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USAID WASH updates | COVID-19 | Recent WASH research

USAID UPDATES

Updates to Globalwaters.org

Exploring a Network’s Value. Lessons from Ethiopia. USAID Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership, March 2020. Overall, it was an important finding that the members find a change of perspective a core value of the network. The project is using a systems approach and seeks to achieve a change in stakeholder understanding through the interventions.

HANDWASHING/HYGIENE

The determinants of handwashing behaviour in domestic settings: An integrative systematic review. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, June 2020. This review demonstrates that our understanding of behavioral determinants remains sub-optimal. We found that there are limitations in the way behavioral determinants are conceptualized and measured and that research is biased towards exploring a narrow range of behavioral determinants.

Webinar on reducing the spread of COVID-19 through handwashing promotion. Wash’Em, March 2020. Webinar – FrenchSpanish | Wash’Em COVID-19 Resources |

Handwashing with soap – a life-saving act. World Bank Water Blog, March 2020. Resources are also needed during a pandemic response to ensure that WASH services continue to function.

Coronavirus: what might more hand washing mean in countries with water shortages?. The Conservation, March 30, 2020. In places where a regular, safe water supply doesn’t exist, the risk of infection could multiply.

Current Priority: Coronavirus. Water Environment Federation, March 27, 2020. Currently, there is no evidence that coronavirus survives the disinfection process for drinking water and wastewater. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. The risk of transmission through feces is expected to be low based on data from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses. At this time, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 through sewerage systems is thought to be low.

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Incorporating nudges into COVID-19 Communication and Prevention Strategies

By: Julia Rosenbaum, USAID WASHPaLS Project (FHI 360)

Nudges are physical cues that influence people to behave in a certain way, without particular messaging or promotion of any behavior. Nudges avoid direct instruction, mandates or enforcement. The term “nudge” became popularized starting in 2008, after publication of Thaler and Sunstein’s book by that name. Nudges engage audiences at a subliminal level and work ‘reflexively’, rather than providing information to audiences to ‘reflect’ upon and then act. Nudges are reflexive not reflective.

Nudge theory operates by designing elements or ‘architecture’ in the environment which encourage positive or improved behaviors. Nudge principles have been applied for social good as well as in commercial marketing. For example, when searching for a hotel room on priceline.com, the pop-up saying, 5 people are looking at this hotel right now! nudges browsers to not lose the opportunity and book now! At an airport or food court, bakeries intentionally emit sweet cinnamon scents to spur you to buy donuts or cinnamon buns. Nudging has also been successfully used for traffic safety, recycling and toilet etiquette.

In what has now become the iconic handwashing nudge example, cheerful footsteps in demarcated pathways led Bangladeshi school children from school latrines to handwashing stations brightly decorated with handprints. These nudges were found to be an effective way to nudge children to wash their hands after the toilet. Without additional handwashing education or motivational messages, handwashing with soap among school children increased from 4% at baseline to 68% the day after nudges were completed, and 74% at both 2 weeks and 6 weeks post intervention. (Dreibelbis et al, 2016). A second, larger trial showed nudges to be as effective as intensive health education without the intensive or expensive effort. (Grover, Hossain, Uddin, Venkatesh, Ram & Dreibelbis, 2018). The findings generated high interest in integrating nudges into behavior change programs; including, handwashing in health facilities (INudgeyou, 2016), schools (Thrive Networks, 2017), and communities.

While not explicit to nudge theory, easy access to any required supplies or equipment (called ‘enabling technologies’ because they remove obstacles to action) also facilitates the practice of behaviors. Linking nudges with access to flowing water and soap further facilitates behavior change, which is why nudges are often placed near handwashing stations with soap and water.

As we scramble to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, we suggest one effective approach, which is to incorporate nudges into COVID-19 communication and prevention strategies.

Key COVID-19 prevention strategies include:

  • Frequent handwashing, including when returning home from trips outside;
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes; and
  • Social distancing by maintaining two meters or six feet apart.

Handwashing nudges have been elaborated and evaluated, primarily in school contexts. Footpaths, footprints, hands, and ‘watching eyes’ successfully nudge handwashing, as do mirrors (calling audiences to check their appearance in the glass). Again, placement of the nudges matters.

Nudges for other COVID-related prevention behaviors have not yet been defined, but collective brainstorming will help to develop possible nudges for different contexts.

As a start, we suggest nudges to spur social distancing might include painting six-foot rulers at the entrances to parks and markets. When walking or waiting in small groups, a two-meter (six foot) string or bright ribbon kept taut to assure the ideal distance is maintained. Others seeing the string — whether taut or flaccid — will be reminded to keep the safe distance from others.

There is some debate as to the effectiveness of various types of facemasks, particularly home-crafted masks, at protecting against aerosols that transmit coronavirus. Nonetheless, in addition to any partial protection offered by masks, the use of masks may nudge AWAY from bringing hands to your mouth or nose. Wearing one at the supermarket the other day, I stopped myself from wetting my finger to open a plastic produce bags (commonly used in US supermarkets). Gloves might also nudge ‘hands off’, however the effect could wear off as the wearer becomes more accustomed to the feel of the gloves.

As we enter into an unprecedented time, it is important to consider the use of nudges in our response strategies to assure swift and sustained preventive action.

Apply for the 2020 Ton Schouten Award for storytelling

By: daalen

Do you believe in the power of stories to inspire positive change? IRC is looking to support young communicators through the Ton Schouten Award for WASH Storytelling. Submit your applications or nominations by 8 May, 2020.

IRC has been organising the award since 2017, in memory of Ton who worked with IRC for 17 years and was a passionate WASH storyteller, filmmaker and a mentor to those he worked with. The Ton Schouten Award for WASH Storytelling aims to combine all these elements by targeting a specific group of young communicators (35 years of age or younger) within the WASH sector in low- and middle-income countries.

Mural in India

You can learn more and register on the IRC website

Pour le texte en français cliquez ici

daalen

Do not disconnect

By: editor
Do not disconnect editor 30 March 2020 - 13:58

Special Issue of Water Currents on WASH and COVID-19 - March 26, 2020

Special Issue of Water Currents on WASH and COVID-19 - March 26, 2020 This special issue contains links to key websites as well as studies and reports that discuss the WASH-related aspects of COVID-19.
Bringing you the latest water sector research, resources, and news.
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March 26, 2020 – WASH and COVID-19

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19. Photo credit: FHI 360/USAID SPLASH Project

This special issue contains links to key websites as well as studies and reports that discuss the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)–related aspects of COVID-19. With the release of additional funding, to date USAID has committed up to $100 million in financing from the Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious-Disease Outbreaks for 25 countries affected by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or at high risk of its spread.

The COVID-19 virus is transmitted through two main routes: respiratory and contact. No evidence to date suggests that the virus is present in surface or groundwater sources or transmitted through contaminated drinking water. And no evidence to date suggests that the COVID-19 virus has been transmitted via sewerage systems, either with or without treatment.

The provision of safe WASH conditions is essential to protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19 outbreak. Below are some WASH–related infectious disease prevention and control measures. 
  • Ensuring good and consistently applied WASH and waste management practices in communities, homes, schools, marketplaces, and health care facilities will further help to prevent human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Frequent and proper handwashing with soap is one of the most important measures that can be used to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus. WASH activities aiming to respond to COVID-19 should work to enable handwashing by improving services and facilities and using proven behavior change techniques. 
  • Reliable water services in health facilities and households are critical to ensuring both sufficient quantities of safe drinking water and the ability to maintain hygiene (including hand hygiene, laundering, cleaning, and disinfection). 

Overviews
Q&A: The Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Causing COVID-19. BMC Medicine, February 2020. This article discusses the clinical presentation of COVID-19, how people are being treated, and what measures are likely to be successful in curbing its further spread.

Q&A on Coronaviruses (COVID-19). World Health Organization (WHO), March 2020. This Q&A provides information on the spread of COVID-19, symptoms, treatment, and more.

Key Considerations: Quarantine in the Context of COVID-19. Social Science in Humanitarian Action, March 2020. This brief sets out practical considerations relating to the design and impact of measures that restrict human movement patterns in the context of COVID-19.

Preparedness and Response Planning Toolkit. USAID, January 2019. A toolkit designed to help national-level public health decision-makers develop a plan for effective preparedness and response to public health emergencies and ensure a robust multisectoral and One Health approach.

WASH/Hygiene Aspects
Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Waste Management for COVID-19 Technical Brief. WHO; UNICEF, March 2020. This brief summarizes the latest evidence on persistence of the COVID-19 virus in drinking water, sewage, and surfaces and highlights key elements of existing WHO guidance on water, sanitation, and health care waste, which is relevant for viruses (including coronaviruses). It focuses largely on health care and community settings.

Handwashing with Soap—Our Best Defence Against Coronavirus. Wash’em, March 2020. The act of handwashing with soap remains the best defense against coronavirus. This guide gives practical tips on how to encourage community-level handwashing behavior with the aim of controlling and preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Handwashing and Coronavirus Fact Sheet. Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP), March 2020. For novel viruses with no vaccine, it is especially important to practice preventative measures, such as handwashing, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and social distancing to slow the outbreak.

Persistence of Coronaviruses on Inanimate Surfaces and their Inactivation with Biocidal Agents. Journal of Hospital Infection, March 2020. Human coronaviruses can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces for up to nine days. Surface disinfection with 0.1 percent sodium hypochlorite or 62 percent–71 percent ethanol significantly reduces coronavirus infectivity on surfaces within one minute of exposure time.

The Water Professional’s Guide to COVID-19. Water Environment Federation, February 2020. Because this disease already has begun to spread worldwide, it is important that water sector professionals keep informed on the attributions of this virus and any measures needed to protect both workers and public health. The information posted here is a summary of current knowledge about this emerging viral pathogen.

The Sphere Standards and the Coronavirus Response. Sphere, 2020. The document outlines the underlying principles and the importance of community engagement, as well as a detailed review of the relevant technical guidance in the WASH and Health chapters of the Sphere Handbook.

Coronavirus Outbreak Updates. GHP Soapbox, February 2020.  In this newsletter, GHP provides an update on the coronavirus outbreak, its impacts, and measures that can be taken to protect households and communities.

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Technical Guidance: Infection Prevention and Control/WASH. WHO, February 2020. This article contains links to WHO tools and guidelines on topics such as protective equipment, home care for patients, waste management, and handrub formulations.

To Fight the Coronavirus, Wash Your Hands and Support Clean Water Access Around the World. USA Today, March 2020. In this op-ed, Susan Barnett of Global Water 2020 discusses the importance of handwashing and how the lack of safe health care (from insurance to soap and water) around the world is jeopardizing everyone’s health.

Why COVID-19 Can’t Beat a Good Hand-Washing. Popular Science, March 2020. Matthew Freeman, a professor of epidemiology and global health at Emory University, discusses the science behind how handwashing works to fight germs.

COVID-19–Why the Gaps in Available Data are Far More Terrifying. IRCWASH Blog, March 2020. The WASH community must support health authorities in tackling the outbreak by: amplifying the emphasis on hygiene and handwashing by any means; making available its expertise, from technical solutions to campaigning and improving water security; and prioritizing its work with health care facilities to prevent them from becoming sources of viral transmission.

Websites
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic. WHO – This website includes information and guidance regarding the current outbreak of COVID-19 that was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December. Please visit this page for daily updates. The website has information on Situation Reports, Travel Advice, Technical Guidance, and additional information.

Global WASH Cluster (GWC) COVID-19 Resource Menu – The Resource Menu is a mapping of current WASH specific resources relating to the COVID-19 global response and GWC will keep updating it as the situation develops.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – The CDC website features information on prevention, symptoms, the U.S. caseload, and information targeted to specific audiences, including health care professionals and communities. It also has a Frequently Asked Questions section.

Coronavirus Resources. GHP – This webpage links to fact sheets, technical briefs, and a growing list of other resources.

COVID-19 and WASH. Sanitation and WASH for All – This page contains different resources and tools such as documents, videos, social media materials with messaging on public health, webinar recordings, etc.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases Dashboard. Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering – This dashboard provides statistics on the number of cases, deaths, and recoveries by country.

Social Media Accounts

Journal/Research Collections
Major publishers have created coronavirus information centers where relevant and current research is open access. These include: Additional issues of Water Currents are available here.

Disclaimer: The contents of this issue are the responsibility of the USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Prepared by Dan Campbell, Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project, dcampbell@waterckm.com
If you would like to feature your organization's materials or suggest other content for upcoming issues of Water Currents, please send them to Dan Campbell, Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, at dcampbell@waterckm.com.

For past issues of Water Currents, visit Globalwaters.org.
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Water Currents: World Water Day 2020

Water Currents: World Water Day 2020 World Water Day is held annually on March 22 to focus attention on the vital importance of water 
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March 10, 2020 – World Water Day 2020

USAID supported climate-resilient repairs to two schools in Tacloban City, Philippines, including erecting a steel water tank that can withstand high winds, installing a cistern, and burying exposed water lines and encasing them in concrete where needed. Photo credit: USAID/Philippines

World Water Day is held annually on March 22 to focus attention on the vital importance of water to safeguarding human security and maintaining the health of the planet's ecosystems. This year's theme, "Water and Climate Change," highlights the urgent importance of strengthening water security and establishing access to a sustainable water supply in the face of extreme weather events worldwide.

