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News, Opinions and Resources for Sanitation for All
Updated: 14 min 11 sec ago

WHO Bulletin – Redefining shared sanitation

Mon, 2015-05-18 18:28

Redefining shared sanitation. WHO Bulletin, April 2015.

Authors: Thilde Rheinländer, Flemming Konradsen, Bernard Keraita, Patrick Apoya & Margaret Gyapong

Current definitions do not account for the diversity of shared sanitation: all shared toilet facilities are by default classified as unimproved by JMP because of the tendency for shared toilets to be unmanaged and unhygienic. However, we argue that shared sanitation should not be automatically assumed to be unimproved. We also argue that it is necessary to have a new look at how we define shared sanitation and use specific sub-categories including household shared (sharing between a limited number of households who know each other), public toilets (intended for a transient population, but most often the main sanitation facility for poor neighbourhoods) and institutional toilets (workplaces, markets etc.).

This sub-classification will identify those depending on household shared sanitation, which we consider to be only a small step away from achieving access to private and improved sanitation. This sub-category of shared sanitation is, therefore, worth discussing in greater detail. Experiences from Ghana and other sub-Saharan African countries illustrate how household shared sanitation may well fit with culturally acceptable sanitation choices and not necessarily be unhygienic. Indeed, household shared sanitation may be the only realistic option that brings people the important first step up the sanitation ladder from open defecation to a basic level of sanitation.

Filed under: Progress on Sanitation

India sanitation initiative wins prestigious UN prize

Sat, 2015-05-16 17:48

Training women in Nadia District,. Photo credit: Sabar Shouchagar programme

The UN has awarded one of their prestigious 2015 Public Service Awards to Nadia district in West Bengal for their sanitation initiative Sabar Shouchagar (Toilets for All).

Bordering on Bangladesh,  the rural district has a population of 5.4 million of whom nearly 2 million or 40% practised open defecation in 2013.  This was in sharp contrast with neighbouring Bangladesh, where only 4% of the people practise open defecation. This realisation sparked the district to start pooling available government resources and develop the Sabar Shouchar concept.

Besides pooling government funds, the concept involved mass awareness campaigns, parternships with NGOs, focus on women and children as change agents, rural sanitation marts, transforming district administration and a 10% mandatory user contribution to cost of toilet construction.

All this resulted in Nadia becoming the first Indian district to be declared open defecation free on 30 April 2015.

Nadia district will receive its award from the United Nations Secretary-General on 23 June 2015 in Medellin, Colombia.

For more information go to:

Source: Indian Express, 8 May 2015

Filed under: Progress on Sanitation, South Asia Tagged: India, open defecation-free villages, rural sanitation, Sabar Shouchagar

Toilet humour is serious business [video]

Thu, 2015-05-14 12:11

An inspirational (and funny) TEDx talk on the impact of school sanitation on girls in India.

Told by Australian busnessman, Mark Balla whose visit to the world’s largest slum Dharavi changed his life and turned him into a “toilet warrior”.

Mark is the Founder and Director of Community Engagement at We Can’t Wait.

Filed under: Dignity and Social Development, South Asia Tagged: India, Mark Balla, school sanitation, schools, TEDx, We Can't Wait

USAID Sanitation Webinar

Tue, 2015-05-12 14:20

USAID Sanitation Webinar, April 28, 2015

More than 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation worldwide. In this webinar, USAID’s Jesse Shapiro discusses and responds to participant questions about the impacts of sanitation; critical challenges to improving sanitation; the sanitation ladder and service chain; and programmatic interventions to improve sanitation.

Filed under: Dignity and Social Development, Economic Benefits, Progress on Sanitation, Sanitary Facilities, Sanitation and Health Tagged: USAID, USAID sanitation strategy, webinars

Urban Sanitation in Bo City, Sierra Leone: A Study on Knowledge, Attitude and Practices

Mon, 2015-05-11 18:27

A Summary on Urban Sanitation in Bo City, Sierra Leone: A Study on Knowledge, Attitude and Practices, 2015. 

Authors: Bockarie Abdel Aziz Bawoh, Welthungerhilfe M&E Officer; Swaliho Koroma, Bo City Council Waste Officer

Coordinated by Raphael Thurn, Welthungerhilfe Project Advisor

Published in April 2015 by Bo City Council and Welthungerhilfe Bo, Sierra Leone

Contact to request the full report.

