WatSan.eu Feeds

❌ About FreshRSS
There are new available articles, click to refresh the page.
Before yesterday2. Sanitation

Josh’s Water Jobs – U.S. citizens and legal residents: Director of Engineering (WASH)

DigDeep USA | Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: Full-Time | Organization Type: NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: Senior (10+ Years) | Degree Required: Bachelor’s (Or Equivalent)

Simply Put: DigDeep is the only WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) organization serving the more than 2 million Americans who still don’t have a tap or toilet at home. DigDeep is growing fast. We won the 2018 US Water Prize for our Navajo Water Project, which has brought clean, running water to hundreds of Native families across New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

The Opportunity:

The Director of Engineering leads and coordinates DigDeep’s water, sanitation, and hygiene systems, including the design, technical implementation, operational excellence, and long-term sustainability. This position will support headquarters and field programs by creatively identifying appropriate technology, preparing and reviewing designs, monitoring system performance, and providing leadership and oversight throughout the project cycle.

The Director of Engineering is responsible for actively participating in the development and completion of projects, ensuring quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of DigDeep’s WASH systems, providing expert guidance and support, and maintaining positive relationships with both internal and external stakeholders,

Additional information/Apply


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

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

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

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

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

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


Sanitation Challenge for Ghana rewarding excellence

By: awumbei

A prize to reward excellence in urban liquid waste management in Ghana.

The Sanitation Challenge for Ghana (SC4Gh) Prize was launched on World Toilet Day, 19th November 2015 as a component of the Ideas to Impact global initiative to stimulate competition among Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and to encourage inclusive partnership for the design and implementation of liquid waste management (LWM) strategies. 

In 2017, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources launched the Prize for Private Sector and Non-State Actors alongside the SC4Gh to induce the private sector to partner with the competing MMDAs to improve LWM and to influence innovations, expertise and investments in the target localities.

The SC4Gh for MMDAs was funded by DFID-UK and the Prize for Private Sector and Non-State Actors by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The prize competition took place from November 2015 to July 2019 under the auspices of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources with technical support from IRC Ghana, IMC Worldwide and Maple Consult.

The SC4Gh Prize for MMDAs was in two stages. The design of MMDA LWM strategies constituted the first stage and the implementation of the strategies the second stage. At the end of stage 1, on 30 April 2016, 48 of the 127 MMDAs who registered for the competition submitted their strategies for adjudication. 21 of the 48 MMDAs excelled and were duly recognised with honorary prizes with 3 winning a total of GBP 75,000 in monetary awards.

All 21 MMDA were invited to express interest to participate in the implementation of their winning strategies; and 17 of the 21 MMDAs met the minimum condition and were considered for stage 2. At this stage, the prize for private sector and non-state actors was also introduced. 

At the end of the stage 2 process on March 27, 2019, 15 of the 17 MMDAs and 14 of the over 60 registered private sector and non-state actors submitted their final implementation reports. These were screened and passed to an independent Verification Agent to verify the reports and subsequently to a panel of international and local judges for online and live judging to determine the deserving winners.

At the grand dignified city award on July 24, 2019 at the Marriott Hotel in Accra, 9 MMDAs and 6 private partners were announced and presented with a total prize value of GBP 1,285,000 and US$ 225,000 respectively - for excellence in the implementation of urban liquid waste management strategies and exploring inclusive partnership to influence innovations, expertise and investments in the target localities towards bringing transformational changes to city-wide sanitation service delivery.

The video below presents a snapshot of the SC4Gh events leading to the award and the Grand Dignified City Award ceremony, which took place on July 24, 2019 in Accra, Ghana.

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

CKM Team Updates to Globalwaters.org

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

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

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


Innovative Finance in Action: Cambodia DIB at World Water Week

By: iDE

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

Where: Your home (online)

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

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

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

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

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

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


A SWA briefing note on climate change adaptation and mitigation

Adapting to climate change and fostering a low carbon water and sanitation sector.

