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✇WaterForPeople Blog

Keeping Water Flowing Forever in Guatemala

By: Water For People

Major strides are being made toward sustainable water services in Guatemala. In 2016, the four Everyone Forever districts in Guatemala created Municipal Water and Sanitation Offices (OMAS). While water and sanitation infrastructure is important, offices like the OMAS are absolutely critical, because they manage community water systems, serving as local water utilities and providing ongoing professional support to maintain the systems.

“The Municipal Water and Sanitation Offices are a vital element to achieve sustainability in the Everyone Forever strategy,” says Edgar Fajardo, Water For People’s Guatemala Country Director.

Offices like the OMAS are essential. But how to make sure all 340 municipalities in Guatemala have this district water oversight?

In most countries where we work, replication of these offices can be challenging due to resource constraints, but it’s not an impossible task — because the national water laws mandate municipal-level responsibility over water and sanitation services.

In Guatemala, however, no national water law exists.

There is no mandate of municipal management and oversight of water and sanitation services, which makes Everyone Forever particularly challenging to achieve.

Edgar says the lack of a water law in Guatemala means every single activity related to water service has to be negotiated with the different levels of authority — creating difficulty and time delays.

Edgar holds the presidency of the Water and Sanitation Network of Guatemala, and alongside other NGOs in this network has been advocating relentlessly for a national law. Earlier this year, the Secretary of Food Security in Guatemala formed a sub-commission of government agencies and NGOs to start strategizing around a law that would give municipalities the authority and support they need to reach Everyone Forever with water and sanitation services.

“This is a process,” Edgar says. “And it depends on decisionmakers and politicians. But the law is important for several reasons. It would provide the legal support needed to improve health and food security and provide the funds to confront the actual [water] situation in Guatemala.”

Until the law passes, Edgar is leveraging his position with the Water and Sanitation network to propose a requirement that every district in Guatemala has an OMAS. Water For People has done trainings in seven different regions across Guatemala to build capacity around creating OMAS to provide support to district water and sanitation services.

A political environment supportive of water and sanitation services is critical to reaching Everyone Forever, and we’re optimistic Guatemala is on track to make that happen.

With a water law in place — “Can you imagine that?” Edgar asks — more people would get water coverage, and faster. Behavior change would happen around hygiene. Affordable tariffs would be set that would account for water system repair and replacement.

Sustainability would be within reach.

✇ICT4WASH

First ICT4WASH Newsletter, and Course Announcement!

First ICT4WASH Newsletter, and Course Announcement!
View this email in your browser
Levyne Otieno installs a solar-powered wireless data logger that transmits water flow information to the utility.

Welcome to the first ICT4WASH Newsletter!


Dear ICT4WASH Members and Friends,

ICT4WASH is a community of individuals and organizations interested in the application of technology in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.  The community emerged from a group of like-minded individuals interested in expanding international cooperation and capacity building around ICT in water and sanitation related activities, strategies and programs.

Members of the community connect, share, collaborate and learn through online and in-person networking and training workshops and events.

This newsletter will come out on occasion to share announcements on these activities, updates on member projects and initiatives, funding opportunities, and recent articles and publications of interest to the community.

If you would like to share news or resources with the rest of the community, simply reply to this email or forward them to info@ict4wash.com, and we’ll feature them in the next newsletter.

Also, don’t forget to join our Facebook group, and follow us on Twitter!

A cyble sensor sends meter readings to the data logger above for wireless data transmission.

Course Announcement!

ICT4WASH102 is a highly-interactive one-month eLearning course on ICT for Water Service Providers and other WASH sector stakeholders.

The course first launched in mid-2017 with 4 facilitators, 9 guest experts, and 50 participants from 16 countries.  With such positive results, organizers decided to run the course again from November 6 – December 1 with new guest experts and participants from around the world!

Managers and staff of Water Service Providers (WSPs), humanitarian organizations, non-profits, NGOs, government, and the private sector are invited to join the course which includes dynamic self-guided content, case studies, discussion forums, technology demos and practical exercises.  Participants test and use (and even develop!) mobile and web-based solutions, including mobile data collection apps, cloud-based databases, and custom and off-the-shelf mobile and geospatial solutions available on the market.

The course also features live and interactive guest expert presentations and Q&As with leading water and sanitation specialists, researchers, and ICT solutions providers.

Please share the news with colleagues and friends who might be interested!

ICT4WASH102 Course Page!
Recent Articles and Publications
 
ICT antiques at the University of Cape Town Centre in ICT for Development
Join the ICT4WASH Facebook group, or follow us on Twitter by clicking the links below!
Copyright © *2017* ICT4WASH, All rights reserved.

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✇ICT4WASH

First ICT4WASH Newsletter, and Course Announcement!

First ICT4WASH Newsletter, and Course Announcement!
View this email in your browser
Levyne Otieno installs a solar-powered wireless data logger that transmits water flow information to the utility.

Welcome to the first ICT4WASH Newsletter!


Dear ICT4WASH Members and Friends,

ICT4WASH is a community of individuals and organizations interested in the application of technology in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.  The community emerged from a group of like-minded individuals interested in expanding international cooperation and capacity building around ICT in water and sanitation related activities, strategies and programs.

Members of the community connect, share, collaborate and learn through online and in-person networking and training workshops and events.

This newsletter will come out on occasion to share announcements on these activities, updates on member projects and initiatives, funding opportunities, and recent articles and publications of interest to the community.

If you would like to share news or resources with the rest of the community, simply reply to this email or forward them to info@ict4wash.com, and we’ll feature them in the next newsletter.

Also, don’t forget to join our Facebook group, and follow us on Twitter!

A cyble sensor sends meter readings to the data logger above for wireless data transmission.

Course Announcement!

ICT4WASH102 is a highly-interactive one-month eLearning course on ICT for Water Service Providers and other WASH sector stakeholders.

The course first launched in mid-2017 with 4 facilitators, 9 guest experts, and 50 participants from 16 countries.  With such positive results, organizers decided to run the course again from November 6 – December 1 with new guest experts and participants from around the world!

Managers and staff of Water Service Providers (WSPs), humanitarian organizations, non-profits, NGOs, government, and the private sector are invited to join the course which includes dynamic self-guided content, case studies, discussion forums, technology demos and practical exercises.  Participants test and use (and even develop!) mobile and web-based solutions, including mobile data collection apps, cloud-based databases, and custom and off-the-shelf mobile and geospatial solutions available on the market.

The course also features live and interactive guest expert presentations and Q&As with leading water and sanitation specialists, researchers, and ICT solutions providers.

Please share the news with colleagues and friends who might be interested!

ICT4WASH102 Course Page!
Recent Articles and Publications
 
ICT antiques at the University of Cape Town Centre in ICT for Development
Join the ICT4WASH Facebook group, or follow us on Twitter by clicking the links below!
Copyright © *2017* ICT4WASH, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

 






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ICT4WASH · 75 Harrington Street · Cape Town, Western Cape 8001 · South Africa

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✇ICT4WASH

📢 ICT4WASH102 eLearning Course Application Deadline Tomorrow! 🎓⌛

📢 ICT4WASH102 eLearning Course Application Deadline Tomorrow! 🎓⌛
View this email in your browser

ICT4WASH102 Deadline Reminder!

 

Hi ICT4WASH Folks!

This is a friendly reminder that the deadline to apply for ICT4WASH102: ICT for Water Service Providers has been extended to tomorrow (Tuesday, October 31st).  The one-month course will run from November 6th through December 1st. 

ICT4WASH102 is a highly-interactive online eLearning course on how ICT (mobiles, IoT/M2M, smart metering, GIS, mobile payments, etc.) can be harnessed to reduce non-revenue water (NRW), and improve services provision, customer satisfaction, revenue collection, finances, and asset management.

Managers and staff from utilities, humanitarian organizations, non-profits, NGOs, government, and the private sector are all welcome to apply!

So far we have participants from Tanzania, Philippines, Zambia, Bangladesh, Canada, Kenya, Niger, Cambodia, India, United States, Malawi, Mali, Yemen, United Kingdom, Colombia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone!


Invitations will be sent out by the end of the week, and selected participants will be able to enter the platform for Orientation to start a fun mobile data collection activity and scavenger hunt.

The application only takes a minute and can be done here:

ICT4WASH102 Course Application

 


If you would like to subscribe to the ICT4WASH Newsletter, click here to sign up, or navigate here:

http://eepurl.com/c66vj1

To include your ICT-related project updates, articles, publications, events, or other news in our next newsletter, please send them to:

info@ict4wash.com


 
Join the ICT4WASH Facebook group, or follow us on Twitter by clicking the links below!
Copyright © *2017* ICT4WASH, All rights reserved.

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✇Splash Blog

Our Design Journey: From Fiberglass to Plastic and Beyond

By: Splash

For over a decade, Splash has been incorporating innovative design into our drinking and handwashing stations. One of the main drivers for this work is the difference in price per tap. Yet the cost savings do not begin to touch upon the many other benefits of materials, like plastic, that we are thrilled about.

From prototyping and testing multiple versions of stations in the field (everything from brick and mortar, concrete and tile, glass stone, commercially available products, custom stainless-steel models, and our current fiberglass molds), to designing stations for institutions accommodating a wide range of children (from schools of 5,000, to feeding centers of 1,500, to pediatric hospitals of 100), we have rich experience with what works and what doesn’t.

Human-centered design is a critical component of our approach. In Nepal and India, our stations have been traditionally made using fiberglass, a type of plastic that is reinforced with glass fibers. In the US, fiberglass is commonly used for playground equipment, boats, roofing, and many others where products must be durable and lightweight.

As Splash looks to expand our sanitation projects in Ethiopia, we will take our best practices learned in Asia and manufacture and install fiberglass stations in Addis Ababa for the first time. Previously, we only installed concrete and tile stations in schools. We also will continue to innovate even further in the future.

Fiberglass and plastic stations are easier to install, easier to clean, easier to repair, and easier to move after installation than our existing tile and concrete stations in Ethiopia. The design process has also allowed us to make our stations more child friendly (both in terms of aesthetics and functionality).

Splash’s team in Addis Ababa have been hard at work, researching fiberglass manufacturers, gathering bids, re-negotiating prices, and as of August 2017, supervising initial station manufacturing. The new fiberglass stations for Ethiopia will be similar to the design we use for Nepal and India, with small improvements. The ability to serve more students per station is needed given the very large school sizes in Addis Ababa, with some schools having upwards of 2,000 students.

