International Women’s Day, which was last Saturday, is an opportunity to celebrate achievements towards gender equality but also to bring out political and social awareness of the struggles that women worldwide continue to face. Though we’ve come a long way, for most women in the world discrimination of one form or another is part of their daily reality. The huge challenges still to overcome can sometimes create a sense of hopelessness, but we must remember to learn from past achievements. This new blog post reflects on the role of community engagement and evidence in this process.
SHARE-funded City-Wide project reports on the successes of its first year
SHARE partners Shack/Slum Dwellers (SDI) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) have just published four policy briefs documenting the first year of the SHARE-funded City-Wide Sanitation Project.The purpose of this research project is to develop inclusive, sustainable sanitation strategies. The first year was focused on data collection, including community mapping and profiling.
Systematic review finds evidence of substantial association between sanitation and water and maternal mortality
We have known for over 200 years that maternal mortality is linked to poor WASH. However, we have little information on the extent to which poor water or sanitation environments, in either facilities or homes, currently contribute to maternal mortality. This review marks an important step forward, as it has found that there is in fact evidence of association between sanitation and maternal mortality and between water and maternal mortality. Maternal health is of course about a lot more than WASH. The causes of maternal deaths and the context within which they happen are multiple and inter-related, and each of these often demands a number of interventions. Nonetheless, this review plays an important role in strengthening the evidence in favour of WASH playing an important part of a successful package of interventions.
Tanzania country platform: generating interest in the sanitation sector among microfinance institutions
The action-research on developing microfinance in Tanzania has reached a new milestone. Led by Trémolet Consuting, in partnership with MicroSave and WaterAid, the research is part of wider efforts by SHARE to catalyse sanitation financing in Tanzania. In Dar Es Salaam, between January 28th and February 6th, 14 representatives of eight institutions with microfinance experiences received intensive two-week training in market research for sanitation. The training was hosted by WaterAid Tanzania.
Four students selected for the SHARE Research Fellowship Programme in Bangladesh
WIth the support of SHARE, WaterAid Bangladesh launched a Research Fellowship Programme in December last year to support Masters students with their field research in the area of sanitation and hygiene. Following an extremely competitive process, with dozens of applicants, four students have been selected:
A story of change: Esther Cheelo, blind and elderly, talks about the benefits of water and sanitation access
Esther is blind and elderly and has difficulty walking. For years she has relied upon others to collect water and to walk her into the scrubland near her home to find a place to relieve herself. But then, with the help of SHARE through WaterAid, her village got a water point and toilets for the first time. Here, Esther tells us in her own words what a change this has made.
“SuperAmma” campaign results in significant improvements in people’s handwashing behaviour
A unique handwashing campaign jointly funded by SHARE and the Wellcome Trust has shown for the first time that using emotional motivators - such as feelings of disgust and nurture - rather than health messages, can result in significant, long-lasting improvements in people’s handwashing behaviour, and could in turn help to reduce the risk of infectious diseases.
Handwashing with soap could prevent perhaps a third of deaths caused by diarrhoeal disease. “Handwashing campaigns usually try to educate people with health messages about germs and diseases, but so far efforts to change handwashing behaviour on a large scale have had little success. Understanding the motivating factors for routine hand washing is essential to any initiative likely to achieve lasting behaviour change.” explains study author Dr Val Curtis, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
Tropical plant Moringa provides for good handwashing material
SHARE-funded research has found that moringa oleifera, a plant found in many tropical and subtropical countries, whose antibacterial activity against different pathogens has been described in different in vitro settings, can be an effective handwashing product if used in the correct concentration.
LSHTM prizes SHARE PhD students Om Prasad Gautam and Prince Antwi-Agyei for innovation and creativity
SHARE PhD students Om and Prince received prize by LSHTM for their innovative and creative posters
SHARE Research in Malawi receives warm reception at Sector Learning Forum
SHARE Researchers in Malawi presented their research projects to a wide range of sector stakeholders on 30th-31st of January this year at a Learning Forum held by the Water and Environment, Sanitation Network (WES Network). The Forum offered water, sanitation and hygiene professionals from across the country a platform to exchange ideas on best practices. Elijah Wanda, Senior Lecturer at Mzuzu University and co-PI of the SHARE-funded project on Research into Private Sector Participation in the Delivery of Sanitation and Hygiene Services, presented this project to the Forum. Cyrus Mkandawire of Chancellor College presented the SHARE-funded project on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Primary Schools. Both research projects were well received, and there was great interest in SHARE and the role that it plays in the WASH sector in Malawi.