SWA Briefing Series

As the world grapples with COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly clear that the provision of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is essential to protect human health during all infectious disease outbreaks. While, the focus is currently on fighting the pandemic, building momentum on an interconnected issue of climate change has to stay high on the agenda.  

The Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) global multi-stakeholder partnership exists to mobilise its partners to better work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SWA partners can play a key role in supporting the bridging of SDG 6 (on water and sanitation) and SDG 13 (on climate action), while recognising that the ability to meet these SDGs directly affects and is affected by almost all of the other SDGs, including poverty, food, gender and inequality, as examples.  

A briefing note addressing the issue of climate change has been prepared that explores how Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partners can address the risks and challenges presented by climate change through adaptation and mitigation measures. The SWA Framework offers concrete suggestions on how SWA partners can integrate climate change considerations into their planning and actions at global, regional and national levels. The briefing note can be downloaded from the SWA website.


Adapting to climate change and fostering a low carbon water and sanitation sector

By: Grift

This briefing note explores how Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partners can address the risks and challenges presented by climate change through adaptation and mitigation measures. The SWA Framework offers concrete suggestions on how SWA partners can integrate climate change considerations into their planning and actions at global, regional and national levels.

The SWA Briefing Papers analyze key development issues that are relevant for the partnership, exploring how these issues can be better understood and proposing some concrete action that can be integrated into the collaborative work of SWA's partners.

This briefing note explores how Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partners can address the risks and challenges presented by climate change through adaptation and mitigation measures. The SWA Framework offers concrete suggestions on how SWA partners can integrate climate change considerations into their planning and actions at global, regional and national levels.

This is part of The SWA Briefing Papers. These papers analyze key development issues that are relevant for the partnership, exploring how these issues can be better understood and proposing some concrete action that can be integrated into the collaborative work of SWA's partners.

See additional papers here 



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the complete issue .


2 reports on menstrual hygiene management in humanitarian settings

Practice Note: Menstrual Health Management in Humanitarian Settings. Chapter 45 in the Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies, July 2020.

The authors are volunteers or staff with WoMena, an NGO that works to improve menstrual health and management in Uganda. Based on this experience and focusing on Uganda and Nepal, this practice note probes how the issue is approached in different contexts and at different stages—comparing urgent response after a sudden onset disaster (for example, earthquakes) to protracted crises (for example, long-term refugee settings). 

The authors discuss how interventions can be made sustainable beyond the short-term ‘kit culture’ response; they highlight experiences with more developmental approaches involving policy support, community participation, capacity building, and the use of products that are economically and environmentally sustainable.

Innovative Strategies for Providing Menstruation-Supportive Water, Sanitation And Hygiene Facilities: Learning From Refugee Camps In Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Research Square, July 2020.

Background: There is growing attention to addressing the menstrual hygiene management (MHM) needs of the over 21 million displaced adolescent girls and women globally. Current approaches to MHM-related humanitarian programming often prioritize the provision of menstrual materials and information. However, a critical component of an MHM response includes the construction and maintenance of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, including more female-friendly toilets. This enables spaces for menstruating girls and women to change, dispose, wash and dry menstrual materials; all of which are integral tasks required for MHM. A global assessment identi􀂦ed a number of innovations focused on designing and implementing menstruation-supportive WASH facilities in the refugee camps located in Cox’s Bazar (CXB), Bangladesh. These pilot efforts strove to include the use of more participatory methodologies in the process of developing the new MHM-supportive WASH approaches.

Results: Key findings included one, the identification of new female-driven consultation methods aimed at improving female beneficiary involvement and buy-in during the design and construction phases; two, the design of new multi-purpose WASH facilities to increase female beneficiary usage; three, new menstrual waste disposal innovations being piloted in communal and institutional settings, with female users indicating at least initial acceptability; and four, novel strategies for engaging male beneficiaries in the design of female WASH facilities, including promoting dialogue to generate buy-in regarding the importance of these facilities and debate about their placement.