Conclusions and Recommendations
This study has shown that the general level of knowledge of people about proper solid and liquid waste management is in many areas not profound enough to ensure systematically behavioural changes in the future. Furthermore the indiscriminate disposal of solid and liquid waste by local households is common and widespread. It needs to be understood that the existing sanitation facilities
of households are often not meeting minimum standards3. The capacities and infrastructure of the public and private sector to efficiently address these challenges are insufficient to ensure the provision of quality services to the residents of Bo City. There is also very little knowledge and information about concepts like reuse, recycling, waste minimization and separation.

Strategies to improve household solid and liquid waste management in Bo City and its environs are recommended to consider these identified deficiencies. One focus should lie on increasing the knowledge on health and environmental implications of inadequate solid and liquid waste management. It will be prudent to encourage community involvement in waste management whereby the communities have a sense of responsibility towards their own health and environment. Another aspect is to improve government involvement through provision of sufficient funds, equipment (especially for sludge emptying), capacity building and manpower, and to create an enabling environment for private investments in solid and liquid waste management including the waste collection, transportation, trading, reuse and recycling sector. Information needs to be disseminated on methods and practices of reuse and recycling and local markets for waste traders and recyclers need to be further developed. Steps taken in these directions could help to achieve improved sanitary conditions in Bo City and its environs and also reduce the spread of preventable diseases.

Filed under: Africa Tagged: KAP Surveys, Sierra Leone, urban sanitation

Making Sanitation and Hygiene Safer- Reducing Vulnerabilities to Violence

Fri, 2015-05-08 13:49

Making Sanitation and Hygiene Safer- Reducing Vulnerabilities to Violence. Frontiers of CLTS: Innovations and Insights, Issue 5, May 2015.

Authors: Sarah House and Sue Cavill.

CLTS aims for total sanitation where no-one practices open defecation, which in itself has potential to reduce vulnerabilities to violence. Concerns over safety, privacy or dignity when using sanitary facilities can however lead to the facilities not being used or only being used during hours of darkness.

Whilst poor design or siting of latrines or hygiene related facilities are not the root cause of violence, these issues can contribute to increased vulnerabilities to violence, as well as fear of violence, which can affect the usage of the facilities and also the ability of communities to become and remain ODF.

This issue of Frontiers of CLTS focuses on the issue of safety and vulnerabilities to violence that women, girls and sometimes boys and men can face which are related to sanitation and hygiene.

It points out areas in which CLTS methodologies, if not used skilfully with awareness and care, can run the potential risk of creating additional vulnerabilities, for example as a by-product of community pressure to reach ODF.

It also looks at good practices within organisations to ensure that those working in the sector know how to programme to reduce vulnerabilities to violence and to ensure that sector actors also do not become the perpetrators of, or face violence.

Filed under: Dignity and Social Development Tagged: Community-Led Total Sanitation, gender based vioience

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Hygiene

Fri, 2015-05-08 13:10

WASHplus Weekly – Issue 190| May 8, 2015 | Focus on Hygiene

This issue focuses on hygiene advocacy, hygiene promotion, and hygiene in emergency settings. Included are webinars; a toolkit; a literature review from the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing; a blog post by Orlando Hernandez, USAID/WASHplus project; IRC and BRAC reports on handwashing promotion; World Health Organization (WHO) hygiene guidelines for Ebola and other emergencies; and other studies and resources. 


Healing Hands: The Role of Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Globally. May 2015. Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW). Link
PPPHW hosted this webinar to discuss the importance of hand hygiene in health care, the challenges of achieving good hand hygiene, and lessons for improving hand hygiene in health care settings. The speakers included Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s Lead for the Clean Care is Safer Care program, Cyrus Engineer, director of the Healthcare Management Program at Towson University, and Robert Aunger from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Handwashing and Global Food Hygiene: A World Health Day Webinar. April 2015. PPPHW. Link
This webinar explores why food hygiene matters for child health in the global context. It includes a case study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine about a creative food and handwashing behavior change intervention in Nepal; WASHplus’s Julia Rosenbaum talks about small doable actions; and UNICEF discusses the successes and challenges associated with its group handwashing and mid-day meal program in India.


