WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

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WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

Dear all,

WaterAid just published four interesting reports on WinS in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.

These documents present the findings of a research project recently carried out by Partnerships in Practice for WaterAid. The project not only provided WaterAid with an opportunity to undertake comprehensive WinS bottleneck analyses in these four countries, but it allowed to dig a bit deeper and explore the underlying causes of strengths and weaknesses. A wide range of political economy factors, often well-known by practitioners but unfortunately rarely factored in programmes, have thus been uncovered and analysed.

These four case study reports deliver interesting insights into WinS dynamics at central, district and local levels. Good practices from various organisations are also extracted and practical recommendations made to contribute to sustainable and inclusive WASH services in schools.

The four reports, attached below, are also available on this webpage .

This work has been supported by a grant by H&M Foundation.

Best regards

Jacques

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Re: WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

Dear Jaques,

Thanks so much for posting these four reports and making us aware of them! It's a pity that your post didn't attract any replies yet, so I would like to provide a little boost.

I took a look at your report from Pakistan (our dedicated forum user Mughal from Pakistan might also like to comment).

Let me highlight this section from your report for Pakistan:

Chief constraints and possible solutions

Two principal constraints emerge. First, interventions spread out over a longer timeframe
(e.g. five years) in the same schools is beyond what donors can currently afford for
programmes solely focusing on school WASH. Second, WASH objectives are too narrow to
trigger widespread interest and sustain it long enough to achieve lasting outcomes.
Integrated WASH-health-nutrition programmes provide a solution: all these dimensions
contribute to better quality education, and support government education reform.

Importantly, success (impact, sustainability) on each dimension depends on good
governance and leadership. Such integrated programmes can attract more donors and
mobilise more resources, pooling funding to buy more time for building the level of
commitment and governance needed.

Not only can such integrated programmes be of interest to donors, but if properly
embedded in the curriculum and supporting teachers’ efforts, they can trigger strong
teacher buy-in and rally the – often lacking – support of district education officers. In certain
provinces, WASH clubs can be upgraded to child parliaments to serve the school agenda
beyond WASH matters.

Integrated WASH-health-nutrition programmes will require broadening the range of
partnerships, and creating networks, forums and coordination platforms addressing WASH,
health and nutrition. This already forms part of WaterAid Pakistan’s objectives.


Very interesting points! I like your proposed connection with the nutrition sector. Is this somethind WaterAid will pursue?

And how are you now planning to disseminate the findings of this research in four countries further (inside and outside of WaterAid?)?

I'll make sure they also get uploaded to the SuSanA library ( susana.org/lang-en/library ).

And what do you think of this idea: how about capturing some key points and adding them to the existing Wikipedia article on WASH? It would fit here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WASH#WASH_in_schools

The reports could then be cited and perhaps get read by more people.

One day, I'd also like to start a new Wikipedia article specifically for WASH in Schools. Perhaps members from the SuSanA Working Group 7 or people from WaterAid would like to get involved in this?

Regards,
Elisabeth

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Re: WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

Dear Jaques,

Your report on Pakistan is interesting. I can see you have done significant research in producing the report. In Sindh, in addition to Karachi, you visited Thatta only. That puts a little limitation, though, I think, it could be due to security reasons. I can understand that.

In Sindh, the education department has a narrow focus on school furniture only. In some schools, this is done with USAID in Khairpur, Sukkur, Larkana and Dadu.

Water and sanitation in schools in Sindh is hopeless. I would not go by those JMP figures. Even where water is supplied, it is not wholesome. Most schools’ toilets are in bad shape. The main reason is the government’s low priority for water and sanitation in schools.

Even, going beyond schools, on city’s level, the water and sanitation scenario is poor. In a megacity like Karachi, 60 per cent population has no sewerage connection ( www.dawn.com/news/1302346/60pc-of-karach...s-to-sewerage-system ).

Another report speaks of ‘marine pollution costing Pakistan billions of rupees’ ( www.dawn.com/news/1308295 ). Also, please read this report at www.dawn.com/news/1307842 .