Conclusions: Although the identified innovative participatory methodologies and design approaches are promising, the long term viability of the facilities, including plans to expand them, may be dependent on the continued engagement of girls and women, and the availability of resources.


@WASHStrong takeover: How do human rights strengthen systems?

A4C Twitter takeover

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

@WASHStrong takeover: How do human rights strengthen systems?

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

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

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

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

Joins us if you…

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

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

–          Want to see what experiences other have made

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

See you there

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


A4C Twitter takeover

Decolonising the WASH sector

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


Gay Village, Montreal. Credit: Martin Reisch/Unsplash

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

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

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

The colonised African WASH sector


Non-revenue water losses in Kenya. Credit: WASREB, 2020.
Impact : performance report of Kenya’s water services sector – 2018/19, fig. 2.4, p. 27

Euphresia Luseka confronted us with a practical example of WASH sector colonisation in Kenya, related to non-revenue water management. Despite years of increasing donor funding, non-revenue water losses are not declining and amounted to 43% for 2018/2019 according to WASREB, the Water Services Regulatory Board. Project design is conceptualised in the North and implemented by expensive Northern experts using expensive imported technologies. There is neither a deliberate focus on the unserved, nor on accountability that would support the scaling-up of sustainable services after the donor leaves the scene. There is no value for money.

Global Talk participant, Martin Watsisi from IRC Uganda gave the example of a Northern NGO that had installed an imported prepaid solar water meter and monitoring dashboard in Kabarole district. Both became dysfunctional and were never repaired.

Interactions between donors and Southern partners are always political, Euphresia remarked in response to a question from IRC Uganda’s Florence Anobe Komakech. Most donors want to hurry the process so consultation only takes place at the kickoff of the project. Southern partners are reluctant to voice their opinions, afraid to appear to be ungrateful and hope they can influence the process later in project monitoring meetings, which often never materialise. Euphresia stressed that consultation should be a continuous process starting at the project conception, supported by open communication channels amongst other social accountability tenets.

IRC CEO Patrick Moriarty reminded us that 10 years ago, country leadership was at the heart of the Dutch development aid effectiveness policy, supporting direct budget support, pooled funds and sector-wide approaches (SWAPs). Now the Dutch have largely rowed back from this.

Decolonising knowledge

Euphresia’s blog in Medium sparked a lively discussion with over 30 contributions so far, when she reposted it on the RWSN Leave No-one Behind Dgroup discussion forum [login required]. In the Global Talk she told us that before we can decolonise WASH sector knowledge, we first need to decolonise our minds. The next step is then to define what we consider to be a good knowledge product and a good knowledge producer, taking multilingualism and copyright into consideration.

Euphresia would like to see knowledge collections showcasing Black perspectives and knowledge products based on collaborative research and peer review. Ironically, COVID-19 may help speed up this process, as the “days of parachute research teams from [the] global North [are] winding up”. The “pause offers opportunities to develop greater, more equitable collaboration between researchers in the global North and South”.

Decolonising systems thinking


“Holding Up” mural by Caitlin Taguibao. Lalitpur / Patan, Nepal. Photo credit: Tobi Feder/Unsplash

Our second speaker Alara Adali wrote an opinion piece with the intriguing title “Decolonising systems thinking”. It was full of words and concepts that I never came across in IRC publications about systems thinking: empathy, support and care, creative acts of resistance, toxic positions of power, feminist, solidarity. Alara explained that she is using the term systems thinking not only within an international development and social change context, but also within a personal and political context. For her, indigenous knowledge, feminist theory and human rights are integral parts of systems thinking.

Within this integral context, Alara believes that decolonising systems thinking compels us first of all to come to terms with the legacy of colonialism and social injustice, which is now being amplified by COVID-19 and #BlackLivesMatter. We are not only responsible for existing systems but also those created by our ancestors. Secondly, Alara believes we must create safety and support networks for disadvantaged groups so that they can be honest when sharing their experiences for instance with development organisations. In this way communities can become active members within the system.

