The 3rd regional sanitation and hygiene practitioners workshop held last week (31 Jan-2 Feb 2011) generated many inspiring and animated interactions. And more people have joined the discussions via the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SanHyP
|Discussions at the 'Dhaka adda'/ gossip corner|
The overarching workshop themes were equity, monitoring and sustainability. Discussions have touched on a range of issues and challenges around these themes.
Equity is the principle of fairness. While many poilicies and WASH programmes aim to reach everyone (women and men, rich and poor, social minorities and majority groups) in practice, many people are left behind. Practicing equity and involves recognising that people are different and need different support and resources to ensure that their rights are realized (Shordt, Da Silva Wells, Krukkert 2012).
Questions related to equity included: Are we reaching the poorest and how can we do better? What could be done to improve menstrual hygiene of girls who are not-in-school? How gender sensitive are ecosan toilets? And how do women use them when they menstruate? How to reach out to men?
Building on the conclusions of the 2010 workshop, we examined a number of monitoring methods which monitor performance and use of facilities, not just counting how many 'improved' toilets have been built.
For sustainability it is crucial that we look beyond construction. Effective hygiene promotion is a key factor for achieving sustained behaviour change. But investments are also needed in ongoing monitoring of toilets and their use, solid and liquid waste disposal at village level, capacity building of local government and local small businesses. The Life Cycle Cost Approach and service levels developed by the WASHCost programme provide a useful framework to analyse spending by government and households on sanitation and the resulting levels of service.
WASHCost research in India, covering more than five thousand households, concludes that capital investments made on sanitation are often going to waste, as the toilets constructed are not being used. Once pits fill up, people often revert to open defecation. In seven out of the 21 villages studied that were declared 'Open Defecation Free', more than half the population did not use a toilet. Read the full paper 'Looking beyond capital costs - Life-cycle costing for sustainable service delivery' here