WaterAid needs to work on how to generate willingness on part of Sindh government for water and sanitation in schools. At the NGOs’ level, advocacy for schools’ water and sanitation can be achieved through TV advertisements (there is one on handwashing, and it is pretty convincing). Another approach is plays and dramas in schools.

I support your contention on pp. 77, which says:

In rural areas they are often located in remote, isolated places, and small communities. Whether in rural or in urban areas, these schools are generally attended by the poorest. They are very much connected with the community, which host them. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense that WaterAid Pakistan target(s) these schools as a priority…..

All said and done, your research is valuable and useful. I appreciate your report.

Regards,

F H Mughal

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Re: WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

Dear Elisabeth and F H Mughal,

It is great to read you and I am glad that you found this Pakistan report interesting. I have really enjoyed this research: I am grateful for WaterAid to have provided me this chance to have proper time to analyse in a relatively in-depth manner the various bottlenecks and drivers of WinS in Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. I hope that some of the recommendations will make sense strategically and programmatically and will be helpful for the WinS stakeholders working in these countries.

Now, how many people will be able to spare a bit of time to go through these dense reports (or even merely their executive summary) is another question! ;) We are all flooded with information. Discerning what is valuable from what deserves less attention can be difficult and is time consuming. We often end up with very little time to absorb our selected information!
It is often a challenge for me to estimate how influential my studies are going to be. An existential concern for many consultant in the sector, I suppose! What I can say is that WaterAid UK and the various country programmes actively contributed to this research, found the findings valuable, and the suggested WASH-nutrition linkages relevant. How the recommendations, often validated by them, will make their way into programming depends on multiple factors (e.g. project cycle and timing; staff turn-over and institutional memory).

My experience is that in many WASH organisations, people are often extremely busy and stuck in implementation, fundraising or planning modes. There is time dedicated for learning for sure, including cross-country learning, but to what extent this learning informs the next programme cycle? How much of this learning captures the nature of the key challenges on the ground? Are WinS Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning exercises designed in such a way that they highlight the significant sustainability issues often affecting WinS services? Is there sufficient pressure on organisations to reconsider their WinS strategy and approaches?

Things are progressing for sure, but I am convinced that we could go faster and spend our limited resources more wisely. If you have a chance, take a look at the India report and read about the work of SVYM (Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement) with WaterAid in Karnataka. I think that we have a lot to learn from them – I have never seen anything comparable to what they achieved in terms of WinS quality and sustainability. It is worth reading as their work has never been documented before.

I have got no plan to disseminate this research beyond the posts I made on this forum and on UNICEF WinS Yammer’s group. WaterAid UK published the reports on its website and the country programmes will probably use them with their partners. That being said, I very much welcome your help in disseminating this research: it is a great idea to upload it to the SuSanA library (the longer it stays in such a space, the more likely people will stumble upon it). Great idea too to capture some key points and add them to the existing Wikipedia article on WASH and to the still hypothetical Wikipedia article on WASH in Schools you have in mind.

Anyway, thanks again both, and I hope we get to meet one day. I might come to Eschborn from time to time in the coming year, by the way, so we could catch up Elisabeth. GiZ has been doing great on WinS and has the capacity to keep bringing innovations at scale,

Best wishes and a happy 2017,

Jacques
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Re: WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

Dear Jacques,
Thanks for your thought-provoking post! You raised a number of really good points and I hope others from the WASH in schools group will chime in.

You said:

Great idea too to capture some key points and add them to the existing Wikipedia article on WASH and to the still hypothetical Wikipedia article on WASH in Schools you have in mind.


If you had to pick out three key points that you'd want the public to know about those WinS exampless from four countries, what would they be? If you list them here, I could add them to the Wikipedia article (or you could do it yourself).

At that moment, the WASH in Schools section in Wikipedia only says this ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WASH#WASH_in_schools ):

WASH in schools[edit | edit source]

More than half of all primary schools in the developing countries with available data do not have adequate water facilities and nearly two thirds lack adequate sanitation.[16] Even where facilities exist, they are often in poor condition. WASH in schools, sometimes called SWASH or WinS, significantly reduces hygiene related disease, increases student attendance and contributes to dignity and gender equality.[16] WASH in Schools contributes to healthy, safe and secure school environments that can protect children from health hazards, abuse and exclusion. It also enables children to become agents of change for improving water, sanitation and hygiene practices in their families and communities.

