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New SMART Centre in South Sudan welcomed by Ministry

Director General Peter Mahal Dhieu Akat (left) at the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in South Sudan announced the establishment of a Smart Centre in his country. He expects that the centre will bring his country more practical skills for drilling bore holes for ground water and placing hand pumps. According to Mr Akat, South Sudan lacks a facility for such vocational training of water technicians. Henk Holtslag (right) of the Smart Centre Group expects the new training facility to become operational later this year. It will be the fifth Eastern African country to have a facility to train water technicians in drilling wells, and in manufacturing and selling hand and rope pumps. The Smart Centres also train entrepreneurs to sell these affordable and repairable water supply products in rural areas. By building a local supply chain that includes skills and maintenance, Holtslag experienced that this approach is the best guarantee to avoid wells to dry up and pumps to be left unused when broken down.

Henk Holtslag demonstrating the Rope pump to Director General Peter Mahal Dhieu Akat of the Ministry of Water Resources of South Sudan

The full news item can be accessed through the website www.dutchwatersector.com.

Recent WASH research on water carrying, behavior change, container-based sanitation, etc.


Putting the “A” into WaSH: a call for integrated management of water, animals, sanitation, and hygiene. Lancet Planetary Health, August 2019. The first step—putting the “A” into WASH—is to shift the thinking to accelerate progress towards transformative WASH by considering pathways of enteropathogen transmission that are not currently central to WaSH strategies. We believe more substantial reductions in household and environmental fecal contamination are possible through concerted efforts to collectively improve the health of animals, humans, and the environment, while maintaining the benefits of livestock ownership. ghana

The association of water carriage, water supply and sanitation usage with maternal and child health. A combined analysis of 49 Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys from 41 countries. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 2 September 2019. Fetching water is associated with poorer maternal and child health outcomes, depending on who collects water. The percentage of people using improved sanitation seems to be more important than type of toilet facility, and must be high to observe an association with reduced child deaths and diarrhea. Water access on premises, and near universal usage of improved sanitation, is associated with improvements to maternal and child health.

Theory-driven formative research to inform the design of a national sanitation campaign in Tanzania. PLoS One, August 2019. The resulting Theory of Change recommended that the intervention should surprise people with a novel conversation about toilets, promote toilets as a means of conferring status, and introduce a perceived urgency to ‘act now’.

Behaviour settings theory applied to domestic water use in Nigeria: A new conceptual tool for the study of routine behavior. Social Science & Medicine, August 2019. Improving public health will require the disruption of settings, for example, through bringing water infrastructure directly to the home, through the sale of new props that facilitate hygienic routines, or in the disruption of gender roles via the promotion of new norms.

Evaluating the viability of establishing container-based sanitation in low-income settlements. Waterlines, July 2019. Drawing on an initial review of existing CBS services, this paper identifies and evaluates these factors in relation to establishing CBS in a new service location. By applying a weighted scoring matrix to these factors, the potential viability of CBS services has been assessed for urban informal settlements in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.

How does water-reliant industry affect groundwater systems in coastal Kenya? Science of The Total Environment, 1 December 2019. The results show that the lack of aquifer systems data can be overcome, at least partly, by integrating different sources of information.

Effect of well drilling on Buruli ulcer incidence in Benin: a case-control, quantitative survey. Lancet Planetary Health, August 2019. A case-control study showed that regular use of the water from the wells for washing, bathing, drinking, or cooking was protective against Buruli ulcer.

A framework for targeting water, sanitation and hygiene interventions in pastoralist populations in the Afar region of Ethiopia. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, September 2019. The Pastoralist Community WASH Risk Assessment visually interprets the seriousness of the risks against the difficulty of addressing the problem.


Small Water Enterprises: Transforming Women from Water Carriers to Water Entrepreneurs. Safe Water Network; USAID, August 2019. You will find in this report a description of a pilot initiative to empower women—as owners and operators—of SWEs. It describes the challenges and barriers facing women and the opportunities and solutions we have developed to enable their success as active participants in the SWE value chain.

