SHARE's programme of relevant and rigorous research relates to the development and dissemination of new and existing knowledge to improve sanitation and hygiene service delivery. Its four research themes are:
Diarrhoea kills more young children each year than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, and inadequate sanitation may be the biggest killer of children under five. Existing evidence points to poor sanitation being a major factor in approximately 2.4 million child deaths annually. Over 40% of the world's population (2.6 billion people) do not have access to even a basic toilet.
Handwashing with soap – the most cost-effective health intervention - could save the lives of one million people every year, and SHARE will investigate how to make hygiene promotion easier. This will include finding solutions that meet the needs and desires of poor consumers and are potentially marketable so as to achieve mass scale. It is likely that other measures, particularly the disposal of children's stools and improved weaning food hygiene, may be equally worth promoting.
SHARE-funded health research
Effectiveness of improved rural sanitation in Orissa, India, upon health
Impact of hygiene intervention to reduce weaning food contamination in Bangladesh
Hygiene promotion resource 'Choose Soap'
Testing alternative 'best practice' handwashing interventions
Risk factor determination attributed to sanitation in contamination of tube-wells, Bangladesh
Faecal contamination of commuters' hands in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Factors influencing latrine hygiene, Tanzania
Systematic review of WASH interventions and nutritional status in childhood
Disparities in access to sanitation and hygiene arise through factors, including mismatches between supply and demand, inadequate access to appropriate financing mechanisms, and institutional and social relations that restrict options for the poor. These mechanisms contribute to a cycle of poverty as the burden of poor sanitation accentuates disparities in rural and urban settings.
Knowlege generation and transfer targeted at improving equity of access can catalyse changes in practice. SHARE's strategy for facilitating improved sanitation and hygiene access for the poor includes:
- Systematic methods of formative research to identify context-specific constraints and drivers
- Developing and documenting models that reduce disparities in access at a district or city-scale. These models may include innovations in supply, demand, financing, governance and social relations
- Adaptive research and case studies to demonstrate how models can be adapted to match context-specific constraints
- Monitoring and evaluation methods to enable
SHARE-funded equity research
Roundtable meeting to develop a proposal for researching the impacts of menstrual hygiene management on health and education
Synthesising existing knowledge on Menstrual Hygiene Management
Gender and sanitation: the experiences of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia
Outcome and impact monitoring for scaling up the Mtumba sanitation and hygiene participatory approach
Roundtable meeting on sanitation and hygiene for disabled people
Sanitation Mapper: online sanitation monitoring tool
SHARE research will address many market-related questions, including how can demand for sanitation be assessed by non-specialist local staff, what are its determinants, and how effective really are the favoured methods (social marketing, health clubs, or Community-Led Total Sanitation) to stimulate it? How do these methods affect those marginalised by gender, poverty or age?
SHARE-funded markets research
Action research for assessing demand for scaling up sanitation to the urban poor in Tanzania
Demand for pit-emptying services in unplanned areas of Dar es Salaam
Demand for sanitation upgrading among the urban poor in Dar es Salaam
An investigation of the strengths and weaknesses of ecological sanitation: opportunities to improve the system
Microfinance for sanitation: evaluating experiences, learning the lessons
Potential for microfinance in sanitation
Human resources and costs of scaling-up for sanitation and hygiene, Tanzania
Sanitation is a particularly pressing problem in urban settings in developing countries, and coverage will have to increase markedly to meet these challenges to keep pace with rapid population growth in towns and cities. Many organised groups formed by the urban poor (especially savings groups) are improving sanitation either through house construction or improvement, or through communal facilities. In many cities and towns, hygienic pit emptying equipment is needed which is affordable to artisan pit emptiers. SHARE will investigate these issues and more to promote sustainable sanitation in urban environments.
SHARE-funded urban research
Roundtable meeting to discuss the data available for monitoring access to sanitation in slums
Sanitation conditions, problems, practices, and perceptions in unplanned areas of Dar es Salaam
Improving the performance of communal latrines in achieving safe faeces disposal in urban poverty pockets in India
Understanding and improving the role of communal sanitation provision in urban poverty pockets in India