Supervised daily group handwashing in schools can be an effective strategy for building hygiene habits, with the potential to lead to positive health and education outcomes for children.
Strong cultural taboos around menstruation, which are present in many societies, coupled with a lack of Menstrual Hygiene Management services in schools, results in girls staying away from school during menstruation.[citation needed]

Only one citation is used so far which is this one (number 16):
United Nations Children’s Fund, Raising Even More Clean Hands: Advancing Learning, Health and Participation through WASH in Schools, (New York: UNICEF, 2012), p. 2.

See also related thread here about the synthesis document from the thematic discussion on "Managing WASH in schools - is the education sector ready":
forum.susana.org/component/kunena/265-th...-now-available#20296

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. And yes, do let me know when you're in Eschborn next so that we can meet. :-)

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Re: WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

Thank you Jacques for highlighting the work of WaterAid on WASH in Schools.

Here are some initial updates on how WaterAid is taking forward the recommendations from this research in our work:

- In Pakistan, in Punjab, WaterAid is meeting with the curriculum designing unit to discuss the issue of adding WinS to the teacher training curriculum.

- In India, WASH in Schools will be made an integral part of all WaterAid programme interventions in all districts.

- In Bangladesh, WaterAid is using the research findings to influence government through working through the advocacy and campaign network "Campaign for Popular Education"

With regards to the further dissemination of the research findings, let me look into it and get back to you.

Thanks :)

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Re: WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

Dear Ruth,

Could you kindly highlight the work done by WaterAid in the Sindh province of Pakistan?

Regards,

F H Mughal

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Re: WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

Dear Ruth,

Many thanks for the update. It is good to learn that WinS is gradually becoming integrated in WaterAid programming and District-wide approach. I know that your organisation has also recently developed specific tools (e.g. guidelines, standards) for WinS work.

Bests

Jacques

PS:
Elisabeth: apologies for my silence... I will find some time soon to select a few key points from the research that I will suggest including in the Wiki article.
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Re: WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

Dear Elisabeth,

Sorry for this long silence... Here-below are the three "points", which reflect some of the key learning from this research. Apologies for the lack of conciseness. Also, I wondered if this is the kind of learning content you had in mind for the Wikipedia article. No worry if you think it is not really appropriate.

best wishes,

Jacques


a) WinS services under the influence of macro and micro level influences….


The study shows how top-level political will can invigorate a major momentum around WinS. Such high-level commitment to ambitious targets can result in unbalanced approaches exclusively focused on hardware provision. The relevance of WinS policies at national or sub-national level, and the extent to which WinS leadership permeates in the system, fostering the engagement of MoE staff at all levels, have a strong bearing on the buy-in of school management for the WinS agenda. Deficient monitoring and planning processes are also identified as structural obstacles to an effective delivery of WinS at scale. Low budget allocation to WinS is generally a major block. Other influences are found, which lie well beyond what schools can address by themselves, such as the biased nature of bidding procedures applied at district level, or the influence of teachers’ unions on school governance and teachers’ absenteeism.

At the local level, mistrust towards school-based programmes, backward social norms and a low level of interest in WinS work are often found to challenge the implementation of WinS programmes. The study highlights the sheer influence of the human and social capital of SMC and PTA members on the capacity of schools to take ownership of their development. This research also suggests that parents’ engagement is not only constrained by economic factors but also by cultural and leadership issues and a lack of meaningful opportunities to engage. The attitudes of headmasters and teachers have significant bearing on school dynamics. The quality of school linkages with local authorities and committees also affect the resources available to complement the regular grants. Finally, local natural and geographical circumstances influence access to water (in sufficient quantity and quality), as the availability of building material and O&M inputs.


b) Fostering an enabling environment for WinS whilst demonstrating effective approaches

The support provided by international and national development agencies to the government at National, State and District levels is instrumental to gradually create an enabling environment for WinS. Yet, ministries and departments of education are very large organisations, which generally show much inertia and are slow to reform. Designing appropriate policies, clarifying roles and responsibilities, devising strategies, addressing budget issues, agreeing on coordination mechanisms, etc. will all take time. Likewise, building stakeholders capacities so that they can fulfill their duties will be time consuming. And presumably even longer will it take to reach the point where the degree of policy enforcement and stakeholder accountability are satisfying.

