Skip directly to content

Sanitation Updates

Subscribe to Sanitation Updates feed Sanitation Updates
News, Opinions and Resources for Sanitation for All
Updated: 55 min 46 sec ago

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Programs as a Strategy to Advance Maternal Health

Mon, 2014-06-23 17:04

Of all the Millennium Development Goals, the maternal health and sanitation targets are among the farthest off track, said Rebecca Fishman, operations and special projects director of WASH Advocates.

An estimated 800 women die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes every day, and 20 times that number suffer non-lethal, but no less life-altering, complications. At the same time, 780 million people are without access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion lack access to safe sanitation.

What is the interaction between these two trends – poor maternal health and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)? And could there be ways to address both in developing countries? To commemorate International Women’s Day and World Water Day, a panel of experts gathered to discuss at the Wilson Center on March 10.

Filed under: Sanitation and Health Tagged: maternal health

iDE Cambodia hits 100,000 toilet sales in 2 years

Sat, 2014-06-21 09:53

ide Infographic

iDE Cambodia has sold 100,000 Easy Latrines in two years through sanitation marketing, reaching an estimated 470,000 people, according to a June 14 press release.

The iDE Sanitation Marketing Scale Up (SMSU) project operates in seven Cambodian provinces. It started with a pilot project in 2009 and scaling-up began in September 2011. So far total latrine sales including the pilot is 118,000.

The average latrine coverage in the seven provinces where the project is taking place inceased by 11% to 40% over the two years since scale up began. Coverage for the poor increased 6% overall. In Kandal province alone, 18% of project-linked sales went to poor households, nearly doubling poor coverage in that province from 15%  to 29%.

The three-year SMSU project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Stone Family Foundation, and technically supported by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank. The project is supported by the Ministry of Rural Development.

For every latrine sold through a small business trained by iDE, another latrine is sold through a non-connected business, creating a ripple effect. The average latrine sells for US$ 41.50.

Yi Wei

We asked  iDE Cambodia’s WASH Innovation Manager  Yi Wei to tell us more about project monitoring and how they plan to deal with faecal sludge management (FSM). Her answers are summarised below.

High use of latrines

The SMSU project tracks use and installation of latrines in annual surveys. Based on self-reporting,  over 95% of households report consistent use of latrines by adults. idE is exploring other more objective  monitoring methods like  observation by research assistants.

Overcoming delays in installation and use

Currently, installation definitely lags sales: in 2013, 58% of all latrines purchased were installed within 6 months. This is in line with iDE’s findings in the Pilot Project, where after 100 days (3 months), about 50% of all latrines that had been purchased up to that time had been installed. At 450 days (15 months) the rate rose to 95% with a continuing upward trend. Since the latrine cost is a significant cash outlay for a rural household, one can expect  the vast majority are eventually installed and unlikely to be abandoned. This was confirmed in the most recent household survey, which found that only 0.15% of households had abandoned their latrines.

Even when latrines are installed, they are often not used immediately. Cambodian households prefer a concrete superstructure and will wait until they have all the materials and labour ready to install it before the latrine is used. iDE is currently working on a packaged shelter product to encourage faster installation.


iDE doesn’t track maintenance/cleanliness in surveys, but anecdotal evidence shows that the vast majority of latrines are well-maintained and quite clean. This indicates that households genuinely value their latrines.


While iDE’s projects initially focused only on enabling access to sanitation, they have now started to design a handwashing product.

Waste management

iDE is currently working on a project funded by Grand Challenges Canada to explore using lime as a disinfectant of waste at the household level. Early technical results of the project are written up in a paper that will be presented at the WEDC Conference in Viet Nam.





Filed under: Africa, Research, Sanitary Facilities Tagged: Cambodia, Easy Latrines, faecal sludge management, IDE Cambodia, sanitation marketing, Sanitation Marketing Scale Up (SMSU) project

June 25 Webinar – WASH, Nutrition and Early Childhood Development

Thu, 2014-06-19 18:51

WASH, Nutrition and Early Childhood Development: New Evidence in ECD and Findings from the Field 

Join the USAID WASH and Nutrition Community of Practice for a webinar discussion on this topic of growing interest to USAID and others.

Register today and reserve your webinar seat at:

  • Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
  • Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EDT

Presenters for this webinar:

  • Jenny Orgle, Program Director for the Nutrition at the Center Program at CARE USA, will talk about “Addressing Environmental Enteropathy in CARE’s Nutrition at the Center Program.”
  • Maureen Black, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, will talk about “New Evidence Linking Nutrition and Early Child Development” and its connection to WASH.
  • Moderated by Helen Petach, USAID, Bureau for Global Health, Office of Health Infectious Diseases and Nutrition

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees

  • Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Mac®-based attendees

  • Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer

Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

Filed under: Multimedia, Sanitation and Health Tagged: WASH nutrition integration

Market solutions to Cambodia’s toilet troubles

Sun, 2014-06-08 11:13

Sanitation marketing in Cambodia. Photo: WaterSHED

At the current rate of 1.3% increase in latrine coverage per year it will take Cambodia 60 years to become Open Defecation Free (ODF).  Using market-based approaches, the WaterSHED programme has manged to achieve a 7% annual increase in coverage in the districts where it is active, according to IRIN.

