Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

  • HoffmannV2008
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  • I am an applied economist who studies people's investments in their own health and that of their families. My research includes studies on women's acceptance of and demand for menstrual hygiene products.
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Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

Dear all,

It is my turn today to introduce myself and a research grant which I am leading with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:

Title of grant: Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems
Name of lead organization: University of Maryland
Primary contact at lead organization: Vivian Hoffmann (more information about myself: please see here on my faculty website: www.arec.umd.edu/people/faculty/vivian-hoffmann )
Grantee location: College Park, Maryland, USA

Developing country where the research is being tested: South Africa, India

Short description of the project:
The project will address the interactions between menstrual management and sanitation, using a systems approach that integrates an understanding of the sanitation hardware with women’s practices, needs and willingness to pay for menstrual management products. The scope of work includes: 1) a comprehensive literature review to synthesize current knowledge about the interaction between women's menstrual management practices and sanitation systems, 2) detailed case studies in two urban locations, and 3) a randomized product dissemination and demand trial where women will be offered to opportunity to test and then choose among alternative menstrual management products.

Goal(s):
This study aims to understand:
  • The experiences of women in managing their menstrual periods, including the products that they use, their perceptions of the sanitation facilities they use, and how their periods may impact their daily routines.
  • Women’s preferences for alternative menstrual management products that may have less impact on sanitation systems.
  • The influence of women’s social networks on product adoption and other behaviours.
Objectives:
  • Synthesize the state of current knowledge through a review of the literature on women’s perceptions and cultural beliefs around menstruation, and menstrual practices.
  • Understand the impact of menstrual practices on sanitation systems through a global survey of sanitation managers.
  • Document how menstrual products are disposed of in two contexts: Durban, South Africa and Bihar, India.
  • Investigate the acceptability of a reusable silicon menstrual cup among adult women in two contexts: Durban, South Africa and Bihar, India. Understand determinants of, and barriers to, product experimentation and continued use, including experience of peers.
  • Test how prior use of a disposable menstrual product (sanitary pads) affects demand for a reusable product (the menstrual cup) through a randomized controlled trial in Bihar, India.
Start and end date: February 2011 – July 2014
Funding for this research currently ongoing? yes
Grant type: "Other", i.e. neither RTTC nor GCE

Research or implementation partners:
PATH, Stockholm Environment Institute, Columbia University, Wits Health Consortium, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal

Links, further readings – results to date:
See attached preliminary findings from India and South Africa:
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Presentation at 16th SuSanA meeting: www.susana.org/images/documents/04-meeti...o-kjlellen-ssmhm.pdf

Journal articles:
  • Sommer, Marni, Marianne Kjellen, and Chibesa Pensulo. “Girls’ and Women’s Unmet Needs for Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM): The Interactions between MHM and Sanitation Systems in Low-Income Countries”, accepted for publication by Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development
  • Sebastian, Ashwini, Vivian Hoffmann, and Sarah Adelman, “Menstrual Management in Low Income Countries: Needs and Trends”, forthcoming in April 2013 issue of Waterlines

++++++++++++++

I am interested in hearing your questions and comments on this research? Has anyone got similar interests?

(I am aware that on the forum there is a whole category on MHM (menstrual hygiene management) here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-men...giene-management-mhm . The reason why my post is here and not there is because in this category here all 80+ research grants of the BMGF are being introduced in 2013).


Regards,
Vivian

Vivian Hoffmann
Assistant Professor
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
www.arec.umd.edu/people/faculty/vivian-hoffmann

Vivian Hoffmann
Assistant Professor
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
2200 Symons Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

phone: (301) 405-1265
fax: (301) 314-9091

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  • AnanyaGh
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Re: Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

Dear Mr. Hoffmann,

I am Ananya Ghoshal, working in the Indian office of WASH United ( nirmalbharatyatra.org/blog-posts/we%E2%8...check-out-new-office ).

I was delighted to see your post as we have a component of MHM under the WASH-in-Schools Programme. It will be great if such studies occur more frequently and with larger samples and above all - are published. MHM is a real taboo in India and a lot more needs to be done on this issue.

Thanks and Regards,

Ananya

Wash-in-Schools
'Learner'
:)
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  • HoffmannV2008
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  • I am an applied economist who studies people's investments in their own health and that of their families. My research includes studies on women's acceptance of and demand for menstrual hygiene products.
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Re: Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

Hi everyone,

A report by my partners on this project from the Stockholm Environmental Institute, Marianne Kjellén, Chibesa Pensulo, Petter Nordqvist and Madeleine Fogde, is now available online:

Global review of sanitation systems trends and interactions with menstrual management practices

www.susana.org/lang-en/library/library?v...eitem&type=2&id=1556

Great work on this and thanks for making it public, Marianne et al.!
Vivian

Vivian Hoffmann
Assistant Professor
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
2200 Symons Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

phone: (301) 405-1265
fax: (301) 314-9091
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  • mariachris
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Re: Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

Dear Haffimann,

Thanks for sharing this but I am unable to view policy brief attachment, can you please share the same.

Regards

Maria Fernandes
Wash United
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Re: Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

Dear Maria,
A warm welcome, and can you please briefly introduce yourself as it is your first post on the forum (like who you work for and what you do and where).