Hygiene Advocacy Toolkit, 2015. PPPHW. Link
Developed by PPPHW, in cooperation with the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Programme’s Advocacy and Communications Group, this hygiene advocacy toolkit is an evidence-based resource that outlines why hygiene must be a priority in the post-2015 development agenda and beyond. The role of hygiene in the global development agenda is misunderstood. This toolkit seeks to address any confusion and provide the necessary facts and talking points to successfully advocate for the inclusion of hygiene in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

Community Handwashing Guide: Utilizing Available Resources to Initiate a Handwashing InterventionWorld Med Health Policy, Mar 2014. MP Sandhu. Link (The full text of this article can be downloaded free of charge through May 2015.)
In this article, the current handwashing recommendations and their applicability to hygiene interventions in developing nations were examined. The results of this review suggested that a new handwashing paradigm is needed to address the varying resources available for hand hygiene. Thus, a novel community handwashing guide was developed. This guide emphasizes the importance of increasing access to physical handwashing resources in developing communities, and can be applied to communities regardless of their socioeconomic status. The community handwashing guide promotes sustainable, incremental improvements in hygiene within a community, and is a more feasible approach than previous recommendations.


Handwashing Research Summary: What We Learned about Handwashing in the First Quarter of 2015.  L McCay, PPPHW. Link
Between January and March 2015, 16 relevant peer-reviewed handwashing studies were published. This review discusses studies on the benefits of handwashing, measurement of handwashing behavior, handwashing “hardware,” and other topics.

Improving Household Food Hygiene in a Development Context, 2015. M Woldt, FANTA. Link
This literature review presents information on foodborne disease and key areas and considerations at the household level to reduce foodborne contaminants in developing countries. Recommendations on potential programmatic and research activities related to foodborne disease are also included.


Hygiene Promotion: The Backbone of BRAC WASH, 2015. A Biswas. Link
Hygiene promotion is most successful when it targets a few behaviors that have the greatest potential for impact. Because hygiene is personal, changing hygiene behavior is complex and requires skill and care. The BRAC WASH program uses multiple approaches with a persistent long-term strategy to encourage people to adopt safe hygiene practices and behaviors to prevent diarrheal and other infectious diseases.

Implementing Effective Hygiene Promotion: Lessons from the Process Evaluation of an Intervention to Promote Handwashing with Soap in Rural India. BMC Pub Health, Nov 2014. D Rajaraman. Link
An intervention trial of the SuperAmma village-level intervention to promote handwashing with soap (HWWS) in rural India demonstrated substantial increases in HWWS amongst the target population. Researchers carried out a process evaluation to assess the implementation of the intervention and the evidence that it had changed the perceived benefits and social norms associated with HWWS. The evaluation also aimed to inform the design of a streamlined shorter intervention and estimate scale-up costs.

Managing Hygiene Promotion in WASH Programmes, 2014. WEDC. Link
A number of studies have suggested that the impact of hygiene practices on sanitation-related disease could be as great as that of the actual provision of sanitation facilities. Effective hygiene promotion is widely believed to be one of the most valuable tools to change people’s behavior, which in turn can protect them from diarrheal diseases. It can also be a helpful way to encourage participation and empower communities. Despite the acceptance of its importance, hygiene promotion is often given far less emphasis than traditional water supply and sanitation activities in development settings. This guide is designed to help address this issue.

Liberia: National Guidelines on Hygiene Promotion, 2014. Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Link
The National Guidelines on Hygiene Promotion establish a framework that seeks to ensure that advocacy and communication on appropriate hygiene behavior reaches all Liberians by 2017. These guidelines articulate the objective of the Government of Liberia in hygiene promotion and clarify the roles and responsibilities of the many stakeholders involved. These guidelines aim for a sustainable and scalable approach and generate ownership among its beneficiaries.

The Neglect of Hygiene Promotion in Developing Countries, as Shown by the Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water Survey. Jnl Water, San Hyg Devel, 4(2) 2014. A Jiménez. Abstract
This paper analyzes the data on hygiene promotion that were collected for the 2012 edition but not included in the report. Despite the limitations of the information, this is the best picture available of the global status of hygiene promotion in developing countries. Results show the low priority given to hygiene when it comes to implementation.


Behavioral Challenges and Potential Solutions to Reach Universal Sanitation Coverage. Sanitation and Water for All, April 2015. O Hernandez, USAID/WASHplus and FHI 360. Link
Behavior change specialists rely on frameworks to dissect a problem and define a strategy to address it. The Water Improvement Framework, previously named the Hygiene Improvement Framework developed in connection to USAID WASH projects some 15 years ago, is one such framework.