WaterSHED has helped to bring down the price of toilets from between US$ 250 and US$ 400 to a much more affordable US$ 45. This has resulted in the sale of 75,000 toilets in 59 of Cambodia’s 171 districts over the past four years.

Rath Chan Thin, a toilet salesperson in Kompong Chhnang province said in the past she would sell no more than 25 toilets a year.

“Now people buy the toilets. In the last year, I have sold 650 toilets,” she said, pointing to her dip in price and community sales events that bring suppliers and local residents together for toilet product demonstrations.

WaterSHED regional program manager Geoff Revell says that fair prices and access to credit in combination with targeted subsidies for the very poor, is the way forward to scale-up toilet construction.

But what happens when the toilet pits are full? The WaterSHED programme does not appear to deal the full sanitation chain. Developing market-based approaches for faecal sludge management services in Cambodia nad Viet Nam, where WaterSHED is also active, would seem a logical next step.

Source: Market solutions to Cambodia’s toilet troubles, IRIN, 5 Jun 2014

Filed under: East Asia & Pacific, Sanitary Facilities Tagged: Cambodia, sanitation marketing, WaterSHED

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation

Fri, 2014-06-06 15:01

Issue 149 | June 6, 2014 | Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)

This issue updates the December 2013 Weekly on CLTS with 2014 studies, reports, and videos. Included are a May 2014 video of Dr. Kamal Kar discussing CLTS challenges, an article criticizing CLTS, a UNICEF evaluation of its Community Approaches to Total Sanitation program, and other reports and videos. 

The June 13th issue of the Weekly will focus on cookstove issues and the next issue of the Weekly on WASH-related issues will be on June 27, 2014.


The Potential of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in Achieving an Open Defecation Free World, 2014. Institute of Development Studies. (Video)
(NOTE: The actual presentation begins at about 4 minutes into the video.) Dr. Kamal Kar, the pioneer of CLTS, speaks about the potential of the CLTS approach in achieving the sanitation Millennium Development Goals with a special focus on Africa. He also discusses second and third generation challenges of CLTS such as sustainability, waste containment, and the politics of scaling up.


Shaming and Sanitation in Indonesia: A Return to Colonial Public Health Practices?Development and Change, Jan 2014. S Engel. (Link)
CLTS involves more than just education and encouragement; it uses social shaming and punishment. The authors argue that this is not only an inadequate approach but one that echoes coercive, race-based colonial public health practices. This article thus integrates extant historiography on Indonesian colonial medicine with contemporary scholarly literature and field research on CLTS using case studies of a 1920s hookworm-eradication program funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, and the current World Bank Water and Sanitation Program, both in Java.


Evaluation of the WASH Sector Strategy “Community Approaches to Total Sanitation” (CATS), 2014. UNICEF. (Link)
In the context of the recent evolution of the sanitation sector, CATS can be seen in a twofold way: as a move from technically based, supply-driven approaches toward behavior change, demand-driven approaches; and also as a recognition of the centrality of the adoption of a new social norm around ending open defecation as a key issue to be addressed, with impact on and linkages with other sectors.

Testing CLTS Approaches for Scalability: Systematic Literature Review, 2012. V Venkataramanan. (Link)
This report presents findings from a systematic literature review conducted by The Water Institute at UNC as part of the Plan International USA project: “Testing Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Approaches for Scalability.” Despite widespread implementation of CLTS and many claims of success, no systematic review has been carried out on the effectiveness and impact of CLTS programs. The objectives of the systematic review of the grey literature were to characterize the breadth of grey literature on CLTS and to describe the role of key internal actors—natural leaders, teachers, and local government—on sanitation and hygiene outcomes.

Towards Sustainable Total Sanitation, Key Findings from the Workshop, Cotonou, 2013. IRC. (Link)
This brochure summarizes the key findings agreed upon by participants in this workshop organized by the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre with the objective of further sharing and engaging with the sector to set the ground for rural sanitation services that work. The findings are broken into four categories, covering the four conditions that trigger a service, namely strengthening the enabling environment, demand creation and advocacy to change behavior, strengthening the supply chain, and offering appropriate incentives and financial arrangements.


How to Trigger for Handwashing with Soap, 2014. J Maulit, UNICEF.  (English) |(French)
CLTS provides an excellent opportunity to facilitate hand washing behavior change. The purpose of this document is to outline several practical tools that can be used as a part of CLTS in order to trigger realization among communities of the importance of hand washing with soap, as well as eliminating open defecation.

Sanitation and Externalities: Evidence from Early Childhood Health in Rural India, 2014. L Andres, The World Bank. (Link)
This paper estimates two sources of benefits related to sanitation infrastructure access on early childhood health: a direct benefit a household receives when moving from open to fixed-point defecation or from unimproved sanitation to improved sanitation, and an external benefit (externality) produced by the neighborhood’s access to sanitation infrastructure.