SHARE Research Director Professor Sandy Cairncross OBE receives Edwin Chadwick Medal
SHARE Research Director Professor Sandy Cairncross has been awarded the Edwin Chadwick Medal for 2014, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of public health. Sandy has been both a driving force for research on drinking water and sanitation in low-income settings and a persuasive advocate for increased political and social commitment to these issues.
Mapping what we know: SHARE Tanzania country platform publishes a review of sanitation and hygiene in the country
Tanzania is a focus country for the SHARE research consortium. As part of that work of the SHARE research group in Tanzania we wish to carry out a desk review study. It provides a synopsis of the “state of the field” in Tanzania, and, as such, provides a useful document for helping to refine SHARE’s focus and also influencing the actions of others in the sector.
Writing for WASH: SHARE funded workshop to improve documentation in the WASH sector yields results
The benefits of the writing workshop funded by SHARE in July 2012 to build capacity on WASH sector policy and programmes documentation have begun to show in Nepal.
Yogesh Pant of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (SI) Nepal has recently published a booklet entitled “The effectiveness and outcomes of approaches to functionality of drinking water and sanitation schemes”, following his attendance of the workshop. The booklet was published under Helvetas SI Nepal’s Water and Infrastructure Series 2013/1.
Undoing inequity project publishes baseline findings
Disabled people, older people and people with a chronic illness often lack WASH services because of environmental, attitudinal and institutional barriers. Little is known about how a lack of WASH impacts on the lives of these people and their families, how to address the barriers so everyone can have access to WASH, and the benefits of improved access to WASH on these people’s lives. The Undoing Inequity project aims to fill these knowledge and practice gaps. The baseline survey has helped us come closer to understanding the first of these questions. Namely, it has informed a WaterAid report to the International Development Select Committee who's latest inquiry is on Disability and Development.
Om's blog: next steps following the intervention trial
Om updates us on his activities following the intervention trial in the summer: After the completion of the food hygiene intervention trial in early September, four major activities were performed between September and December 2013. In this blog, I would like to update you on the details of these activities, namely: i) multi-sector policy analysis, ii) trial outcomes measurement, iii) trial compliance measurement and iv) dissemination of findings at national level.
SHARE and WSSCC partner with WSP on a two-day workshop on WASH and women and girls
SHARE and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) held a two-day workshop together with the World Bank's Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) in Delhi this week. The workshop had two main aims: to share on-going SHARE-WSSCC-funded research focused on how women and girls are differentially affected by poor water and sanitation, and to encourage discussion on how women as agents of change can support progress in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
SHARE-funded action research programme on sanitation microfinance in Tanzania gets off to a good start
A workshop on sanitation microfinance took place in WaterAid’s offices on 3rd December. This was the kick-off event of a one-year action research programme on sanitation microfinance funded by SHARE and WaterAid.
Building capacity: SHARE Research Fellowship Programme in Bangladesh
The SHARE Masters Research Fellowship Programme in Bangladesh has today been announced to potential students in the country. With the support of SHARE, WaterAid Bangladesh is inviting research proposals on Sanitation and Hygiene issues from current students of a Master of Public Health (MPH) and relevant disciplines (e.g. Development Studies, Environmental Science, Gender Studies, Population Sciences, Anthropology, Sociology, Social Work).
SHARE Researchers contribute to a new high-profile report on sanitation and hygiene in Africa.
SHARE Researchers have contributed to the new report on “Sanitation and hygiene in Africa: Where do we stand? Analysis from the AfricaSan Conference in Kigali, Rwanda”.