Bangladesh National Hygiene Baseline Survey: Preliminary Report, 2014. L Unicomb, ICDDR,B. Link
The government of Bangladesh has a commitment to ensure a safe environment through the promotion of personal hygiene practices. However, there is a lack of baseline information on hygiene practices among different segments of the population and regions. The overall objective of this national hygiene survey is to establish a nationally representative baseline status of hygiene situations related to knowledge, facilities, and practices in the area of water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Geophagy is Associated with Environmental Enteropathy and Stunting in Children in Rural Bangladesh. Am Jnl Trop Med Hyg, April 2015. C George. Abstract
There is a growing body of literature indicating an association between stunting and environmental enteropathy (EE), a disorder thought to be caused by repeated exposures to enteric pathogens. To investigate the relationship among exposure to enteric pathogen through geophagy, consumption of soil, EE, and stunting, the authors conducted a prospective cohort study of 216 children under 5 years of age in Bangladesh. Findings suggest that geophagy may be an important unrecognized risk factor for EE and stunting.

Value for Money Study on Sanitation, Hygiene Education and Water Supply in Bangladesh (SHEWA-B) Programme Interventions, 2015. A Barkat. Link
Primary data collected through household surveys in 2013 suggest that (reported) handwashing practice with soap/ash after defecation has increased from 54 percent at baseline to 95 percent. Washing hands before eating increased to 41 percent from 22 percent since the baseline. When asked to recall hygiene behaviors they learned through the intervention (unprompted), all the respondents could recall at least one, and nearly 95 percent could recall three or more hygiene behaviors.

Empowerment in Action: Savings Groups Improving Community Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Services. Enterprise Development Microfinance, March 2015. K DeVries. Link
Savings groups (SGs) combined with social empowerment strategies can be used to engage communities meaningfully in addressing development challenges such as access to clean water and a functioning latrine. As participants in Project Concern International’s SG initiative entitled Women Empowered, women have independently identified WASH needs in their communities and have organized and carried out collective actions to improve their situation. This paper highlights results from a qualitative study in which Project Concern International looked at SGs within two international development programs in urban and rural Guatemala.

How Recycled Bars of Soap Could Help Prevent Illnesses in Developing Countries.Huffington Post, April 2015. B Skoloff. Link
Clean the World began about seven years ago as a tiny operation with a few friends and family in a single-car garage in Orlando, Florida, where they used meat grinders, potato peelers, and cookers to recycle used soap into fresh bars. It has since grown to include industrial recycling facilities in Las Vegas, Orlando, and Hong Kong, cities where hotels are plentiful and used bars of soap can be gathered easily by the thousands.

WaterAid Hygiene Resources. WaterAid. Link
This webpage has link to WaterAid’s Hygiene Framework and other hygiene-related publications.


Strategies & Challenges to Handwashing Promotion in Humanitarian Emergencies, 2014. J Vujic. Link
Relatively little information has been published in the peer-reviewed literature on handwashing behavior among those affected by a humanitarian emergency or on the behavioral effects of routinely applied hygiene promotion strategies in humanitarian emergencies. The international and nongovernmental organizations that provide WASH services to internally displaced and refugee populations in humanitarian emergencies have an abundance of field experience and expertise, institutional memory on the nature of handwashing promotion employed in emergency settings, and access to unpublished information on evaluations of handwashing promotion in the emergency context.

WASH Tools for Implementers Responding to the Nepali Earthquake, 2015. PPPHW.Link
As the international community attempts to help Nepal recover from a recent deadly earthquake, many organizations are working on response efforts. For those working on WASH in Nepal, PPPHW has links to documents which might be useful in coordinating WASH efforts.

Ebola Virus Disease: Key Questions and Answers Concerning Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, 2014. WHO; UNICEF. Link
Best WASH practices, particularly handwashing with soap, should be strictly applied and maintained as these form an important additional barrier to Ebola virus transmission, and to the transmission of infectious diseases in general. All human excreta must be contained in a way that separates it from human contact—at a minimum covered with soil—pending construction of latrines.

Checklist for Terminal Cleaning and Decontamination of Ebola Care Facilities, 2015. WHO. Link
This checklist includes the necessary steps for terminal waste management, cleaning, and decontamination processes.

Manual for the Care and Management of Patients in Ebola Care Units/Community Care Centres: Interim Emergency Guidance, 2015. WHO. Link
This manual provides guidance on best practices to be followed in Ebola Care Units/Community Care Centers. It is intended for health aid workers (including junior nurses and community health care workers) and others providing care for patients in these units. While the focus is on the care and management of patients with Ebola, the care of patients with other causes of fever is also described.
WASHplus Weeklies highlight topics such as Urban WASH, Household Air Pollution, Innovation, Household Water Treatment and Storage, Handwashing, Integration, and more. If you would like to feature your organization’s materials in upcoming issues, please send them to Dan Campbell, WASHplus Knowledge Resources Specialist, at

Filed under: Hygiene Promotion Tagged: hygiene, WASHplus Weekly

Culture and the health transition: Understanding sanitation behaviour in rural north India

Wed, 2015-05-06 13:33

Culture and the health transition: Understanding sanitation behaviour in rural north India, April 2015. International Growth Centre (ICG) Working Paper.