Association Between Social Network Communities and Health Behavior: An Observational Sociocentric Network Study of Latrine Ownership in Rural IndiaAm Jnl Public Health, May 2014. H Shakya. (Link)
Three levels of social contacts (direct friends, social network community, and village) significantly predicted individual latrine ownership, but the strongest effect was found at the level of social network communities. In communities with high levels of network cohesion, the likelihood was decreased that any individual would own a latrine; this effect was significant only at lower levels of latrine ownership, suggesting a role for network cohesion in facilitating the non-ownership norm. Although many international health and development interventions target village units, these results raise the possibility that the optimal target for public health interventions may not be determined through geography but through social network interactions.

Freedom from Open Defecation: Role of the CommunityEconomic & Political Weekly, May 2014. N Dhaktode. (Link)
Sarola, a village in Maharashtra, was able to become open defecation free with effective community participation through the Sant Gadgebaba Gram Swachhata Abhiyan program. Toilets were built in every house, and the systematic management of solid waste was implemented. The success in the village testifies to the larger social benefits that can come from the efforts of a group of determined youth.


Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Training of Trainers in the Solomon Islands (with Kamal Kar), 2014. UNICEF. (Video)
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services, with support from UNICEF and other partners, is introducing CLTS in the Solomon Islands. The first trials began in 2012, and Dr. Kamal Kar, chairman of the CLTS Foundation, led the first national training of trainers. This video gives an overview of the training, narrated by Dr. Kar, and shows community action following CLTS triggering by the newly trained facilitators.

A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Well-Managed School Sanitation in BangladeshBMC Public Health, Feb 2014. C Chatterley. (Link)
The authors identified distinct pathways sufficient to support well-managed school sanitation services. Two of these are applicable to both government and nongovernment schools: (1) quality construction, financial community support, and a champion; and (2) quality construction, financial government support, a maintenance plan, and school management committee involvement. Ongoing financial support for operations and maintenance was also identified as necessary, however, financial support was determined to be insufficient on its own.

Incentives for Enterprise Engagement in Indonesia: Private and Social Enterprise Engagement in Water and Sanitation for the Poor, 2014. J Murta. (Link)
CLTS triggering of communities prior to sanitation marketing plays a key role in generating demand for sanitation products and services. In Grobogan and East Java, most sanitation entrepreneurs work primarily in rural communities that have been CLTS triggered and demand within such communities is generally expected to grow spontaneously once they have been triggered.


Community-Led Total Sanitation – (Website)
The CLTS website aims to be a global hub for community-led total sanitation, connecting the network of practitioners, communities, NGOs, agencies, researchers, governments, donors, and others involved or interested in CLTS.

Institute of Development Studies (IDS) – (CLTS Program)
IDS has been working on the research, learning, and networking aspects of CLTS for close to a decade.

CLTS Foundation – (Website)
The CLTS Foundation was formed by the pioneer of CLTS, Dr. Kamal Kar, to meet the growing demand for a common global platform for practitioners, trainers, and users of CLTS.

Plan International - (Website/handbook)
Plan’s handbook on CLTS enables communities to analyze their sanitation conditions and collectively understand the impact of open defecation on public health and their environment.



Dec  13: Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation
May 10: Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation


Dec 14: Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation
July 6: Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation
Jan 20: Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation

Filed under: Progress on Sanitation, Sanitary Facilities Tagged: Community-Led Total Sanitation

Lifebuoy premieres heart-breaking new film about the importance of handwashing

Thu, 2014-06-05 14:47

5 June 2014, London – In a follow up to its award-winning film, Gondappa, Unilever’s health soap, Lifebuoy has released a compelling new film, Tree of Life. The aim is to support Lifebuoy’s Help a Child Reach Five campaign and spread the word about the importance of handwashing with soap. The film is the story of a mother’s love, loss and longing after losing her child to a preventable disease such as diarrhoea.

The film follows a mother’s journey of love, loss and longing through her unique relationship with a tree, that highlights the importance of handwashing with soap. Tree of Life is inspired by folklore and this moving story is used to dramatise Lifebuoy’s Help a Child Reach 5 campaign.

A year ago Lifebuoy adopted Thesgora, a village in India and through its handwashing programmes dramatically improved children’s hand washing habits so that they now washed their hands 2 additional times per day. This year Lifebuoy takes its life saving mission to Bitobe in Indonesia and has created Tree of Life to raise awareness of their important mission.

Every 15 seconds, one child dies from diarrhoea or pneumonia, diseases that are preventable through the simple act of handwashing with soap.  That is 1.7 million children every year. Lifebuoy has taken its handwashing behaviour change programmes to 183 million people across the world, and now it is committed to change the handwashing behaviour of a billion people by 2015. This is part of Unilever’s commitment to help more than one billion people to improve their health and hygiene by 2020 under the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

Samir Singh, Global Brand VP, Lifebuoy, “It is unacceptable that 1.7 million children die every year from infectious diseases when we have cost effective lifesaving solutions, such as handwashing with soap, readily available. We wanted to tell the world the Lifebuoy story in a deeply emotional way and turn the Help A Child Reach 5 campaign into something personal and powerful.”