“Splash’s first fiberglass water stations were installed in Nepal and India. They were well received by the schools and appreciated by government officials.” — Sourav Chattopadhyay, Lead Technician, Splash India
To facilitate the transition and build-out of our country-level expertise, Sourav Chattopadhyay, Lead Technician from Splash’s Kolkata Office, flew to Ethiopia to provide technical support to our team in Addis on the initial fiberglass drinking and handwashing station manufacturing.

Thanks to an exciting new partnership with the Autodesk Foundation, Splash will expand our impact and continue our long history of innovation in the design field. With Autodesk’s support, we hope to build our expertise to conduct more design improvements, which will further increase our supply-chain benefits and cost savings.

Most importantly, with the support of Autodesk, Splash can rev up our implementation in Addis Ababa, allowing us to reach our goal of providing every public school with clean water and clean hands, more efficiently, while not sacrificing on quality. We hope that this work will serve as a model for the greater WASH sector of what’s possible when you resolve to innovate and never settle.

The Autodesk Foundation
The Autodesk Foundation supports the design and creation of innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. We support impact-driven, design-focused organizations and the ecosystem that helps solutions reach scale. We provide funding, software, training, and related support, so organizations can have the greatest impact possible.

✇WaterForPeople Blog

SDG 6 changed the game: Now let us agree how we should measure it

By: Water For People

By Kate Stetina, Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator, Water For People

The recently released SDG 6 baseline from the WHO / UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) provides an opportunity to first take a step back and look at the big picture of water and sanitation services, then to lean in closer to understand the intricacies behind that picture.

Taking a step back: the JMP baseline paints a striking picture — 4.5 billion without safely managed sanitation, 2.1 billion without safely managed drinking water. “Are we going backwards in ending the global water crisis?” asks Eleanor Allen, Water For People CEO. “Absolutely not!” My explanation, from a monitoring lens, is that we have become more sophisticated in how we measure global water and sanitation services.

Now, let’s take a step in: simple “coverage” is not good enough. The JMP says a water service needs to be of safe water quality, available when needed, and accessible to all. In other words, the service level needs to be excellent. In a nutshell, this what SDG 6.1 strives for, and this is the bulk of what JMP’s service level monitoring can show.

Water For People has been striving for excellent water and sanitation service levels since 2010. We believe water services need to be functional, affordable, accessible, of high water quality, and have enough water. The water supply needs to be well-protected and not severely limited by seasonal shortages, and be from infrastructure in good condition that is not overused. Does this describe the water service in your home? Don’t others deserve the same? In a nutshell, this is what Water For People strives for, and is just one aspect of what our service-level monitoring can show.

Both Water For People and the JMP measure excellent service levels, but what does “excellent” mean? And what is “good enough?” Our answers are different, and both quite intricate. Let me explain by breaking down a classic chart created by JMP. (This and so many other charts can be easily created on their new data platform, and it is totally cool!)

The JMP language is meant, primarily, to show coverage (which is seen in the light blue “basic” service level) and progress towards SDG 6 (which is seen in the dark blue “safely managed” service level). The disparity between basic coverage to safely managed services is massive. Yes, SDG 6 is lofty. Yes, the United Nations was ambitious in setting this goal. It is a long way to go from basic coverage to safely managed services. We can see this in how big those light blue bars are.

Water For People looks at the “in between” of basic to safely managed, so we can paint a picture of what it looks like inside the light blue bars. We strive to answer, “How do we move, step-by-step, from a basic to an excellent service?” The important learnings along the way get lost in that big, light blue bar.

What does basic service mean? Well, imagine a woman fetches water for her family by walking across her village to the water point. The water she collects is slightly brackish and brown-colored, and it may be one of the reasons her child has diarrhea. On top of that, it runs out for a few weeks every dry season, and the water fees she is charged almost break the bank. This woman is part of the big, light blue bar.

Now imagine a woman who walks down the block to fetch water for her family from a recently renovated system that now provides a reliable water supply. It is of safe quality for drinking according to the engineers who designed the scheme, but those lab results never made it to the government office that eventually reported data to the JMP. This woman is also part of the big, light blue bar. There is much progress happening inside that light blue bar, and Water For People positions district governments to measure this progress in the more than 30 districts across Latin America, Africa, and Asia where we implement our Everyone Forever model.

Charged with the task of being the custodian of global WASH data, JMP has put together estimates for the entire globe and made it accessible to all. Understanding global water and sanitation service levels for all is a beast of a task, and so I tip my hat to the folks at JMP. We at Water For People have a leg up — (besides that fact that we work in only nine countries) we have more control in how the data is collected. We can disaggregate and play with the data to understand issues in certain areas.

Water For People has recently disaggregated our data and aligned it with JMP’s definition of service levels that report on the SDG Indicator 6.1.1 “Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services.” Below is the result.

Water For People Rural Areas in 2017 displays water service levels only in the geographic regions of the country where Water For People is actively implementing the Everyone Forever model and has 2017 data. In Rwanda this represents 3 rural districts, in Bolivia 7 rural municipalities, in Nicaragua 2 rural districts, and in India many gram panchayats across 7 blocks within 2 districts.

There was maneuvering required to translate data into the nuanced indicators of the JMP framework, and in 2018 we look forward to collecting more data that will be more closely aligned to JMP’s framework. The wording of survey questions is important! Some of the most significant examples of this “maneuvering” include the following:

· While JMP defines an acceptable distance to collect water as less than 30 minutes, Water For People defines an acceptable distance according to applicable government standards.

· While JMP defines “available” as a household having water when needed, Water For People defines “available” as a household not experiencing seasonal shortages or breakdown time that severely limit water availability.

· JMP works with aggregate percentages of improved systems that meet each of the three criteria for safely managed and uses the lowest percentage to estimate safely managed water services. Meanwhile, Water For People aggregates percentages of households with improved systems that are accessible and available, and aggregates percentages of improved systems that have safe water quality, then uses the lowest percentage to estimate safely managed services.

Are you still with me? It’s ok if not, it gets complicated to do this translation. The fact that we even tried is worth shouting about. And not only did we try to translate our internal data, we were successful given some asterisks to explain complicated methods. On top of that, we plan to support the collection of more data across our districts so that fewer asterisks will be required for the 2018 data translation. An ultimate goal would be to equip district governments to perform this analysis themselves and report to their national government on progress towards SDG 6.

So, while this analysis isn’t perfect, and it isn’t completed in all our countries (yet), this is exciting!

It’s exciting because this effort is a step towards better sector collaboration. To reach the lofty goals of universal access to safely managed water and sanitation services, as specified by SDG 6, we need to work together. Collaboration is needed between government and civil society organizations. We need partnership with private sector. We need to break down barriers to understand best practices, and we need to coordinate efforts. Specifically, we need to align indicators so that good, relevant information can talk to other forms of good, relevant information. The bottom line is that without collaboration, we have no chance to reach SDG 6 in time.

As one step, we need to speak the same language. So, Water For People is translating internal data into JMP-speak.

✇Splash Blog

The story has many needs, but water is first

By: Splash

Contributed by Ayatam Simeneh, Partner Support Manager, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

India Partner Support Coordinator, Dipika Banerjee and myself visiting Nehru Vidyatan Primary School

In September, I travelled to Splash’s office in Kolkata, India to be part of the Program Quality Summit with Splash staff from the U.S., Nepal, India, and Ethiopia.

The purpose of the Summit was to connect colleagues from across the globe, align around the importance of data quality and standardized methods for collecting and using data to improve Splash’s programs, and to create program quality champions within each country office.

As part of the summit, we each had the opportunity to visit Splash schools across Kolkata to see what is different from and similar to our own programmatic contexts.

Working in Addis Ababa government schools, every day I encounter school children that fill my heart with hope. The same was true in humid, hot Kolkata, where temperatures reach 39 degrees Celsius (102 Fahrenheit). Schools in Kolkata, like Addis, have many needs, including water.

Among the four schools I visited, Jagabandhu Primary School was conducting a soap drive event where every student in the school brought one bar of soap to supply the school for one year. One by one, hundreds of students placed their soap in a bucket, while the other students watched.

At Nehru Vidyatan Primary School, students ages five and six welcomed me and my colleagues, singing songs about hygiene, cheering us with enthusiasm, and giving us the best of what they had. Here, classrooms are small, and the neighborhoods are crowded and lack sufficient infrastructure, but, thanks to Splash, there are water and handwashing stations at these schools.

These kids are born to thrive and deserve everything that all kids need. Amidst this landscape, there is bright hope and it’s joyous to see that we “Splashers” are bringing clean water and smiles to these beautiful kids.

✇WaterForPeople Blog

Reflections on 2017

By: Water For People

At the end of 2017, we had a chance to reflect and adjust as we position ourselves for another year of impact and opportunity. 2017 marked the end of year one of Water For People’s 2017–2021 Strategic Plan to increase our impact X 20. 2017 was been a year of many achievements and new discovery for the organization, as well as consistently learning, improving, and changing. Year two of our Strategic Plan (2018) comes as the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector continues to evolve and advance with the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Today, the global water crisis is often identified as one of the top global risks by the World Economic Forum. From droughts to floods to access to safe and sustainable drinking water for 2.1 billion people — water impacts everyone’s life every day.

Here are some of Water For People’s most exciting achievements from 2017 :

  • The district of San Pedro, Bolivia, reaching Everyone with reliable water services — the first Everyone Forever district globally to achieve this incredible milestone
  • Ability to count our impact population from our district-wide approach (currently at 2.8 million!)
  • Three new districts (32 total)
  • A new sanitation strategy
  • Celebrating our 14th year as a 4-star Charity Navigator charity
  • Expansion of Agenda For Change to new countries and with new partners
  • The Schwab Award for Social Entrepreneurship, recognizing CEO Eleanor Allen and Water For People for promoting an innovative approach to solve global social issues
  • A Chief of Scale and Strategy to drive our strategic plan forward and scale the Everyone Forever model
  • First year using our Sustainable Service Checklist to measure progress on Forever
  • Many programmatic highlights: expanding sanitation enterprises in Uganda, breaking ground in new districts in Rwanda and India, partnering with new microfinance partners for sanitation loans, and exciting movement from national governments in Bolivia and Peru

As we perform our annual update of our Strategic Plan, we are looking at emerging themes such as our ability to influence change at the national level faster than we had anticipated even just a year ago. We also see the increasing need for advisory services and social enterprises in the journey to SDG 6 — sustainable water and sanitation for all. This includes elevating the importance of national leadership in driving systems change to transform water and sanitation service delivery, innovation financing, growing human capital in the sector, and equity/inclusion — all as part of the means to the end of the global water and sanitation crisis.

We can say with pride that Water For People is a global leader in water, sanitation, and hygiene. At Water For People we continue to increase our impact and influence through the implementation of our programs, evidence-based reporting, learning, monitoring and evaluation, and knowledge management. We have the courage to share our successes and our failures externally to help others progress faster too.