Technical Brief No. 1 on Menstrual Hygiene Safe Disposal: Observations from Menstrual Waste Disposal Practices in Shared and Public Toilet Spaces (India). Gates Foundation, August 2019. Women expressed preference for discrete on-site disposal, mechanical collection and handling of waste, reliable female caretakers, well-lit toilet stalls that offered privacy, water and soap for washing, paper to wrap used materials before throwing.

Technical Brief No. 2 on Menstrual Hygiene Safe Disposal: Informing Standards Development for Small-scale Incinerators Frequently Deployed in Shared & Public Spaces (India). Gates Foundation, August 2019. Incinerators, however, pose certain health and environmental related risks and challenges. With the lack of regulatory standards for small and medium scale incinerators in India, many of the incinerators available in the market do not adhere to sound design principles

UPGro Hidden Crisis Research Consortium: project approach for defining and assessing rural water supply functionality and levels of performance, 2019. This technical brief is aimed at sharing the learning and approaches developed by the UPGro Hidden Crisis Research Project to look at how the functionality and performance levels of boreholes equipped with handpumps (HPBs), can be assessed using a common set of definitions and methods.



SWA Webinar – Sector Planning: Strategies and their implementation (GLAAS report)


Invitation to SWA Webinar



24 September, 9:00 (NY time) – French

26 September, 12:00 (NY time) – Spanish

26 September, 9:00 (NY time) – English/Africa

27 September, 6:15 (NY time) – English /Asia


This webinar will focus on results from the 2019 GLAAS report​, including the status of WASH systems as well as alignment with SDG 6. 

Participants will discuss the findings of the report with members of the GLAAS team, identify ways of using the information in the report to engage leaders and contribute to decision-making, and learn from partners how they have or will use the report findings in their strategy and planning processes.

Practical Details
To join any the webinar please use: https://meet.unicef.org/msitali/H87L57RK

Join Skype Meeting      
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Join by phone
United States : +16467571480, access code: 7770028 (Global)                 English (US)
Switzerland : +41225083200, access code: 7770028 (Global)                    English (US)  
Hungary : +3617909400, access code: 7770028 (Global)                           English (US)  
United Kingdom : +443300102423, access code: 7770028 (Global)           English (UK)  
Jordan : +96265509679, access code: 7770028 (Global)                            Arabic (Saudi Arabia)  
Panama : +5073017399, access code: 7770028 (Global)                           English (US)  
Cambodia : +85523260206, access code: 7770028 (Global)                      English (UK)  
South Africa : +27879403508, access code: 7770028 (Global)                   English (UK)  
Bulgaria : +35924928220, access code: 7770028 (Global)                         English (UK)  
Denmark : +4578793993, access code: 7770028 (Global)                          English (US)  
France : +33176542732, access code: 7770028 (Global)                           French (France)  
Netherlands : +31705680050, access code: 7770028 (Global)                   English (US)  
Australia : +61730628687, access code: 7770028 (Global)                         English (Australia)  
Brazil : +556136860910, access code: 7770028 (Global)                            Portuguese (Brazil)  
Belgium : +3228080292, access code: 7770028 (Global)                            French (France)  
Greece : +302112340307, access code: 7770028 (Global)                          English (UK)  
Italy : +390697632494, access code: 7770028 (Global)                               Italian (Italy)  
Italy : +390552033399, access code: 7770028 (Global)                               Italian (Italy)  
Albania : +35544548424, access code: 7770028 (Global)                           English (UK)  
Moldova :  +37322893037, access code: 7770028 (Global)                        English (US)  
Georgia : +995322422802, access code: 7770028 (Global)                        English (UK)  
Ukraine : +380443922163, access code: 7770028 (Global)                        Ukrainian (Ukraine)  
Austria : +43720775772, access code: 7770028 (Global)                           German (Germany)  
Turkey : +902127055614, access code: 7770028 (Global)                          Turkish (Turkey)  
Thailand: +6623049399, access code: 7770028 (Global)                            English (US)  
Serbia : +381114410154, access code: 7770028 (Global)                           English (UK)  
Azerbaijan  : +994123105042, access code: 7770028 (Global)                   English (UK)  
UNICEF VOIP: 4103010000, access code: 7770028 (Global)                     English (UK)  
Pakistan: +92518317720, access code: 7770028 (Global)                          English (UK)  
Philippines: +6322495650, access code: 7770028 (Global)                        English (US)  
South Sudan : +211911403500, access code: 7770028 (Global)                 English (UK)  
Senegal: +221338310788, access code: 7770028 (Global)                         French (France)  
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Conference ID: 7770028 (same as access code above)
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The post SWA Webinar – Sector Planning: Strategies and their implementation (GLAAS report) appeared first on SWA.