This research shows that despite all the detrimental macro and micro influences which may affect them, schools should by no means be considered as victims of a disabling environment. Success, sometimes widespread, is possible. Moreover, this success is not only measurable in terms of WinS performance but also tends to be reflected on other criteria listed under the Right to Education (e.g. mid-day-meal, presence of a playground and boundary wall/fencing). Successful interventions are generally associated with good school governance, a precious outcome from the perspective of quality education.

Success hinges on strengthening local-level leadership and accompanying the emergence of a genuine collective commitment of school stakeholders towards school development. Successful approaches emphasize developing human and social capital amongst core school stakeholders (i.e. students and their representative clubs, headmaster and teachers, parents and SMC members) and the engagement of other stakeholders in their direct sphere of influence, such as: community members, CBOs, educations officials, local authorities.


d) Golden principles for high-impact implementation


Amongst key prerequisites, implementers need to:

• Create confidence – community mobilisers must be able to dispel any possible mistrust between them and school stakeholders, by being respectful, transparent (answering all questions raised by stakeholders), and accountable (being punctual, fulfilling the agreed objectives, and being responsive to the requests made by stakeholders)

• Build skills – A key role of outreach workers is to raise the level of awareness and build the capacity of key stakeholders (headmaster, teachers, SMC members, members of child clubs) on a number of issues, including WinS, school governance and SMC roles and responsibilities. Bespoke methodologies foster the effective acquisition of knowledge and skills. Frequent interaction and on-the-job learning considerably favour the development of skills.

• Trigger interest towards greater goals – Interventions exclusively focused on WASH can hardly trigger significant and unwavering interest from all school stakeholders. Following a holistic approach integrating WASH, Health and Nutrition amongst other objectives is essential, not only because of its synergetic effects on child health and education, but also because of its benefits on stakeholder engagement.

•Build collective commitment towards a shared vision – Creating mutual trust, developing a shared awareness of the problem and triggering interest in holistic solutions all pave the way for the emergence of a collective commitment towards a shared vision amongst local stakeholder. This often proves insufficient however, and preaching by example is generally the way to catalyse the emergence of a sense of shared responsibility and a willingness to change things amongst local stakeholders. The persistence and accountability of implementers eventually wins the minds and heart of most school stakeholders.

•Follow a natural growth curve – allowing programmes to respect natural growth processes, characterised by a long incubation phase, followed by a phase of exponential growth, often pays off. The incubation phase is mainly dedicated to communications, awareness raising, capacity building and empowerment, and learning. During the growth phase, very progressive, schools are allowed to progress at their own pace, and early successes are propagated through exposure visits. Graduation scales are used to facilitate project phase out. All schools are simultaneously engaged in the incubation phase. The growth phase follows a demand-responsive approach whereby more inputs are directed in priority towards the most proactive schools. The other schools are given the time they need to mobilise the community, reflect upon the opportunity provided by the programme and build confidence in the process, cohesion, and a shared vision (facilitation can be the main input at this stage). Focus group exchanges and exposure visits are organised during inter-school and inter local government events to help propagate success and showcase its underlying attribute (e.g. sense of ownership, commitment, and good governance).
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Re: WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

Dear Jacques,

Thanks for putting together these key points. They are interesting but in order to use them for the Wikipedia article on WASH in schools, the language needs to be changed. It needs to be written for the lay person. At the moment it is still too complex, too much jargon and it is also not clear which reference goes with which statement or paragraph?