As a facilitator of workshops on migration and the climate emergency, and networking events, Alara says decolonisation requires communication and power sharing so that everyone can become agents of change. Within the London International Development Network, she is part of a group of young professionals involved in organisational change and systems thinking. At their events and team gatherings, group members promote horizontal leadership, switching between their roles of facilitator and participant. A safe space is created for all participants to share their experiences and ideas on decolonisation in an authentic way.

So what can IRC do?

Euphresia believes IRC is already on track to address decolonisation issues by opening platforms such as this Global Talk and should continue communication about these issues. She urges IRC to look beyond WASH SDG 6 to SDG 10 (Reduce inequality within and among countries) and SDG 16 (Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development). Together with promoting mutual accountability and, as mentioned, earlier, build knowledge collections showcasing Black perspectives.

Alara asks IRC to take decolonisation to a next level by incorporating indigenous knowledge or knowledge from activist communities, which can be practically applied in WASH systems.  Secondly, learn to ask uncomfortable questions during IRC’s planned internal review on diversity performance in support of the commitment to the global struggle against racism.

Be bold, get uncomfortable and show leadership.

Watch the video recording of the IRC Global Talk on Decolonising the WASH sector and systems thinking.


This blog was reviewed by Euphresia Luseka and Alara Adali. You can follow them on Twitter at @Euphyk and @alara_adali, respectively. Thanks to Tettje van Daalen for copyediting.

Useful links

Initiating De-colonisation of WASH Sector Knowledge / Euphresia Luseka, Medium, 8 June 2020

Decolonising systems thinking / Alara Adali, Medium, 25 February 2020

Decolonisation of WASH knowledge: addressing institutional bias – guest blog by Depinder Kapur, 22 June 2020

Racism in the aid industry and international development-a curated collection / Tobias Denskus. Aidnography: communicating development. 18 June 2020

This blog was first published on the IRC WASH website on 23 July 2020 at:









Good practice for WASH in Ghana : meeting the targets for water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030

The NDPC selected three districts in Ghana - Bongo, Wassa East and Asutifi North - to highlight successes and challenges in improving access to water and sanitation.

This booklet highlights experiences in three districts of Ghana (Bongo, Wassa East and Asutifi North) reflecting efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). They represent examples from real-life about making progress towards the targets set by the Government. These ‘best practice’ stories have been collected by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), which advises the President of Ghana on development strategies.

Learning in the Sanitation and Hygiene Sector

Learning in the Sanitation and Hygiene Sector. Sanitation Learning Hub, July 2020.

How do you think we learn best? What barriers do you see and experience that make it more difficult for us to learn? And what steps should we be taking to reduce the barriers and improve how we learn more effectively?

This SLH Learning Paper summarises the key learning from a rapid topic exploration on ‘Learning in the Sanitation and Hygiene Sector’.

The study looked at how people in the WASH sector learn, the processes utilised and what works best, as well as the barriers and challenges to learning. It looks at learning from communities and peer-to-peer and how the learning gets translated into action at scale.

This paper shares the lessons from sector and associated actors working in low- and middle-income contexts around the world and makes recommendation on how to strengthen learning and sharing processes, as well as building capacities and confidence for learning, with the ultimate aim of turning that learning into action at scale.

Download/view the report.


Banfora: Health centres in the spotlight

A new project SANIYA SO+ will be implemented in the 17 health centres of the commune of Banfora.

Development stakeholders are joining IRC in the support of the commune of Banfora in becoming a national reference for access to sustainable drinking water and sanitation services by 2030. The One Drop Foundation is financing a two-year project (March 2020 to April 2022) implemented by the Espace Culturel Gambidi (ECG). With a total cost of US$1 million, the project, "SANIYA SO+", complements the actions of the "SANIYA SO" project implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CSR). It will be implemented in the 17 health centres of the commune of Banfora.