September: System Strengthening Month!


Are taps and toilets enough? Or, do we need to strengthen the system. System Strengthening means increased collaboration with sector partners to rebuild the national and local systems, such as governing institutions, infrastructure and resources, needed for quality, universality and sustainability of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. A system-wide approach is crucial to tackle the key bottlenecks and achieve the ambitious WASH targets of Sustainable Development Goals.  

The SWA global partnership has 5 Building Blocks, capturing the key elements that the sector needs to have in place to deliver sustainable services and progressively eliminate inequalities. The building blocks focus on key WASH sector governance functions, such as Sector PolicyStrategy, Institutional arrangements, Sector Financing, Planning monitoring and review, and Capacity development. The building blocks are accompanied by four ways of working or ‘Collaborative Behaviours to which SWA partners, including country governments and development partners, have committed (1) enhancing government leadership of sector planning processes; 2) strengthening and using country systems; 3) using one information and mutual accountability platform; and 4) building sustainable water and sanitation financing strategies.  

SWA’s raison d’être is to increase political (and thus, financial) priority to the WASH sector, moreover, the SWA Framework of Building Blocks and Collaborative Behavioursalong with 7 Guiding Principles (values partners have in common) helps strengthen the sector systems. This framework is anchored in the SWA Mutual Accountability MechanismAs part of the Mutual Accountability Mechanism, many SWA partner countries and other stakeholders submitted commitments (see, the table below) in the recently concluded 2019 SWA Sector Ministers’ Meeting (SMM) Overall, 41 of all country commitments (26%) were on outputs, for example, increasing access to water and sanitation, or elimination of open defecation, and 118 were related to sector strengthening (74%), such as strengthening strategies and collaboration and creating new financing mechanisms. SWA partners have committed to drafting, revising, adopting, implementing or making roadmaps for sector policies, strategies and action plans (including strategies on specific topics like financing, management of providers, or community-led total sanitation, CLTS). This is a response to the significant gaps when it comes to strategic and policy frameworks in countries. 

5 Common themes from commitments 

A total of 42 Country Briefs were prepared ahead of the 2019 SMM. Of which, 60% of all countries are planning to draft, revise, adopt, implement or make roadmaps for sector policies, strategies and action plans which include a significant focus on tackling inequalities. 43% of all countries plan to strengthen their laws, policies and strategies to ensure a strong national legal framework for addressing inequalities. This clearly shows sector planning and strengthening is an important discussion point within SWA partnership and a key issue our partners are committed to.  

The post September: System Strengthening Month! appeared first on SWA.

New WSSCC resource! EQND Handbook for CLTS Facilitators

EQND handbook for CLTS facilitators

The Equality and Non-discrimination (EQND) and Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Handbook provides practical guidance for ensuring that behaviour change interventions leave no one behind.

Drawing on experience from across the sector, this handbook is specifically targeted towards those implementing or supervising CLTS interventions at the community level. Key features include:

  • A summary of EQND principles
  • Step-by-step guidance on applying these principles during pre-triggering, triggering meetings, and post-triggering follow-up visits
  • Annexes with practical tools, templates, and resources.

Two other documents of excellent reference include the Human Rights Principles and Terminology – Equality and Non-Discrimination: Supporting the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation (WSSCC, SNV and UTS) and Guidance and Tips for learning from people who may be most disadvantaged during the programme process (WSSCC) both collated by Sarah House.

As well, check out new resources published by the CLTS Knowledge Hub:


EQND handbook for CLTS facilitators

Six months after two deadly cyclones, Mozambique needs more than just rebuilding

Mozambique will need all the help it can get first to deliver basic services like housing and sanitation, and then to ensure they are built to last.

This article was first published on Thomson Reuters Foundation News.