We wish you all a wonderful 2018!

✇WaterForPeople Blog

Bringing Water to the Forefront at Davos

By: Water For People

by Eleanor Allen, CEO of Water For People

En Español abajo

I just returned from a week at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. I was representing Water For People, and it was a great opportunity for us to be part of the conversation on water issues, social impact, and inequality.

As one of the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs, I was fortunate to join discussions at many different levels. The Schwab Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders, and Social Entrepreneurs together represented 70 countries and territories of the world. We operate as a force for good to scale solutions to global and local challenges. You can read my personal reflections from the week in my blog here.

Schwab Entrepreneurs at Davos

In this blog I would like to share my perspective on how the Davos meetings can support our work at Water For People and how our voice made a unique contribution at Davos. Here are some of my takeaways:

On day one of Davos, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi summed up the State of the World as he described the three most significant challenges to civilization as we know it: climate change, terrorism, and the backlash against globalization. This caused me to reflect on the WEF’s top global risks of 2018 — four of the top five (extreme weather, natural disasters, failure of climate change adaptation and mitigation, and water crises) are water-related (top red and green risks here).

As the week went on, there were over 400 incredible sessions that covered a huge range of topics such as the 4th industrial revolution, inclusive growth, standing up for diversity, and so much more. I met many people in formal meetings to discuss potential funding and partnerships, and had countless informal meetings with incredible and interesting people.

The first person I met in this informal way was someone in Washington DC boarding the plane with me to Zurich. He is a leader in global health and his wife as an impact investor in women-owned businesses. We already have plans to get together again next time I am in San Francisco and discuss ways to work together. I also met a few of the Forbes Most Powerful Women — wow. I will be having dinner with two of them next week!

Schwab Entrepreneurs, including Queen Mathilde of Belgium, an Honorary Board member of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

Gender equality was a big theme at Davos this year. The Annual Meeting was organized by seven powerful women leaders — a first to have all women co-chairs. They were able to influence and craft a meaningful and holistic program under the theme Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World. As IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said, “Finally a real panel, not a manel.”

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau also spoke to this theme with great insight. “Paying a female employee the same as a male employee doesn’t even begin to touch issues around family planning, promotions, or job security,” he said. “Women do more part-time work and more unpaid work than men. How do we address that?” Great question. We don’t — yet.

The young Pakistani education advocate Malala Yousafzai was a moving co-panelist with Prime Minster Trudeau. “The education of young men about women’s rights is a crucial step to ending gender inequality,” she said. “Men have a big role to play … We have to teach young boys how to be men and recognize that all women and all those around you have equal rights and that you are part of this movement for equality.”

Aisha leads her community’s water committee and is part of her village’s health team in Kamwenge, Uganda, where Water For People works.

I know this to be true from our work at Water For People. Having women engaged in leadership also requires getting men in the communities to support and endorse the women. I had my own personal experiences with this type of support in corporate America. My male mentors and advocates helped me achieve my goals through coaching and influencing others, and by being my role models. My husband is the ultimate example of modeling the way!

This is where it really hit home about our work at Water For People. Our “why” is about getting lasting quality water and sanitation services to Everyone Forever to ensure better access to education, improved health, and greater economic opportunity. This is how to get out of poverty. It all begins with water and toilets. Next is education. Then getting kids (especially girls) to school, and keeping them in school, gives them a much better chance of success in the future.

Beatrice is the president of her community water committee in Rwanda.

The future we envision is one with many more men and women around the world getting jobs in the water sector with gender parity — engineers, builders, operators, and maintenance workers. Just a couple of years ago, countries came together and agreed to an ambitious — but doable — set of goals called the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Goal number 6 is to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030. We need twice as many water professionals as we have today to build the infrastructure to reach that goal. Women can play a big role in filling that gap.

Another major theme of Davos was the severity of income inequality and the toll it takes on people around the world. One of my favorite sessions was with my friend Winnie Byanyima from Oxfam. A new Oxfam report details how income inequality is getting worse. Did you know that 82% of the wealth generated last year went to the richest 1% of the global population, while the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world saw no increase in their wealth? Billionaire wealth has risen by an annual average of 13% since 2010 — six times faster than the wages of ordinary workers. This huge increase could have ended extreme poverty seven times over, according to Oxfam.

This is what really gets me. All the money we need to end the global water crisis and lift humanity out of poverty is out there in the world. It is just distributed incorrectly. I would love it if we could reallocate it more appropriately. “This future (with no poverty) is possible if we redesign our economy to truly reward hard work rather than wealth,” said Winnie.

Danitza’s family had to walk hours every day to fetch water from a river before their new household tap was installed last year.

It makes me think of the communities where Water For People works. These are some of the poorest places with the most hard-working people I’ve ever seen — people who walk hours each way to get water, until we give them a better choice. Water For People is helping develop their water and sanitation systems, but they could do so much more if they had greater opportunities.

One of the challenges of Davos is that there’s not enough time to do everything you aspire to do. I used my time for one-on-one meetings with many corporate CEOs, government officials, foundation leaders, and social entrepreneurs. I had some of the most enlightening and enriching conversations of my career, and everyone I met was very receptive to Water For People and our Everyone Forever model.

My main observation from being at Davos that Water For People has a platform that can help solve the global water and sanitation crisis. We’ve already proven the impact of our model. Organizations looking to invest in social good or to enhance their own programs to include water or sanitation believe that we would make their work more meaningful. They are open to discussing how we could work together, and this is where the good chemistry for partnership begins!

Now I am back in Denver, fully rested after an exhausting and exhilarating week. I have much to do to follow-up on all my new leads. I am confident that our work and Water For People will positively benefit from my experience in Davos both financially and programmatically. And personally, I have learned and grown tremendously as a leader.

The spirit of Davos is to respect humanity, dignity and diversity; be a trustee of future generations; and serve others more than ourselves. I was deeply moved, and I believe in living this spirit.

Poniendo el agua en primer plano en Davos

por Eleanor Allen, CEO de Water For People

Acabo de regresar de una semana en la reunión anual del Foro Económico Mundial (FEM) en Davos, Suiza, representando a Water For People. Fue una gran oportunidad para nosotros de formar parte de la conversación sobre cuestiones relacionadas con el agua, el impacto social, y la desigualdad.

Como uno de los Emprendedores Sociales de la Fundación Schwab, tuve la suerte de unirme a las discusiones a diferentes niveles. Schwab Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders y Social Entrepreneurs juntos representaron 70 países y territorios del mundo. Operamos como una fuerza para llevar a escala buenas soluciones para enfrentar los desafíos globales y locales. Puede leer mis reflexiones personales de la semana en mi blog aquí.

En este blog, me gustaría compartir mi perspectiva sobre cómo las reuniones de Davos pueden apoyar nuestro trabajo en Water For People y cómo nuestra voz puede hacer una contribución única en Davos. Estos son algunos de mis aprendizajes:

El primer día de Davos, el primer ministro de India Narendra Modi resumió el estado del mundo al describir los tres desafíos más importantes para la civilización tal como la conocemos: el cambio climático, el terrorismo, y la reacción contra la globalización. Estos se relacionan directamente con los principales riesgos globales de FEM en 2018: cuatro de los cinco están relacionados con el agua (los principales riesgos están en rojo y verde aquí).

A medida que avanzaba la semana, hubieron más de 400 sesiones increíbles que cubrieron una gran variedad de temas, como la 4ª revolución industrial, el aumento de la inclusividad, la defensa de la diversidad, y mucho más. Conocí a mucha gente en reuniones formales para discutir posibilidades de financiamiento y asociaciones, y tuve innumerables reuniones informales con personas increíbles e interesantes.

La primera persona que conocí de esta manera fortuita fue alguien en Washington DC que subió al avión conmigo a Zurich. Es un líder en salud mundial y su esposa es inversionista de impacto en empresas encabezadas por mujeres. Ya tenemos planes para reunirnos nuevamente la próxima vez que esté en San Francisco para discutir formas de trabajar juntos. También conocí a algunas de las mujeres más poderosas de Forbes — wow. ¡Cenaré con dos de ellas la próxima semana!

La igualdad de género fue un gran tema en Davos este año. La Reunión Anual fue organizada por siete mujeres líderes increíbles, una de las primeras en tener copresidentes mujeres. Pudieron influir y crear un programa significativo y holístico bajo el tema: Creación de un futuro compartido en un mundo fracturado. Como dijo la directora gerente del FMI, Christine Lagarde, “Finalmente un panel entero de mujeres — ¡no de hombres solos!”

El primer ministro canadiense Trudeau también habló sobre este tema con gran perspicacia. “Pagarle a una empleada lo mismo que a un empleado masculino ni siquiera comienza a tocar cuestiones relacionadas con la planificación familiar, las promociones, o la seguridad laboral,” dijo. “Las mujeres hacen más trabajo a tiempo parcial y más trabajo no remunerado que los hombres. ¿Cómo abordamos eso?” Gran pregunta. Todavía no lo hacemos.

La joven defensora de la educación paquistaní Malala Yousafzai fue una co-panelista conmovedora con el Primer Ministro Trudeau. “Necesitamos enseñar a los niños a ser hombres. La educación de los hombres jóvenes sobre los derechos de las mujeres es un paso crucial para acabar con la desigualdad de género,” dijo. “Los hombres tienen que jugar un gran papel… Tenemos que enseñarles a los jóvenes cómo ser hombres y reconocer que todas las mujeres y todos los que te rodean tienen los mismos derechos y que todos formas parte de este movimiento por la igualdad.”

Sé que esto es cierto por nuestro trabajo en Water For People. Hacer que las mujeres participen en el liderazgo también requiere que los hombres de las comunidades apoyen y respalden a las mujeres. Y lo sé por mi propia experiencia personal en las empresas estadounidenses. Mis mentores y defensores masculinos me ayudaron a lograr mis objetivos mediante el entrenamiento y la influencia sobre otros, y al ser modelos a seguir. ¡Mi esposo es el mejor ejemplo de modelar el camino!

Aquí es donde realmente acertamos con nuestro trabajo en Water For People. Nuestro “por qué” se trata de obtener Cobertura Total Para Siempre en servicios confiables de agua y saneamiento, para garantizar un mejor acceso a la educación, una mejor salud y mayores oportunidades económicas. Esta es la forma de salir de la pobreza. Llevar a las niñas a la escuela y mantenerlas en la escuela les da muchas más posibilidades de éxito en el futuro.