Under USAID’s Water and Development Plan (part of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy), improving management of water resources is a key objective. This development result seeks to help partner countries better cope with the rising pressures on freshwater resources, including drinking water supplies, through investments that sustainably manage and equitably allocate water supplies, expand watershed protection and restoration, and increase communities’ resilience in face of water-related shocks and stresses. Making sure that water points and water systems are maintained, reliable, and able to operate without fail during times of drought or flood is a critical way that USAID is helping increase resilience in the face of drought and other climate change stressors.

We would like to thank staff from USAID’s Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP), Global Water 2020, and the Institute for Ecological Civilization (EcoCiv) for their contributions to this issue, which covers upcoming events related to World Water Day and recent studies and research that delve into the impacts of growing water insecurity on health, water quality, and vulnerable communities as well as “Day Zero” scenarios.

Events
World Water Day 2020: Water and Climate Change – The theme of World Water Day 2020 focuses on Water and Climate Change. Extreme weather events are making water more scarce, more unpredictable, more polluted, or all three and yet humans and all the systems they rely upon require water to survive. Resources on the website include Case Studies, Social Media and Communications, and an Events page.

Inaugural W12 Congress, May 18–20, 2020, Cape Town, South Africa – Water experts and policymakers from around the world will gather to promote solutions for water security at the city level. Participants will share challenges and successes and develop new strategies, with a particular focus on innovative approaches to funding water projects where they are needed most. The result will be the “W12 Protocol,” a set of best practices and accompanying resources for cities facing water scarcity. Work on the W12 Protocol is underway, with input from key strategic partner UNESCO and leading experts.

World Water Day 2020: Water and Climate Change. Globalwaters.org, February 2020. This event page highlights the theme of this year’s World Water Day and describes USAID’s investment approach to improve drinking water access in rural and urban communities, protect freshwater resources, and increase communities’ resilience in a water-stressed world. It also includes links to USAID stories, podcasts, and blogs related to the topic.

Water and Peace Conference, April 1, 2020, Philadelphia  – The Global Water Alliance will host a special conference in partnership with Drexel University’s Department of Peace Engineering and the Water Center at the University of Pennsylvania. This year’s conference, an official preparatory event for the 2021 World Water Forum in Senegal, will focus on developing systems of water governance and management to promote peace and mitigate watershed conflicts through cross-boundary collaboration.

Overviews
UN-Water Policy Brief on Climate Change and Water. UN-Water, October 2019. This policy brief explains how the global climate crisis is inextricably linked to water. An increased variability in the water cycle is inducing extreme weather events; reducing the predictability of water availability; decreasing water quality; and threatening sustainable development, biodiversity, and enjoyment of the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation worldwide.

Water Security in an Uncertain Future: Enhancing Water Resources Management and Planning by Reducing Climate- and Weather- Related Risks. Climatelinks, May 2019. USAID’s SWP and Southern Africa’s Resilient Waters Program both work in basins that cover multiple countries and ecosystems. These programs are addressing vulnerabilities by engaging stakeholders to create decision-making frameworks and water allocation plans that consider impacts to livelihoods, risks to ecosystems, and the effects of changing climate and weather patterns.

Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Links Between SDG 13 and SDG 6. WaterAid, July 2019. This brief describes the link between SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and SDG 13 (climate change) and highlights how water—too much or too little—is often the way developing countries are experiencing the effects of climate change. The paper includes case studies from Bangladesh and the Sahel.

Review of Water and Climate Change Policies in South Asia. International Water Management Institute, May 2019. This report assesses the suitability of the water and climate-related policy environment (existing policy, legislation, strategy, and planning instruments) for adapting to the impacts of climate change in the water sector in South Asia.

A Road Map to Greater Water Security. USAID SWP, 2019. This article describes how SWP is facilitating a water allocation plan in Tanzania.

Women Leading the Fight for Water Security. USAID SWP, 2019. For SWP, engaging women and other marginalized groups is an important element of the Water Security Improvement process.

Gordon Mumbo on Water and Livelihoods in the Mara River Basin. Environmental Change and Security Program, 2019. Mumbo and his colleagues are working across Kenya and Tanzania on a water location plan that considers how much water is needed to sustain the environment, the people, and the wildlife.

The Untold Story of Water in Climate Adaptation Part II: 15 Countries Speak. Global Water Partnership, December 2019. This synthesis reviews how water resources management currently contributes to climate resilience and sustainable development in 15 countries.

Day Zero/Drought
Towards a Water Secure Future: Reflections on Cape Town’s Day Zero Crisis. Urban Water Journal, October 2019. The article recommends that government, the private sector, and consumers need to work together to develop and implement a water sensitive approach that will transform water planning, supply, and demand at scale.

No Drips, No Drops: A City Of 10 Million Is Running Out of Water. Goats and Soda, June 2019. In India's sixth-largest city, lines for water snake around city blocks and Chennai, with a population of almost 10 million, is nearly out of water.

Beyond ‘Day Zero’: Insights and Lessons from Cape Town. Hydrogeology Journal, June 2019. The article discusses a range of factors that contributed to Cape Town nearing “Day Zero” and the difficulty of putting restrictions on water allocation. The article ends by suggesting that Cape Town diversifies its water sources, particularly by investing in groundwater management. Currently, Cape Town relies heavily on rainwater as the city’s source of freshwater.

Water Resilience Lessons from Cape Town’s Water Crisis. WIREs Water, July 2019. The situation that played out in Cape Town in 2018 provides insightful lessons for what water resilience should look like. The article argues that anticipatory strategies should be a key component. The article also addresses how cooperation and trust between government and citizenry affect water resilience in times of crisis.

How to Communicate Drought: A Guide by the Integrated Drought Management Programme in Central and Eastern Europe. Global Water Partnership, 2019. This guide is geared toward water professionals and journalists. For journalists, the guide sets out what people really need to know about drought, and for water professionals, the guide offers experiences of working with the media to communicate drought in ways that increase public interest and engagement.

Financing/Cost Issues
Climate Change Is Hurting Africa’s Water Sector, but Investing in Water Can Pay Off. World Resources Institute, October 2019. This blog describes how investments in three key areas of the water sector will improve people’s climate resilience across Africa.

Short-Changed on Climate Change: Money, Water and the People on the Frontline. WaterAid, March 2020. The low level of climate finance spent on WASH services reflects the poor recognition of how these services can build resilience to climate change.

Achieving Abundance: Understanding the Cost of a Sustainable Water Future. World Resources Institute, January 2020. This working paper proposes a method for decision-makers to calculate the cost required to deliver sustainable water management to any geography.

Vulnerable Communities
Discussion Paper: Climate, Sanitation and Health. World Health Organization, July 2019. This paper provides an overview of the impacts of climate variability and change on sanitation and the implications for health. It outlines potential adaptation options for strengthening sanitation governance, policies, systems and services, and highlights further research needs and imperatives for policy and programming.

Child Health, Household Environment, Temperature and Rainfall Anomalies in Honduras: A Socio-Climate Data Linked Analysis. Environmental Health, January 2020. The authors conclude that in light of shifts in global temperature and precipitation, tackling in advance those household environmental factors responsible for poor child health outcomes (better sanitation and clean cooking fuel) can prevent a further deterioration of children’s health in Honduras.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Risk Factors for the Transmission of Cholera in a Changing Climate: Using a Systematic Review to Develop a Causal Process Diagram. Journal of Water and Health, January 2020. Through a systematic review and meta-analysis, this study examines the main WASH factors associated with cholera transmission, focusing on cases in community settings. The authors developed a health impact pathway and causal process diagram indicating how climate change may influence WASH and thus cholera transmission, which  will help policymakers focus on cholera risk mitigation, now and in the future.

Water as a Tool for Resilience in Times of Crisis. Wilson Center; USAID SWP, May 2019. At this event, experts discussed what practitioners and policymakers can do to bolster effective water management for the world’s most vulnerable communities. This is one in a series of events and reports on Water Security for a Resilient World.

Global Report on Water and Disasters. Secretariat of High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters, July 2019. In terms of economic loss, 2018 was recorded as one of the worst economic-loss years mainly due to disasters related to water and climate.

Water Treatment/Water Quality
WELLSPRING: Source Water Resilience and Climate Adaptation. The Nature Conservancy, August 2019. Source water protection has always been fundamental to water resources management. Freshwater ecosystems can be a key component in providing resilience to communities, but they also need to be resilient themselves. This report describes how to manage source waters for resilience at the same time as managing source waters resiliently.

Complex Interactions Between Climate Change, Sanitation, and Groundwater Quality: A Case Study from Ramotswa, Botswana. Hydrogeology Journal, May 2019. This study investigated the coupled human and natural systems linking climate, sanitation, and groundwater quality in Ramotswa, a rapidly growing peri-urban area in semi-arid southeastern Botswana, which relies on the transboundary Ramotswa aquifer for water supply.

Unaffordable and Undrinkable: Rethinking Urban Water Access in the Global South. World Resources Institute, August 2019. The paper explores what cities can do to ensure more equitable access to safe, reliable, and affordable water, while facing down major trends affecting water access, including population growth, degraded and depleted water sources, and climate.

Strategic Recommendations for Climate Smart Water Utilities Using the Flood and Drought Portal in Planning. IWA, May 2019. This document focuses on strategic recommendations for water utilities on why and how to integrate climate change impacts into planning and management of water resources, specifically through water safety plans.

Climate Change Will Affect Access to Fresh Water. How Will We Cope? Chemical and Engineering News, February 2020. Water purification can be costly, so chemists and engineers are working to make less-expensive, more energy-efficient technologies that will be more widely accessible.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Three Essential Ingredients to Resilient Agricultural Supply ChainsWaterAid, November 2019. Providing WASH resources can make companies more resilient and productive. This booklet provides information for sectors that are reliant upon the agricultural supply chain to protect and improve WASH resources for the people and business in the regions in which they operate.

If you would like to feature your organization's materials or suggest other content for upcoming issues of Water Currents, please send them to Dan Campbell, Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, at dcampbell@waterckm.com.

For past issues of Water Currents, visit Globalwaters.org.
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Water Currents: Sanitation Topics - February 20, 2020

Water Currents: Sanitation Topics - February 20, 2020 USAID is doing its part to fill evidence gaps related to sanitation and behavior change 
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February 20, 2020 – Sanitation Topics

Staff from Malaysia’s Indah Water Konsortium taught over 50 water practitioners from six countries about improved sanitation. Photo credit: Jay Tecson

Because sanitation uptake continues to lag behind drinking water in terms of access gains, development practitioners are taking a closer look at what has and hasn’t worked in the past, modifying approaches that delivered early wins but not sustainable gains in coverage, and making sanitation financing a priority.
 
USAID is doing its part to fill evidence gaps related to sanitation and behavior change and support the reduction of open defecation and movement of communities up the sanitation ladder by identifying, researching, and sharing best practices for the delivery of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services and sustained behavior change. The Agency has also made it a priority to close financing gaps to help countries achieve universal access to WASH services through sustainable and creditworthy business models, increased public funding, and expanded market finance for infrastructure investment.
 
This issue contains recent studies and resources on a variety of sanitation-related topics such as market-based sanitation, community-led total sanitation, fecal sludge management, sanitation financing, and others.

Market-Based Sanitation
Gaming for Profit: Using a Game to Learn about Market-Based Sanitation. USAID, November 2019. USAID’s Market-Based Sanitation game teaches the fundamentals of a sanitation market system and how an enterprise’s choices affect their viability as a business. Links to the game materials are on the USAID WASHPaLS (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability) website.

Developing Consumer Markets within Rural WASH Systems. All Systems Go! WASH Systems Symposium, March 2019. This paper takes a look at how consumer WASH markets are being developed and the role of different types of actors in the system.

Webinar: Designing Effective Sanitation Enterprises. USAID WASHPaLS, September 2018. WASHPaLS presents a detailed discussion of the elements of a sanitation enterprise, including mechanisms and practices, design approaches, and key considerations based upon the findings of a WASHPaLS desk review.

Triggers for Growing a Sanitation Business Aimed at Low-Income Customers: Experience from Five Cities. Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), May 2019. This Topic Brief presents WSUP’s experience supporting sanitation businesses oriented toward low-income customers in five cities. Each case study highlights changes to the business model or enabling environment with the potential to trigger business growth.

Ensuring the Quality of Sanitation Products During Project Scale-Up. PSI, June 2019. The USAID–funded Sanitation Service Delivery Project uses a market-based approach to increase access to sanitation.This includes identifying and supporting private sector actors to produce prefabricated latrine materials and install household latrines.

Community-Led Total Sanitation
Policy Diffusion in the Rural Sanitation Sector: Lessons from Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). World Development, December 2019. This paper analyzes the reasons that drove the wide diffusion of CLTS. The approach was perceived as a fast and effective solution to the problem of open defecation and spread under the leadership of influential donors, NGOs, persuasive practitioners, and academics.

A Market-Based, Pro-Poor Approach to Rural Sanitation. Global Communities, October 2019. This report discusses a major paradigm shift for CLTS approaches and related government programs and policies in Ghana.