By Carla Costa, Country Programme Manager for WSUP in Mozambique

The official government plan to rebuild Mozambique after two deadly cyclones hit the impoverished country earlier this year has taken six months to finalise, but it is likely to take a decade or more for Mozambique to return the same state as before the storms.

Yet, returning to pre-cyclone standards alone will neither be enough to properly serve communities nor to build greater resilience to future extreme weather events, made more intense by climate change.

Parts of the capital Beira have been reconnected to the water network, but six months after Cyclone Idai made landfall, buildings remain without roofs and hundreds of families are marooned in resettlement centres far from their daily lives.

As the humanitarian effort rescinds and recovery gets under way, what Beira needs now is firstly to resettle families in proper conditions.

At present, nearly still being housed outside of Beira in resettlement centres where there are limited utility services and few options to make living.

As a result, people have started returning to the city during the week to earn money, returning to jobs including selling fish, salt dry fish and dry prawns, and then going back to resettlement centres at the weekends.

This population urgently needs access not only to basic public services, including sanitation waste management, but also viable options for livelihoods and education so they can properly restart their lives.

Secondly, the residents of Beira need more support in adopting the best possible hygiene practices, such as washing hands with soap and how to correctly store drinking water in the short-term, while permanent infrastructure and services are rebuilt.

Even before the cyclones, makeshift septic tanks were regularly emptied into the streets but with many household toilets destroyed in the storm and others without mains water, families have resorted to open defecation, raising serious public health issues and disease risk.

And in the resettlement centres, for example, families have previously endured shortages of limited water supply but also staff to operate the water system, meaning they are reliant on temporary supplies from standpipes, which do not have the capacity to serve all the day-to-day needs of these communities.

Some information has reached communities to raise awareness of short-term health and hygiene issues, but both the message and means of safe hygiene practices using clean, quality water must be extended to everyone.

Finally, Mozambique urgently needs to invest in better drainage. With low-lying Beira already vulnerable to flooding, improved drainage would help the city cope with these kinds of extreme events.

Better drainage infrastructure would also then support better sanitation and waste management by preventing the already-limited sewage system, which is often emptied manually, from regularly overflowing.

In the recovery of Beira, authorities must go beyond simply rebuilding what previously existed and develop longer-term and more resilient systems that, together with awareness campaigns, give families the chance to live dignified lives.

Returning to the status quo is a bar too low for a country like Mozambique, which is Africa’s third most vulnerable country to climate change and where only a quarter of the population has access to mains water.

Instead, the government and public agencies, supported where necessary by partners, need to recognise the changes needed to accommodate the emerging realities of rapid population growth, urbanisation and climate change. The answer lies in a combination of improved physical infrastructure and behaviour change.

As a partner on the ground in Mozambique, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) is among the organisations that can support this, but the responsibility ultimately lies with the government and its agencies.

As we have found, low income need not be a barrier to accessing key services like water, and creative solutions such as shared toilets can help address an infrastructure need with limited resources.

Mozambique will need all the help it can get first to deliver basic services like housing and sanitation, and then to ensure they are built to last.

Long-term impact of a community-led sanitation campaign in India, 2005–2016

Ten years after a community-led total sanitation campaign, intervention households continued to have higher rates of ever owning a latrine but latrine functionality and open defecation no longer differed from the control group.


To evaluate the long-term impact of a community-led total sanitation campaign in rural India.

Local organizations in Odisha state, India worked with researchers to evaluate a community-led total sanitation campaign, which aimed to increase the demand for household latrines by raising awareness of the social costs of poor sanitation. The intervention ran from February to March 2006 in 20 randomly-selected villages and 20 control villages. Within sampled villages, we surveyed a random subset of households (around 28 households per village) at baseline in 2005 and over the subsequent 10-year period. We analysed changes in latrine ownership, latrine functionality and open defecation among approximately 1000 households. We estimated linear probability models that examined differences between households in intervention and control villages in 2006, 2010 and 2016.

In 2010, 4 years after the intervention, ownership of latrines was significantly higher (29.3 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, CI: 17.5 to 41.2) and open defecation was significantly lower (−6.8 percentage points; 95% CI: −13.1 to −1.0) among households in intervention villages, relative to controls. In 2016, intervention households continued to have higher rates of ever owning a latrine (26.3 percentage points; 95% CI: 20.9 to 31.8). However, latrine functionality and open defecation were no longer different across groups, due to both acquisition of latrines by control households and abandonment and deterioration of latrines in intervention homes.