El futuro que imaginamos es uno con muchos más hombres y mujeres de todo el mundo que obtengan empleos en el sector del agua con paridad de género: ingenieros, constructores, operadores, y trabajadores de mantenimiento. Hace apenas un par de años, los países se unieron y acordaron un conjunto de objetivos ambiciosos pero factibles llamados Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible. El objetivo número 6 es “garantizar el acceso al agua y al saneamiento para todos” para el año 2030. Necesitamos el doble de profesionales del agua de los que tenemos hoy para construir la infraestructura para alcanzar ese objetivo. Las mujeres pueden jugar un papel importante en llenar ese vacío.

Otro tema importante de Davos fue la gravedad de la desigualdad de ingresos y el costo que tiene para las personas de todo el mundo. Una de mis sesiones favoritas fue con mi amiga Winnie Byanyima de Oxfam. Un nuevo informe de Oxfam detalla cómo la desigualdad de ingresos empeora. ¿Sabía que el 82% de la riqueza generada el año pasado se destinó al 1% más rico de la población mundial, mientras que los 3.700 millones de personas que conforman la mitad más pobre del mundo no vieron un aumento en su riqueza? La riqueza multimillonaria ha aumentado en un promedio anual del 13% desde 2010, seis veces más rápido que los salarios de los trabajadores comunes. Este gran aumento habría sobrado para resolver siete veces la pobreza extrema en el mundo.

Esto es lo que me llama especialmente la atención: Todo el dinero que necesitamos para poner fin a la crisis mundial del agua y sacar a la humanidad de la pobreza ya existe en el mundo. Simplemente se distribuye incorrectamente. Me encantaría si pudiéramos reasignarlo de manera más apropiada. Un futuro sin pobreza es posible si nuestras economías se rediseñaran para recompensar el trabajo duro, no solo la riqueza.

Me hace pensar en las comunidades donde Water For People trabaja. Estas son algunas de las comunidades más pobres con la gente más trabajadora que he visto en mi vida, personas que están dispuestas a caminar horas para obtener agua limpia. Water For People les está ayudando a usar los recursos que tienen para obtener acceso a sistemas de agua potable y saneamiento, pero podrían hacer mucho más si solo tuvieran más.

Uno de los desafíos de Davos es que no hay suficiente tiempo para hacer todo lo que uno aspira hacer. Utilicé mi tiempo para reuniones personales con muchos directores generales corporativos, funcionarios gubernamentales, líderes de fundaciones y emprendedores sociales. Tuve algunas de las conversaciones más esclarecedoras y enriquecedoras de mi carrera, y todos los que conocí fueron muy receptivos con Water For People y con nuestro modelo de Cobertura Total Para Siempre.

Mi punto principal es que Water For People tiene una plataforma que puede ayudar a resolver la crisis mundial de agua y saneamiento. Ya hemos demostrado el impacto de nuestro modelo. Las organizaciones que buscan invertir en bienes sociales o mejorar sus propios programas para incluir agua o saneamiento creen que haríamos que su trabajo sea más significativo. ¡Y aquí es donde comienza la buena química para la asociación!

Ahora estoy de vuelta en Denver, completamente descansado después de una semana agotadora y estimulante. Tengo mucho seguimiento que hacer con todas mis nuevas pistas. Confío en que nuestro trabajo y Water For People se beneficiarán positivamente de mi experiencia en Davos, tanto financiera como programáticamente. Y personalmente, he aprendido y crecido enormemente como líder.

El espíritu de Davos es respetar la humanidad, la dignidad, y la diversidad; ser un fideicomisario de las generaciones futuras; y servir a otros más que a nosotros mismos. Me conmovió profundamente y creo en vivir este espíritu.

✇WASHeconomics Blog

What do we know about urban sanitation costs? (a review of Daudey, 2017)

By: IanRoss

A review paper (open access) on the costs of urban sanitation came out last year. Authored by Loïc Daudey (now of AFD but then a consultant for WSUP) it surveys the literature on lifecycle costs of full chain chain systems in Africa and Asia. I found it very useful for my purposes so thought I’d write a quick review.

The paper focuses on cost *ratios* between different sanitation systems analysed within the same study.  It’s a smart approach which avoids the pitfalls of comparing absolute costs across diverse contexts, which rarely sheds much light on things as there are so many determinants of costs. That’s the useful thing about one paper it reviews, Dodane et al. (2012) – also open access and the best study in this field – which compares a sewerage system to an FSM system in Dakar, Senegal. Crucially, the comparison is an area of the city where both are operating, thereby minimising contextual effects. More on that paper another time.

Daudey’s lit. review finds that conventional sewer systems are the most expensive solution, followed by a tie between ‘septic tank & FSM’ solutions and simplified sewerage, and finally various ‘pit & FSM’ solutions. He concludes that ST & FSM comes out more expensive than simplified sewerage, but that doesn’t seem to be supported by the results. See below the key figure with some annotations of my own, including red boxes to emphasise where the median is (the black dashes), and some analysis. It’s a neat way to present the results – each stack of datapoints is the ratio between the first and second technology type in the respective X-axis label. My beef with the conclusion above is that since the median for ‘ST & FSM’ versus ‘simplified sewer’ is more or less 1, that means there’s little between them. Sure, the mean would be higher due to the outlier where the ratio is 4, but arguably the median is a better measure of central tendency for this kind of data.

Daudey1

Another key point stands out of the figure – there is a huge range of cost ratios for conventional sewerage vs ST & FSM – seven datapoints ranging from 1:1 up to almost 5:1. That rams the point home that context matters – sewerage is often but not always more expensive. Daudey has a nice table on cost determinants – my impression from working in a few cities and talking to engineers is that population density and topography are likely to be the most important, but I’m not aware of research that has gone into depth on this (please msg me if you know of any!).

I think the policy Q here is a three-way debate between conventional sewerage V simplified sewerage V ST & FSM. Yes pit latrines are important in many places and will continue to be important (especially in places with limited water for flushing), but few cities will be prioritising them for expansion in master plans. So, as I argued in this other blog , while conventional and simplified sewerage need to be a big part of the picture, the population numbers mean that FSM-based solutions will be with us for some time. And what Daudey’s review shows is that we shouldn’t necessarily be under the impression that FSM-based solutions are always cheaper than sewerage. Context is key.

Finally, then, a bit of the critique of the paper (other than the point above that one key conclusion is weakly supported by the findings).

1.He could have applied a more structured approach to study quality ratings. This is  common in systematic reviews, see e..g. Appendix S5 of this key WASH/diarrhoea review (Wolf et al 2014). The rating process is implicit rather than explicit – maybe it would have been better to score studies and only including the very strongest in a sub-set of ratio analysis, or maybe colour-code the strongest studies in the figure above.

2. Related to that, the review process could have been made more transparent through using something like a PRISMA diagram. It’s fine in many circumstances not to actually do a systematic review, but it’s not hard to be transparent about what was actually done (which still may be very systematic). Stick it in “supplementary material” if you don’t have the space.

3. There could have been more detailed examples relating to the key findings, (e.g. the life-cycle cost ratios) and relegated to “supplementary material” some of the stuff that was inconclusive e.g. on OpEx.

4. He could have contacted some of the authors of studies when things weren’t clear. There is some valid criticism in the paper of a study I was involved in in Dhaka, Bangladesh, but that was a wide-ranging 120pp report and we only had space for 6pp on the costing part (with some huge caveats on data quality) . There is loads of underlying material and we could have answered some of his Qs if he’d emailed us. The same is probably true for other studies where it’s said that things aren’t clear.

5. Minor point, but there could been more on the effects side. Sure, that was outside the scope of the paper to address it in detail. But considering costs on their own isn’t necessarily that illuminating for a decision-maker. Some of these service levels are associated with different disease effects, and different non-health benefits to households and different types of public goods. There could have been a bit more emphasis on how the effects side should be a key part of any decision.

Notwithstanding all these points, I found it a very useful paper that I’ll surely be dipping in and out of in the next few years as I try to move forward some work on urban sanitation costs myself.

Overall, then, what do we know about urban sanitation costs? My answer would be “not enough”. Luckily, there are plenty of people now working on this. Leeds are doing their CACTUS project, and WSUP are about to contract some consultants to do some work on costing and willingness to payAguatuya are also reportedly working on some kind of tool. So fingers crossed that in a couple of years time we’ll know a lot more! I’ll aim to write another blog in a few weeks about how we can better capture cost data that organisations are generating anyway, without much additional effort.

 

 

washeconomics

Daudey1

✇WASHeconomics Blog

Determinants of urban sanitation costs – ‘willingness to connect’ and scale effects

By: IanRoss

The Daudey 2017 paper (open access) I reviewed in this post has a useful table (p.7) of 9  determinants of urban sanitation costs. I would tend to group them more simply into three headings as below – I won’t go into these more here as the table in the paper is good.

1. Technology: technology type, level of service (e.g. shared or not)

2. Input prices: labour, materials, energy,

3. Geography: population density, topography, soil condition, distance to treatment

However, I would also add a fourth set of determinants which Daudey doesn’t include (or are implicit), namely broader economic ones. Each in turn is discussed in this blog.

4. Economics. willingness and ability to pay, macroeconomy and business envt.

For sewer networks in particular, an oft-forgotten determinant of medium- to long-term per capita costs is willingness and ability to pay. Or rather, willingness to connect. I underline per capita above because many networks operate below capacity, spreading fixed costs of trunk lines and treatment plants over a smaller number of connections than initially planned. Even though the overall CapEx doesn’t change much, the cost per capita is driven up by the fact that there are fewer users (capita…).

This is demonstrated in several of Guy Hutton’s East Asia studies under the Economics of Sanitation Initiative. For example, in their Cambodian study, only about 20% of targeted households were actually connected to the sewerage system. This meant that while the “ideal” scenario had a cost per private latrine with sewer connection was US$ 5,263, in the “actual” scenario it was US$ 17,537 at the current connection rate. This ‘willingness to connect’ issue is something the World Bank have explored elsewhere – see here.

Willingness to connect could either stem from (i) people possibly being keen to connect but not affording the connection fee (ability to pay, ATP), or (ii) able to pay but still not wanting to connect as they don’t perceive the benefits (to them as a private citizen) to be greater than costs (willingness to pay, WTP). In most cases, social benefits from a sewer system should be greater than social costs if everyone connects, or the system would have been unlikely to be approved.*

In theory this problem of higher than expected per capita costs happens with non-networked systems. However, the key difference is that they are more easily scaled up or down. Here’s an FSM example, quite basic, to keep things simple – market failures mean it is unlikely to happen quite this way in reality: Emptying services are privately provided and the market supplies Y vacuum trucks if demand is presently X. When demand rises to 2X (and this is perceived to be stable), providers are incentivised by rising prices (invisible hand etc.) and will accordingly invest in more trucks. Supply then  rises to 2Y or similar. While excess capacity is still possible, it is less likely to occur than with a sewer system that must necessarily be designed for the maximum connected population expected within a 20-30 year time horizon, i.e, some anticipated demand of anything between 10X-40X. A related aspect is that the FSM system is that isolated failure of components may not have big repercussions – e.g. a vacuum truck being out of service reduces FSM service supply marginally, whereas a pumping station being out of service can reduce sewerage services dramatically.