How Does Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Promote Latrine Construction, and Can It Be Improved? A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial in Ghana. Social Science & Medicine, January 2020. This study examines what psychosocial determinants enhance the effectiveness of CLTS in increasing latrine coverage and whether CLTS would be improved with the addition of the risks, attitudes, norms, abilities, and self regulation approach, known as RANAS.

An Examination of CLTS's Contributions Toward Universal Sanitation. USAID WASHPaLS, August 2018. The review offers a description of the CLTS intervention, tracing its evolution in theory and practice, and analyzes its strengths and weaknesses. Read the report or view the webinar that presents the findings.

Sustainable Total Sanitation in Nigeria: Final Research Report. Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2019. This evaluation examines the large-scale rollout of two different WaterAid sanitation interventions in Nigeria, one taking a CLTS approach and the other focused on sanitation marketing, their impacts on toilet ownership, and the possible interactions between the two approaches.

Role of Implementation Factors for the Success of Community-Led Total Sanitation on Latrine Coverage. A Case Study from Rural Ghana. Environmental Science and Technology, April 2019. This study of 94 communities in rural Ghana determined that the success of CLTS interventions can be improved by investing in follow-up visits, the support of local leaders, and the careful application of incentives.

The Role of Social Identification for Achieving an Open-Defecation Free Environment: A Cluster-Randomized, Controlled Trial of Community-Led Total Sanitation in Ghana. Journal of Environmental Psychology, December 2019. Researchers studied the effectiveness of CLTS in more than 100 communities in Ghana to determine whether social identification affected open defecation rates. The results highlight the need to consider the social context when planning and implementing sanitation campaigns.

CLTS Knowledge Hub – Community-Led Total Sanitation. The CLTS website aims to be a global hub for CLTS, connecting the network of practitioners, communities, NGOs, agencies, researchers, governments, donors, and others involved or interested in CLTS. The knowledge hub publishes Frontiers of CLTS: Innovations and Insights and each issue focuses on a specific CLTS topic.

Fecal Sludge Management (FSM)
Faecal Sludge Management Landscape in South Asia: Synthesis of a Multi-Country Study. WaterAid, September 2019. The objective of this study is to understand the key elements of the macro-level enabling framework for FSM and on-the-ground interventions in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.

Safely Managed Sanitation in High-Density Rural Areas: Turning Fecal Sludge into a Resource through Innovative Waste Management. World Bank, September 2019. This report explores the challenges of fecal sludge management in densely populated rural areas and it presents some typical current practices, examples of financially sustainable FSM services, and global innovations in waste management with potential replicability for FSM.

Sanitation Financing and Cost-Benefit Analyses
Facilitating Relationships Between Private Sanitation Service Providers and Commercial Banks in Senegal. USAID WASH-FIN, April 2019. USAID WASH-FIN (Finance) technical support is helping foster links between private sanitation service providers and commercial banks in Senegal as well as encouraging these banks to explore additional opportunities in markets previously unknown to them. Additional financing studies and resources are available on the WASH-FIN website.

India: Can Microloans Increase Toilet Ownership and Use? World Bank, August 2019. This evaluation found that sanitation loans increased toilet ownership and reduced open defecation.

Doing More with Less: Smarter Subsidies for Water Supply and Sanitation. World Bank, August 2019. This report explores how public resources can be used most effectively to achieve universal delivery of water supply and sanitation services and guide policymakers on improving subsidy design and implementation.

Who Gives a Sludge about Toilets? Building Markets for Safe and Sustainable Sanitation. Social Finance, November 2019. Social Finance partnered with USAID, the Stone Family Foundation, and iDE to design the world’s first development impact bond for sanitation. This $10 million bond is a groundbreaking initiative that brings safe sanitation to some of the poorest and most vulnerable households in Cambodia.

Benefit‐Cost Analysis of Community‐Led Total Sanitation: Incorporating Results from Recent Evaluations. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, January 2019. The authors state that CLTS interventions would pass a benefit-cost test in many situations, but that benefit-cost metrics are not as favorable as many previous studies suggest.

Health Costs and Benefits from a Pilot Rural Sanitation Intervention in India. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, September 2019. This study examined the costs and health benefits of sanitation interventions undertaken over a three-year period by the National Rural Drinking Water Security Pilot Project in India. Researchers quantified the health-related net benefits and the software and infrastructure costs associated with latrine construction and found positive economic returns.

Evidence-Based Policy Analysis? The Strange Case of the Randomized Controlled Trials of Community-Led Total Sanitation. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Spring 2020. Researchers state that cost–benefit analysis could still “save” CLTS because small treatment effects may still yield net positive economic benefits if the costs of implementing CLTS programs are modest.

Other Sanitation Studies and Resources
Systems Reboot: Sanitation Sector Change in Maputo and Lusaka. WSUP, November 2019. This Discussion Paper provides examples of how a systems approach can be applied at a city level by looking at two cities—Lusaka, Zambia, and Maputo, Mozambique—that have experienced positive change in their onsite sanitation sector over the last decade.

UNC Water Institute—Testing CLTS Approaches for Scalability. This website contains reports and resources from Plan International’s Testing CLTS Approaches for Scalability project, which aimed to advance rural sanitation efforts in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Ghana by improving the cost-effectiveness and scalability of CLTS.

If you would like to feature your organization's materials or suggest other content for upcoming issues of Water Currents, please send them to Dan Campbell, Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, at dcampbell@waterckm.com.

For past issues of Water Currents, visit Globalwaters.org.
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Water Currents: WASH and Neglected Tropical Diseases - January 28, 2020

Water Currents: WASH and Neglected Tropical Diseases - January 28, 2020
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January 28, 2020 – Neglected Tropical Diseases

Checking for Trachoma in Vietnam: A woman is seen washing up during a trachoma impact survey in Na Ri District, Bac Kan Province, Vietnam. Facial cleanliness is essential for elimination of the disease. Photo credit: RTI International/ Nguyen Minh Duc.

The provision of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is recognized as both a key intervention and a necessary component for the prevention and provision of care for all neglected tropical diseases. USAID’s Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Program in the Bureau for Global Health contributed content and suggested this topic as a way to highlight the first-ever World NTD Day on January 30, 2020. World awareness days, such as this one, offer an opportunity to mobilize greater attention and action on priority issues, particularly in the countries and communities most directly affected.
 
Since 2006, USAID NTD support has expanded from five countries to 32 and resulted in the treatment of 1.3 billion people. USAID identifies which communities are at risk and targets its interventions, supports and facilitates mass drug administration, and monitors its results.
 
This issue of Water Currents updates the May 2019 NTD issue with USAID NTD resources and just-published studies on dengue, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminth infections, and trachoma.

Events
World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day, January 30, 2020 – World NTD Day will bring together civil society advocates, community leaders, global health experts, and policymakers working across the diverse NTD landscape. More than 180 partners from around the globe and across sectors have committed to celebrate the first-ever World NTD Day to ultimately help #BeatNTDs.

Overviews
WASH and Health Working Together: A ‘How-To’ Guide for Neglected Tropical Disease Programmes. World Health Organization (WHO), 2019. This toolkit provides step-by-step guidance to NTD program managers and partners on how to engage and work collaboratively with the WASH community to improve delivery of water, sanitation, and hygiene services to underserved populations affected by NTDs.

Safer Water, Better Health. 2019 Update. WHO, 2019.This report presents recent evidence on the links among inadequate WASH and disease, adverse health outcomes, and injuries. The WASH–attributable burden of 12 major diseases is analyzed and information is provided on effective and cost-effective interventions.

Burden of Disease from Inadequate Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Selected Adverse Health Outcomes: An Updated Analysis with a Focus on Low- and Middle-Income Countries. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, June 2019. Inadequate WASH remains an important determinant of global disease burden. This study updates estimates of the the WASH–attributable burden of diarrheal disease, respiratory infections, malnutrition, and NTDs with a focus on low- and middle-income countries.

The U.S. Government and Global Neglected Tropical Disease Efforts. Kaiser Family Foundation, July 2019. Over the past 10 years, the United States has become more involved in global NTDs, launching its first NTD program in 2006 through USAID with a focus on seven NTDs that can be controlled and even eliminated with low-cost and effective interventions.

NTD Toolbox. This toolbox, supported by USAID, contains guidance, tools, and resources for NTD program managers.

Dengue
Dengue and Severe Dengue Fact Sheet. WHO, April 2019. Dengue prevention and control depends on effective vector control measures. Sustained community involvement can improve vector control efforts substantially. The main mosquito vectors of dengue breed in and around human habitation and their eggs can remain dry for months and hatch when in contact with water.

The Current and Future Global Distribution and Population at Risk of Dengue. Nature Microbiology, June 2019. The geographical range of dengue is expected to expand in the coming years. This study provides projections of future changes in virus suitability and human population at risk for the years 2020, 2050, and 2080.

Implementation of Guppy Fish (Poecilia reticulata), and a Novel Larvicide (Pyriproxyfen) Product (Sumilarv 2MR) for Dengue Control in Cambodia. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, November 2019. This study was designed to better understand the community acceptance and perceptions of two biological controls that would overcome insecticide resistance for consideration in dengue control strategies for the future. The author recommends that both mosquito control interventions be considered in future projects in Cambodia, which has one of the highest per-capita incidence rates of the disease.
 
Schistosomiasis
The Prevalence of Schistosomiasis in Uganda: A Nationally Representative Population Estimate to Inform Control Programs and Water and Sanitation Interventions. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, August 2019. This study found the national prevalence of schistosomiasis was 25.6 percent among children ages 2 to 4 and that defecation behaviors of individuals were more strongly associated with infection status than household water and sanitation infrastructure.

Environmental Determinants of Distribution of Freshwater Snails and Trematode Infection in the Omo Gibe River Basin, Southwest Ethiopia. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, November 2019. Human activities, such as open field defecation and urination; livestock grazing; farming; and swimming serve as important predictors of the abundance of trematode infection.

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, October 2019. The 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.

No More Neglect: Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) and HIV. UNAIDS, December 2019. FGS results from untreated infection with Schistosoma haematobium that affects mostly women and girls who come in contact with contaminated freshwater bodies during their daily chores and livelihoods. This condition is under-reported and under-diagnosed and can leave those affected more vulnerable to HIV, however, it is treatable.

Soil-Transmitted Helminth (STH) Infections
Impact of the “BALatrine” Intervention on Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections in Central Java, Indonesia: A Pilot Study. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, December 2019. Researchers tested a low-cost, locally designed and constructed all-weather latrine (the “BALatrine”), along with a community education program promoting appropriate hygiene-related behavior. This integrated intervention was associated with a reduced incidence of STH infection.

Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections Factsheet. WHO, March 2019. Control is based on periodical deworming to eliminate infecting worms, health education to prevent re-infection, and improved sanitation to reduce soil contamination with infectious eggs.

Effects of Single and Integrated Water, Sanitation, Handwashing, and Nutrition Interventions on Child Soil-Transmitted Helminth and Giardia Infections: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial in Rural Kenya. PLoS Medicine, June 2019. The research found that integrating water, sanitation, and handwashing concurrently in the household can protect children from roundworm infection and also that water treatment alone may provide protection, suggesting that combining WASH interventions does not yield greater health benefits than implementing single interventions.

Domains of Transmission and Association of Community, School, and Household Sanitation with Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections (STH) Among Children in Coastal Kenya. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, November 2019. Findings from this study highlight the need for continued efforts, alongside deworming, to extend access to good sanitation facilities at homes, schools, and across communities.

Trachoma
Trachoma Fact Sheet. WHO, June 2019. Trachoma is a public health problem in 44 countries and is responsible for the blindness or visual impairment of about 1.9 million people. This sheet provides key facts and information on economic impact, prevention and control, and the WHO response.

Integrating Face Washing into a School-Based, Handwashing Behavior Change Program to Prevent Trachoma in Turkana, Kenya. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, October 2019. The integration of trachoma prevention messages into ongoing, widespread hygiene promotion programs in schools may result in the long-term practice of face washing, which could be effective when used at scale to contribute to the elimination of trachoma.

Unimproved Water Sources and Open Defecation are Associated with Active Trachoma in Children in Internally Displaced Persons Camps in the Darfur States of Sudan. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, October 2019. Disease elimination in conflict-related settings presents a unique challenge for the trachoma community, and may require an innovative approach.

Associations Between Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Trachoma Clustering at Aggregate Spatial Scales, Amhara, Ethiopia. Parasites & Vectors, November 2019. Water access and facial cleanliness are important factors in the clustering of trachoma within this region. Intensified promotion of structural and behavioral interventions to increase WASH coverage may be necessary to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem in Amhara and perhaps other hyper-endemic settings.

WHO Reports 91% Reduction in Trachoma Prevalence in Weekly Epidemiological Record. International Coalition for Trachoma Control, July 2019. The number of people at risk from trachoma, the world's leading infectious cause of blindness, has been reduced by 91 percent from 1.5 billion in 2002 to 142.2 million in March 2019.

Prevalence and Associated Factors of Active Trachoma Among Children in Ethiopia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. BMC Infectious Diseases, December 2019. This study determined the prevalence of active trachoma in different districts of Ethiopia. Absence of a latrine, unclean faces of children, and no reported use of soap for washing are the important factors associated with active trachoma among children.