Authors: Diane Coffey, Aashish Gupta, Payal Hathi, Dean Spears, Nikhil Srivastav, and Sangita Vyas.

Key Facts

  • Poor sanitation spreads bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections including diarrhoea, polio, cholera, and hookworm. Despite this, 70% of rural Indian households defecate in the open, without a toilet
    or latrine. Over 60% of the people worldwide who defecate in the open live in India. Bangladesh, which shares a border with India, has a rural open defecation rate of only 5%.
  • Based on a survey of around 3,200 households, and 100 in-depth interviews, this research finds that having a household latrine is widely seen to damage the purity of the home. Open defecation, on
    the other hand, is widely seen to promote purity and strength, and is also associated with health and longevity.
  • A further reason for particularly poor hygiene in Indian public spaces is due to the ongoing renegotiation of caste-based social rules. Most Hindus remain inflexibly opposed to emptying their own latrine pits. As part of a push for greater equality, people from the lowest “untouchable” castes resist emptying latrine pits because this work is widely seen as degrading and reinforcing of their low social status.

Filed under: Hygiene Promotion, South Asia Tagged: behaviour, India

Water and sanitation in health centres in Mali – podcast

Wed, 2015-05-06 13:24

Water and sanitation in health centres in Mali – podcast | Source: The Guardian, April 28, 2015 |

Lucy Lamble presents this edition of the Global development podcast, looking at how the lack of water and sanitation is affecting health centres in Mali. Just 20% of the country’s health facilities provide clean water.

Photo from WaterAid

She visits Diatoula, 15km south-east of Bamako, a community of 1,000 people which has one health centre, and hears from Nurse Vinima Baya about how they cope with the lack of water within the facility, with patients and their families gathering buckets of water from the village well.

At Kalabancoro town on the outskirts of Bamako, Lucy visits a clinic opened in 2013, which has done much to improve healthcare for local residents – but where staff still have to buy safe drinking water or ask patients to bring it in.

We hear from experts including Mamadou Diarafa Diallo, WaterAid’s country representative in Mali, and Maggie Montgomery, from WHO’s Water, Sanitation and Health unit, on the problems the country faces in improving access to safe water.

Filed under: Africa Tagged: Mali, WASH in healthcare facilities

Health workers must have #safeHANDS – WHO annual call to action

Tue, 2015-05-05 10:13

This year’s annual day to recognize hand hygiene among health workers commemorates ten years of the Clean Care is Safer Care programme (2005-2015) of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Hand hygiene is an important element of infection prevention and control. A recent WHO/UNICEF survey of  66,000 health facilities in developing countries revealed that over a third of them lacked soap for hand washing.

To join the campaign and learn more visit:

Webinar: Healing Hands, 5 May 2015, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM CEST

Hear from experts from WHO, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Johns Hopkins University on the importance of hand hygiene, the current state of practices and lessons learned from the recent West Africa Ebola Outbreak.

To join the discussion register at the site of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing.

Filed under: Campaigns and Events, Hygiene Promotion Tagged: advocacy, handwashing, health care facilities, World Health Organization

Infant and Young Child Faeces Management: Potential enabling products for their hygienic collection, transport, and disposal in Cambodia

Fri, 2015-05-01 15:09

Infant and Young Child Faeces Management: Potential enabling products for their hygienic collection, transport, and disposal in Cambodia, 2015. WaterSHED; London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Authors: Molly Miller-Petrie, Lindsay Voigt, Lyn McLennan, Sandy Cairncross, Marion Jenkins

Background – Despite evidence that children’s faeces play a major role in diarrheal disease transmission through the contamination of the household environment, relatively little priority has been given to research and interventions in this area. In Cambodia, only 20% of children’s faeces were disposed of in an improved sanitation facility according to the 2010 Demographic and Health Survey. This study explores current practices and the role that enabling products may play in increasing hygienic management practices.

Methods – A household survey was conducted in 130 houses in 21 villages and two provinces in Cambodia. Four focus group discussions were conducted, two in each province. Households were restricted to those with an improved sanitation facility and at least one child under five. Results were analysed using STATA13 and explanatory variables were tested individually and using logistic regression to control for child age. Focus group results were analysed qualitatively.