However, an FSM-based system clearly still has the same scale / time horizon issue for the treatment part of the chain – i.e. you need to design a FSTP for maximum projected demand. So,  there may well be excess capacity there in the short-to-medium-term. But that does not matter as much if it is a simple treatment technology with low running costs, as compared to a sewer system which requires a minimum of energy to run at all, regardless of wastewater volumes.

Considering the second part of my #4 bullet back at the start, the macroeconomic situation and business environment can be seen as more distal determinants of the input prices under #2. This is nicely demonstrated by EAWAG’s report on costing on-site sanitation – Ulrich et al 2016 – which includes a useful figure (pasted below) on ‘cost factors’ (ovals in the below) and how these influence material and labour costs.

Prices of materials are determined by many things, including taxes, exchange rates, trade barriers, competition, regulation etc. and the broader “business environment”. For example, if a land-locked country is importing key materials and customs/ports are inefficient, that will drive up costs. Some of this is implicit in Daudey’s table under input prices. Likewise for labour prices, the competitiveness of the broader labour market, and associated regulation, will strongly determine labour costs. So will other macro-economic factors like unemployment (not straightforward in LMICs) and inflation.

In conclusion, many, many factors determine per capita costs of urban sanitation. This is why it is quite hard to compare costs across countries. Other sectors such as health also face this issue. Accordingly, systematic reviews of economic evaluations in health tend to tabulate and compare results, stating contextual factors, rather than doing a meta-analysis (as would be done for health interventions where a more uniform estimate might be expected across contexts).

ulrich_determinants

 

*This disconnect between private and social benefits occurs because sanitation has public good characteristics. If discharging fecal waste untreated incurs no costs/fines (as is the case in Dhaka for example, where most septic tanks discharge direct to drains), then society pays for the consequences of that  negative externality.

washeconomics

ulrich_determinants

✇ICT4WASH

💧 ICT4WASH Newsletter, and New Course Announcement! 📢

💧 ICT4WASH Newsletter, and New Course Announcement! 📢
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Communications.  The 'C' in 'ICT4WASH'.  This low-cost wireless access point creates a local hotspot, and communicates with antennas that transmit a wifi signal over long distances.  This creates a wireless mesh network which can be used for both communications and monitoring of services.

Welcome to the first ICT4WASH Newsletter of 2018!


The ICT4WASH Community emerged in 2017 as a platform for international cooperation and capacity-building between water and sanitation-related organizations and individuals in over 18 countries.  

Since then we have developed online eLearning courses, a newsletter, facebook group and have over 1100 people in our network from 34 countries

Many have reached out to with us with fantastic ideas on what ICT4WASH should offer in the coming year and beyond. More courses, more discussions and webinars, more information on ICT-related projects around the world....

Do you have 2 minutes to give us your thoughts as well? If so, please fill out this quick (seriously, very quick) survey!!!

Best Regards,

The ICT4WASH Team

2-Minute ICT4WASH Survey
Here a utility field team receives the daily list of repairs to be done from the Technical Manager.  The jobs are marked as complete throughout the day, and updated on an online dashboard.

New Course Announcement!

We are very excited to announce the launch of the brand new course:
 

 ICT4WASH310 - Mobile Money Payments for Utility Service Providers

The GSMA and Wakoma Incorporated have teamed up to develop this 3-week eLearning course based on the GSMA's Mobile Money Payment Toolkit.

Course Dates: April 9th-27th

This course was built to support utility service providers in deploying mobile money payment solutions.  It provides guidance on key questions around implementation of a mobile money platform, including when and how to approach integration, making the business case, as well as general considerations around legal requirements, customer experience and education.

All case studies, research and funding for the development and implementation of this course were provided by the GSMA. The course is free to attend for all participants.

Click the button below to apply for a spot while there's still space!

Apply Here!
Recent and relevant articles, publications, reports:
Here is a list of recent resources and webinar recordings organized by RWSN partners (sent from Sean Furey):
Please remember that if you would like to share news or resources with the rest of the community, simply reply to this email or forward them to info@ict4wash.com, and we’ll feature them in the next newsletter. You can also post them on the ICT4WASH Facebook group!
An ICT graveyard at a utility that has swapped out dataloggers for cheaper mobile phones with far more functionality.

A listing of 2018 WASH conferences, from Dan Campbell at the USAID Water Team:


MARCH

APRIL

MAY

  • May 28 – Menstrual Hygiene Day – Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global platform that brings together non-profits, government agencies, the private sector, the media and individuals to promote Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).

JULY

AUGUST

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

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✇Splash Blog

Splash Brings Clean Water to Every Orphanage in China

By: Splash

More than 90,000 of China’s most vulnerable children now have access to clean water

Splash Founder and Executive Director Eric Stowe enjoying clean water with a child in a Chinese orphanage.

Splash, a Seattle-based, nonprofit organization providing water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions to children in urban Asia and Africa, today announced that 100 percent of orphanages in China have ultrafiltration systems to provide clean water — a huge milestone ten years in the making.

After a decade of hard work and close collaboration with the Chinese government and local non-government organizations (NGOs), over 190,000 vulnerable children, elderly adults, and staff at over 1,100 orphanages have consistent access to clean, safe water.

These orphanages span 32 provinces, across China’s 3.7 million square miles, from Shanghai to Xinjiang and Tibet to Inner Mongolia.

“Working in China ten years ago, the stark inequity in urban areas was shocking. Hotels and restaurants were serving filtered water to their customers, but across the street, children at poor schools and orphanages were drinking unclean water from the tap,” said Eric Stowe, Founder and Executive Director of Splash. “We believe that access to clean water is a basic human right and matter of social justice.”

Thanks to the commitment of the Chinese government, NGOs, corporate partners, generous donors, and the local Splash team, every orphanage in China now has clean water to drink, improving the overall quality of life for over 90,000 children.

In China, orphanages and homes for the elderly are often co-located in the same facility. As a result, Splash is also serving clean water to over 58,000 elderly, as well as more than 41,000 staff.

Poor water quality and inadequate sanitation are leading causes of disease and malnutrition, especially for children. Where most water-focused organizations are focused on bringing clean water to rural areas, Splash is one of the leading organizations focused on urban settings. The United Nations predicts that by 2030, the global population will increase to 8.5 billion, and by 2050, 75 percent of the world’s population will be in urban cities, with growth centering in developing countries. This explosive change creates a dire need to improve critical water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services and infrastructure now.

“The need here is very real,” said George Russell, founder of Russell Investments. “I’ve invested in this organization for years. I am proud of their work, and more importantly, the results.”

Splash’s work to improve WASH services in major cities in Asia and Africa supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Six (SDG 6) to ensure universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, for all by 2030. The work is targeted on kids and schools, as they are access points for influencing parents, families, and communities.

“Over the past several years, the Chinese government has prioritized improving the policies and practices around domestic adoption, foster care, and orphanage management,” said Hailan Qi, director of China at Splash. “The collaboration with local governments in each of the 32 provinces has been critical to our work to bring clean water to more than 1,100 orphanages around the country.”

Splash’s work in China does not stop with 100 percent coverage. This year, the organization is continuing sustainability planning to keep clean water flowing at all of the Chinese orphanages over the long-term. Outside of China, Splash has a goal to reach 100 percent of government school children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Kathmandu, Nepal; and Kolkata, India with clean water, clean hands and clean toilets, benefitting one million children by 2022.

For Splash, this is just the beginning. They believe every child should have access to clean water, not just today, but every day.

About Splash

Splash is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 focused on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) solutions for children in urban Asia and Africa. They work in some of the fastest growing cities in the world, where they focus on child-serving institutions including schools, orphanages, shelters, and hospitals to help kids lead healthier lives. To date, Splash has completed over 1,700 projects across eight countries in Asia and Africa (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Vietnam and Thailand), serving more than 400,000 children. Ultimately, Splash aims to use schools as an access point to reach families and communities, improving WASH services for the urban poor. To learn more about Splash, visit www.splash.org or follow them on Twitter at @splash_org or Facebook @splashglobal.

✇WaterForPeople Blog

Overcoming flooding in Peru

By: Water For People

In March 2017, the worst flooding in a lifetime hit northern Peru. Districts like Cascas, where Water For People works, was hit especially hard. The flooding was attributed to the combined effects of a changing climate and El Niño, and many people in Cascas were left to rebuilt homes and livelihoods and even entire water systems in the aftermath. To commemorate the floods and celebrate the resiliency of the people of Cascas, we want to share how three people overcame challenges brought by the flooding.

Don Ángel

“The force of nature was so strong that I saw huge rocks and big trees moved by the force of water,” Don Ángel said.

Don Ángel inspecting a community water system

Don Ángel leads the water and sanitation office in the district of Cascas, Peru. He says he was hired because of his experience in environmental management and past work in rural communities. That experience was invaluable when the 2017 flooding washed away most of the district’s water systems.

“Eighty percent of the water systems in Cascas were affected,” said Ángel.

District water and sanitation offices like those Ángel leads provide direct support to community water committees that manage water systems. Because of its close relationship to those committees, Angel’s office could quickly understand the damages and create a plan to repair water systems.

Read how Ángel helped the entire district recover after the flooding.

Doña Maria

Like many families in Cascas, Maria Montalvo Arce grows grapes. Cascas is known for its winemaking, which is an economic driver for the region.

Last year, the floods washed away nearly all of Maria’s harvest. She said she harvested less than 10% of her usual harvest.

Maria surveying her grapes after the flooding

The floods also left Maria without water for the first time in 20 years.

“The rain this year was different,” Maria said. “Every year there is rain in this area, but never rain so strong that it cut off the water supply.”

Read how Maria is moving forward.

Don Michael

“Everything was gone,” Michael said. “The rain left nothing.”

Michael next to the rehabilitated water source for his community

Michael Sagastegui is the president of the water committee in his small town of Pampas de San Isidro. In 2016, Michael spent his first year as president overseeing some much-needed repairs to the community water system, only to watch last year’s flooding wash it all away.

With support from the Cascas district water and sanitation office and Water For People, and with hundreds of hours of hard work from his community members, Pampas de San Isidro rebuilt their water system. Michael says they rebuilt it stronger than before, protecting it from future disasters.