Filed under: Hygiene Promotion, Multimedia, Sanitation and Health Tagged: handwashing, Lifebuoy, Unilever

Two girls died looking for a toilet. This should make us angry, not embarrassed

Tue, 2014-06-03 13:00

Two girls died looking for a toilet. This should make us angry, not embarrassed | by Barbara Frost, Winnie Byanyima, Corinne Woods and Nick Alipui in The Guardian, June 1, 2014

Excerpts – Attacks on girls and women as they look for somewhere private to defecate are frighteningly common. Improving basic sanitation, as a global goal, would do a lot to make them safer. 

Two teenage girls have been gang-raped and killed after doing what half a billion women and girls are forced to do every day – go outdoors to try to find somewhere discreet to go to the toilet.

A slum in India: for want of basic sanitation children often defecate near the railway tracks. Photograph: Jon Spaull/WaterAid

A toilet, bathroom, powder room – whatever you want to call it – at home, at school, at work, in the shopping mall, is something many of us take for granted and cannot talk about without feeling embarrassed. But we must: because the lack of toilets is costing women their lives.

Today, 2.5 billion people live without access to a toilet, forcing women to walk to dark and dangerous places to find the privacy they need – those same dark and dangerous places where men wait to attack them.

So we must stop blushing when we talk about open defecation because it is not something to be embarrassed about: it is something to be angry about.

Filed under: Dignity and Social Development

Peace Corps Benin WASH Resources in French

Fri, 2014-05-30 19:35

WASHplus and Peace Corps/Benin have teamed up to produce a set of training and job aids for Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts.  Eventually, Peace Corps/Benin would like all volunteers serving in Benin to have some WASH training to integrate WASH into whatever their primary program focus is – education, health, environment.

Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Toolkit

- Part 1 - Boîte à Outils: Assainissement Total Pilote par la Communaute (ATPC), 2014. Cette boîte à outils soutient l’exécution de la méthode « Assainissement Total Piloté par le Communauté » (ATPC). Cette méthode est basée sur les activités qui permettent aux membres de la communauté de prendre conscience du fait que la défécation à l’air- libre est un risque sanitaire pour tout le monde.

- Part 2 - Le Manuel Pas a Pas, 2014.

Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage

- Part 1 - Boîte à Outils: Le Traitement de l’Eau et la Conservation Sûre, 2014. Avoir accès à l’eau potable est un élément important pour rester en bonne santé et éviter les maladies – spécifiquement les maladies diarrhéiques.

- Part 2 - Manuel de Formation des Comites de Gestion d’Eau Villageois, 2014. Les matières dans cette boîte à outils servent principalement à aider les personnes chargées de promouvoir le traitement de l’eau et la conservation au niveau des ménages.

WASH in Schools Toolkit

- Part 1 - Boîte à Outils: l’Eau, l’Hygiene et l’Assainissement (WASH) en Milieu Scolaire, 2014. Pour cela, nous avons développé cette boîte à outils pour les activités en vue de la promotion de l’eau, l’hygiène, et l’assainissement (dénommé WASH) en milieu scolaire. Cette boîte contient l’essentiel pour la réussite d’une gamme d’activités.

- Part 2 - Guide des Possibilites d’Assainissement en Milieu Scolaire: Options pour l’Amelioration de ‘Assainissement, 2014.

Filed under: Africa, Progress on Sanitation, Sanitary Facilities, Sanitation and Health Tagged: Benin, CLTS, WASH in schools

WSUP Advisory vacancy – Urban Water & Sanitation Specialist

Wed, 2014-05-28 14:22

Urban Water and Sanitation Specialist, WSUP Advisory

London, UK

Deadline – 30th June 2014

To meet its goals, WSUP Advisory is seeking an Urban Water & Sanitation Specialist who is interested in supporting cities across the world to adopt successful service models that reach low income consumers, and who is also interested in helping to build an advisory business. This is an opportunity to play a key role in a growing organisation. The role will require creative thinking and tenacity to seek continual improvement.

To read more about the role and person specifications please visit for further information and details on how to apply.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Female parliamentarians want free sanitary pads for Uganda’s schoolgirls

Wed, 2014-05-28 00:10

Uganda’s female parliamentarians led by controversial Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga have called on the government to provide sanitary pads for all schoolgirls in the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme. Kadaga launched her call at the Annual General Meeting  of the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) on 16 May 2014.

The call was spurred by IRC’s research with SNV in Ugandan schools, which showed there is a higher likelihood of adolescent girls staying home during their periods. Girls in the 140 schools surveyed reported missing from 8 to 24 school days per year, resulting in lagging behind or some dropping out of school.

In August this year, IRC will present results from the Uganda study at the Menstrual Hygiene Management Conference taking place in Kampala, Uganda. NETWAS Uganda and partners are organising this event to encourage learning about what can be done to improve menstrual management in schools, institutions and communities.