Future research should investigate how to maintain and rehabilitate latrines and how to sustain long-term behaviour change.

Globalwaters.org updates|WASH research|Reports from World Bank, UNICEF, MWA, Nature Conservancy

In addition to the studies and reports below, recent updates to Globalwaters.org include a new Resources page and the blog post USAID at World Water Week: How Strong Governance Attracts Investment


The implications of three major new trials for the effect of water, sanitation and hygiene on childhood diarrhea and stunting: a consensus statement. BMC Medicine, August 2019. Our view is that these three new trials do not show that WASH in general cannot influence child linear growth, but they do demonstrate that these specific interventions had no influence in settings where stunting remains an important public health challenge. We support a call for transformative WASH, a comprehensive package of WASH interventions is needed that is tailored to address the local exposure landscape and enteric disease burden.

Effects of complexity of handwashing instructions on handwashing procedure replication in low-income urban slums in Bangladesh: a randomized non-inferiority field trial. Jnl WASH for Dev, Sept 2019. Simple handwashing steps are easier to remember for long time periods compared to complex steps.

Does the source of water for piped supplies affect child health? Evidence from rural Vanuatu. Jnl WASH for Dev, Sept 2019. The results revealed a significant association between diarrhea and the type of water source supplying a piped system.

Do domestic animals contribute to bacterial contamination of infant transmission pathways? Formative evidence from Ethiopia. Journal of Water and Health | in press | 2019. The results imply that interventions aiming to reduce pathogen transmission to infants should think beyond improving WASH and also consider the need to separate infants and animals in the home.

Unavoidable Risks: Local Perspectives on Water Contact Behavior and Implications for Schistosomiasis Control in an Agricultural Region of Northern Senegal. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, August 2019. These findings highlight the capacity of local populations to participate actively in schistosomiasis control programs and the limitations of widespread drug treatment campaigns. Interventions that target the environmental reservoir of disease may provide opportunities to reduce exposure while maintaining resource-dependent livelihoods.


Water and Nutrition:  A Framework for Action. World Bank, August 2019. We present an integrated water and nutrition framework to aid in understanding the various ways that water impacts early child nutrition, drawing on the three dimensions of water security: water quantity, adequate supply of water resources; water quality, water that is free of contamination; and water accessibility, reliable availability to all people, economies, and ecosystems.

Women in Water Utilities: Breaking Barriers. World Bank, August 2019. This study explores these barriers and provides utilities with practical approaches to advance their gender diversity.

Doing More with Less – Smarter Subsidies for Water Supply and Sanitation. World Bank, August 2019. The report reveals that subsidies total around US$320 billion a year globally, excluding China and India – equivalent to around half-a-percent of these countries’ combined GDP.

WELLSPRING: Source Water Resilience and Climate Adaptation. The Nature Conservancy, August 2019. Source Water Protection (SWP) has always been fundamental to water resources management.  Climate change presents a new range of threats, drivers, and uncertainties in how we interact with freshwater ecosystems, but recently developed approaches to cope with climate impacts will ensure that source waters can survive — and thrive — into the future.

Water under fire volume 1: Emergencies, development and peace in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. UNICEF, August 2019. The report presents practical and evidence-based water and sanitation solutions that can be replicated and scaled up. It highlights the need for leadership to bring about immediate action to accelerate water and sanitation service delivery in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.

Government-led monitoring for sustained water service delivery. MWA, August 2019. This position paper presents and discusses WASH sector monitoring in Ethiopia. It highlights recent experiences designed to improve monitoring capacities, processes and systems and outlines opportunities and recommendations for monitoring strengthening activitie



Call that a septic tank?

In a previous blog post back in January, we described the start of a research project which is aiming to assess and  model how faecal pathogens move through the environment in a low-income urban community in Dhaka in Bangladesh.

It’s one of our three biggest projects under WSUP’s Urban Sanitation Research Initiative, and it’s important research which we hope will help us to respond to some key practical questions. For example, are septic tank outflows to surface drains a major source of pathogen release and subsequent human exposure? If so, that calls into question the appropriateness of septic tanks in densely-populated parts of Dhaka and similar locations.