Read how Michael led his community to rebuild their water system.

✇WASHeconomics Blog

Incremental benefits from increases in sanitation service level

By: IanRoss

The Indus valley civilisation (c.2,000 BCE) coupled on-plot water supply from wells with the first known sewers. However, it was the Minoans (also c.2,000 BCE) who were the first to have piped water systems – I marvelled at the clay pipes and stone sewers at Knossos on Crete. The Minoans understood that piped water on demand provided a better service than carrying it in jars. Their piped systems are likely to have cost more than alternatives, especially in a slave-owning society where labour was “cheap”/free. But the richer households of Knossos were willing to pay for that higher level of service.

Turning to modern day sanitation, a high level of service such as a sewer connection is going to cost more than an unimproved pit latrine, but also provide more benefits. By extension, each movement up the rungs of the sanitation ladder has incremental costs and incremental benefits. Note that ‘incremental’ is different from ‘marginal’ – in welfare economics marginal benefit is strictly speaking the additional satisfaction or “utility” we receive from an additional unit of a good or service (e.g. from an additional litre of water). Incremental benefit, however, can refer to any change in the output of interest.

It was thinking about this, and playing with the cost data in Hutton & Varughese’s 2016 report on SDG costs, which led me to produce the below chart. It aims to visualise which incremental benefits are associated with the incremental cost of an increase in sanitation service level. For example, the movement from open defecation to a private but unimproved pit latrine is associated with time savings and ideally some privacy and security too (depending on the superstructure). This movement has a fairly small annualised life-cycle cost per household, which is even lower if the latrine is shared with other households. Achieving such a service level increase might be the objective of many CLTS programmes.

The bars are ‘annualised life-cycle costs per household’ of that option (comprising hardware/software CapEx, OpEx and CapManEx). The coloured text qualitatively describes possible incremental benefits of moving up to that rung on the ladder, from the previous.

Figure 1: Incremental benefits of moving up the sanitation ladder, alongside costs of different levels of sanitation service (average for Sub-Saharan Africa)

costs_per_service_level

A similar logic applies to the other increases in service level. Moving from an unimproved pit to an improved-but-shared system (“limited” in SDG terms) can bring health benefits in the right circumstances, as well as some ‘wellbeing benefits beyond health’ such as privacy, dignity, security and comfort. However, many factors will determine whether these benefits are realised, including consistency of use, cleanliness of the facility, the sanitation practices of the rest of the community, and many more. For the move to ‘basic’ services, there is evidence for higher benefits over ‘limited’ services but it is mixed – no space to go into that here. Finally, the move to safely managed services (whether non-networked with FSM or networked sewerage) is where significant health benefits community-wide should be seen, through the removal of negative externalities once a high enough proportion of people are at that service level.

The cost data comes from Hutton & Varughese 2016 – the World Bank has helpfully published the dataset here. I used their raw data for urban areas for four technology options, reported in annualised per capita life-cycle costs: (i) cost of any pit latrine, (ii) cost of a septic tank system, (iii) incremental cost of septic tank system with FSM, and (iv) incremental cost of sewerage with treatment. Since the latter two are incremental costs, I added them to the cost of a septic system to get the total cost. I calculated the average for Sub-Saharan African countries, and then used assumptions as follows: I assumed a household size of 5 to get to per household costs, and an assumption of 3 households sharing to get to the shared estimates. Finally, an unimproved pit was assumed to cost 25% of an improved pit.

The figure above represents a simplification of reality, since all benefits rely on contextual factors – note the ‘likelihood’ framing in the figure. Around 1,000 people building and using improved pit latrines is likely to have a bigger health effect in a village of 1,200 people than in a city of 1 million, depending on the baseline situation. Similarly, a new borehole is likely to  have more benefits in a village where everybody drinks from the river, than in a village where most people already have piped water.

Furthermore, there are other economic benefits from different levels of service, such as avoided healthcare costs and time wasted in sickness or caregiving, or the potential value of resource reuse. Nonetheless, I think the figure represents a useful way to think about what we get for our money when we invest in higher levels of service.

Has someone else visualised incremental costs/benefits before, like this or in a different way (I couldn’t find anything)?

What would you improve about the figure? Do comment below.

 

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✇WASHeconomics Blog

Sanitation’s share of water sector aid is falling

By: IanRoss

I went to an interesting event at LSHTM last night run by Countdown 2030, on tracking aid flows to track global aid flows to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH). Their dataset is here. Yet another reminder that the health sector is way ahead of the WASH sector on so many analytical questions, but also that they face many of the same problems.

For example, the four (!) different methods for tracking RMNCH flows all use, at best, the “long description” on the OECD’s creditor reporting system (CRS), in which donors report aid flows. In my experience these can often have as illuminating descriptions as “the WASH project”, even for multi-million dollar disbursements. Delving deeper into project documents underlying the headline figures, in order to allocate between sub-sectors / areas, is only possible for national-level analyses, and is tedious and hard to automate.

Last night’s event took me back to work I did at WaterAid in 2008 as part of advocacy towards establishing what is now Sanitation and Water for All (SWA). At that time, I became rather too acquainted with the CRS, being the lowly RA crunching the numbers for this report. Many of our observations still stand for WASH, but also for RMNCH. It was depressing to hear research presented last night that showed aid effectiveness has actually gone backwards on many counts since 2010/11. Five countries had >30 donors providing aid to RMNCH – such fragmentation involves huge duplication and unnecessary administration for government ministries.

Going back to WASH, at that time of our 2008 analysis, the OECD didn’t have separate reporting codes for sanitation and water, so it was not possible to see what was going on for sanitation specifically. One results of the advocacy around SWA and the “international year of sanitation” that year was that the OECD instituted separate codes for reporting from 2010 onwards.

So, on the bus journey back to Oxford I decided to check back what had happened since, within the water sector as a whole. See the graph below, which necessitated a few methods assumptions summarised below this post. For transparency, here’s the XLS. The results show that the overall share of water sector aid allocated to sanitation has been slowly and steadily falling over the past 5-6 years, while that for water supply has been increasing.

washaid

Other categories have stayed more or less the same. Sanitation’s share has been falling from around the high 20s in 2011 to the low 20s in 2016. It would take some more detailed analysis to look at what is causing this (which donors, which recipients). I did google for this analysis but nobody seems to have done it that I can find (though see re: GLAAS below) – if I missed something, please point it out in the comments.

Note that this is in constant US$ / real terms, i.e. inflation is accounted for in the figures, and that these are disbursement data from all donors to “developing countries” as defined by the OECD. They are also for ODA, so excludes anything that isn’t within the DAC definition (e.g. Gates foundation, which is sizeable).

The 2017 GLAAS report (p.30) has a figure related to this, pasted below. The right-hand panel has a 65/35 split between water/sanitation (when I do the 2015 split for the sanitation and water codes I get 68/32, a minor niggle probably resulting from which donors they included or some minor methods difference). GLAAS 2017 was on financing, so also has a lot more analysis on different aspects of aid flows and government WASH funding. I would argue that it’s only when more countries are producing National WASH Accounts, using the TrackFin methodology or similar, that we’re really going to know what’s going on with financial flows at the national level, from all sources, which is far more important.

glaas_san_aid

In conclusion, the fact that sanitation’s share of water sector ODA is falling should be cause for concern. We don’t want the momentum built up after the international year of sanitation to be lost. Someone with more time than me should look into what’s behind this trend, and which donors/recipients are driving it, so that advocates can try to ensure that the share doesn’t fall further.
Methods points:

DAC purpose codes for 2016 are here. In the figure, the “WASH” category up to 2009 comprises six codes: two which are WASH combined (‘WASH – large systems’, ‘WASH – basic’,) and four which are separated by sector (‘Water – large systems’, ‘Sanitation – large systems’, ‘Water – basic’ and ‘Sanitation – basic’). Under “WRM” I grouped the codes for water resources conservation and river basin development. “Other” comprises codes for waste management and WASH education & training.

The key assumption is as follows: up to 2009, all water supply and sanitation aid is grouped under WASH (grey in the figure). From 2010 I used the newly-disaggregated codes to separate out sanitation (light blue) from water (yellow). However, even in 2016 there was still more aid under the combined WASH codes than under the separate sanitation and water codes. So the key assumption is that, where data are disaggregated between sanitation and water, the proportion of those values in that year can be applied to the WASH codes which are not disaggregated.

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✇USAid Water Currents

Water Currents: Hand Hygiene and Sepsis Prevention, May 15, 2018

Water Currents: Hand Hygiene and Sepsis Prevention, May 15, 2018
May 5, 2018 marked World Hand Hygiene Day, an annual awareness day and call to action for promoting hand hygiene in health care
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May 15, 2018 – Hand Hygiene and Sepsis Prevention
 

 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global Infection Control Supervisor Simone Loua (left) reinforces proper handwashing techniques during a field supervision visit to a clinic in Guinea. Photo credit: Lindsey Horton
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Global Infection Control Supervisor Simone Loua (left) reinforces proper handwashing techniques during a field supervision visit to a clinic in Guinea. Photo credit: Lindsey Horton
May 5, 2018 marked World Hand Hygiene Day, an annual awareness day and call to action for promoting hand hygiene in health care. This year’s theme was “It’s in your hands—prevent sepsis in health care.” Sepsis—when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs—affects more than 30 million patients every year worldwide and leads to an estimated 6 million deaths. Proper hand hygiene is a critical step to preventing sepsis and providing quality health care.
 
This issue contains recently published studies on hand hygiene, as well as studies on water and sanitation conditions in health care facilities (HCFs). We would like to thank the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) for contributing to this issue. GHP is a coalition of international stakeholders working to promote handwashing with soap as a pillar of international development and public health. USAID is a founding member of the Partnership and has contributed funding annually to the coalition since 2001.

Looking for a back issue of Water Currents? Check out the archive on Globalwaters.org.
GHP Resources 
Infographic: Hygiene in Health Facilities. GHP, April 2018. May 5 marks two important global advocacy days: World Hand Hygiene Day and International Day of the Midwife. This infographic introduces key data on hand hygiene and sepsis, and shares what you can do to support health workers and prevent sepsis.
 
Advocacy Toolkit: Clean Hands for All. GHP, February 2018. Handwashing with soap is critical to health and development. This toolkit provides resources to help hygiene advocates promote and facilitate handwashing and engage others to do the same.
 
Fact Sheet: Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Facilities. GHP, August 2017. This fact sheet explores the health care-related risks of poor hygiene and the critical elements of hand hygiene needed to improve quality of care and reduce negative outcomes of poor compliance (e.g., infections and antimicrobial resistance) in HCFs. It also provides recommendations for improving hygiene in health.

