
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM India)
3:15 PM – 4:45 PM (Nepal)
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM (Bangladesh)

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/s/81291488434

For any queries, reach out to Ms. Shahrukh Mirza, shahrukhmirza@wateraid.org.

USAID RFI – Research and Learning in Water Security, Sanitation, and Hygiene

USAID RFI – Research and Learning in Water Security, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Additional information and documentation about the RFI are available on Grants.gov and Betasam.gov.

The United States Government represented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Center for Water Security, Sanitation and Hygiene in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security is in the process of designing a new activity or activities to answer critical implementation research questions in the WASH sector. We are seeking public COMMENTS on the below proposed concept to inform the design process.

THIS IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI) ONLY, issued solely for information and planning purposes, and responses do not constitute a proposal. It is not a solicitation and is not to be construed as a commitment by the U.S. Government or USAID to issue any solicitation or to ultimately award a contract or assistance agreement on the basis of this RFI. If a Solicitation is issued, it will be announced publicly later, and all interested parties must respond to that Solicitation announcement separately from any response to this announcement.

Responses to this RFI are strictly voluntary and USAID will not pay respondents for the information provided in response to this RFI. Information, comments, and suggestions received will be reviewed and may be incorporated into future solicitation(s) but USAID will not provide direct response to any individual submissions, and will not publicly release the responses.

The purpose of the activity or activities as envisioned under this RFI is to design, carry-out and ensure use of implementation research on the research questions identified below, and to provide high-quality and sector-specific analytical, technical and evaluation services to USAID missions and Operating Units. This will allow USAID to address critical knowledge and learning gaps related to achieving USAID’s goal of increasing the availability and sustainable management of safe water and sanitation for the underserved and most vulnerable, especially within countries designated as High Priority or Aligned for investments authorized by the 2014 Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act.

WASH & Health: Prevention is the Best Medicine – WASH in Times of COVID-19.

The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) welcomes comments on this discussion paper.

Please leave your suggestions and comments in the Comment field or contact: Jona Toetzke, jona.toetzke@germantoilet.org, of the German Toilet Organization.

WASH & Health: Prevention is the Best Medicine – WASH in Times of COVID-19. A SuSanA Discussion Paper, July 2020

The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA), an international network of partner organizations and individual members, plays an important role at the WASH and health linkage. Direct and indirect connections are anchored in most of SuSanA’s 13 working groups. While none of them focuses on health only, all of them contribute to services, processes or approaches that are fundamental to achieve sustainable WASH and health impact.

This discussion paper visualizes current opportunities and activities from the SuSanA community and highlights synergies between SuSanA working groups and several key issues of the health sector. Furthermore, it is a starting point for dialogue and collaboration with / for implementing organisations of the health sector. In this regard, the discussion paper intends to address the following topics:

Contents

1 – No Health without WASH: How WASH contributes to key health topics
– Public Health Risks
– Zoonoses
– Neglected Tropical Diseases
– Large-Scale Outbreaks

2 – Approaches for Risk Reduction and Prevention
– One Health
– Health Care Facilities
– Hand Hygiene
– Comprehensive WASH

3 – SuSanA, a Network for Sustainable Solutions
– Beyond SuSanA
– Within SuSanA
– Timetable

COVID-19 & Sanitation: Water Currents, August 11, 2020

Below is an excerpt from the August 11, 2020 issue of Water Currents and the complete issue is on the Globalwaters.org website :

Overviews
Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) and COVID-19: Critical WASH Interventions for Effective COVID-19 Pandemic Response . World Bank, April 2020. Good and consistently applied WASH and waste management practices serve as essential barriers to human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 in communities, homes, health care facilities, schools, and other public spaces.

Policy and Legislation Linked to COVID-19 and Pandemics . UN Environment Program (UNEP), June 2020. This policy and legislation guidance is intended  to help countries better respond to future waste emergencies such as COVID-19 and includes information on the types of measures that could be put in place, the coverage and scope of the measures, and how to monitor compliance and enforce the measures.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak: Some Serious Consequences with Urban and Rural Water Cycle . NPJ Clean Water, July 2020. Conventional sewage treatment methods with disinfection are expected to eradicate COVID-19. However, for densely populated countries like India that lack adequate sewage treatment facilities, chances of contamination are extremely high.

Waste Management: An Essential Public Service in the Fight to Beat COVID-19 . UNEP, March 2020. With COVID-19 continuing to spread and its impacts on human health and the economy intensifying day by day, governments are urged to treat waste management, including medical, household, and other hazardous waste, as an urgent and essential public service.

Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, and Waste Management for the COVID-19 Virus: Interim Guidance . WHO, April 2020. This interim guidance summarizes WHO guidance on water, sanitation, and health care waste relevant to viruses, including coronaviruses and supplements previous infection prevention and control documents.

Exploring the Correlation Between COVID-19 Fatalities and Poor WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Services . Medrxiv, June 2020. In this study, researchers analyzed the latest data on COVID-19 fatality rates in sub-Saharan Africa with indicators of safe water and sanitation governance and found a strong correlation between a higher case fatality rate and poorer access to safe drinking water and safe sanitation.

Global Socio-Economic Losses and Environmental Gains from the Coronavirus Pandemic . PLoS One, July 2020. Using a global model, the authors of this study captured the direct and indirect spillover effects of COVID-19 in terms of social losses, economic losses, and environmental effects.

Wastewater/Wastewater Surveillance
Wastewater Surveillance for COVID-19: An African Perspective . Science of the Total Environment, November 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, early warning wastewater systems have been proposed as a platform for surveillance and a potentially important public health strategy to combat the disease. This short communication on wastewater surveillance in sub-Saharan Africa highlights challenges, opportunities, and alternatives taking into account local context.

Wastewater Surveillance for Population-Wide COVID-19: The Present and Future . Science of the Total Environment, September 2020. This article explores wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE), which the authors believe holds the potential as a key tool in containing and mitigating COVID-19 outbreaks while also minimizing domino effects, such as long stay-at-home policies that stress humans and economies alike.

Computational Analysis of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Surveillance by Wastewater-Based Epidemiology Locally and Globally: Feasibility, Economy, Opportunities and Challenges . Science of the Total Environment, August 2020. In this study, researchers computationally examined wastewater as a matrix for detection of COVID-19 and found that combined use of WBE followed by clinical testing could save billions of U.S. dollars.

Read the complete issue .

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.

@WASHStrong takeover: How do human rights strengthen systems?

A4C Twitter takeover

Tuesday, 28 July, marks the 10th anniversary of the recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation!

@WASHStrong takeover: How do human rights strengthen systems?

On this day, @RealiseHRWS and @sanwatforall will take over the @WASHStrong twitter account to discuss how human rights contribute to strengthening WASH systems. We will share local and global approaches from Making Rights Real and Sanitation and Water for All.

The takeover will take place from 8am to 8pm Central European Time / 11.30am to 11.30pm India Standard Time / 2am to 2pm US Eastern Time.

Join us! https://twitter.com/WASHstrong

10 years after the human rights to water and sanitation were first recognised and with 10 years to go until the promise of SDG 6 should be fulfilled, we want to use this day as an opportunity for everyone to share their experiences of applying human rights to their own work.

Joins us if you…

–          Have used human rights and it has helped to improve WASH systems

–          Have questions on how human rights are relevant to WASH systems change

–          Want to see what experiences other have made

We hope for a lively exchange among practitioners in this space!

See you there

Hannah (WASH United/Making Rights Real), Manishka (SWA), Alec (Agenda for Change)

Decolonising the WASH sector

Being true to #BlackLivesMatter. Report of an IRC Global Talk

BlackLivesMatter-Montreal-Martin-Reisch-Unsplash

Gay Village, Montreal. Credit: Martin Reisch/Unsplash

“The problem isn’t men, it’s patriarchy.
The problem isn’t white people, it’s white supremacy.
The problem isn’t straight people, it’s homophobia.
Recognize systems of oppression before letting individual defensiveness paralyze you from dismantling them”. (Ruchika Tulshyan, founder of inclusion strategy firm Candour)

This is not a quote you would expect to hear from an opening speaker in your usual WASH sector webinar, but the title of the IRC Global Talk on 16 July was anything but usual: “Decolonising WASH sector knowledge and decolonising systems thinking”.

On 18 June 2020, IRC posted a message from our CEO on Black Lives Matter with a commitment to the global struggle against racism. For this Global Talk, we found two, young undaunted voices to help IRC kickstart discussions on our commitments to #BlackLivesMatter. We asked them to elaborate on their recent provocative think pieces on decolonisation. First up was Euphresia Luseka, a WASH Governance Consultant from Kenya who wrote “Initiating De-colonization of WASH Sector Knowledge”, followed by the UK-based writer/facilitator and historian, Alara Adali who believes in “Decolonising systems thinking” for social change.

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