SHARE Researcher Val Curtis speaks at the inauguration of World Toilet Day as an official UN day
The UN officially celebrated World Toilet Day for the first time this year, and SHARE Researcher Val Curtis spoke at the official inaugural event.
SHARE researchers present their findings to DFID to mark World Toilet Day
To mark World Toilet Day last Tuesday, SHARE-funded researchers had the opportunity to present their work to a varied audience at the UK Department for International Development.
The researchers presented their work at DFID’s Whitehall offices to London-based staff, as well as staff based in Scotland and country officers from across the globe.
Discussing sanitation financing on World Toilet Day with guests John, Sophie and Sandy
On this World Toilet Day, 2.5 billion people across the globe still don’t have access to a basic toilet. This is holding back development, not only due to the associated health impacts. Substantially increased investment is crucial. What type of investment model is most likely to work in resource poor settings?
UK Launch of Cochrane Review on WASH and Childhood Undernutrition
The UK Launch of the Cochrane Review on WASH and Childhood Undernutrition was held yesterday at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Lead author Dr Alan Dangour, Senior Nutrition Lecturer at LSHTM, presented the findings, followed by comments from a distinguished panel including Ms Anna Taylor, Senior Nutrition Advisor at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Mr Girish Menon, Director or International Programmes and Deputy Chief Executive at WaterAid and Professor Sandy Cairncross OBE of LSHTM.
SHARE-funded collaboration on maternal health in Zanzibar gets off to a great start
A recent visit by SHARE partner WaterAid to Zanzibar marks an important first step in the jointly funded collaboration between SHARE, WaterAid, the SoapBox Collaborative and key national stakeholders. The proposed collaboration has the firm support of the Minister for Health and Social Welfare, pictured here, and aims to support the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare's plans to improve quality of care in maternity units through appropriate WASH services in healthcare facilities.
The Fifth South Asian Conference on Sanitation - renewed focus on hygiene and first time mention of nutrition
The Fifth South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN-V) took place last week, from 22-24 October in Kathmandu, Nepal. As well as reaffirming the principles of policy and good practice set out in the SACOSAN declarations of the last decade, the Kathmandu Declaration was the first to recognise nutrition as one area where sanitation unlocks measurable benefits. The evidence showing a link between sanitation, hygiene and water and childhood undernutrition is growing, as shown in the recent SHARE-funded Cochrane Review on WASH and Childhood Undernutrition, so it is heartening to see the link being affirmed in this a high-profile Declaration.
Landlords and tenants: a vital relationship for improving sanitation in Tanzania
The relationship between landlords and tenants was highlighted by Keko Machungwa (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) community members as a critical challenge in improving sanitation standards. The Tanzania Urban Poor Federation and Centre for Community Initiatives have been exploring ways of improving this relationship, with a view to improving sanitation in informal settlements. This report discusses an example of these initiatives, in Keko Machungwa settlemennt, Dar es Salaam.
Dr Alan Dangour: Can WASH interventions improve the growth of children?
Dr Alan Dangour, Senior Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and lead author of the SHARE-funded Cochrane Review on WASH and Childhood Undernutrition, discusses whether, and how, WASH interventions can improve growth in children.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development visits SHARE-funded projects in Uganda
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development Lynne Featherstone visited two projects that are part of the SHARE-funded Undoing Inequity programme in Uganda yesterday. The visits to the projects - Wera Primary School and Bobol Village - were chosen as part of a wider visit by the Minister to Uganda to look at innovative work on disability in developing contexts.
Jo's blog: What do Global Handwashing Day and World Food Day have in common?
Jo Esteves Mills, Research Uptake Officer at the SHARE Research Consortium, talks about the importance of WASH interventions in programmes that tackle undernutrition, as we celebrate Global Handwashing Day and look ahead to World Food day, tomorrow.
Om shares reflections and photos on the food hygiene intervention trial, having been in the field with limited connectivity for the last three months.
New video suggests that low-cost interventions for inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene service delivery are possible in Uganda
The SHARE-funded research project “Undoing Inequity: Inclusive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programmes that Deliver for All” has just produced a video that investigates the cost of inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene service delivery in Uganda.