Results – Main place of defecation, method of moving faeces, and main place of disposal differed depending on child age, with children under two least likely to have their faeces disposed of hygienically. Overall, 62.7% of households reported using a hygienic main disposal site while 35.7% reported doing so consistently. Factors associated with hygienic disposal included the number of years a household had owned a latrine, the age of the caregiver, the consistency of adult latrine use, and the presence of tools for child faeces management in the latrine.

Discussion – The results demonstrate a need for interventions targeting the hygienic management of faeces of children under five in Cambodia, and particularly for children under two. The technologies most likely to facilitate hygienic disposal for these age ranges include reusable diapers, potties, and potentially latrine seats. Design features should ensure child safety, time-savings, cost-savings, ease of disposal, and ease of cleaning. Product marketing will also need to address hygiene behaviours related to child cleaning and caretaker hand washing to ensure reduction of disease transmission.

Filed under: East Asia & Pacific, Hygiene Promotion Tagged: Cambodia, infant and child feces management

Water and Health Conference 2015: Where Science Meets Policy: Abstract and side event proposal deadline extended to May 1

Wed, 2015-04-29 15:32
Abstract and side event proposal deadline extended to May 1
Water and Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy October 26-30, 2015 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill The deadline for abstracts and side event proposals for the UNC Water and Health Conference is extended to Friday, May 1.   Submissions should align with this year’s themes: 

  • WaSH for the future: SDGs, innovation, resources, integration, and urbanization;
  • Hygiene and behavior;
  • WaSH in emergencies and outbreaks;
  • Learning from practice: MEL, action research, case studies;
  • Water supply and quality;
  • Sanitation: protecting households, communities and environment
More information about the Conference is online at
Filed under: Campaigns and Events

WaterAid – How to sell toilets: a new approach to sanitation marketing in South East Asia

Tue, 2015-04-28 13:07

WaterAid – How to sell toilets: a new approach to sanitation marketing in South East Asia | Source: WaterAid Blog, April 22, 2015.

In Cambodia, an organisation named WaterSHED has developed a successful approach to marketing sanitation to remote communities which has reached 40% of Cambodians and is spreading fast across the Mekong region.

Excerpts: Established in 2010, WaterSHED – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Enterprise Development – is a business development services provider working to bring effective and affordable water and sanitation products to the market, focusing on Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Only 28% of people in Cambodia are estimated to have access to sanitation – less in rural areas – and communities and businesses are not always interested in improving this or able to make change happen.

Local supplier with samples of toilet components. Photo: WaterAid/ Erik Harvey.

Although several organisations in the country were working on sanitation when WaterSHED was established, there was little coherence in their approaches, which Geoff Revell, Regional Programme Manager for WaterSHED, found frustrating. “While on one hand, there is space to try out new things, on the other, there are various approaches, some of which are subsidy driven, that are not very effective.”

A ‘hands-off’ approach

WaterSHED takes a ‘hands-off’ approach, using community leaders to generate demand for sanitation, working with the supply chain to offer appropriate and affordable products and identifying incentives to increase take-up. The organisation encourages businesses to consider adopting sanitation-related products that would complement other aspects of their wider business and thus enable them to diversify. It believes its role as a ‘market facilitator’ is finite, and that exit strategies need to be in place to enable private and public sector players to take over.

The sanitation marketing approach has six key components:

  • Identify community leaders to make the pitch for sanitation.
    Generate demand for toilets using a combination of pride and disgust messages.
  • Link communities to supply chains and vice versa, focusing on home delivery, affordability and promotional models.
  • Enable suppliers to be reliable and trustworthy, offering good-quality products, information and advice.
  • Make links to micro-financing where appropriate.
  • Help identify appropriate and adaptable incentives.