I've proposed some new text for the Wikipedia article on WASH in schools here in my forum post:
forum.susana.org/265-thematic-discussion...-now-available#21197

Or see here on Wikipedia directly:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WASH#WASH_in_schools

Can you help me to distill out the very key messages that are important for lay persons and then cite the 4 reports of yours? They could also be cited while giving specific country examples.
When I say "lay person" think of your wife, mother, adult son or whatever - they should be able to understand it. Think of you trying to explain to them what you do for work. :cheer:

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. Do you have good photos to go with the text (photos would have to be your own, or submitted under an open access format - CC-BY SA)?

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Re: WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

Hello Elisabeth,

Sorry for my long silence. I moved to Ethiopia 6 weeks ago and I am now working for GiZ IWaSP Program.
I find your paragraphs on WASH in school in the WASH - Wikipedia very good. Not sure if inputs from my research would add significant value. You could perhaps include the following sentences [tried to simplify the language a bit but not too successfully]:

The support provided by international and national development agencies to the government at National, State and District levels is helpful to gradually create what is commonly referred to as an enabling environment for WASH in school (i.e. sound policies, an appropriate and well-resourced strategy, and effective planning). It is important to stress such efforts need to be sustained as ministries and departments of education are very large organisations, which generally show much inertia and are slow to reform.
In addition, research shows that success also hinges on strengthening local-level leadership and accompanying the emergence of a genuine collective commitment of school stakeholders towards school development. Successful approaches emphasize developing human and social capital amongst core school stakeholders (i.e. students and their representative clubs, headmaster and teachers, parents and SMC members) and the engagement of other stakeholders in their direct sphere of influence, such as: community members, Community-based organisations, educations officials, local authorities. [reference]


Re. the pictures, you can check those in the reports which I took (my name appears in photo credit) and pick whichever you find relevant.

Best wishes,

Jacques-Edouard Tiberghien
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Re: WaterAid School WASH research in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Nepal

Dear Jacques-Edouard,

This time it is my turn to apologise for the long silence! This task had fallen into the "too hard" pile but I finally took it out of there today!

Thanks so much for formulating those two paragraphs for inclusion in the Wikipedia article on WASH. I've tried to improve readability a bit more by splitting long sentences in two and generally simplifying the statements - hopefully without losing any meaning.

Please check how it now looks on Wikipedia:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WASH#Enabling_environment

This is the text but the blue wikilinks are not showing, so better to read it directly online at Wikipedia with the link above:

Enabling environment [edit | edit source]

The support provided by development agencies to the government at national, state and district levels is helpful to gradually create what is commonly referred to as an enabling environment for WASH in schools. This includes sound policies, an appropriate and well-resourced strategy, and effective planning. Such efforts need to be sustained over longer time periods as ministries and departments of education (for example the Department of Education in the Philippines) are very large organisations, which generally show much inertia and are slow to reform.[18][19]

Success also hinges on local-level leadership and a genuine collective commitment of school stakeholders towards school development. Developing human and social capital amongst core school stakeholders is important. This applies to students and their representative clubs, headmaster and teachers, parents and SMC members. Furthermore, other stakeholders have to be engaged in their direct sphere of influence, such as: community members, Community-based organisations, educations official, local authorities.[20][21]


Points where I need further help from you please:
  1. I've given it a sub-heading called "enabling environment" - is that good?
  2. I added your 4 country reports (these: www.wateraid.org/what-we-do/our-approach...02-8630-4555130e750d ) as the sources for these statements. Have I cited them correctly? Also I had no clue which report might back up which statement, so I arbitrarily added 2 at the end of each paragraph. Could you please fine tune that? Could we even add specific page numbers?
  3. For your info: I added the Wikilink to the Department of Education in the Philippines just because I thought it's nice that there is a Wikipedia article about that ministry. Wikilinks are really important, linking across to all the other Wikipedia articles.
  4. Regarding photos, I looked through your report and I like many of them! E.g. page 16 in the Pakistan report. Would it be possible that you can share with us ALL of your photos from those 4 reports? Just pop them into a dropbox folder and I could grab them from there? I would then upload them to the SuSanA flickr photo database and from there they get into the Wikimedia Commons photos repository of Wikipedia from where they can be shared further. If you don't want to make all available but only a selection, that's also fine - up to you. Sometimes it takes longer to make a selection though, that's why I thought sending the whole lot could be easier.

Thanks a lot!

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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