Remarkable progress has been made over the last decade in access to water and sanitation, which are Millennium Development Goal 7 targets. Nonetheless, huge disparities in access remain. For example, older people, disabled people, or people with chronic illnesses have difficulty in accessing these basic services. While people remain excluded, universal access cannot be achieved.
As James Kiyimba, the Programme Coordinator for Communications at WaterAid Uganda, explains, cost is often cited as one of the main barriers to providing facilities that are accessible to all. WaterAid and its partners have produced a video that investigates the cost of having in place inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene services in Uganda. It demonstrates that, in terms of the hardware costs, simple low-cost adaptations do exist that provide inclusive solutions.
When asked what could be achieved with this video, James said: “I hope that WASH practitioners and key policy and decision makers, as well as the general public, watch this video and that it brings to life for them the real challenges that some people face each day to access services that most of us absolutely take for granted. Most of all, I hope it illustrates how low cost interventions can help overcome the physical barriers to such access, and that it really drives home the difference that improved access to WASH can have on a person’s health and dignity and their ability to participate more fully in society”.
Open Defecation and Childhood Stunting in India: An Ecological Analysis of New Data from 112 Districts
SHARE researcher Oliver Cumming recently co-authored a paper with Dean Spears at the Delhi School of Economics
and Arabinda Ghosh (IAS, Goverment of India) in the journal PLoS ONE entitled Open Defecation and Childhood Stunting in India: An Ecological Analysis of New Data from 112 Districts. The paper adds to a growing body of evidence linking poor sanitation to childhood undernutrition in India with the authors finding that a 10 percent increase in open defecation was associated with a 0.7 percentage point increase in both stunting and severe stunting. The recently published Cochrane Review on sanitation and childhood undernutrition
authored by Alan Dangour and funded by SHARE offers more information on this important area of research.
Om's Blog: Launching of the food hygiene intervention in Nepal
Following on from the design of the intervent
ion and the baseline study, Om updates us about the long-awaited launch of his Food Hygiene Intervention Trial in rural Nepal.
The intervention draws on a variety of behaviour change techniques to improve food hygiene in the home, with a focus on weaning foods.
WSUP call for expressions of interest in research on urban sanitation in Bangladesh
Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) are seeking a world-class research team to design and implement a research project in Dhaka (Bangladesh), around the effectiveness of large-scale sanitation promotion strategies to improve usage and maintenance of existing communal toilet facilities in low-income urban communities. The fund is GBP 220,000 and the timescale is late 2013 to late 2015.
Om's Blog: Finalising the intervention and conducting the baseline study
In the latest updates from Om Prasad Gautam's food hygiene intervention study in Nepal, he outlines the framework and content of the food hygiene promotion package he has conceived. He also goes into detail about the baseline study he has conducted before proceeding with the intervention itself.
SIT - a new Sanitation Investment Tracker mobile app
SHARE has funded Trémolet Consulting to work with Akvo.org to develop the Sanitation Investment Tracker (SIT) mobile app. SIT is a suite of applications that can be used to track investment and associated expenditure in sanitation at household level. Learn more about SIT and start using the app.
Setting Research Priorities to Reduce Mortality and Morbidity of Childhood Diarrhoeal Disease in the Next 15 Years
SHARE researcher Dr Val Curtis recently co-authored a paper in the journal PLOS Medicine: Setting Research Priorities to Reduce Mortality and Morbidity of Childhood Diarrhoeal Disease in the Next 15 Years.
FREE IDS CLTS Sharing and Learning Workshop, 30 June in Nakuru, Kenya
The CLTS Knowledge Hub at IDS is hosting a one day CLTS Sharing and Learning workshop on the 30th June, ahead of the main WEDC Conference in Nakuru, Kenya.
Sanitation microfinance: a solution to the household sanitation cash trap?
SHARE recently published two case studies on sanitation microfinance in India and Tanzania, based on original research by Trémolet Consulting and MicroSave. Author of the case studies Sophie Trémolet identifies lessons learned from the research and a way forward for making microfinance part of the solution for reducing the sanitation access gap.
Download the India case study and Tanzania case study
Read Sophie Trémolet's reflections on the research