Participants were committed to join the workshop (PH. N-R. ZOHOUN)


An evocative "plus" that announces and clarifies the ambitions of this project to contribute to the improvement of the health of the people of the district of Banfora, by promoting good hygiene and sanitation practices through social art for behaviour change. Indeed, a participatory assessment of the health centres, carried out by SANIYA SO+ and its partners in May 2020, revealed that there are significant risks in the control of infections linked to the transmission of pathogenic genes. These threats to the health of the population have multiple causes, including poor/non-practice of handwashing with soap by both health workers and patients, lack of handwashing facilities and attributes (soap and water), unavailability and lack of adequate maintenance of latrines that meet standards. Since health centres are vulnerable places, they could not be left out of this planning. This is the opinion of the project implementing manager, Mr. Amédée SININI, according to whom "health centres must be places of healing and not places where diseases are spread". Therefore, SANIYA SO+ is focusing its attention on making health centres clean because these places are meant to save lives.

The assessment led to the elaboration of an Implementation Plan (IP) for the said project, which plans to involve the different actors, both from the water and sanitation sector and from the health sector, to work in synergy for the success of the SANIYA SO+ project. Health actors will be at the heart of this project because, as the coordinator of the social art for behaviour change component of SANIYA SO+, Emmanuel Koama stated, "when the word is carried by the actors themselves, it is quickly taken on board".

The panel of the PMO validation workshop of the SANIYA SO+ project (PH. N-R. ZOHOUN)

The workshop

In order to inform the stakeholders of the IP, a workshop was organised on Monday 6th July 2020, in Banfora by the Espace Culturel Gambidi in collaboration with IRC and the commune of Banfora. Chaired by the mayor of the commune, Aboubakar HEMA, with his first deputy by his side, the workshop was attended by several actors from the water, hygiene, sanitation and health sectors. IRC, CRS, One Drop, Health District, Health Agents, MUNYU Association, Banfora municipality and its Directorate of Water, Sanitation and Public Hygiene, Espace Culturel Gambidi were the stakeholders at this meeting. During the workshop, the protocol was signed and exchanged between the municipality and Espace Culturel Gambidi in order to formalise the collaboration between the two parties.

Exchange of the signed protocol between ECG and Banfora municipality (PH. N-R. ZOHOUN)

Tasks are defined and precise

At the end of the meeting, the plan met with the approval of all participants and was therefore unanimously validated. After this act and subject to the consideration of the amendments made to the document by the participants, from now on, the tasks for the implementation of SANIYA SO+ are defined and precise. This is the actual start of the project and kick-off for the improvement of the drinking water, hygiene and sanitation services in the health centres of Banfora. All actors are aware of what is at stake. The mayor of the commune, Mr. Aboubakar HEMA said among other things: "We are all leaders for behaviour change in the water, hygiene and sanitation sector. This plan belongs to all of us and each of us must contribute their share to its implementation".

Banfora : Les centres de santé à l’honneur

Un nouveau projet, "SANIYA SO+", interviendra au niveau des 17 centres de santé de la commune de Banfora.

Des acteurs de développement se mobilisent aux côtés de l'IRC, pour accompagner la commune de Banfora dans sa vision d’être une référence nationale en matière d’accès à des services durables d’eau potable et d’assainissement d’ici 2030. C’est le cas de la Fondation One Drop qui finance un projet d’une durée de deux ans (mars 2020 à avril 2022) et mis en œuvre par l’Espace Culturel Gambidi (ECG).  D’un coût global de 1 million de dollars US, le projet, "SANIYA SO+", vient compléter les actions du projet "SANIYA SO" mis en œuvre par Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Il interviendra au niveau des 17 centres de santé de la commune de Banfora.