USAID NTD Resources
USAID Neglected Tropical Diseases Program – Over the past 14 years, USAID has supported 31 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to fight NTDs. USAID’s support has enabled the delivery of medicines to one out of seven people globally, made possible by a $22 billion drug donation.

USAID Act to End NTDs East Program – This program, led by RTI International, is working in 13 countries located throughout the globe in Southeast Asia, East Africa, and elsewhere to support national governments to reach NTD control and elimination goals by implementing proven, cost-effective public health interventions.

USAID Act to End NTDs West Program – This program, led by FHI 360, is working primarily in 11 West and Central African countries to eliminate seven of the most common NTDs. Act West is strengthening the capacity of national NTD programs and helping them better integrate across health systems.

USAID ENVISION Project – The ENVISION project supported disease-endemic countries to scale-up integrated NTD control and elimination activities and to strengthen national health systems to control and eliminate those diseases. See the project’s final report.

USAID Neglected Tropical Diseases Factsheet. USAID, August 2019. The USAID Neglected Tropical Diseases Program targets the most prevalent neglected tropical diseases that have proven, cost-effective health interventions. These diseases include lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, and soil-transmitted helminths.

If you would like to feature your organization's materials or suggest other content for upcoming issues of Water Currents, please send them to Dan Campbell, Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, at dcampbell@waterckm.com.

For past issues of Water Currents, visit Globalwaters.org.
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Water Currents: Water Harvesting Methods - December 12, 2019

Water Currents: Water Harvesting Methods - December 12, 2019 Water conservation of both surface and groundwater is a key component to increase access to, quantity, and quality of water supplies...
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December 12, 2019 – Water Harvesting Methods

In anticipation of a normal rainy season after the 2016 drought in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), USAID and the College of Micronesia-FSM installed portable rainwater harvest bags in the water-challenged atoll communities to help migrants start up resilient home gardens. Photo credit: Dorelyn Jose/Partners for Global Research and Development

Water conservation of both surface and groundwater is a key component to increase access to, quantity, and quality of water supplies to meet basic human needs, support economic growth, enhance food security, and maintain ecosystems.

Within USAID water conservation is viewed as a multisectoral challenge that is addressed through water resources management, food security, biodiversity conservation, resilience, climate change, and natural resources management programming. Common methods to conserve water include implementing modern irrigation methods, increasing forest cover, and reusing water/wastewater. This issue focuses on two relatively low-tech, cost-effective water conservation techniques, rainwater and fog harvesting.

Rainwater harvesting methods can improve access to drinking and irrigation water, increase groundwater recharge and reduce stormwater discharges, mitigate urban flooding and the overloading of sewage treatment plants. Fog harvesting is an ancient practice in which water is collected from fog using large pieces of vertical canvas.

RAINWATER HARVESTING 

Country Reports
Lessons from the Field: Rainwater Harvesting in India. National Geographic, May 2019. This article gives an overview of Hiware Bazaar village in India and how the village has successfully used rainwater harvesting to secure water supplies.

Rain Water Harvesting Brings Relief to Four Drought and Flood Prone Districts in Sri Lanka. Daily FT, July 2019. The USAID–funded water harvesting project of the Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum is nearing completion. Its has installed rainwater harvesting (RWH) units that benefit more than 17,000 people, 48 schools, and 10 medical clinics.

Why Doesn’t Every Family Practice Rainwater Harvesting? Factors that Affect the Decision to Adopt Rainwater Harvesting as a Household Water Security Strategy in Central Uganda. Water International, November 2018. This article investigates the reasons householders do, and don’t, adopt domestic rainwater harvesting. Factors that emerged as important are the work of intermediary organizations, finance mechanisms, life course dynamics, and land tenure.

A Review of Rainwater Harvesting in Malaysia: Prospects and Challenges. Water, April 2018. Although Malaysia issued rainwater harvesting guidelines in 1999, this study found that its implementation as an alternative water resource is still limited due to its long return on investment and poor public acceptance.

Assessing the Potential for Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting from Large Public Institutions. International Journal of  Environmental Research and Public Health, February 2018. RWH from large institutions in Ethiopia would enable a significant volume of potable water to be transferred to localities critically suffering from water shortage. However, the present study assumed that financial constraints to install large-sized storage tanks pose a possible challenge.

Rainwater Harvesting in Buildings in Brazil: A Literature Review. Water, April 2018. Topics covered in this review include economic, environmental, and social impacts related to RWH. It also assesses legislation enacted to promote the practice.

Potential of Rainwater Harvesting in Rwanda: A Deep-Dive into Best Management Practices of Rainwater Harvesting Systems in Kigali. Centre for Science and Environment, April 2019. This report focuses on urban RWH systems and includes case studies from schools, hotels, and industries in Kigali.

Health/Water Quality Issues
A Global Review of the Microbiological Quality and Potential Health Risks Associated with Roof-Harvested Rainwater Tanks. Nature, March 2019. To provide a summary of microbial contaminants in rainwater tanks and contextual factors, researchers conducted a comprehensive review to analyze the uses of rainwater, factors affecting water quality, concentrations of fecal indicators and pathogens, the attribution of pathogens to host sources using microbial source tracking, and microbial ecology. The study also determined human health risks using epidemiological approaches and quantitative microbial risk assessments and treatment approaches for mitigating risks.

Improving Water Access and Health Through Rainwater Harvesting: Perceptions of an Indigenous Community in Jalisco, Mexico. Sustainability, September 2019. A survey revealed that the use of RWH systems in this community has increased and that the incidence of diarrheal diseases has decreased significantly.

Arsenic Detected in Rainwater Harvesting Tanks in Bolivia. Rural Water Supply Network, August 2019. This finding alerted organizations to the risk of rainwater contamination in the region. Tests identified roof dust that flushes into the tanks from the roof catchment as the principal source of arsenic in the rainwater. No arsenic was detected in raw rainwater before it interacted with the roof or tank. The source of the arsenic in the dust is unknown, but widespread mining contamination in the area is likely a contributor.

Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogenic Escherichia Coli Isolated from Rooftop Rainwater-Harvesting Tanks in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. International Journal of  Environmental Research and Public Health, May 2018. The results of this study concluded that the use of untreated harvested rainwater for potable purposes may pose a risk of transmission of pathogenic and antimicrobial-resistant E. coli.

Rainwater Harvesting for Smart Health Care Facilities. Pan American Health Organization, May 2019. This technical brief discusses the components of a rainwater harvesting system for health care facilities.

Nonpotable Uses of Rainwater
Rainwater Harvesting for Agricultural Irrigation: An Analysis of Global Research. Water, June 2019. It is necessary to increase the number of studies on the capacity of RWH systems to cover irrigation needs in different farming contexts, the factors that determine their adoption by farmers, the economic and financial feasibility of their implementation, and their contribution to mitigating global climate change.

An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Two Rainwater Harvesting Systems Located in Central Eastern Europe. Water, March 2019. Researchers analyzed the effectiveness of RWH systems for toilet flushing in academic facilities located in Poland and Slovakia. The study concluded that the use of rainwater for toilet flushing would achieve water savings of 29 percent and 18 percent, respectively, for facilities located in Slovakia and Poland.

Practices and Hydrological Effects of Road Water Harvesting in Northern Ethiopia: Towards Design of Multi-Functional Infrastructures. Momona Ethiopian Journal of Science, October 2019. Results of the study revealed that harvesting water from road catchments is found to have several benefits: increase in shallow groundwater recharge, improvement in soil moisture (up to 90 percent increase), and increase in the availability of surface water in ponds and reservoirs.

Technologies
Infiltration Ponds: Restoring Groundwater Resources. USAID Indonesia Urban Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (IUWASH PLUS) Project, April 2019. An innovative intervention developed under the predecessor project IUWASH constructed and installed infiltration ponds to collect rainwater, an effective method to improve groundwater sources.

Smart Phone App to Improve Rainwater Harvesting in Africa. UN Environment Program (UNEP), April 2019. A smart phone app developed by UNEP and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization calculates the amount of rainwater that can be harvested from the roof of houses. The app is based on actual meteorological data collected from weather stations across Africa.

Smart Rainwater Management: New Technologies and Innovation. IntechOpen, October 2019. This chapter discusses water quality issues in cities and the research advances in handling those issues. Among them it investigates RWH technologies and some of their practical applications.

Implementation of Rainwater Harvesting Systems with a Geomembrane Bag in Honduras and El Salvador. Global Water Partnership, February 2019. RWH systems using a geomembrane bag to store rainwater have proven to be a successful technology because of its technical simplicity and wide availability of components, and can be an effective alternative in places where conventional systems are not considered.

FOG HARVESTING 

How Scientists Are Harvesting Fog to Secure the World’s Water Supply. PBS News Hour, July 2019. This news segment highlights how scientists around the world are leveraging familiar scientific principles with modern technology to capture water from the moisture in fog. John Yang reports on these innovative efforts to address the worsening water crisis.

Gender and Community Mainstreaming in Fog Water Collection Systems. Water, October 2018. This paper concludes that fog water collection projects have shown positive outcomes for women and girls through the freeing of time for domestic and educational pursuits, improved health outcomes, and improved perceptions of self and others’ perceptions of women.

Drops of Diplomacy: Questioning the Scale of Hydro-Diplomacy through Fog-Harvesting. Journal of Hydrology, July 2018. This paper argues that, by using fog to facilitate collaborative exchange, a nonprofit organization in Morocco is engaging in a form of hydro-diplomacy to lay the groundwork for durable peace, intercultural understanding, and symbiotic growth.

Fog Water Collection: Challenges Beyond Technology. Water, March 2018. Among the unconventional water resources, the potential to collect water from the air, such as fog harvesting, is by far the most under-explored. Fog water collection is a passive, low maintenance, and sustainable option that can supply fresh drinking water to communities where fog events are common. Because of the relatively simple design of fog collection systems, their operation and maintenance are minimal and the associated cost likewise; although, in certain cases, some financially constrained communities would need initial subsidies.

Fog and Dew as Potable Water Resources: Maximizing Harvesting Potential and Water Quality Concerns. GeoHealth, October 2018. The few studies that report trace metal or biological measurements suggest elevated trace metal concentrations or biological contamination that could be of concern to public health. This article discusses the potential for fog and dew harvesting technologies and the need for trace metal and biological analyses of these waters before use.

Online One Day Masterclass: Fog Collection for Water Management and Sustainable Forestry. Water Harvesting Lab, February 2019. Research has shown fog collection, and fog-forest interaction management, is a viable way to fight drought, combat land degradation, and overcome climate change in arid areas. This online course explains the strategies and practicalities of fog collection.

If you would like to feature your organization's materials or suggest other content for upcoming issues of Water Currents, please send them to Dan Campbell, Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, at dcampbell@waterckm.com.

For past issues of Water Currents, visit Globalwaters.org.
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Water Currents: World Toilet Day 2019

Water Currents: World Toilet Day 2019 Toilets are more than a household necessity—they save lives, protect dignity, and create economic opportunity. 
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November 14, 2019 – World Toilet Day 2019

Students in Ghana pose in front of their new school latrine built under the USAID WASH for Health program. Photo credit: Global Communities

Toilets are more than a household necessity—they save lives, protect dignity, and create economic opportunity. This November 19, join the annual celebration of World Toilet Day to raise awareness of the importance of sanitation to lift people out of poverty. This year’s theme “Leaving No One Behind” emphasizes the importance of expanding sanitation access to the more than 4.2 billion people living without safely managed sanitation options.
 
USAID goes beyond toilet construction to address weak demand and low capacity for sanitation improvements. The Agency’s comprehensive approach includes engaging the private sector to develop aspirational and affordable products, unlocking financing, and strengthening sanitation governance, coupled with behavior change to encourage use and maintenance. To learn more about USAID’s sanitation activities, follow us @USAIDWater or visit Globalwaters.org

This Water Currents contains recent studies and resources related to the sanitation issues facing marginalized or special populations, such as people with disabilities, refugees, sanitation workers, and the urban poor.

Events 
World Toilet Day 2019: Leaving No One Behind – This year’s World Toilet Day (WTD) theme emphasizes that a toilet is not just a toilet. When a person does not own or have access to a toilet, he or she is vulnerable and can be “left behind” in terms of health, dignity, and opportunity. The official advocacy day website provides resources, including factsheets in multiple languages, posters, and social media messages.

World Toilet Summit 2019 – The World Toilet Summit takes place each November to coincide with World Toilet Day celebrations. This year’s summit will be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 18–19, 2019.

Overviews 
Sanitation Factsheet. World Health Organization, June 2019. Inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 432,000 diarrheal deaths annually and is a major factor contributing to several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, and trachoma. Poor sanitation also contributes to malnutrition.

Scaling Market-Based Sanitation: Desk Review on Market-Based Rural Sanitation Development Programs. USAID Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) Project, 2018. This desk review investigates the current state of knowledge in market-based sanitation (MBS) and establishes a framework to analyze, design, and improve MBS interventions. A webinar summarizes the report findings.