This project is being delivered by a team from the Institute for Sustainable Futures of the University of Technology Sydney (ISF-UTS), the International Centre for Diarhoeal Diseases Research Bangladesh (icddr,b), and the Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene at Emory University. The team is headed up by Professor Juliet Willetts of IFS-UTS, Dr Mahbubur Rahman of icddr,b, and Professor Christine Moe of Emory.

The research is looking at a low-income urban community in northern Dhaka. Data collection is now well-advanced. Essentially what they’re doing is analysing samples from lots of locations (septic tanks, septic tank outflows, surface drains, etc.), combining that with existing and new data on ways in which humans are exposed to pathogens in the environment, and using this to build a computer model that will help to assess the relative effectiveness of different possible types of future sanitation improvement. (OK, it’s a bit more complicated than that… but hey, this is only a blog post, for a detailed explanation you’ll need to wait for the eventual research articles!)

Certainly there are good reasons to suspect that septic tanks are a big health hazard in Dhaka. A proper septic tank should discharge its liquid effluent to a “soak pit”: a sort of gravel pit through which the waste gradually percolates and is part-treated before being released into the soil (which itself acts as a further treatment barrier). But in Dhaka, septic tanks generally discharge directly to the surface: in fact we probably shouldn’t even call them “septic tanks”, they’re really just a sort of crude holding tank that (at best) retains the heavier solids. Below is a photo of researchers Dr. Pengbo Liu from Emory University and Raju Ahmed from icddr,b collecting samples from one of these outflows, and it’s not a pretty sight:

Are pathogen levels in these outflows dangerously high? Probably: but we don’t know for sure yet. The researchers have completed dry-season sampling, and wet-season sampling is now underway. Lab analysis of these samples is ongoing in Dhaka, but shipping delays in moving specialist lab reagents from the US to Bangladesh have created some frustrating hold-ups. Initial analyses of the dry-season samples (mainly drain samples analysed so far) have indicated near-universal presence of norovirus, and – alarmingly – more than 60% of samples to date have tested positive for the cholera pathogen Vibrio cholera. But it’s too early to say anything definitive about these results, and so far only a small number of septic tank effluent samples have been analysed. And of course it’s not just about pathogen levels in that outflow: where does that filthy water go next, and how likely is it that children will come into contact with it?

Technical complexity and shipping delays are not the only problems the researchers are battling with. They’ve also had issues with bulldozers! The community they’re looking at comprises about 3,500 people living in four streets. One of those streets was of particular interest, because it had a system of small-scale wastewater treatment facilities (anaerobic baffled reactors, ABRs) to which the street’s household toilets were connected. So it was interesting to compare this street with the adjacent streets, which had Dhaka’s habitual surface-discharging septic tanks, or toilets discharging directly to drains. A week before sampling commenced, a researcher from ISF-UTS visited: only to discover that the ABRs had just been bulldozed, to make way for a new drain the municipality had decided to put in. Oops! Nevertheless, the researchers decided to stick with this location, and are looking instead at ABR outflows in another nearby location.

Nothwithstanding these little hiccups, the research is proceeding well, and we’re confident that the work will be completed on schedule by March 2020. The researchers have run a household survey (about 375 households) and an infrastructure assessment in the study location. This has helped them to build the model of pathogen flow pathways in this community, so that different prospective sanitation improvement options can be compared. Initial model predictions for faecal indicator levels are so far looking in the right ball-park, which is encouraging. But let’s not count any chickens just yet!

Blog written by Guy Norman (WSUP Director of Research and Evaluation), with thanks to Juliet Willetts (ISF-UTS) and Christine Moe (CGSW, Emory University) for their inputs.

Using local radio and mobile phones to empower communities in Tanzania

By: editor
Using local radio and mobile phones to empower communities in Tanzania editor 3 September 2019 - 12:00

SMART Centres and Marshall Plan

At the 2019 Stockholm World Water Week, where SMART Centres had a booth and several presentations, an initiative started called “Marshall plan for water for Africa”, including the need for vocational training as done by the Centres. For more info, see the press release.