  • Marielle Snel and Carmen da Silva Wells, Why focus on menstrual hygiene management?, IRC,, 27 May 2013
  • Olive Eyotaru, Include girls’ sanitary pads in UPE pack, Kadaga says, Daily Monitor, 18 May 2014
  • Editorial, Support low-cost sanitary pad drive, Daily Monitor, 20 May 2014
  • Support Uganda’s low-cost sanitary pad drive, SNV Uganda, 23 May 2014

Filed under: Africa, Dignity and Social Development, Research Tagged: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, menstrual hygiene management, SNV Uganda, Uganda

Menstrual hygiene reports from Bolivia, Philippines and Sierra Leone

Tue, 2014-05-27 18:07

In 2012, UNICEF and the Center for Global Safe Water at Emory University initiated a programme to support collaborative research focused specifically on exploring the MHM challenges faced by female students in Bolivia, the Philippines, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. The project includes developing or
strengthening MHM-related programming in schools in those countries. 

Emory University sent research fellows to work with UNICEF and its in-country WASH in Schools partners on the programme. The assessment activities conducted and themes explored were guided by an ecological framework that covers societal, environmental, interpersonal, personal and biological factors. Questions for qualitative data collection were created to investigate and understand the personal challenges and needs girls have during menstruation in the school setting.

The results are now published as a series of reports:

Bolivia – Long, Jeanne, Bethany A. Caruso, Diego Lopez, Koenraad Vancraeynest, Murat Sahin, Karen L. Andes and Matthew C. Freeman, ‘WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education in Rural Cochabamba, Bolivia: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools’, United Nations Children’s Fund, New York, November 2013.

Philippines – Jacquelyn, Bethany A. Caruso, Anna Ellis, Murat Sahin, Jonathan Michael Villasenor, Karen L. Andes and Matthew C. Freeman, ‘WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’  Education in Masbate Province and Metro Manila, Philippines: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools’, United Nations Children’s Fund, New York, November 2013.

Sierra Leone - Caruso, Bethany A., Alexandra Fehr, Kazumi Inden, Murat Sahin, Anna Ellis,  Karen L. Andes and Matthew C. Freeman, ‘WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education in Freetown, Sierra Leone: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools’, United Nations Children’s Fund, New York, November 2013.


Filed under: Dignity and Social Development, Hygiene Promotion Tagged: Bolivia, Menstrual Hygiene Day 2014, menstrual hygiene management, Philippines, Sierra Leone, WASH in schools

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Menstrual Hygiene Day 2014

Fri, 2014-05-23 13:52

Issue 147 | May 23, 2014 | Focus on Menstrual Hygiene Day

This issue highlights Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28, 2014. The idea for Menstrual Hygiene Day started in May 2013 when WASH United pioneered May #MENSTRAVAGANZA. This was a 28-day social media campaign cycle dedicated to generating awareness around menstruation and menstrual hygiene management (MHM) as important considerations within water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) development initiatives. 

Resources in this issue include a MHM toolkit by the SPLASH (Schools Promoting Learning Achievement through Sanitation and Hygiene) Project in Zambia, links to the Menstrual Hygiene Day website, fact sheets, events, and other resources.


May 28, 2014 – Menstrual Hygiene Day 2014. | Website | Fact Sheets | Toolkit |Global Myths & Taboos | Events & Celebrations |
The mission of Menstrual Hygiene Day is to help break the silence and build awareness about the fundamental role that good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) plays in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential.

August 12–14, 2013–2014 Menstrual Hygiene Management Conference, Kampala, Uganda. (Link)
Join NETWAS Uganda and partners for this exciting event and learn about practical approaches and tools to achieve healthier, affordable, and better results in menstrual management in schools, institutions, and communities.  The aim of the conference is to promote menstrual management awareness and advocacy. The primary target audiences are the different partners that want to see menstrual management concerns addressed both at institutional and community levels.


Waterlines January 2015 – Call for Papers on Menstrual Hygiene Management and WASH in Schools. (Link)
This edition of Waterlines, coordinated with the help of UNICEF, will cover steps to improve women’s menstrual management in their everyday lives and in humanitarian situations; and it has a special focus on girls menstrual management. The copy deadline is August 1, 2014.


Menstrual Hygiene Management Mini-Toolbox for Teachers and Schools in Zambia, 2014. SPLASH (Schools Promoting Learning Achievement through Sanitation and Hygiene) Project. (Link)
This toolkit was designed to help classroom and guidance teachers, and other school personnel in Zambian primary schools who are carrying out MHM programs or activities in their school. As MHM becomes more established in schools more and better tools will be developed and added to the toolkit. It should be considered a work in progress.

WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education: Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference, 2013. UNICEF. (Link)
This one-day event brought together over 150 participants online, involving a range of WASH and MHM experts, global health and education researchers, social entrepreneurs and policymakers—from academic institutions, NGOs, the private sector, advocacy organizations, and UNICEF country offices implementing MHM-related activities.

Learning by Doing Something Else: Experience with Alternatives and Adoption of a High-Barrier Menstrual Hygiene Technology, 2014. V Hoffman. (Link)
The market for menstrual hygiene products in developing countries is expanding rapidly, driven both by private demand and by public efforts to improve girls’ educational outcomes as well as women’s health and dignity. However, many girls and women cannot consistently afford the monthly cost of disposable menstrual products and revert to less hygienic solutions when facing cash constraints. Reusable technologies such as menstrual cups are much less expensive over the lifetime of their use, but are characterized by barriers to adoption, including a higher initial cost of purchase, learning costs, and psychological barriers to insertion.