Policy Diffusion in the Rural Sanitation Sector: Lessons from Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). World Development, December 2019. This paper, produced with support from the USAID WASHPaLS Project, uses a qualitative approach to analyze the reasons and processes that drove the wide diffusion of CLTS, showing that CLTS was embraced because it was perceived as a fast and effective solution to the problem of open defecation.

Toward a Hygienic Environment for Infants and Young Children: A Review of the Literature. USAID WASHPaLS Project, 2018. This literature review examines the health risks to infants and young children from fecal exposure in their home environments. A webinar and blog summarize the report’s findings.

Safely Managed Sanitation in High-Density Rural Areas: Turning Fecal Sludge into a Resource Through Innovative Waste Management. World Bank, September 2019. This report explores the challenges of fecal sludge management (FSM) in densely populated rural areas and it presents some typical current practices, examples of financially sustainable FSM services, and global innovations in waste management with potential replicability for FSM.

Guidance on Programming for Rural Sanitation. WaterAid, February 2019. Guidance is provided on the design of large-scale sanitation programs in rural communities, with a focus on the achievement of sustained household and collective sanitation and hygiene outcomes.

Smart Sanitation City: The Sanitation Economy at City Scale. Toilet Board Coalition, 2018. Smart Sanitation Cities present a significant opportunity to design future sanitation systems leveraging smart city growth trends to address the global sanitation crisis.

People with Disabilities 
Systematic Review of Menstrual Hygiene Management Requirements, Its Barriers and Strategies for Disabled People. PLoS One, February 2019. This review assessed the menstrual hygiene requirements of disabled people—a population often discriminated against and facing its own taboos—identified the barriers they face, and cataloged interventions to help them manage their menstruation hygienically and with dignity.

Support Mechanisms to Strengthen Equality and Non-Discrimination (EQND) in Rural Sanitation (Part 2 of 2). CLTS Knowledge Hub, July 2019. This issue of Frontiers of CLTS examines the potential of support mechanisms designed to help disadvantaged groups access and use hygienic toilets in driving more equitable rural sanitation outcomes. It covers the latest thinking on the opportunities and challenges of support mechanisms and explores what work remains to be done.

Equality and Non-Discrimination (EQND) in Sanitation Programmes at Scale (Part 1). CLTS Knowledge Hub, September 2017. This issue looks at who should be considered potentially disadvantaged, how they can effectively participate, and what should be done to address diverse needs to make processes and outcomes sustainable and inclusive.

Are Current Approaches for Measuring Access to Clean Water and Sanitation Inclusive of People with Disabilities? Comparison of Individual- and Household-Level Access Between People with and without Disabilities in the Tanahun District of Nepal. PLoS One, October 2019. People with disabilities face substantial challenges to meeting their water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs, particularly in using services autonomously, consistently, hygienically, with dignity and privacy, and without pain or fear of abuse. These challenges are not captured through household-level data, and so individual-level WASH access data are needed to monitor progress toward universal WASH access.

Gender 
A Mixed-Methods Study of Women’s Sanitation Utilization in Informal Settlements in Kenya. PLoS One, March 2019. Women living in informal settlements, in particular, are disproportionately affected by lack of access to sanitation. A majority of women in this study used an unsafe method of disposal at least once in a 24-hour period that increased their risk of direct exposure to waste and harmful pathogens.

Not Just Any Toilet: Women’s Solutions to Sanitation in Informal Settlements in Nairobi. Journal of Development Practice, September 2018. The purpose of this study was to provide women with an opportunity to share their perspectives and solutions to sanitation in informal settlements. The most common solution was to build more toilets, but women had a variety of suggestions—including gender-specific solutions.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Measuring Gender Equality and Empowerment. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, June 2019. Inequalities in access to WASH services have been measured between rural and urban areas and across country wealth quintiles, as well as by sex. However, past studies have not adequately measured the burdens placed on women and girls, the opportunity costs of these burdens, and female empowerment related to WASH decision-making and autonomy.

Female-Friendly Public and Community Toilets: A Guide for Planners and Decision Makers. WaterAid; Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP); UNICEF, October 2018. The guide explains why toilets must be female-friendly before detailing the essential and desirable features needed to make them so. It also suggests ways to increase gender sensitivity in town planning on sanitation.

Engaging Men and Boys in Sanitation and Hygiene Programmes. CLTS Knowledge Hub, August 2018. This review focuses on men and boys: how to engage them (or not), how to mobilize them as allies in the transformation of sanitation and hygiene outcomes, and the problems they contribute to and experience.

Humanitarian WASH 
Rapid Review of Disability and Older Age Inclusion in Humanitarian WASH Interventions. Elrha, May 2019. People with disabilities and older people make up significant population groups, however, they are disproportionately affected by and among the most marginalized in humanitarian response.

Sani Tweaks: Guide to Best Practices in Humanitarian Response Sanitation. Oxfam, February 2018. Research has shown that humanitarian agencies are failing to properly consult the users of the latrines they build, leading many people—especially women and girls—to stop using those latrines as they find them inaccessible, unsuitable, and/or unsafe. To address this, the Oxfam WASH team has developed a series of communications tools that seek to promote best practices in sanitation.

Tiger Worm Toilet Manual: Globally Relevant Learnings from Myanmar. Elrha, March 2019. Tiger Worm Toilets contain composting worms inside the pit that digest feces in-situ, replacing the build up of raw sludge with vermicompost. This removes the need for traditional desludging. To date, more than 900 Tiger Worm Toilets have been built and trialed across four countries by Oxfam in a range of settings, including urban, peri-urban, and camps. They have been shown to work in both household and shared communal camp settings.

Urban Poor 
The Use of Research in Participatory Planning of Sanitation and Hygiene: Lessons from Babati, Tanzania. WaterAid, October 2019. This policy brief captures learnings from research in Babati Town in Tanzania to inform the development of a sanitation and hygiene plan and pro-poor town-wide planning.

Review of Drivers and Barriers of Water and Sanitation Policies for Urban Informal Settlements in Low-Income and Middle-Income Countries. Utilities Policy, October 2019. This study identifies donor prioritization and collective action as key drivers of water and sanitation policy, and social exclusion, lack of land or dwelling tenure status, the political economy of decision-making, and insufficient data as key barriers.

Anchoring Innovations in Oscillating Domestic Spaces: Why Sanitation Service Offerings Fail in Informal Settlements. Research Policy, February 2020. Newly provided and improved basic services are not maintained by users despite seemingly superior functionality and user convenience. One major reason for this is an insufficient understanding of the context in which users have to manage their daily lives.

Assessing the Market for Safe Faecal Waste Emptying Services in Low-Income Areas of Kisumu, Kenya. WSUP, June 2019. Results from this study indicate that future interventions need to address the price barrier between formal (safe) and informal (unsafe) fecal sludge emptying.

Evaluating the Potential of Container-Based Sanitation. World Bank, February 2019. Container-based sanitation consists of an end-to-end service—that is, one provided along the whole sanitation service chain—that collects excreta hygienically from toilets designed with sealable, removable containers and strives to ensure that the excreta is safely treated, disposed of, and reused.

Experiences of Shared Sanitation–Towards a Better Understanding of Access, Exclusion and ‘Toilet Mobility’ in Low-Income Urban Areas. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, May 2019. This study examines shared sanitation access and use by using innovative mapping methods in compound house units in Fante New Town, Kumasi, Ghana.

Challenges of Governing Off-Grid 'Productive' Sanitation in Peri-Urban Areas: Comparison of Case Studies in Bolivia and South Africa. Sustainability, June 2019. A comparison of two initiatives in Bolivia and South Africa offers valuable insights for introducing functional off-grid “productive” sanitation systems relying on urine-diverting dry toilets in peri-urban settlements. Findings suggest that household acceptance of these toilets largely depends on consistent awareness raising and capacity building, in addition to adapting to local needs and creating a sense of ownership over the toilet system.

Sanitation Workers 
Guaranteeing the Rights of Sanitation Workers: Links between SDG 8 and SDG 6. WaterAid, June 2019. Despite their vital role in urban sanitation service provision and the occupational risks that accompany their profession, sanitation workers are often overlooked in health protection and sanitation program design, and are typically employed informally.

The Health, Safety and Dignity of Sanitation Workers: A Blind Spot in Safely Managed Sanitation. Water Blog, May 2019. Sanitation workers often suffer terrible working conditions and are generally taken for granted in sanitation programs. Yet, without them, the sanitation service chain can’t function.

Websites 
USAID Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability Project – WASHPaLS is working to improve water supply, sanitation, and hygiene programming by identifying, researching, and sharing best practices for the delivery of WASH services and sustained behavior change.

Toilet Board Coalition – The coalition has the ambition to address the global sanitation crisis by accelerating the sanitation economy. To do so it enables private sector engagement; connects large and small companies; and ensures close collaboration among private, public, and nonprofit sectors with the purpose of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6—universal access to sanitation.

Sanitation Updates – USAID’s WaterCKM project and IRC maintain this news and opinion blog on sanitation. Sanitation Updates was originally set up to promote the 2008 International Year of Sanitation and continues to provide news, information, and resources in support of achieving the goal of sanitation for all.

If you would like to feature your organization's materials or suggest other content for upcoming issues of Water Currents, please send them to Dan Campbell, Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, at dcampbell@waterckm.com.

For past issues of Water Currents, visit Globalwaters.org.
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Water Currents: WASH & Mobile Technologies - October 29, 2019

Water Currents: WASH & Mobile Technologies - October 29, 2019 Mobile devices, technologies, and services have the potential to improve service delivery to remote populations.
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October 29, 2019 – WASH & Mobile Technologies

Water and sanitation customers are increasingly being offered digitized options for payment. Photo credit: GSMA

Mobile devices, technologies, and services have the potential to improve service delivery to remote populations and the bottom line for water and sanitation service providers. In addition to monitoring how water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) systems function, mobile technologies can be used to deliver financing and payment solutions, to collect reliable data on usage and operations, and to identify gaps and inform policy decisions.

USAID works on building the capacity of local governments and utilities to apply these new technologies to enhance data collection for decision-making, monitor the quality and quantity of water resources, improve forecasting, and support overall monitoring and evaluation efforts. This issue contains recent studies on how mobile applications are being applied to financing, water utilities, humanitarian WASH situations, and other areas.

We would like to thank staff from the GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities Initiative for contributing content to this issue.

Overviews 
Draft USAID Digital Strategy. USAID, October 2019. USAID’s first ever Digital Strategy charts an Agency-wide vision for development and humanitarian assistance in the world’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. The strategy is open for comment through November 3, 2019.

How Can Online Data Platforms Improve Management of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services? WaterAid's Experience Using mWater. WaterAid, February 2019. Increased access to mobile phones has allowed for a shift in how information is gathered, shared, and used. WaterAid staff discuss how this access can benefit the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector, and explore the benefits of the online data tool mWater in monitoring the quality of WASH services.

The Future of Water: A Collection of Essays on 'Disruptive' Technologies that May Transform the Water Sector in the Next 10 Years. IDB, April 2019. Experts identify what they believe to be the key technological changes that will transform the sector and whether they have the potential to become “disruptive.” The authors also discuss which enabling conditions would be necessary to encourage the adoption and mainstreaming of each technology.

Mobile for Development Utilities Perspective – Our Quarterly Insights – Issue 1. GSMA, August 2019. In this first issue, GSMA explores the digitization of water utilities in Africa and Asia. Water utilities in countries with poor access to clean water are stuck in a cycle of huge operational losses, making it impossible to invest in infrastructure that would serve more people and leaving many to rely on unsafe alternative sources of water. Can digitization help solve the problem?

Access to Water and Sanitation in Emerging Markets: The Impact of Mobile Technology. GSMA, November 2018. In this video, grantees of the Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund—CityTaps, Loowatt, and Wonderkid—discuss what they are doing to solve the access gap and what the future of these sectors looks like.

Key Trends in Mobile-Enabled Water Services: What’s Working and What’s Next. GSMA, August 2018. This report discusses three key trends in mobile-enabled water delivery that have been tested and explores these in light of broader industry trends.

Financial Technology 
Testing the Waters: Digital Payments for Water and Sanitation. CGAP; GSMA, March 2019. Research found that digitizing payments in the water sector can have a positive impact on the financial sustainability of water service delivery models for low-income populations. Specifically, digital payments reduce operational expenses and enable more efficient service delivery.

Digitizing Payments for Household Water Connections in Ghana. Safe Water Network, August 2018. Prepaid, mobile, money-enabled meters for household connections improve water service provider financial viability and consumer satisfaction. However, robust consumer training is needed to realize full financial, operational, and consumer benefits.

The Potential of PAYGo for Achieving Water and Sanitation for All (SDG 6). BFA, March 2019. This report explores how digital tools (e.g., smart meters and mobile payments) developed as part of PAYGo solar in East Africa can be combined with new business models to scale in-home water connections in pursuit of clean water for all.

Fintech for the Water Sector: Advancing Financial Inclusion for More Equitable Access to Water. World Bank, January 2019. The emerging field of financial technology (fintech) can help address barriers to financial inclusion in the water sector while potentially reducing or eliminating the need for subsidy. This paper explores how fintech can support expansion of market-based solutions for water, sanitation, and irrigation, identifying several case studies where fintech is already being used to address financial inclusion and access to water.