Reports/Blog Posts
Every Newborn Deserves Caring, Clean Hands. GHP, May 2018. In this blog post, Dr. Pavani K. Ram from the University at Buffalo discusses the importance of hand hygiene, summarizes findings from recent hand hygiene research, and gives a call to action for understanding and responding to the key barriers to hand hygiene among health workers caring for mothers and newborns.
 
Opinion: Clean Water Is Health. Devex, May 2018. Toyin Ojora-Saraki, founder of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, states that the global health and development communities can no longer stand by in silence while mothers and newborns die from preventable and unnecessary complications, simply because the most basic of WASH services are not available.
 
WASH in Healthcare Facilities: Recommendations for Donors. Improve International, February 2018. It is widely acknowledged that access to quality essential health care services cannot be achieved without access to basic WASH services. This blog post provides recommendations to donors for funding WASH in HCFs.
 
Water and Sanitation for Health Facility Improvement Tool (WASH FIT): A Practical Guide for Improving Quality of Care through Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Health Care Facilities. World Health Organization (WHO); UNICEF, 2018. WASH FIT is a risk-based, continuous improvement framework with a set of tools for undertaking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) improvements as part of a wider set of improvements in HCFs.
  
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene at the Health Center. USAID Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), February 2017. This two-page brief outlines challenges facing WASH in maternal and perinatal health and proposes actions to address them via improved WASH in HCFs, greater leadership for ministries of health, increased coordination with other sectors, and better accountability.
 
WASH for Neonatal and Maternal Sepsis Reduction Study: Phase 1 Report. USAID MCSP, May 2017. The USAID-funded MCSP commissioned this study to investigate the current hygiene practices of health care staff, mothers, and other caregivers from the onset of labor through the first two days of life.
 
Achieving Quality Universal Health Coverage through Better Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services in Health Care Facilities: A Focus on Cambodia and Ethiopia. WHO, 2017. The situation analyses outlined in this report capture mechanisms that jointly support WASH in HCFs and quality of care improvements. They also identify barriers and challenges to implementing and sustaining these improvements.

National Guidelines for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Healthcare Facilities in Tanzania. Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, October 2017. This guide provides a standardized approach to the provision of WASH services in public and private HCFs throughout Tanzania. It offers guidance for planning and budgeting, as well as technical designing and construction of recommended WASH facilities, operation and maintenance, and monitoring of the performance of services.
  
Guide to Infection Control in the Hospital: Hand Hygiene. International Society of Infectious Diseases, February 2018. The Guide to Infection Control includes this chapter on hand disinfection methods, the WHO Multimodal Hand Hygiene Strategy, and other topics.

Journal Articles
2018 WHO Hand Hygiene Campaign: Preventing Sepsis in Health Care and the Path to Universal Health Coverage. Lancet Infectious Diseases, May 2018. Infection and control measures are essential for preventing avoidable infections that can lead to sepsis. Hand hygiene is both the cornerstone and entry point for infection prevention and control. (This article is open access, but a login is required to view/download the full article.)

Environmental Conditions in Health Care Facilities in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Coverage and Inequalities. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, April 2018. In this report, researchers identify important, previously undocumented inequalities and environmental health challenges faced by HCFs. The information and analyses provided can be used to develop evidence-based policies and efficient programs, enhance service delivery systems, and make better use of available resources to improve HCF conditions.
 
Barriers to and Motivators of Handwashing Behavior Among Mothers of Neonates in Rural Bangladesh. BMC Public Health, April 2018. This thematic analysis explains some of the determinants of maternal handwashing behaviors. Factors adversely impacting handwashing behavior include lack of family support, social norms, perceptions of frequent contact with water as a health threat, and a mother’s restricted movement during the first 40 days of a neonate’s life.
 
Water Treatment and Handwashing Practices in Rural Kenyan Health Care Facilities and Households Six Years after the Installation of Portable Water Stations and Hygiene Training. Journal of Water and Health, January 2018. Many HCFs and households in low- and middle- income countries have inadequate access to water for hygiene and consumption. In 2005, handwashing and drinking water stations were installed in 53 HCFs in Kenya, in conjunction with hygiene education for health workers and clinic clients. This study analyzes results six years after the intervention to assess longevity of impact.

An Educational Intervention to Improve Hand Hygiene Compliance in Vietnam. BMC Infectious Diseases, February 2018. A simple educational model implemented in a Vietnamese hospital was shown to improve hand hygiene compliance for an extended period of time.
 
Unpacking the Enabling Factors for Hand, Cord and Birth-Surface Hygiene in Zanzibar Maternity Units. Health Policy and Planning, July 2017. Maternity units in Zanzibar have substantial gaps in infection prevention practices essential at the time of birth. This study describes areas for further improvement such as knowledge and training and infrastructure, which are becoming increasingly important as more women in Tanzania opt to deliver in HCFs.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Infrastructure and Quality in Rural Healthcare Facilities in Rwanda. BMC Health Services Research, August 2017. In this survey of 17 rural HCFs in Rwanda, 60 percent of water access points were observed to be functional, 32 percent of handwashing locations had water and soap, and 44 percent of sanitary facilities were in hygienic condition and accessible to patients. Regular maintenance of WASH infrastructure consisted of cleaning, while no HCF had on-site capacity for performing repairs.

Impact of Adding Handwashing and Water Disinfection Promotion to Oral Cholera Vaccination on Diarrhoea-Associated Hospitalization in Dhaka, Bangladesh: Evidence from a Cluster Randomized Control Trial. International Journal of Epidemiology, December 2017. Neither cholera vaccination alone nor cholera vaccination combined with behavior change intervention efforts measurably reduced diarrhea-associated hospitalization in this highly mobile population. Affordable community-level interventions that prevent infection from multiple pathogens by reliably separating feces from the environment, food and water, and with minimal behavioral demands on impoverished communities remain an important area for research.
 
Approaches to Hand Hygiene Monitoring: From Low to High Technology Approaches. International Journal for Infectious Diseases. December 2017. Approaches to monitoring hand hygiene compliance vary from simple methods such as direct observation and product usage to more advanced methods such as automated electronic monitoring systems. Current literature supports a multimodal approach, supplemented by education, to enhance hand hygiene performance.
 
Awareness of Hand Hygiene Among Health Care Workers of Chitwan, Nepal. Sage Open, October–December 2017. A study was carried out in three hospitals to identify the knowledge and practice of hand hygiene. The results showed that half of the health care workers were lacking in knowledge and practice regarding important components of hand hygiene.
 
Websites 
WASH in Health Care Facilities: A Toolbox for Improving Quality of Care. This USAID MCSP microsite includes a toolbox of resources, as well as perspectives and an emerging approach from MCSPs’ experience integrating WASH in support of quality of care improvements that lead to improved health outcomes.

Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP). The GHP is a coalition of international stakeholders working to promote handwashing with soap and advocate for hygiene as a pillar of international development and public health. Their website includes materials, case studies, and publications to support handwashing programs.

Save Lives: Clean Your Hands. This WHO site contains reports and other promotional materials for the annual WHO-led Clean Your Hands campaign.

WASH in Health Care Facilities. WHO provides reports and others resources on this site for users to learn about and improve WASH in HCFs.

WASH FIT Digital. WASH FIT Digital is a free, open-access digital tool, based on the WASH FIT guide developed by WHO and UNICEF. It is designed to help HCFs improve quality of care through improved WASH and includes a set of forms for implementing a risk-based management approach.


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.
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Water Currents: Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018, May 22, 2018

Water Currents: Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018, May 22, 2018 Menstrual Hygiene Day, May 28, is an annual global event is to raise awareness about the challenges women and girls face due to menstruation 
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May 22, 2018 - Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018

 
This cover photo from the “Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools: South Asia” study shows students in a school in Pakistan that had only two toilet blocks to serve 400 girls and 10 teachers. With support from WaterAid and UK aid, the school set up a hygiene club and is now a model in terms of its sanitation facilities. Read more about the study below. Photo credit: WaterAid/Sibtain Haider.
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day), May 28, is an annual global event to raise awareness about the challenges women and girls face due to menstruation and to highlight solutions that address these challenges. MH Day also provides a platform to advocate for making menstrual hygiene management (MHM) a part of local, national, and global policies, as well as programs, projects, and activities across global development sectors. MH Day is organized by WASH United, which has run the event since its inception in 2013. It is an alliance of 340 partners worldwide, including WaterAid, Save the Children, and USAID, to foster policy change, fight stigma, and educate girls about menstruation. Follow MH Day on Twitter using the hashtag #NoMoreLimits.

This issue of Water Currents features MH Day resources from 2018, including reports and journal articles from studies in Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, and other countries. The issue also includes recent blog posts and news articles from Africa, India, and Pakistan.
Menstrual Hygiene Day Resources 
Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018. WASH United created this site to promote MH Day and provide additional resources and information on MHM that can be accessed year-round.

Menstrual Hygiene Webinar Series - WASH United, Simavi, World Vision and GIZ are launching a webinar series on menstrual hygiene as an activity under the MH Alliance. The webinars will take place every Thursday starting on 31 May 2018.

The Menstrual Health Hub. This is a global organization that establishes strategic partnerships to promote collaborative, systemic impact around menstrual health worldwide.

Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018: Empowering Women and Girls Through Good Menstrual Hygiene. Globalwaters.org, April 2018. This event post provides links to stories and resources on USAID's MHM-related work, which is an important part of USAID's WASH-related activities.

#NoMoreLimits! WSSCC Members Called to Act, Advocate on Upcoming Menstrual Hygiene Day. Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), May 2018. WSSCC is asking members and partners to share their planned MH Day 2018 activities to feature on its website, along with a special social media package to help promote MH Day.

Reports
Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools: South Asia. WaterAid, March 2018. These reports detail the status of MHM in schools in South Asia and identify progress and gaps in achieving sustainable and inclusive MHM services. They include a synthesis report, as well as country profiles on Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and others.

Reports on Menstrual Hygiene in Senegal, Niger and Cameroon. UN Women Africa, February 2018. WSSCC, in collaboration with UN Women, implemented a joint program on Gender, Hygiene, and Sanitation in Senegal, Niger, and Cameroon. Three case studies were published based on experiences from each country.

Keeping African Girls in School with Better Sanitary Care. University of Cambridge; The Impact Initiative, March 2018. Research from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London demonstrates that in rural Uganda, providing free sanitary products and lessons about puberty to girls may increase their attendance at school.