Menstrual Hygiene Management: Training of Master Trainers in New Delhi, India, 2013. Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council. (Link)
This report presents the main highlights and insights from the training of trainers on MHM organized by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council held from September 24-27, 2013, in New Delhi, with the support of the Indian Institute of Public Administration.

Puberty Education and Menstrual Hygiene Management, 2014. UNESCO. (Link)
This volume is designed to articulate a rationale for the education sector to improve school health by addressing puberty education and MHM; to describe good policies and practices from different global contexts; and to provide clear action steps for administrators, practitioners, and advocates to take on these issues in their education sector. This document is the product of an extensive literature review, key informant interviews, and an international technical consultation.

Safe Water School Training Manual, 2014. SODIS. (Link)
The Safe Water School Manual contains a module on menstrual hygiene. It combines school lessons in WASH with scientific experiments, games, and art activities.

Ecological Sanitation Facility Meets Gender-Specific Hygiene Needs in School Fact Sheet, 2014. Stockholm Environment Institute. (Link)
The provision of a sanitation facility, incinerator, and capacity building on MHM have made it easier, more convenient, and safer for girls to attend school during their menstruation period, thus reducing a significant obstacle to girls’ education.

Menstrual Hygiene Studies in the WEDC Knowledge Base(Link)
Links to 18 WEDC conference papers and reports on menstrual hygiene.


A Systematic Review of the Health and Social Effects of Menstrual Hygiene ManagementPLoS One, Apr 2013. C Sumpte. (Link)
The management of menstruation presents significant challenges for women in lower income settings; however, the effect of poor MHM remains unclear. It is plausible that MHM can affect the reproductive tract, but the specific infections, the strength of effect, and the route of transmission remain unclear. There is a gap in the evidence for high quality randomized intervention studies that combine hardware and software interventions to better understand the nuanced effect improving MHM may have on girls’ attendance at school.

Hygiene, Health Problems and Socio-Cultural Practices: What School Girls Do During Menstruation? International Journal of Health Sciences and Research, 4(4) 2014. M Hamal.(Link)
Menstrual hygiene and the socio-cultural taboo for its management was and is an issue that is insufficiently acknowledged and has not received adequate attention in the reproductive health community and other related aspects. This study surveyed adolescent girls age 11–19 in the Kailali District of Nepal and found that the local customs and religious traditions and taboos concerning menstruation have added challenges to young girls to manage their period properly.

Overcoming the Taboo: Advancing the Global Agenda for Menstrual Hygiene Management for SchoolgirlsAm Jnl Public Health, Sept 2013. M Sommer. (Link)
The growing attention paid to MHM reveals important gaps in research methodology and content. The majority of the MHM evidence to date focuses on obstacles and adverse conditions faced by girls and female teachers and their recommendations for improving MHM in schools. An appropriate response to this complex issue requires a range of research and programming options across the social sciences, urban planning, WASH, health, and education disciplines.

Review Paper: Girls’ and Women’s Unmet Needs for Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM): The Interactions Between MHM and Sanitation Systems in Low-Income CountriesJournal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 3(3) 2013. M  Sommer. (Link)
This review explores knowledge about menstrual beliefs and behaviors, and how women and girls currently handle their monthly menses in relation to existing sanitation systems in low-income countries. It further explores how used menstrual materials are disposed of, and the consequences of different disposal practices for the functioning of sanitation systems.


Meeting the Needs of Adolescent Girls for Menstrual Hygiene Management, 2014. SNV World. (Video)
SNV Zambia established and trained women-led groups to create micro-enterprises that produce low-cost, locally made sanitary pads for women and girls in rural areas in Northern and Muchinga Provinces.

The Pad Piper, 2014. (Video)
This is the story of a man who invented a low-cost sanitary napkin machine in India that brought menstrual hygiene to thousands of women.

Menstrual Man, 2014. (Video) | This links to the movie trailer. Stream the full film for $3.99.
There are men who squirm at the mention of a woman’s period. And then there’s Muruganantham, a school dropout who realized that the majority of women in India couldn’t afford sanitary pads and decided to do something about it. With limited resources at his disposal, he adopted extreme methods to conduct his research, alienating his community and family. Menstrual Man tells the inspiring story of an unlikely hero who stood up for India’s ignored. The film underscores the importance of empowering women to combat poverty, and the power in every individual to make a difference.

Re-Usable Sanitary Towels, 2014. KMET-Kenya. (Video)
A total of 3,250 girls benefited from this menstrual management training program in various primary schools in Siaya, Homabay, Kisii, Migori, and Kisumu County through integrated activities.

WASHplus Pinterest Board on Menstrual Hygiene Management, 2014. WASHplus.(Link)
This board contains 16 pins so far with links to infographics, videos, etc. on MHM.