About the policy brief that you asked about: It was initially included in Vivian's first post, but Vivivan decided later to remove it. Instead, the two documents called "preliminary findings" in India and South Africa give you more up to date information (please scrol up to Vivian's first post), and are better than that policy brief was.

Regards,
Elisabeth


P.S. Vivian is called Hoffmann by last name, not Haffimann. I would say addressing her by her first name (Vivian) is fine.

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Re: Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

Dear Vivian,

My apology for mis-spelling your name. I am Maria Fernandes working for Wash United as a Program Manager for Menstrual Hygiene Management.

I am just looking for policies if any country has on promoting menstrual hygiene management, in this context just post my request about policy brief.

Thanks & regards

Maria
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  • Maxie
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Re: Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

Hello everyone,

I especially like the following quote in the newest WSSCC report "Celebrating
Womanhood, How better menstrual hygiene management is the path to better health, dignity and business" that is based on Vivian's report:

"Menstrual cups can also carry this stigma, which is why Vivian Hoffmann’s research into
their acceptability focused on 960 married women from 60 villages in Bihar, India.
During the study, Hoffmann – an assistant professor of agriculture and rural economics
at the University of Maryland – interviewed women four times over eight months, having
been randomly selected at the first interview to receive a menstrual cup, sanitary napkins or a non-menstrual health product to try. Although menstrual cups have a high upfront cost – 695 INR compared to 31 INR for disposable sanitary products such as pads – they last for ten years and after two years become the more cost effective option. Before the research, 95% of women used sanitary cloths. Afterwards, 76% of women who had been given the cup preferred it."

Thanks for conducting this valuable research, Vivian!

Best,
Maxie

Maxie Matthiessen
Co-Founder of Ruby Cup by Makit Ltd
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  • madeleine
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Re: Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

Dear Maria
I am not sure about policies on promoting menstual hygiene management. However South Africa made a huge effort to bring this to a higher policy agenda. I participated 2011 in a High Level dialogues on Menstruation Management and there was a politcal will from highest level (President Zuma )at that time. Unfortunately I have not been able to follow this up. I will post the proceeding from the highlevel dialogue ,actually I think it should be available already in the library. Other wise I will attach it to another message in the stream.

Kind regards
madeleine

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Re: Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

Hi again
Attached you will find the proceeding from a HIgh level dialogue on Menstruation Management organized by the South African Knowledge node on Sustainable Sanitation at WRC in collaboration with the South African Government .As I am quite busy this morning I will also send the link to the proceedings from the first Global High level meeting on Menstruation Management taking place in Geneva on the 8th of March which Maxie refers to.
This was a very interesting event organized by WSSCC gather the global specialists within Menstruation Management and Sanitation . There were many other stakeholders from the private sectore , WHO etc invited. This is the link www.wsscc.org/sites/default/files/conten...ood_final_report.pdf
Enjoy .



++++++++++++
Note by moderator (EvM) to all: the SuSanA library now has 19 documents on the topic of Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), which you can access here:
www.susana.org/library?search=MHM

If you notice that any important ones are missing, please let us know here.

Madeleine Fogde
Program Director SIANI
Senior Project Manager at SEI
Tel +46 (0)8 6747652
Fax + 46 (0)8 6747020
Cell + 46 737078576
SKYPE mfogde71811
Kräftriket 2B
SE-10691 Stockholm
www.siani.se
www.ecosanres.org
www.sei-international.org

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  • HoffmannV2008
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  • I am an applied economist who studies people's investments in their own health and that of their families. My research includes studies on women's acceptance of and demand for menstrual hygiene products.
  • Posts: 4
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Re: Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

Hi Maria,

Sorry for my taking so long to respond to your question. In addition to the efforts made by South Africa, the Government of India has also expressed an intention to provide subsidized sanitary pads to poor rural women. See this news report (a bit outdated, I'm not up on the latest developments but others on this forum might know:

www.deccanherald.com/content/54082/sanit...ural-women-just.html

I believe WaterAid India is working on this issue and has good contacts in government, so they should know the latest - I would suggest emailing Sweta Patnaik, who is very knowledgeable about policy developments there.

All the best,
Vivian

Vivian Hoffmann
Assistant Professor
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
2200 Symons Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

phone: (301) 405-1265
fax: (301) 314-9091
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  • trevor
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Re: Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

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Dear Vivian

Linah Maloka and I teach Menstrual Hygiene Management in South African Schools. See attachment. How do we apply for this grant or are we already late. Please share with us a link for application forms.

Trevor Mulaudzi

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  • HoffmannV2008
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  • I am an applied economist who studies people's investments in their own health and that of their families. My research includes studies on women's acceptance of and demand for menstrual hygiene products.
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Re: Research grant on Menstrual Management & Sanitation Systems (University of Maryland, USA and South Africa, India)

Hi Trevor,

Sorry, this project wasn't funded through an ongoing program on the topic, it was just a one-off grant from the Gates Foundation.

Good luck with your important work and all the best,
Vivian

Vivian Hoffmann
Assistant Professor
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
2200 Symons Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

phone: (301) 405-1265
fax: (301) 314-9091
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