This proposal may fit into the German proposal a Marshall plan with Africa which was published last year (Denkschrift Afrika).

We hope the initiative will give a boost to the much needed capacity building of WASH practitioners such as the companies the SMART Centres are working with.

H.E Dr Negash Wagesho, State Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy from Ethiopia, together with Jeroom Remmers from ngo Simavi, Dutch CSO focal point within Sanitation and Water for All,, to celebrate the launch of the proposal for a Marshall Plan Water for Africa at the World Water Week, Stockholm, 29th August 2019.
Henk Holtslag showcasing the Rope pump and the Faith and Water program of the SMART Centre in Malawi. Photo: Johannes Frandsen/WCC

Launch of the GLAAS Report at Stockholm World Water Week


The World Health Organization (WHO) and UN-Water launched the the UN-Water Global Assessment and Analysis of Sanitation and Drinking-Water 2019 (known as the GLAAS report) on Wednesday 28 August at Stockholm World Water Week. GLAAS surveyed 115 countries and territories, representing 4.5 billion people. It showed that, in an overwhelming majority of countries, the implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene policies and plans is constrained by inadequate human and financial resources. Nineteen countries and one territory reported a funding gap of more than 60% between identified needs and available funding. Less than 15% of countries have the financial or human resources needed to implement their plans.

While funding gaps and weak systems are holding many countries back, the report also found that countries have begun to take positive steps towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation. About half of the countries surveyed have now set drinking-water targets that aim for universal coverage at levels higher than basic services by 2030, for example by addressing water quality and increasing access to water on premises. In addition, specifically targeting open defecation will have a dramatic impact on public and environmental health. 

As the international authority on public health and water, sanitation and hygiene, WHO gathers scientific evidence, sets and monitors standards, and promotes best policies and practices for ensuring safe, reliable water, sanitation and hygiene for all people. 


Download the report here 
























The post Launch of the GLAAS Report at Stockholm World Water Week appeared first on SWA.

Doing More with Less: Smarter Subsidies for Water Supply and Sanitation – World Bank

Doing More with Less: Smarter Subsidies for Water Supply and Sanitation. World Bank, August 2019. bank.jpg

In this report, we explore the question of how scarce public resources can be used most effectively to achieve universal delivery of WSS services. To inform our discussion, we analyze subsidies in the sector, including their magnitude, their efficacy in achieving their policy objectives, and the implications of poor design.

We then provide guidance to policy makers on how subsidies can be better designed to improve their efficacy and efficiency in attaining their objectives. Finally, we discuss how to design a subsidy reform package that will have the best chances of success.

Message 1 – Current WSS Subsidies Fail to Achieve Their Objectives Due to Poor Design; They Tend to Be Pervasive, Expensive, Poorly Targeted, Nontransparent, and Distortionary.

Message 2 – The Current Poor Performance of WSS Subsidies Can Be Avoided; New Knowledge and Technologies Are Making it Increasingly Possible for Subsidies to Cost Less and Do More.

Message 3 – To Successfully Reform Subsidies, a Subsidy Reform Package of Four Complementary Elements (in Addition to Improved Subsidy Design) Is Required



UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2019 report National systems to support drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene – Global status report 2019

UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2019 report: National systems to support drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene – Global status report 2019. WHO; UN Water, August 2019. who

There is widespread recognition that sustainable and effective WASH service delivery is not only determined by the state of infrastructure, but also by complex institutional, governance and financial management systems.

While a “system” may be interpreted or defined in different ways, core elements examined by the UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) initiative include the extent to which countries develop and implement national policies and plans for WASH, conduct regular monitoring, regulate and take corrective action as needed, and coordinate these parallel processes with sufficient financial resources and support from strong national institutions.

GLAAS findings on the status of WASH systems are varied. Most countries have requisite components in place, but many countries responded that they have yet to operationalize and fully implement measures to support and strengthen their national WASH systems.

GLAAS findings highlight gaps and vulnerabilities in WASH systems and the need for further strengthening to assure sustainable and effective WASH service delivery in countries.