Read the complete article

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: sanitation marketing, WaterSHED

May 11, 2015 – Sustainability and Value for Money – Using Data to Improve the Performance of WASH Investments

Mon, 2015-04-27 18:30

Invitation to attend the Sustainability and Value for Money – Using Data to Improve the Performance of WASH Investments

  • Where: Manson Lecture Theatre, LSHTM, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT.
  • When: 5:30 – 8:30 PM on 11th of May 2015, including a drinks reception

The VFM-WASH consortium is delighted to invite you to attend an international seminar on WASH programmes’ sustainability and Value for Money (VFM). The DFID-funded consortium is led by Oxford Policy Management and includes the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the University of Leeds, Oxfam and Trémolet Consulting

This event, co-convened by the SHARE Research Consortium, will present evidence collected by the consortium over the past two years on the sustainability and VFM of DFID WASH sector investments in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan and Zambia. It will also present the findings from surveys of the operational sustainability of WASH services carried out in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

These findings provide case studies of how VFM analysis can be used to feed into the strengthening of programme management systems.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Advancing WASH in schools monitoring – new UNICEF publication

Mon, 2015-04-27 05:39

Globally, school water and sanitation coverage both increased by six per cent between 2008 and 2013. This is one of the key messages from a new UNICEF working paper “Advancing WASH in schools monitoring“.

The paper presents the best data available for the coverage of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in primary schools gathered from 149 countries for the period 2008-2013. It also compares current national WASH in Schools (WinS) monitoring indicators against global guidelines.

By providing this information the publication responds to the 2012 Call to Action, Raising Even More Clean Hands. It also aims to promote and support improved monitoring of WinS so that coverage indicators can be included in the forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Figure from the working paper. Copyright: UNICEF

The key messages of the paper are:

  • More countries are reporting school water and sanitation coverage data each year
  • Globally, school water and sanitation coverage both increased by six per cent between 2008 and 2013
  • Hand-washing facility coverage is rarely reported
  • The quality of WinS coverage data is questionable, including poorly defined and inconsistent indicators
  • Many countries solicit WinS information through their Education Management Information System (EMIS) questionnaires
  • Sanitation is the most comprehensively monitored WinS component; hygiene is the least
  • WinS data captured in EMIS questionnaires are often underutilized

The paper concludes with recommendations for action for both the national and international levels.

There are annexes on data sources, national WinS coverage estimates, scoring criteria for EMIS indicators and WASH indicators in national EMIS.

UNICEF, 2015. Advancing WASH in schools monitoring. (Working paper). New York, NY, USA: UNICEF. 65 p. : 23 fig., 10 tab. Available at:

Filed under: Publications Tagged: statistics, unicef, WASH in schools

April 28, 2015 – USAID Sanitation Webinar

Thu, 2015-04-23 15:17

Invitation to Sanitation Webinar, April 28, USAID Water and Development Strategy Webinar Series 

Please join the USAID Water Office for this first in a series of webinars to better understand the USAID Water and Development Strategy and how its principles provide the foundation for Agency water programming.

The first webinar on April 28, 10:00-11:00 am EDT, will focus on Sanitation, with presentations by USAID’s Katy Sill and Jesse Shapiro to discuss: the impacts of sanitation, critical challenges to improving sanitation, the sanitation ladder and service chain, and programmatic interventions to improve sanitation

Register for the webinar at:

USAID’s Water and Development Strategy seeks to improve health outcomes through the provision of sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and enhance food security through the sustainable and more productive management of water in agriculture. This webinar series will include sessions on Sanitation, WASH and Nutrition, Sustainability of WASH Services, Drinking Water Quality, and Agricultural Water Management.

For additional information and a full list of webinars in the series, see the attached flyer, or visit the Water Strategy Webinar Series webpage.

Filed under: Progress on Sanitation, Sanitation and Health, Uncategorized Tagged: USAID, webinars

Sanitation and Drainage in Cities – Environment & Urbanization, April 2015

Thu, 2015-04-23 14:09

Sanitation and Drainage in CitiesEnvironment & Urbanization, April 2015

Editorial – Is it possible to reach low-income urban dwellers with good-quality sanitation? (Full text) by David Satterthwaite, Diana Mitlin, and Sheridan Bartlett.

Container-based sanitation: assessing costs and effectiveness of excreta management in Cap Haitien, Haiti. (Full text) by Sebastien Tilmans, Kory Russel, Rachel Sklar, Leah Page, Sasha Kramer, and Jennifer Davis.
Container-based sanitation (CBS) – in which wastes are captured in sealable containers that are then transported to treatment facilities – is an alternative sanitation option in urban areas where on-site sanitation and sewerage are infeasible. This paper presents the results of a pilot household CBS service in Cap Haitien, Haiti. We quantify the excreta generated weekly in a dense urban slum,(1) the proportion safely removed via container-based public and household toilets, and the costs associated with these systems. The CBS service yielded an approximately 3.5-fold decrease in the unmanaged share of faeces produced, and nearly eliminated the reported use of open defecation and “flying toilets” among service recipients. The costs of this pilot small-scale service were higher than those of large-scale waterborne sewerage, but economies of scale have the potential to reduce CBS costs over time. The paper concludes with a discussion of planning and policy implications of incorporating CBS into the menu of sanitation options for rapidly growing cities.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: drainage

Encouraging sanitation investment in the developing world: A cluster-randomized trial

Mon, 2015-04-20 13:52

Encouraging sanitation investment in the developing world: A cluster-randomized trial. Science, April 2015, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa0491

Authors:  Raymond Guiteras1, James Levinsohn2, Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak2,*
+ Author Affiliations
1Deptartment of Economics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.