Journal Articles
Pilot Testing and Evaluation of a Toolkit for Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergencies in Three Refugee Camps in Northwest Tanzania. Journal of International Humanitarian Action, May 2018. This paper describes the pilot testing of the MHM in Emergencies Toolkit in three camps hosting Burundian and Congolese refugees in northwest Tanzania. MHM in this context consists of access to supplies and information, private WASH facilities, and discrete disposal options. Key findings include the identification of content gaps in the draft toolkit and the mapping out of a training and capacity-building approach needed for integrating MHM into ongoing programming.

Improving Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergency Contexts: Literature Review of Current Perspectives. International Journal of Women’s Health, April 2018. The objective of this review was to collate, summarize, and appraise existing literature on the current state of MHM in emergency contexts.

Menstrual Hygiene Management Among Women and Adolescent Girls in the Aftermath of the Earthquake in Nepal. BMC Women’s Health, March 2018. In the immediate aftermath of a massive earthquake in April 2015, immediate relief activities by humanitarian agencies failed to account for MHM needs. An improved understanding of MHM practices and the use of local resources, such as the reusable sanitary cloth, can help address MHM needs in post-disaster situations in Nepal.

Transgender-Inclusive Sanitation: Insights from South Asia. Waterlines, January 2018. This paper provides insights from initiatives to include transgender people in sanitation programming in South Asia. Three case studies of recent actions to make sanitation inclusive for transgender people in India and Nepal are presented, accompanied by reflections and recommendations to guide future practice.

The Relationship between Household Sanitation and Women’s Experience of Menstrual Hygiene: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Survey in Kaduna State, Nigeria. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, May 2018. Researchers in Nigeria investigated the relationship between household sanitation and women’s MHM practices. They found that household sanitation can influence women’s choices for MHM, yet existing indicators for sanitation improvement are not sensitive to menstrual needs.

Menstrual Health and School Absenteeism Among Adolescent Girls in Uganda (MENISCUS): A Feasibility Study. BMC Women's Health, January 2018. A study of a peri-urban Ugandan population found a strong correlation between menstruation and school attendance. To keep girls in school, future interventions must factor in both the psychosocial and physical aspects of menstruation.

Menstrual Hygiene, Management, and Waste Disposal: Practices and Challenges Faced by Girls/Women of Developing Countries. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, February 2018. Many rural Indian women are unaware of the environmental pollution and health hazards associated with the improper disposal of sanitary pads, according to the authors of this study. The researchers recommend the use of reusable sanitary products or natural sanitary products made from materials like banana and bamboo fibers and water hyacinths.

Accessibility of Low Cost Sanitary Napkin in Rural and Semi-Urban Community of Bangladesh. Islam Medical College Journal, January 2018. This study found that affordability is the main constraint to using pads for MHM, suggesting that future MHM interventions should be more inclusive by accounting for the sometimes prohibitive cost of sanitary napkins.

Blog Posts/Podcasts
How Did a Bollywood Film Affect Menstrual Hygiene in India? IRC, May 2018. This podcast includes discussions about the economic, social, health, and environmental aspects of MHM in India and “Pad Man,” the Bollywood film inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham.

What Makes a Period a Healthy Period? Plan International, April 2018. Take this online quiz to find out how periods impact your health in more ways than you might think (or have ever been taught).

Bloody Hell: The Challenges of Starting Your Period in a Refugee Camp. Bloody Good Period, April 2018. Dr. Sarah Simons writes about the personal hygiene challenges that women must deal within refugee camps.

Mainstream Bollywood Movie Influencing Age-Old Taboos about Menstrual Health in India. End Poverty in South Asia, March 2018. This blog post discusses a Bollywood movie that tells the story of "Pad Man," a school drop-out and social entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu who invented a low-cost, sanitary pad-making machine.

Design for Girls, By Girls. Period. UNICEF, March 2018. The School of Leadership—a national youth-led organization in Pakistan—launched the MHM Innovation Challenge in June 2017. This article highlights innovative solutions that were received in response to the challenge.

The Power of Involving Boys in Menstrual Hygiene Management. WASH in Schools, January 2018. This article discusses the WASH and Learn program and its efforts to educate and involve boys and men in MHM.
Ground-Breaking Menstrual Health Symposium Will Be a First for the Region. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) East and Southern Africa, March 2018. UNFPA and its partners will hold the first-ever meeting on managing menstrual health for women and girls in the east and southern Africa regions at the MHM Symposium in Johannesburg, South Africa, May 28–29, 2018.

Kashmiri Women Promote Menstrual Hygiene. Times of India, April 2018. This video is about a self-help group in Kashmir that manufactures low-cost sanitary pads. Taking inspiration from the Bollywood film “Pad Man,” women in the Samba district are producing affordable pads and educating rural women about the importance of maintaining hygiene.

Akshay Kumar Lends Support to New Campaign on Menstrual Hygiene. Hindustan Times, May 2018. Even months after the release of “Pad Man,” Bollywood star Akshay Kumar has continued his effort to spread awareness about menstrual hygiene.

Opinion: Menstrual Pads Can’t Fix Prejudice. New York Times, March 2018. The author states that cultural stigma is the core problem surrounding menstruation. 


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.
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✇WASH OFXAM Blogs

Gaza is dying in front of everybody

By: Tim Holmes

Tim Holmes reports back on his recent visit to Gaza and reflects on the challenges people living there face in their daily lives.

Oxfam and our partners' humanitarian and development work helps around 350,000 people in Gaza impoverished by the Israeli blockade. Credit: Iyad al Baba

Oxfam and our partners’ humanitarian and development work helps around 350,000 people in Gaza impoverished by the Israeli blockade. Credit: Iyad al Baba

A powerful smell hit me as I entered Gaza a fortnight ago. Not the smell of burning tyres from the ongoing protests, or the tear gas that has been used in response, but the smell of raw sewage. As I walked the few hundred meters through the wire cage corridor from the Israeli border security across the ‘access restricted area’ to the Palestinian border control, I crossed over a small stream of sewage slowly oozing from the Gaza Strip, under the huge turreted border wall, into Israel.

Why is this happening? Well, a bunch of reasons. Without sufficient electricity or fuel, sewage treatment plants cannot function. What is left of the sanitation infrastructure that wasn’t destroyed by the last Gaza war in 2014, was designed for far fewer people than are now living in this small enclave. Expansion, operation and maintenance is difficult when there are multiple and severe Israeli restrictions on goods, including spare parts, entering Gaza. The financial resources available for authorities responsible for sanitation in Gaza are woefully inadequate.

If people only had to cope with the smell of sewage and a collapsing sanitation system, perhaps life in Gaza would still be bearable. However, many people I met didn’t even refer to the sewage problem – there were too many other challenges to talk about.

Water is a key issue. More than 96% of water from the coastal aquifer where Gaza gets most of its water is undrinkable due to salinity. To access clean water, people often have to pay private water truckers who distribute water from small desalination plants – this costs six times as much as the regular water supply.  Part of Oxfam’s work in Gaza involves providing safe water by rehabilitating damaged water systems, but the task is ongoing.

More than 96% of water from the coastal aquifer where Gaza gets most of its water is undrinkable due to salinity.

Electricity has been a problem in Gaza for many years, but now it is out for 20 hours a day. This could be dismissed as an inconvenience but just imagine the stress and frustration of having to live without lights, refrigeration, access to the internet, or elevators in apartment buildings, let alone the far more serious disruption to hospitals, clinics, schools and water and sanitation services.

I was struck that the streets were so much emptier than when I was last in Gaza five years ago. I was told that this was because those who have cars couldn’t afford fuel and anyway people didn’t have enough money to go out for shopping beyond the basics. The Economist has estimated that people in Gaza are 25 per cent poorer today than they were at the time of the Oslo Accords, 25 years ago. More than 80% of the two million people in Gaza are currently receiving humanitarian assistance.

I spoke to parents whose children are recent university graduates but they are sitting around at home getting more and more frustrated. According to the World Bank, unemployment in Gaza is at 44% – for those below 29 years, it is at a staggering 60%. Oxfam is working with local partners to help people have better access to livelihoods, and with local farmers and producers to improve the quality of their produce and help them get it to market to improve their incomes. I spoke to the owner of a dairy processing unit that Oxfam has supported as part of its work to improve the dairy sector across Gaza.

I was told that the years of occupation, wars and blockade, combined with a new low in the economic and humanitarian situation in recent months, has meant that this is ‘now the worst time in our history’. The level of despair and the lack of hope in the future was also striking in many of the conversations I had, and was much more pronounced than on my previous visits. As a result, I wasn’t surprised to learn that United Nations medical staff have recently referred to an ‘epidemic of psycho-social conditions’ in Gaza.

The people I spoke to shared with me their anger that the world is doing nothing to help them. I was told that even when help does come it is only in the form of insufficient albeit needed humanitarian assistance, rather than a resolution to the conflict, the end to the protracted occupation, the end to the illegal blockade of Gaza and having their right to self-determination fulfilled which is what people in Gaza really want.

The people I spoke to shared with me their anger that the world is doing nothing to help them.
Human rights organisations in Gaza told me of their exasperation that the Government of Israel and other parties to the conflict are not held to account under international law by the international community. People I spoke to explained that because of this apparent impunity and the lack of alternative options, and despite the large number of deaths and injuries, they were generally supportive of the current protests continuing. Some specified that they would only support non-violent demonstrations. I was told that ‘people in Gaza are doing their best to survive’ but that, despite this, ‘Gaza is dying in front of everybody’. Read more about our work in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel

 

Oxfam’s policy positions on Gaza in general and regarding the recent protests:

  • The blockade – now in place for more than a decade – has devastated Gaza’s economy, left most people unable to leave Gaza, restricted people from essential services such as healthcare and education, and cut Palestinians off from each other. Israel must end the blockade on Gaza, which is collectively punishing an entire civilian population.
  • There must be a long-term solution to the crisis. The international community needs to redouble efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace based on international law, that brings security and development to all Palestinians and Israelis.
  • Oxfam condemns the deaths and injuries of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza. Unarmed Palestinians have the right to make their voices heard and the right to freedom of assembly and expression. Israel must abide by its obligations under international law to protect life and exercise the utmost restraint in accordance with law-enforcement standards on the use of force.
    • According to OCHA, 104 Palestinians, including twelve children, have been killed by Israeli forces during the course of the Gaza demonstrations since March 30. As of May 14, the latest rounds of protests at Gaza border resulted in 60 fatalities (including 8 children) and 2,770 injuries as a result of live fire. The number of injuries since the beginning of the protests has been 12,600. Fifty-five per cent of these have required hospitalisation. One Israeli soldier was also lightly injured.
Author
Tim Holmes

Tim Holmes

Programme Portfolio Manager at Oxfam GB

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