Menstrual Hygiene Matters, 2012. WaterAid. (Link)
Menstrual Hygiene Matters is an essential resource for improving menstrual hygiene for women and girls in lower and middle-income countries. Nine modules and toolkits cover key aspects of menstrual hygiene in different settings, including communities, schools, and emergencies.

Filed under: Campaigns and Events, Dignity and Social Development, Sanitation and Health Tagged: Menstrual Hygiene Day 2014, menstrual hygiene management

The UN Deputy Secretary-General invites you to view the global launch of the UN sanitation campaign to end open defecation

Fri, 2014-05-23 12:23


2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to basic level sanitation. The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson has initiated, on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a renewed effort to drive progress on sanitation in the lead up to the 2015 target date of the Millennium Development goals and beyond.

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, from 10:00-11:00am US Eastern Standard Time, you can watch the launch of the new campaign live on UN TV, here:




Filed under: Uncategorized

A Handwashing Song by OneRepublics

Thu, 2014-05-22 14:21

Filed under: Hygiene Promotion Tagged: handwashing

A Simple Yet Brilliant $1.50 Sanitation Idea

Mon, 2014-05-19 14:23

A Simple Yet Brilliant $1.50 Sanitation Idea - Made by the toilet manufacturer American Standard, this “trap door” seals off open pit latrines that are a major source of disease in the developing world.

This article discusses a sanitation solution by bathroom and kitchen fixture company American Standard. Funded by the  Gates Foundation, American Standard has developed a $1.50 latrine pan that cuts down on sanitation-related disease transmission by sealing off pit toilets. 

The $1.50 pan has been a hit in field trials in Bangladesh; in addition to being more sanitary, the pan also blocks off nasty smells from the latrine. While American Standard hoped to get the price down to a $1, McHale still believes the product is affordable.

So far, American Standard has sold close to 70,000 units in Bangladesh, and in 2013, the company donated 533,352 of the pans for distribution this year. The company is now thinking about how to launch the product in India. It’s also working on a design for Africa that uses less water.

Filed under: Progress on Sanitation, Sanitary Facilities, Sanitation and Health Tagged: American Standard, latrine pan

Beyond the anecdotal, unscientific or hard-to-validate: new grant opportunity from WSSCC on impact evaluation in sanitation

Mon, 2014-05-19 14:13

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) has announced a Call For Proposals (CFP) for grant support for work relating to the ‘design and implementation of impact evaluation of sanitation and hygiene programmes’.  The deadline for submissions is June 15, 2014. 

Over 2.5 billion people – one-third of the world’s population – will remain without access to improved sanitation in 2015. Yet monitoring and evaluation of scaled-up sanitation and hygiene behaviour change programmes, advocacy, policy influencing, capacity building, research and knowledge management are often anecdotal, unscientific or hard to validate. WSSCC’s grant support therefore aims to address this situation by developing more robust ways of measuring behaviour change, and developing benchmarks and meaningful indicators across the water and sanitation hygiene (WASH) sector.

The main objectives of the grant support activities are to:

  • Identify, research and carry out impact evaluations of three or more sector programmes or projects related to sanitation and hygiene, which will include an assessment of the impact of WSSCC’s work. Findings will be used for tracing gap-maps in sanitation and hygiene, and subsequently inform strategies for the sector and that of WSSCC post-2015; 
  • Assess the progress to date in implementation of the WSSCC Medium-Term Strategic Plan (MTSP), including a review of its delivery and operational mechanisms and approaches. Based on the findings, recommend subsequent course corrections to achieve its outcomes in a more efficient and effective manner;
  • Create an evaluation that identifies WSSCC’s niche, effectiveness of its approaches, its value addition and strategic relevance in the sector and beyond;
  • Advise on, and facilitate, the dissemination of the evaluation, uptake by WSSCC and sector actors to internalize the lessons and recommendations and incorporate them into planning, forecasting and strategy.

As a collaborating organization within the WASH sector, WSSCC aims to inform and support advancement of the sector’s evaluation culture, especially in relation to impact assessment. In addition to improving the effectiveness of its own work, the evaluation will help to build understanding and promote sector learning and practices around impact evaluations applicable to the post-2015 development landscape.

A description of the scope of work required, general instructions for submitting the proposal, eligibility criteria and other key submission information can be found at the WSSCC jobs/opportunities page

Filed under: Uncategorized

Reality of urban sanitation in Bangladesh

Sat, 2014-05-17 06:40

SNV has produced a short video on the harsh reality of current urban sanitation practices in Bangladesh. Of course they want to change this. That is at least the intention of SNV’s recently launched “Modernising urban sanitation in Southern Bangladesh” project focussing on market-based solutions.

Filed under: Multimedia, South Asia, Wastewater Management Tagged: Bangladesh, faecal sludge management, SNV Bangladesh, urban sanitation, videos

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) welcome entries for the 5th WASH Media Awards.

Thu, 2014-05-15 09:59

This competition is open to journalists who publish or broadcast original investigative stories and reports on water supply, sanitation or hygiene (WASH) related issues and their impact on individual and country development. It aims to promote coverage of WASH issues in the local, national and international media to have a positive influence on decision-makers, the private sector, the civil society as well as individuals and households.  Prize winners will receive a cash award and the opportunity to participate in the World Water Week in Stockholm – the world’s leading water event ( 31 August – 05 September 2014 as special guests of WSSCC and SIWI.