Les participants à l’atelier n’ont pas marchandé leur disponibilité (Ph. N-R. ZOHOUN)


Un « plus » évocateur qui annonce et précise les ambitions de ce projet de contribuer à l’amélioration de la santé des populations de la commune de Banfora, par la promotion de bonnes pratiques en matière d’hygiène et d’assainissement à travers l’art social pour le changement de comportement. En effet un diagnostic participatif des Centres de santé, réalisé par SANIYA SO+ et ses partenaires en mai 2020, a révélé qu’il existe des risques importants lors du contrôle des infections liées à la transmission des gènes pathogènes. Ces menaces sur la santé des populations ont des causes multiples, notamment la mauvaise/non pratique du lavage des mains au savon aussi bien de la part des agents de santé que par des usagers, l’inexistence des lave-mains et du consommable (savon et eau) qui l’accompagne, l’indisponibilité et le manque d’entretien adéquats des latrines répondant aux normes. Les centres de santé étant donc des lieux à caractère vulnérable, ils ne pouvaient être laissés en marge de cette planification. Du reste, c’est l’avis du chargé de mise en œuvre du projet, Mr Amédée SININI,  selon qui « les centres de santés doivent des lieux de guérison et non de propagation de maladies ».  Ainsi, SANIYA SO+, dans la dynamique de rendre ces centres irréprochables en matière d’accès à l’eau et à l’assainissement, oriente son action dans une direction très sensible, car, bien plus que des hôpitaux, ces endroits permettent de sauver des vies.

Ce diagnostic a abouti à l’élaboration d’un Plan de Mise en Œuvre (PMO) dudit projet qui prévoit de mettre à contribution les différents acteurs aussi bien ceux du secteur eau et assainissement que ceux de la santé, œuvrant dans la commune et qui travailleront en synergie d’actions pour la réussite du projet SANIYA SO+. Les acteurs de la santé seront au cœur des actions car, comme l’a affirmé le coordonnateur du volet Art Social pour le changement de comportement au sein de SANIYA SO+, Emmanuel Koama, « lorsque la parole est portée par les acteurs eux-mêmes, elle est rapidement prise en compte ».

Le présidium de l’atelier de validation du PMO du projet  SANIYA SO+ (Ph. N-R. ZOHOUN)


C’est dans l’intention de soumettre le PMO à l’appréciation de ces acteurs qu’un atelier a été organisé, le lundi 6juillet 2020, à Banfora, par l’Espace Culturel Gambidi, en collaboration avec IRC et la municipalité de Banfora. Présidé par le maire de la commune, Aboubakar HEMA, qui avait à ses côtés son premier adjoint, ledit atelier a connu la présence effective de plusieurs acteurs des secteurs eau, hygiène, assainissement et santé. C’est ainsi que, IRC, CRS, One Drop, District Sanitaire, Agents de Santé, Association MUNYU, Mairie de Banfora et sa Direction de l’Eau, Assainissement et Hygiène Publique, Espace Culturel Gambidi, ont été les témoins oculaires et parties prenantes de cette rencontre. L’atelier, très à propos, a été mis à profit par ses organisateurs pour l’échange du protocole qui a été signé entre la Mairie et l’Espace Culturel Gambidi dans le but de formaliser la collaboration entre ces deux entités.

Echange de protocole signé entre ECG et Mairie de Banfora (Ph. N-R. ZOHOUN)

Des tâches précises

A l’issue des travaux de la rencontre, le plan a reçu l’assentiment de tous les participants et a donc été validé à l’unanimité. Après cet acte et sous réserve de la prise en compte des amendements apportés au document par les participants, désormais, les tâches pour la mise en œuvre de SANIYA SO+ sont définies et précises. Toute chose qui permettra le démarrage effectif du projet et donc l’amélioration du service d’eau potable, hygiène et assainissement dans les centres de santé de Banfora. Du reste, tous les acteurs, conscient de l’enjeu, devront tout un chacun veiller à la bonne marche de ce projet qui constitue un palier important de l’édifice commun qu’est le PSC-AEPA de la commune de Banfora. Le maire de la commune, Mr Aboubakar HEMA a si bien traduit cette synergie dans ses propos. Morceaux choisis : « Nous sommes tous leaders pour le changement de comportement dans le secteur de l’eau, l’hygiène et l’assainissement. Ce plan nous appartient à tous et chacun de nous doit apporter sa contribution, sa part pour sa mise en œuvre ».