Performance-Based Funding for Reliable Rural Water Services in Africa. Uptime; University of Oxford, May 2019. A graveyard of failed water supply infrastructure across Africa points to the legacy of well-meaning but poorly executed investments. The enduring problem is that providing maintenance services to rural and remote populations is not financially viable in many contexts. Without credible data on observed delivery costs, government, donors, private finance, or other investors cannot allocate current funding efficiently.

Humanitarian/Health Applications 
Mapping and Analysis of the Disaster Risk of Water Supply Schemes by Using Mobile Application41st WEDC International Conference, 2018. As part of a risk mapping study to determine the functionality and status of water supply schemes following the Nepal 2015 earthquake, researchers used a mobile-based tool, KOBO, to collect the data and information. The findings were linked with Google Earth.

Formative Research for the Design of a Scalable Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Mobile Health Program: CHoBI7 Mobile Health Program. BMC Public Health, August 2019. The pilot findings indicate that the CHoBI7 mHealth program has high user acceptability and is feasible to deliver to diarrhea patients that present at health facilities for treatment in Bangladesh. Both text and voice messages were recommended for program delivery.

The Digital Lives of Refugees: How Displaced Populations Use Mobile Phones and What Gets in the Way. GSMA, July 2019. Humanitarian services are increasingly digitizing, and mobile phone penetration and use among refugees is growing. The transition to mobile-based services can offer significant protection dividends and other wide-ranging benefits for refugees who are digitally literate and can access and engage with mobile services effectively.

Disruptive Technologies and their Use in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. ITU, March 2019. Technological advancement and innovation have created new opportunities for enhancing disaster resiliency and risk reduction. Innovations in such areas as robotics and drone technology are transforming many fields, including disaster risk reduction and management.

Global Report on Water and Disasters. High-Level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP), July 2019. Water-related disasters in 2018 resulted in a death toll of 6,500, more than 57 million people affected, and economic losses of $140 billion worldwide.

Monitoring Applications 
The Digital Dividend: Information Technology Improves the Delivery of Water and Sanitation Services. UNICEF, January 2019. This article discusses a registered key informant for the Mahole water point in Insiza South District, southeast of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Her duties include ensuring that information on water infrastructure (including the pump functionality of boreholes, water yields, and water quality) reaches the area enumerator in real time.

Leveraging Satellites and the Internet of Things, SweetSense Facilitates Water Service Access in Kenya and Water Resource Management in California. Agrilinks, May 2019. SweetSense is a social enterprise that integrates and leverages cutting-edge technologies to improve the quality and value of water services. This article discusses SweetSense’s partnership with USAID in Kenya and with the Freshwater Trust in California.

Mobile Crowd Participation to Root Small-Scale Piped Water Supply Systems in India and Bangladesh. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, January 2019. To identify the relevance and acceptability of piped water supply and smartphone monitoring, this study conducted four surveys with potential end users. Based on these surveys, the authors concluded that there is a desire for piped water systems, that households already own smartphones with Internet access, and that there is an interest in smartphone monitoring.

Mobile Communities in Ethiopia Seek Fixed Solutions to their Water and Sanitation Challenges. USAID Global Waters, July 2018. Working with USAID’s Lowland WASH Activity, SweetSense, a private-sector partner, has installed 107 sensors to conduct real-time data monitoring of each water scheme’s operations. These sensors rely on the same technology that enables many people in the United States to program their thermostats remotely from an app on their phones.

Handpump Data Improves Water Access. Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics, November 2018. The Smart Handpump Project illustrates how new information flows from innovative sensor data can improve key services. Such low-cost and scalable data interventions strengthen the governance and management of resources critical to sustainable development.

A Review of In-Situ and Remote Sensing Technologies to Monitor Water and Sanitation Interventions. Water, June 2018. It is hoped that improved monitoring of water and sanitation interventions will reveal more cost-effective and efficient ways of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this paper, the authors review the landscape of approaches that can be used to support and improve on the water and sanitation targets of SDG 6.1 and SDG 6.2.

Sanitation Services 
Integrating Mobile Tech into Sanitation Services. Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor, June 2019. This Topic Brief is a useful guide for those in the WASH sector with an interest in integrating mobile phone technology into sanitation service provision in sub-Saharan Africa.

Supporting Waterless Flush Sanitation Through Mobile Technology–Loowatt. GSMA, April 2019. This video showcases how Loowatt  is leveraging mobile technology and mobile payments to more efficiently deliver container-based sanitation services in Madagascar.

Water Utilities
Seeking Sustainability in Water Service Delivery in Haiti. USAID Global Waters, October 2019. This blog discusses the use of the mWater platform by the USAID’s Water and Sanitation (WatSan) Project in Haiti. mWater is an open-source platform that helps water utilities to better map and manage water systems.

Digital Water Industry Leaders Chart the Transformation Journey. International Water Association, June 2019. This paper—largely based on interviews, surveys, and inputs from nearly 50 utility executives and more than 20 subject matter experts—examines how digitalization is transforming the water sector through the experiences of water and wastewater utilities. The aim of this report is to provide an overview of the current state of digital in the water sector, the potential value for digital solutions, and the lessons learned from those on the digital journey.

Mobile for Development Utilities Annual Report: Intelligent Utilities for All. GSMA, March 2019. The Mobile for Development Utilities program improves access to basic energy, water, and sanitation services in underserved communities using mobile technology and infrastructure. Its work encompasses any energy, water, and sanitation service provided to a community that includes a mobile component.

Delivering Water to Urban Homes Through Smart Metering and Mobile PaymentsCityTaps. GSMA, February 2019. This video showcases how GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund grantee CityTaps’ prepaid smart meter solution is enabling the urban poor in Niamey, Niger, to access affordable and safe running water at home. Their prepaid smart meter incorporates machine-to-machine technology, which allows households to make micro-prepayments for their water at any time using mobile money.

Websites
Digital Innovations for WASH in Urban Settings – UNICEF, Arm, the African Academy of Sciences with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a Global Grand Challenge Exploration—Digital Innovations for WASH in Urban Settings—with the aim of improving access to safe, clean, and affordable water in urban areas. The website contains descriptions of the grantees from Kenya, Uganda, Vietnam, and other countries.

GSMA Mobile for Development – This program stimulates digital innovation to deliver both sustainable business and large-scale socio-economic impact for the underserved.

GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities Programme – The goal for this GSMA program is to unlock commercially sustainable business models that leverage mobile to deliver affordable and improved energy, water, and sanitation services in emerging markets.

If you would like to feature your organization's materials or suggest other content for upcoming issues of Water Currents, please send them to Dan Campbell, Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, at dcampbell@waterckm.com.

For past issues of Water Currents, visit Globalwaters.org.
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Water Currents: Celebrate Global Handwashing Day 2019

Water Currents: Celebrate Global Handwashing Day 2019
Celebrate Global Handwashing Day on October 15, 2019
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October 15, 2019 – Global Handwashing Day

Children in Kuach, South Sudan, learn how to wash their hands properly. USAID and its partners help communities learn about essential hygiene and health behavior to prevent diseases like cholera and diarrhea. Photo credit: UNICEF/Kate Holt.
Children in Kuach, South Sudan, learn how to wash their hands properly. USAID and its partners help communities learn about essential hygiene and health behavior to prevent diseases like cholera and diarrhea. Photo credit: UNICEF/Kate Holt.

October 15, 2019, is Global Handwashing Day (GH Day), an annual advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap. This year’s theme is “Clean Hands for All,” which gives much needed attention to the marginalized groups that lack access to handwashing facilities or face discrimination in the provision of handwashing and other water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services.

The theme aligns with USAID’s Water and Development Plan under the 2017 U.S. Government Global Water Strategy, which has the stated result of increasing the practice of key hygiene behaviors including handwashing with soap among the underserved and most vulnerable populations.

This issue contains recent research and studies about handwashing programs and services for people with disabilities, refugees, patients in health care facilities, schoolchildren, and the urban poor.

Events
Global Handwashing Day, October 15, 2019 – Inequalities in handwashing facilities and lack of effective handwashing promotion programs can put individuals at higher risk for diseases that impact their health, education, and economic outcomes. GH Day 2019—with its theme of social inclusion—follows the global push to leave no one behind in the Sustainable Development Agenda. The Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) organizes this annual event.

Overviews
Handwashing with Soap after Potential Faecal Contact: Global, Regional and Country Estimates. International Journal of Epidemiology, December 2018. People with access to designated handwashing facilities are about twice as likely to wash their hands with soap after potential fecal contact as people who lack a facility. Still, even among those with access, handwashing with soap is poorly practiced.

People with Disabilities
Mainstreaming Disability and Making WASH Programmes Inclusive. Institute of Development Studies, October 2018. Designing inclusive WASH facilities from the start is the most cost-effective approach. Nonetheless, the cost of retrofitting existing facilities is less than some might expect.

Disability and Development Report: Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals by, for and with Persons with Disabilities. United Nations, 2019. Households, as well as governments, can implement low-cost, inclusive adaptations and universal design solutions to facilities, including toilets, water points, water carriers, bathing places, and handwashing facilities.

Patients in Health Care Facilities
Interventions to Improve Water Supply and Quality, Sanitation and Handwashing Facilities in Healthcare Facilities, and Their Effect on Healthcare-Associated Infections in Low-Income and Middle-Income CountriesBMJ Global Health, July 2019. The authors of this review concluded that there is a dearth of evidence for the effect of WASH in healthcare facilities and that additional and higher quality research is needed to understand the impact of different WASH interventions on infections associated with these facilities. Filling this gap can help prioritize the most effective approaches in these often resource-poor settings.

Safe Water and Hygiene Integration with Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Antenatal Services: Leveraging Opportunities for Public Health Interventions and Improved Service Uptake. American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, March 2018. This evaluation suggests that provision of hygiene kits, refills of supplies on subsequent visits, and HIV testing during antenatal clinic visits is feasible and may help improve household hygiene and increase the use of health services.

Barriers and Opportunities Experienced by Staff when Implementing Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines During Labour and Delivery in Healthcare Facilities in Nigeria. Journal of Hospital Infection, August 2019. Safe childbirth and postnatal care require comprehensive adherence to hand hygiene protocols and the use of disposable personal protective equipment.

Diffusion of Handwashing Knowledge and Water Treatment Practices from Mothers in an Antenatal Hygiene Promotion Program to Nonpregnant Friends and Relatives, Machinga District, Malawi. International Quarterly of Community Health Education, September 2018. Qualitative data from in-depth interviews suggest that program participants helped motivate adoption of water treatment and hygiene behaviors among friends and relatives.

Preventing Neonatal Sepsis in Rural Uganda: A Cross-Over Study Comparing the Tolerance and Acceptability of Three Alcohol-Based Hand Rub Formulations. BMC Public Health, November 2018. Mothers of newborn children in eastern Uganda participated in a test of three alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) formulations for preventing neonatal infection. All three had high overall satisfaction scores, but participants scored the ABHR with added perfume the highest and used it much more often than plain ABHR.

Low-Income Urban Populations
Effects of Complexity of Handwashing Instructions on Handwashing Procedure Replication in Low-Income Urban Slums in Bangladesh: A Randomized Non-Inferiority Field Trial. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, June 2019. Handwashing instructions vary in complexity, with some recommending multiple steps. Simple handwashing steps are easier to remember in the long term compared to complex steps.

Acceptability and Feasibility of Sharing a Soapy Water System for Handwashing in a Low-Income Urban Community in Dhaka, Bangladesh: A Qualitative Study. American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, August 2018. The soapy water system evaluated in this study was simple in design, cost-effective, replicable, popular with intervention recipients and neighboring nonrecipients, and commonly shared among nonrelated households, suggesting a potential for scalability.

Refugees/Humanitarian Situations
Rapid Review of Disability and Older Age Inclusion in Humanitarian WASH Interventions. Humanitarian Innovation Fund, May 2019. People with disabilities and the elderly are disproportionately affected by and at greater risk because of their lack of access to water and sanitation during humanitarian response situations.

Could the Supertowel Be Used as an Alternative Hand Cleaning Product for Emergencies? An Acceptability and Feasibility Study in a Refugee Camp in Ethiopia. PLoS One, May 2019. Researchers found the Supertowel to be an acceptable and useful hand-cleaning product that could complement soap use in crisis contexts.

Child's Play: Harnessing Play and Curiosity Motives to Improve Child Handwashing in a Humanitarian Setting. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, September 2018. Distributing soaps with toys embedded inside, in a rapidly deployable intervention, can improve child handwashing behavior during humanitarian emergencies.

Assessing Emotional Motivators for Handwashing with Soap in Emergencies: Results from Three Asian Countries. Waterlines, January 2019. This paper examines how emotional motivators can help promote handwashing with soap among mothers affected by an emergency.

Schoolchildren
A Disruptive Cue Improves Handwashing in School Children in Zambia. Health Promotion International, October 2018. The intervention tested in this study saw a greater increase in the likelihood of soap use in intervention schools than in control schools, though both intervention and control schools saw an increase in handwashing without soap. This low-cost intervention could be scaled throughout Zambia and may work well in other countries of similar circumstances.