We are pleased to announce 6 prizes, one for each of the following themes:

  • Water and Energy
  • Equity and Inclusion in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • Ending Open Defecation
  • The Human Right to Water and Sanitation
  • WASH in the Future: The Post-2015 Development Agenda
  • Monitoring WASH Commitments

All entries will be evaluated by an international jury of distinguished media professionals. To be eligible, entries must be published or broadcast between 15 June 2013 and 15 June 2014. For more information and to download the entry form please visit or


Le Conseil de concertation pour l’approvisionnement en eau et l’assainissement (WSSCC) et l’Institut international de l’eau de Stockholm (SIWI) vous invitent à participer au 5e concours « WASH Media Awards ». Peuvent participer à ce concours les journalistes qui publient ou diffusent des reportages et des rapports d’enquête consacrés à des questions relatives à l’approvisionnement en eau, à l’assainissement et à l’hygiène (secteur WASH) et à leurs incidences sur le développement personnel et sur le développement des pays. Ce concours vise à promouvoir la couverture des questions relatives au secteur WASH par les médias locaux, nationaux et internationaux afin d’influencer favorablement les décideurs politiques, le secteur privé, la société civile, ainsi que les individus et les ménages.  Les lauréats se verront remettre un prix en espèces et auront la possibilité de participer à la Semaine mondiale de l’eau à Stockholm – le principal événement mondial en rapport avec l’eau ( qui se tiendra du 31 août au 5  septembre 2014 – en tant qu’invités d’honneur du WSSCC et du SIWI.

Nous sommes heureux de vous annoncer que 6 prix seront remis, un pour chacun des thèmes suivants :

  • L’eau et l’énergie
  • L’équité et l’inclusion dans le domaine de l’eau, de l’assainissement et de l’hygiène
  • L’élimination de la défécation à l’air libre
  • Le droit humain à l’eau et à l’assainissement
  • WASH dans le futur : le programme de développement pour l’après-2015
  • Le suivi des engagements dans le secteur WASH

Un jury international composé d’éminents professionnels des médias évaluera toutes les productions des participants. Pour être admises, les œuvres doivent avoir été publiées ou diffusées entre le 15 juin 2013 et le 15 juin 2014. Pour de plus amples informations et pour télécharger le formulaire de participation, veuillez consulter le site ou le site

Filed under: Uncategorized

Human diarrhea infections associated with domestic animal husbandry

Tue, 2014-05-13 13:31

Human diarrhea infections associated with domestic animal husbandry: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Trop Med Intl Health, Mar 2014.

Authors: Laura D. Zambrano, Karen Levy, Neia P. Menezes and Matthew C. Freeman

Domestic animal husbandry, a common practice globally, can lead to zoonotic transmission of enteric pathogens. However, this risk has received little attention to date. This systematic review and meta-analysis examines the evidence for an association between domestic exposure to food-producing animals and cases of human diarrhea and specific enteric infections.

We performed a systematic review of available literature to examine domestic livestock and poultry as risk factors for diarrhea and applied pre-determined quality criteria. Where possible, we carried out meta-analysis of specific animal–pathogen pairs.

We found consistent evidence of a positive association between exposure to domestic food-producing animals and diarrheal illness across a range of animal exposures and enteric pathogens. Out of 29 studies included in the review, 20 (69.0%) reported a positive association between domestic animal exposure and diarrhea. Domestic exposure to poultry revealed a substantial association with human campylobacteriosis (OR 2.73, 95% CI 1.90–3.93).

Our results suggest that domestic poultry and livestock exposures are associated with diarrheal illness in humans. Failure to ascertain the microbial cause of disease may mask this effect. Exposure to domestic animals should be considered a risk factor for human diarrheal illness and additional studies may identify potential mitigation strategies to address this risk.



Filed under: Sanitation and Health Tagged: diarrhoeal diseases, domestic animals

The business case for Base of the Pyramid sanitation

Mon, 2014-05-12 16:53

The Sanitation Business Matchmaking Estafetta initiative has published a guide to business opportunities for sanitation in small towns and peri-urban areas in upcoming economies.

The sanitation sector offers long term, slow and stable return on investments and this can be a pearl in your portfolio. Moreover, sanitation services create social benefits which may be of interest for impact investors. The challenge of the sanitation industry is to access to the  right blend of financial products. Investors are invited to guide the sanitation industry in creating the conditions needed to realize ventures that prove to be attractive investment opportunities.

The guide targets investors, intermediaries and the private sector. It covers both household and public sanitation, as well as emptying & collection services, smart small sewerage, and treatment & reuse. Using Ghana as a case study, the guide presents a market analysis for sanitation investment opportunities for each of the before mentioned sanitation components and services.

Download Ready for Funding: Innovative sanitation businesses

Filed under: Funding, Publications, Sanitary Facilities, Wastewater Management Tagged: Base of the Pyramid, Ghana, Sanitation as a business, Sanitation Business Matchmaking Estafetta