2School of Management, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
↵*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Poor sanitation contributes to morbidity and mortality in the developing world, but there is disagreement on what policies can increase sanitation coverage. To measure the effects of alternative policies on investment in hygienic latrines, we assigned 380 communities in rural Bangladesh to different marketing treatments—community motivation and information; subsidies; a supply-side market access intervention; and a control—in a cluster-randomized trial.

Community motivation alone did not increase hygienic latrine ownership (+1.6 percentage points, p=0.43), nor did the supply-side intervention (+0.3 percentage points, p=.90). Subsidies to the majority of the landless poor increased ownership among subsidized households (+22.0 percentage points, p<.001) and their unsubsidized neighbors (+8.5 percentage points, p=.001), which suggests investment decisions are interlinked across neighbors. Subsidies also reduced open defecation by 14 percentage points (p<.001).

Filed under: Economic Benefits Tagged: sanitation investment

Recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation by UN Member States at the international level

Thu, 2015-04-16 16:46

New publication by Amnesty International and WASH United

All UN Member States have recognised that the human right to water and the human right to sanitation are part of binding international human rights law.

This publication gathers the evidence of the universal recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation: it gives an overview of the most important resolutions and declarations that recognise the human rights to water and sanitation, including the positions that individual states have taken when those documents were adopted. For 77 countries, it also lists their individual positions and how these have changed over time.

The document has previously served as an internal reference guide for Amnesty International and WASH United. We are publishing it to help others identify the position that their country has taken on the human rights to water and sanitation, to advocate for the rights in their own national contexts, to ensure that these rights will not be ignored in the formulation and implementation of national water and sanitation laws and policy, and to help advance strategic litigation before national, regional and international justice mechanisms.

Gonzalez, C., Khalfan, A., Lande, L. van de, Neumeyer, H. and Scannellad, P., 2015. Recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation by UN Member States at the international level : an overview of resolutions and declarations
that recognise the human rights to water and sanitation. London, UK and Berlin, Germany: Amnesty International and WASH United. 124 p.

Available from WASH United website and Amnesty International website

Filed under: Policy, Publications Tagged: Amnesty International, right to sanitation, right to water, WASH United

Webinar: ‘Results based financing for sanitation – do the costs outweigh the benefits?’ – 29 April 2015, Sustainable Sanitation Alliance

Thu, 2015-04-16 11:46

A webinar on ‘Results based financing for sanitation – do the costs outweigh the benefits?’ will take place on Wednesday 29th April 2015 at 13:00 (UTC/GMT). Three speakers with very different backgrounds will discuss what, from their perspectives, we know and don’t know about the questions “Do the costs outweigh the benefits of results based financing for sanitation, and what are the right conditions for it to work?”

This webinar will have ample room for discussions and inputs by the participants. Each of the speakers will only give short (5 minutes) inputs to set the scene. The panel of speakers includes:

  • Minh Chau and Per Ljung of Thrive Networks (formally East Meets West), speaking on their Community Hygiene Output Based Aid (CHOBA) Program in Vietnam. Minh Chau is now with Results for Development Institute in the U.S.
  • David Erdhart and Will Goldenberg of CASTALIA Strategic Advisors (U.S.) speaking on their review of Results Based Financing in WASH.
  • Robert Chambers, Institute of Development Studies (UK) offering his views on a wider development perspective on Results Based Financing.

This webinar, open to all, is being organised under the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Knowledge Management initiative for their Building Demand for Sanitation (BDS) program. It is supported by Stockholm Environment Institute and the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) secretariat.

To find out more or to join the discussions that will take place before and after the webinar, please click here.

To register please click here.

Webinar moderation / organisation: Peter Feldmann / Pippa Scott, both with Euforic Services, UK

Webinar technical host: Arno Rosemarin (SEI, Sweden)

The webinar will be run by using Adobe Connect, hosted by Stockholm Environment Institute

Filed under: Uncategorized