Effect of a School-Based Hygiene Behavior Change Campaign on Handwashing with Soap in Bihar, India: Cluster-Randomized Trial. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, August 2018. The authors found no evidence for a health-relevant effect of the “School of 5” intervention on handwashing with soap in schoolchildren and their mothers, possibly due to low campaign intensity, ineffective delivery, and a model not well tailored to these challenging physical and social environments.

Handwashing Research
January to June 2019 Handwashing Research Index. GHP, June 2019. Between January and June 2019, GHP found 36 studies that explore handwashing in connection with diverse programmatic areas in global health and development.

2018 Handwashing Research Index. GHP, March 2019. In 2018, GHP found 155 studies that explore handwashing in connection with a range of areas in global health and development, varying from urban design to maternal and child health.

The State of Handwashing in 2017: Annual Research Summary. GHP, May 2018. In this summary, GHP outlines key themes and findings from 117 handwashing-related research papers published in 2017.

Other Studies
Toward Complementary Food Hygiene Practices among Child Caregivers in Rural Malawi. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, June 2019. This study found that presence of a handwashing facility and locally made dish rack and psychosocial factors (attitude, norms, ability, self-regulation) were strong predictors of success of interventions emphasizing key behaviors to improve food hygiene.

Toolkit: Understanding and Addressing Equality, Non-Discrimination and Inclusion in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Work. WaterAid, 2018. This resource provides practical guidance and support on reducing inequalities commonly found in WASH programs and advocacy work.

Websites
Global Handwashing Partnership – GHP is a coalition of international stakeholders working to promote handwashing with soap and recognize hygiene as a pillar of international development and public health.

If you would like to feature your organization's materials or suggest other content for upcoming issues of Water Currents, please send them to Dan Campbell, Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, at dcampbell@waterckm.com.

For past issues of Water Currents, visit Globalwaters.org.
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Water Currents: WASH and Antimicrobial Resistance - October 1, 2019

Water Currents: WASH and Antimicrobial Resistance - October 1, 2019
This issue of Water Currents focuses on the connection between WASH and antimicrobial resistance. 
Bringing you the latest water sector research, resources, and news.
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October 1, 2019 – WASH & Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and their antimicrobial resistance genes are common and widespread contaminants in wastewater and water. Photo credit: Melody McNeil, USAID/West Africa

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria or virus change to resist the action of antimicrobials (e.g., antibiotics). Currently, it is estimated that at least 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases. Each year, more and more common diseases are becoming untreatable and lifesaving medical procedures are becoming much riskier due to AMR. A recent UN report on AMR (“No Time to Wait,” listed below) states that drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050, and that by 2030, AMR could force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty.

This issue of Water Currents contains recent studies on the connection between AMR and water and sanitation, the One Health approach to tackling AMR, country situation reports, and other AMR–related topics.

USAID’s priorities under the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy—improving good governance, water access, and sanitation and hygiene—are considered essential to prevent and counteract the spread of global microbial resistance. In addition, USAID’s Bureau for Global Health works with international organizations and local governments, academia, and private sector partners across Asia and Africa to promote prudent use of antimicrobials in the livestock, aquaculture, and crop production sectors to minimize the likelihood of AMR development and spread.

We would like to thank staff from the Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity (SHARE) project, Emory University’s Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, and Global Water 2020 for suggesting AMR as a topic and for contributing content to this issue.

Overviews 
Antimicrobial Resistance: An Emerging Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Issue. World Health Organization (WHO), 2015. This briefing note provides an overview on the role of water and waste in combating AMR and identifies key areas to explore related to risk assessment management, policy, and research.

No Time to Wait: Securing the Future from Drug-Resistant Infections. WHO, April 2019. AMR is a global crisis that threatens a century of progress in health and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Because the drivers of AMR lie in humans, animals, plants, food, and the environment, a sustained One Health response is essential to engage and unite all stakeholders around a shared vision and goals.

Differential Drivers of Antimicrobial Resistance Across the World. Accounts of Chemical Research, March 2019. Researchers show that high population densities in cities that suffer from poor sanitation and solid-waste disposal can potentially impact the dissemination of resistance.

Global Antimicrobial Resistance: A Complex and Dire Threat with Few Definite Answers. Tropical Medicine and International Health, March 2019. Global AMR data and projections are simply alarming. Despite widespread recognition of the issue's magnitude and urgency, the key drivers of global AMR dissemination, and how best to contain it, remain poorly defined.

The Economics of Antimicrobial Resistance and the Role of Water and Sanitation Services. WASHeconomics, January 2019. Water, wastewater, and feces play a key role in the carriage of microorganisms and their genetic material. For example, water can act as a reservoir of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and exposure route to humans (and animals).

Anthropological and Socioeconomic Factors Contributing to Global Antimicrobial Resistance: A Univariate and Multivariable Analysis. Lancet Planetary Health, September 2018. This study explored the factors contributing to the rise in AMR. The study determined that cutting back on antibiotic use is not enough to counteract the problem, and instead identified improvements in sanitation, access to clean water, and good governance, as well as increased public health care expenditures and better regulation of the private health sector as necessary to reduce global AMR.

Infection Prevention, Control and Surveillance: Limiting the Development and Spread of Drug Resistance. Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, March 2016. This review examines the role of clean water and effective sanitation in preventing the spread of infections in the community and reducing AMR. It also discusses ways to prevent and control infections in health care facilities.

Health Care Facilities/Hygiene Issues 
Quick Fix for Care, Productivity, Hygiene and Inequality: Reframing the Entrenched Problem of Antibiotic Overuse. BMJ Global Health, August 2019. Individuals, caregivers, and health workers in low- and middle-income countries often find themselves using and prescribing antibiotics because of infections caught due to unsanitary conditions in health care settings and at home, as well as in anticipation of such infections.

Fecal Pollution Can Explain Antibiotic Resistance Gene Abundances in Anthropogenically Impacted Environments. Nature Communications, January 2019. Discharge of treated sewage leads to release of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, resistance genes, and antibiotic residues to the environment.

Prevention First: Tackling AMR through Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. One Health, July 2017. This article focuses on three neglected elements of WASH and AMR in health care facilities and the environment. It highlights the importance of WASH for mothers and newborns, and on synergizing WASH policies and approaches to support the continuum of care from health care settings to the home.

The Role of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Healthcare Settings to Reduce Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistance. Infection Prevention and Control, July 2016. Hand hygiene has been cited as the single most important practice to reduce health facility–acquired infections, and improved hand hygiene practices have been associated with a sustained decrease in the incidence of AMR infections in health care settings. WASH also plays a role; cleaning surfaces and bedding helps prevent transmission of health care–associated infections.

One Health Studies 
Critical Importance of a One Health Approach to Antimicrobial Resistance. EcoHealth, June 2019. This article advocates for a comprehensive One Health research agenda to address AMR that incorporates human, animal, environmental, ecosystem, and wildlife perspectives and identifies key priorities for research.

Global Trends in Antimicrobial Resistance in Animals in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Science, September 2019. Regions affected by the highest levels of AMR should take immediate actions to preserve the efficacy of antimicrobials that are essential in human medicine by restricting their use in animal production.

One Health—Its Importance in Helping to Better Control Antimicrobial Resistance. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, January 2019. Numerous countries and several international agencies have now included a One Health approach within their action plans to address AMR. Necessary actions include: improvements in antimicrobial use; identifying alternatives to antimicrobials; better regulation and policy; and improving surveillance, stewardship, infection control, sanitation, and animal husbandry.

Evidence Needed for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Systems. WHO Bulletin, January 2019. Evaluating the added value of One Health approaches for antimicrobial resistance surveillance is not a simple task, but it should not be set aside because of its complexity.

Water/Wastewater-Related Aspects 
State of the Art on the Contribution of Water to Antimicrobial Resistance. European Commission, January 2019. The aim of this report is to discuss the mechanisms of antibiotic action and antibiotic resistance focusing on potential effects in water, which researchers recognize as a significant reservoir of antibiotics and antibiotic-resistance genes.

Persistence of Antibiotic Resistance Genes and Bacterial Community Changes in a Drinking Water Treatment System: From Drinking Water Source to Tap Water. Science of The Total Environment, March 2018. Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are emerging contaminants that have become a public concern. This study aimed to investigate the occurrence and diversity of ARGs, and variation in the composition of bacterial communities in source water, drinking water treatment plants, and tap water in the Pearl River Delta region, South China.

Bogotá River Anthropogenic Contamination Alters Microbial Communities and Promotes Spread of Antibiotic Resistance Genes. Nature Scientific Reports, August 2019. In this work, researchers characterized aquatic microbial communities samples collected at three sites along the Bogotá River and from wastewater at three city hospitals, and investigated community profiles and ARGs as a function of anthropogenic contamination.

Identification of Risk Factors Associated with Carriage of Resistant Escherichia coli in Three Culturally Diverse Ethnic Groups in Tanzania: A Biological and Socioeconomic Analysis. The Lancet Planetary Health, November 2018. Households that shared water sources with larger livestock herds and wildlife showed increased odds of carrying resistant E. coli, which probably reflects both contact and water-mediated transmission to people. The mechanism underlying the association between milk and AMR appears to be related to basic transmission.

Molecular Characterization and Antimicrobial Resistance Pattern of Escherichia coli Recovered from Wastewater Treatment Plants in Eastern Cape South Africa. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, June 2018. The study reveals that water samples recovered from the final effluents of wastewater treatment plants may likely be one of the major sources of antibiotic resistance in E. coli.

Wastewater Used for Urban Agriculture in West Africa as a Reservoir for Antibacterial Resistance Dissemination. Environmental Research, September 2018. Wastewater in West Africa harbors a wide diversity of common and specific virulence factors, and studies show that urban agriculture is likely to promote dissemination of bacterial resistance.

Other Water Pollutants: Antimicrobial Resistance. 2018. This chapter in Water and Sanitation‐Related Diseases and the Changing Environment: Challenges, Interventions, and Preventive Measures discusses sources of antibiotic‐resistant bacteria in the environment, specifically in wastewater; the types of wastewater treatment ;and their effect on reducing antibiotics and resistant organisms.

Other Studies 
Towards a Research Agenda for Water, Sanitation and Antimicrobial Resistance. Journal of Water and Health, January 2017. This article discusses the conclusions of a WHO workshop to develop a strategic research agenda on WASH and AMR.

Critical Knowledge Gaps and Research Needs Related to the Environmental Dimensions of Antibiotic Resistance. Environment International, May 2018. The environment plays important roles in the development of antibiotic resistance. This article discusses critical knowledge gaps and research needs on aspects of evolution, transmission, and interventions.

Complexities in Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance Across Domesticated Animal, Human, and Environmental Systems. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, March 2019. In this article, the authors review research on the non-foodborne spread of AMR, with a focus on domesticated animals and the environment and possible exposures to humans.

Population-Level Mathematical Modeling of Antimicrobial Resistance: A Systematic Review. BMC Medicine, April 2019. Few ecological studies explore the transmission of AMR from the environment (water, soil, etc.) to potential hosts, despite the increasing evidence of a link between antimicrobial contamination of the environment, and the development and transfer of resistance to human pathogens.

Urban Slums: A Supportive Ecosystem for Typhoidal Salmonellae. Journal of Infectious Diseases, July 2018. Typhoid fever continues to kill thousands of people each week. With worsening AMR, this mortality burden could suddenly increase.

Websites 
World Health Organization: Antimicrobial Resistance – This website contains fact sheets, WHO’s Global Action Plan, and other resources on AMR.

If you would like to feature your organization's materials or suggest other content for upcoming issues of Water Currents, please send them to Dan Campbell, Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, at dcampbell@waterckm.com.

For past issues of Water Currents, visit Globalwaters.org.
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Water Currents: Transboundary Waters - September 5, 2019

Water Currents: Transboundary Waters - September 5, 2019 A main objective of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy is to reduce conflict through the promotion of cooperation on shared waters 
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September 5, 2019 – Transboundary Waters

The Lower Mekong River region is home to more than 240 million people in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. USAID supports a number of activities to facilitate its joint management. Photo Credit: Pakprim Oranop na Ayuthaya, USAID/Vietnam

According to the United Nations (UN), transboundary waters—the aquifers and lake and river basins shared by two or more countries—account for an estimated 60 percent of global freshwater flow and are home to more than 40 percent of the world’s population. Depleted and degraded transboundary water supplies have the potential to cause social unrest and spark conflict among countries.

A main objective of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy (GWS) is to promote cooperation on shared—or transboundary—waters and to diffuse potential conflicts over water between countries. A key development result in USAID’s Water and Development Plan (appended to the GWS) is to improve the management of water resources in water-stressed basins that are the source of important drinking water supplies.

Under the GWS and the USAID Water and Development Plan, the U.S. Government works to prevent transboundary water conflict and to improve the management of water resources in shared river basins by promoting the development of agreements and other approaches that support the cooperative management of shared water resources that are critical to the health and livelihoods of millions of people, and to the economies of many nations.

This issue contains recent studies and resources that discuss gender, monitoring, conflict resolution, and other topics related to the management of transboundary waters.

Learning 
Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security. IW Learn, 2019. This massive open online course will cover transboundary governance as it relates to law, negotiations, management, geographical and biophysical constraints, and sustainable financing mechanisms. The course will launch at the end of 2019. Those interested in participating can receive an email alert when the course is active.