GLAAS data also allow an analysis of the extent to which, almost five years into the SDG period, countries have responded to the ambitious WASH targets established by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

With the understanding that achieving SDG 6 will require dramatic changes by countries, the GLAAS results show encouraging signs that countries have begun efforts to align with elements of the SDGs this early in the SDG era. However, the results of these efforts, and the vast majority of WASH progress in countries, are still to come.



Recent Emergency WASH research | Upcoming webinars and training events


Water under fire volume 1: Emergencies, development and peace in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. UNICEF, August 2019. The report presents practical and evidence-based water and sanitation solutions that can be replicated and scaled up. It highlights the need for leadership to bring about immediate action to accelerate water and sanitation service delivery in fragile and conflict-affected contexts; prevent water-related tensions between groups and political entities; and ensure the right to water and sanitation for every child. emergencies

WELLSPRING: Source Water Resilience and Climate Adaptation. Nature Conservancy, August 2019. As the pace of climate change quickens, Source Water Protection is now also becoming a critical component to ensuring resilience. Climate change presents a new range of threats, drivers, and uncertainties in how we interact with freshwater ecosystems, but recently developed approaches to cope with climate impacts will ensure that source waters can survive — and thrive — into the future.

WHAT IF THE WATER WE USE AT NUTRITION CLINICS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO HARM? Elrha blog, 2019.  What the experience in Ethiopia showed us is that the silence around what constitutes “good enough” water for reconstituting therapeutic products can have potentially fatal consequences for the most vulnerable.

Young social entrepreneurs making waves with water-saving manual washing machine in IDP camps in Iraq. The Washing Machine Project, August 2019. In March 2019, Navjot Sawhney and Alex Hughes, both engineers and co-founders of the fledgling social enterprise The Washing Machine Project conducted research into clothes-washing habits across four IDP camps in Northern Iraq.

The Current Ebola Outbreak and the U.S. Role: An Explainer. KFF, August 2019. The major question for the U.S. government going forward is whether or not it will change its approach and engagement in the DRC in light of the PHEIC declaration and the lack of progress in interrupting transmission of the virus so far.

Urban humanitarian response. ODI, 2019. Chapter 4.4 discusses WASH issues. Included is an interesting section on Cash and WASH. As with other sectors, the use of cash in relation to WASH is increasingly resonating in urban emergencies.


A call to action for handwashing behavior change in emergencies – Resources: Resources include links to Mum’s Magic Hands Website and Mum’s Magic Hands: A field guide for rapid implementation of handwashing promotion in emergencies.

Sustainable Sanitation Solutions for Refugees and displaced persons – Includes presentations by: Sustainable sanitation solutions in protracted and conflict situations, Graham Alabaster, UN-Habitat | Faecal Sludge and Wastewater Management in Emergency Settings, Christoph Lüthi, Eawag | New approaches to financing sanitation in the humanitarian, Murray Burt UNHCR | Sanitation solutions for conflict affected and fragile states, UNICEF.


Elrha – Eight Innovation Grants Awarded to Support Wider Adoption of Projects – We have recently funded a collection of grantees, who had previously received funding from our HIF programme at the piloting and implementation stage, to support wider adoption outside of the innovation’s original setting. The WASH-related projects include:


Why Do Social Connections Matter for Resilience and Recovery? September 5, 2019 – Join Marketlinks on September 5th for a webinar with Alex Humphrey, Jeeyon Kim and Vaidehi Krishnan from Mercy Corps to find out more about the ongoing USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)-funded research in South Sudan. They will discuss their effort to understand and measure how household social connectedness links to resilience, and highlight the implications of research findings for returns and recovery in South Sudan.

Period Posse Presents: New Research Trials – Join us to discuss updates from three key menstrual research trials in Kenya, Uganda, and the Gambia, September 11, 2019 – Penny Philips-Howard, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine: Menstrual research studies conducted among schoolgirls in rural western Kenya | Helen Weiss, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: Menstrual health interventions and school attendance among Ugandan students (MENISCUS) | Belen Torondel, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: Puberty health interventions to improve menstrual health and School attendance among Gambian adolescents (MEGAMBO)


Training on Faecal Sludge Management in Emergencies, October 1-2, 2019, DSS water and IHE Delft – The course will present an overview of containment, transport, treatment and disposal practices. As reference material the Compendium of Sanitation Technologies in Emergencies is used.