Overviews 
Blue Peace Index. Economist Intelligence Unit, 2019. The Blue Peace Index assesses management of shared water resources across five pillars: policy & legal frameworks, institutional arrangements & participation, water management instruments, infrastructure & financing, and cooperation. The inaugural 2019 index measures 24 countries around five basins: Amazon, Mekong, Sava, Senegal, and Tigris-Euphrates.
 
Transboundary Waters Factsheet. UN, August 2018. This factsheet highlights the benefits of transboundary water management to international trade, climate change adaptation, economic growth, food security, improved governance, and regional integration.
 
Transboundary Waters: Cooperation from Source to Sea. Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), October 2018. Evidence of the linkages among terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments suggests the need to strengthen source-to-sea connections in transboundary water cooperation.
 
Promoting Development in Shared River Basins: Tools for Enhancing Transboundary Basin Management. World Bank, 2018. Transboundary freshwater systems create inevitable linkages and interdependencies between countries. This report identifies a series of tools to help realize and/or increase mutual benefits for riparian countries; mitigate transboundary harm; and promote cross-border coordination to reduce the risk of tensions and conflict that may occur.
 
Identifying, Assessing and Communicating the Benefits of Transboundary Water Cooperation: Lessons Learned and Recommendations. UNECE, August 2018. Experience has shown that identifying, assessing, and communicating the benefits of transboundary water cooperation is highly relevant to promoting such cooperation; and benefit assessments can be conducted in transboundary basins with different governance, socio-economic, and environmental profiles.

Gender Issues 
Tapping Our Potential: Women’s Water Leadership in the Nile Basin. SIWI, August 2019. In the Nile Basin, SIWI and partners established a growing network of women water professionals active in transboundary water management under the Women and Water Diplomacy in the Nile platform to enhance the collective capacity of women throughout the basin and to support their engagement in decision-making and peace-building processes in the basin.
 
Exploring Gender Dimensions of Water Insecurity and Governance in the Lower Mekong Region (LMR). Stockholm Environment Institute, January 2019. This policy brief identifies how experiences of water insecurity in the LMR are gendered. It then scopes out the current trends and policy landscape of water governance in the LMR from a gender equality perspective.
 
How Important is Gender in Transboundary Groundwater Governance? A Question for the Ramotswa Aquifer in Southern Africa. wH2O: The Journal of Gender and Water, March 2019. The paper assesses how legal instruments on gender and transboundary water resources influence equality for women and men in terms of reach of water access, benefits of water use, and empowerment.
 
Sharing Experience on Gender Mainstreaming in Transboundary Water Bodies. UNESCO World Water Assessment Program, March 2019. Panelists in this webinar discuss different experiences with gender mainstreaming and analyze how transboundary water projects in particular benefit from a focus and investment on gender.

Gender and Water Governance in the Mekong Region. Oxfam, February 2019. This report is an assessment of current water governance policies and institutional arrangements in the Mekong region from a gender equality perspective. Based on this assessment, the report identifies strategic opportunities for gender-responsive actions to address current gender gaps.

Transboundary Water Assessments and Monitoring  
Mapping Monthly Water Scarcity in Global Transboundary Basins at Country-Basin Mesh Based Spatial Resolution. Scientific Reports, February 2018. Results showed that around 1.6 billion people living within the 328 country-basin units out of the 560 assessed in this study endure severe water scarcity at least one month a year, while a billion people in 175 country-basin units go through severe water scarcity at least three months each year.
 
Transboundary Aquifers of Africa: Review of the Current State of Knowledge and Progress towards Sustainable Development and Management. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, December 2018. This knowledge review of work on transboundary aquifers in Africa also includes an overview of assessments and management efforts that have taken place over the last half century.
 
The Nile Basin Waters and the West African Rainforest: Rethinking the Boundaries. WIREs Water, September 2018. This focus article presents the state of the West African rainforest, its role in atmospheric moisture transport to the Nile Basin, and the potential impact of its deforestation on the Nile Basin's water regime, as well as options for improving transboundary water governance.
 
Monitoring of Transboundary Water Cooperation: Review of Sustainable Development Goal Indicator 6.5.2 Methodology. Journal of Hydrology, August 2018. Researchers analyze the methodology for assessing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 6.5.2, examine the defining of operational cooperative arrangements, and identify the strengths and limitations of the method for measuring transboundary water cooperation.

Progress on Transboundary Water Cooperation: Global Baseline for SDG Indicator 6.5.2. UN Water, August 2018. This publication highlights the current status and trends in transboundary water cooperation and considers whether the international community is on track to implement integrated water resources management at all levels, especially transboundary, by 2030.

Other Studies and Reports  
New Beginnings in Transboundary Water Cooperation. USAID Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP), 2018. The Mara River Basin is becoming a model case study of approaches and tools that foster effective transboundary water cooperation. In this webinar, SWP staff discuss transboundary water governance frameworks, water allocation planning, stakeholder participation and ownership, and on-the-ground implementation to improve water security.
 
Stagnant Rivers: Transboundary Water Security in South and Southeast Asia. Water, December 2018. In developing countries, a decision-making group often comprised of politicians, bureaucrats, and engineers dominate the management and governance of rivers. These groups perpetuate a technocratic paradigm toward the management of transboundary water, with limited genuine international cooperation.
 
Transboundary Water Conflict Resolution Mechanisms: Substitutes or Complements. Water, June 2019. This paper examines various transboundary water conflict resolution mechanisms, revealing how they complement each other. The complementarity permits researchers and practitioners to develop more comprehensive mechanisms to analyze the different elements of the transboundary water conflict resolution process.
 
Advancing Integrated Water Resource Management Across the Kura River Basin through Implementation of the Transboundary Agreed Actions and National Plans. UN Development Program, July 2019. This report examines links between human activities and environmental degradation, as well as potential impacts of such global threats as climate change and disasters on water resources in the Kura River Basin.
 
Hydro-Economic Modelling for Basin Management of the Senegal River. Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, 2018. Hydro-economic models have emerged as an effective tool for studying various water resources management problems around the globe, such as reservoir operation, transboundary water management, water-food-energy nexus, climate change adaptation, investment planning, etc.

Organizations/Projects 
USAID Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) - SWP is a five-year cooperative agreement that supports USAID thought leadership, innovation, and action in global water security by integrating water security issues into overseas mission programming through relevant, mission-specific initiatives. SWP has also published toolkits that discuss various aspects of water security planning and implementation.
 
USAID Regional Water Management Forum – The forum improves regional transboundary water management and promotes sustainable management practices in Central Asia through two activities: the Partnership for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) and Smart Waters. PEER established a university-led forum to improve management of shared water resources. Smart Waters is building a cadre of water managers to share best practices, collaborate, and manage water resources sustainably.
 
Conjunctive Surface-Groundwater Management of Shared Waters: A New USAID Project – The project is working simultaneously in three shared watercourse/aquifer systems in Africa: the Ngotwane River/Ramotswa system (Botswana and South Africa); the Limpopo River/Tuli-Karoo system (Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe); and the Shire River system (Malawi and Mozambique).
 
International Centre for Water Cooperation (ICWC)  – ICWC is the first UNESCO Category II Centre in Sweden, and the first in the world to focus on transboundary water management in connection with peace, conflict, and regional development. Such centers are established and funded by member states to contribute to the achievement of UNESCO’s objectives.
 
Global Water Partnership (GWP) Transboundary Water Cooperation – Transboundary water cooperation/management is critical to GWP’s mission to advance governance and management of water resources for sustainable and equitable development.
 
Transboundary Water Management Organizations – This webpage from the International Water Law Project contains links to more than 20 organizations involved in the management of shared waters.

If you would like to feature your organization's materials or suggest other content for upcoming issues of Water Currents, please send them to Dan Campbell, Knowledge Creation/WASH Specialist, at dcampbell@waterckm.com.

For past issues of Water Currents, visit Globalwaters.org.
Subscribe
USAID Water Team · 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW · Washington, DC 20523 · USA
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WASH & COVID-19 – Water Currents, March 2020

This special issue contains links to key websites as well as studies and reports that discuss the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)–related aspects of COVID-19. With the release of additional funding, to date USAID has committed up to $100 million in financing from the Emergency Reserve Fund for Contagious Infectious-Disease Outbreaks for 25 countries affected by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or at high risk of its spread.

The COVID-19 virus is transmitted through two main routes: respiratory and contact. No evidence to date suggests that the virus is present in surface or groundwater sources or transmitted through contaminated drinking water. And no evidence to date suggests that the COVID-19 virus has been transmitted via sewerage systems, either with or without treatment.

The provision of safe WASH conditions is essential to protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19 outbreak. Below are some WASH–related infectious disease prevention and control measures. 

  • Ensuring good and consistently applied WASH and waste management practices in communities, homes, schools, marketplaces, and health care facilities will further help to prevent human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
  • Frequent and proper handwashing with soap is one of the most important measures that can be used to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus. WASH activities aiming to respond to COVID-19 should work to enable handwashing by improving services and facilities and using proven behavior change techniques. 
  • Reliable water services in health facilities and households are critical to ensuring both sufficient quantities of safe drinking water and the ability to maintain hygiene (including hand hygiene, laundering, cleaning, and disinfection). 

Read the complete issue.

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WaSH and Coronavirus – knowns, unknowns, and implications for monitoring and management

A novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019. The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 (or COVID-19), is believed to have originated in bats, and has rapidly progressed to a global pandemic that has infected hundreds of thousands of individuals (1, 2). Author: Dr. Michael B. Fisher, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Acknowledgement to … Continue reading WaSH and Coronavirus – knowns, unknowns, and implications for monitoring and management

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Demystifying water integrity: from policy to practice using the Integrity Management Toolbox

Corruption and poor integrity can be a big drain on the resources, reputation, and effectiveness of key water sector players, service providers in particular.

There are some high-level policies in place to tackle the challenges of corruption and poor integrity but water utilities, for example, don’t often feel they have enough practical guidance to deal with the issues they actually face in their daily business. What do you do to make sure integrity risks don’t drag you down? What do you do when funds disappear or when vehicles and company resources are being used abusively for private purposes?

Integrity Management in the water sector is a change management approach to prevent and reduce unnecessary losses from corruption and develop preventive measures to strengthen procurement, human resources, accounting, O&M and other work processes. The Integrity Management Toolbox was developed to support such a process and transform challenges into opportunities. To date, the Toolbox has been used to support different organizations in over 20 countries, including large utilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Albania, Ecuador, and Honduras.

WIN and cewas organized a webinar on the Integrity Management Toolbox on March 18th 2020 to discuss the methodology and share experiences from previous applications of the toolbox. Here’s what we learned.

 

An Integrity Management Toolbox to assess and tackle corruption and integrity risks in water utilities

The webinar was kicked off with a new video introducing the tool. It shows that there are business-savvy management tools to tackle corruption and describes the basic implementation process for the Toolbox, from the preparation, through the description of an organization’s business model, the assessment of risks, and the development and implementation of an integrity action plan.

 

 

Panellists discussed their experiences with integrity management. For example, Erion Likaj of KfW Albania, a former Integrity Management (IM) coach for utilities, explained that better revenues can be a positive result of good planning and discussed how the Toolbox has been used to support planning, develop better performance targets, and link these to investments. Sareen Malik of ANEW, a former IM coach in Kenya, discussed the way institutions are increasingly seeing the water crisis as a governance crisis, not a technical one. Many see the need for a new approach even if they may at first fear digging into the corruption angle.

Panellists agreed there is real value in being prepared and having a good understanding of risks. Integrity management can also ensure corruption problems are detected early and contained without the need for external or costly interventions.

 

Lessons learned: what is needed to launch integrity management processes?

  • An enabling environment must be created if it doesn’t exist. Utilities must see the alignment of operational processes to integrity values as beneficial for the organisation’s performance.
  • There needs to be willingness at mid- or senior management level.
  • Lenders can require utilities to have performance targets before investment is activated. This has been the case in Albania for example.
  • There can be significant socio-cultural barriers preventing adoption of integrity management; the integrity toolbox may not automatically be well received. Communication is key for avoiding misunderstandings that could potentially damage the process. In Kenya, for example, utilities willing to address integrity issues pulled out at last minute, for fear they might be accused of having corruption problems in the first place. Context-adapted communication could have pre-empted such issues.

 

Lessons learned: assessing integrity risks and choosing the right tools to address them

  • Each specific context will require a different risk assessment (looking at what regulations are in place, what institutions, etc.). It’s partly why cookie-cutter approaches will generally be less effective.
  • Encouraging behaviour founded on integrity principles can be done through rewards.
  • There needs to be a structured process for addressing emerging issues.
  • It’s key to be clear about who is doing what, and when.
  • If corrupt activities are protected and propagated at top management level, it will be of little use to address integrity issues from within the organization itself. Instead, different strategies would have to be adopted: supervisory boards or administrative councils can be very influential and steer an organization towards integrity; third parties addressing integrity or external oversight mechanisms can also influence an organization.

 

Follow the full webinar:

 

Interested in hearing more? Sign up to receive updates about integrity management updates and other events or webinar.

 

The post Demystifying water integrity: from policy to practice using the Integrity Management Toolbox appeared first on WIN - Water Integrity Network.

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