HUMANITARIAN NEWS: Oxfam launches new series of tools to promote best practices in sanitation.

  • tgwallis
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HUMANITARIAN NEWS: Oxfam launches new series of tools to promote best practices in sanitation.

Hi everyone,

For those of you who attended the 26th SuSanA meeting in Stockholm, you will already be familiar with Oxfam’s recently produced Sanitation Green Card. This guide was developed in collaboration with SuSanA to promote best practices in sanitation, for the benefit of the sector as a whole. It is very much intended to be used as universal guidance by all agencies and adapted to suit individual needs.

The illustrated Green Card was piloted amongst field staff in September/October and has now been updated to incorporate some of the feedback, along with a brand-new title…so without further ado, I give you the Sani Tweaks series:

‘Tweaks’ refers to incorporating user feedback to improve latrines in emergencies – with the aim of increasing latrine usage, especially by women. It is available in both English and French, and even as an animation, for those who prefer to watch and listen rather than read!

Feedback, comments and ideas all very much welcome.



WASH Knowledge Management & Communications Advisor, Oxfam Global Humanitarian Team
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Re: HUMANITARIAN NEWS: Oxfam launches new series of tools to promote best practices in sanitation.

Dear Tanya,

Thanks for posting this! I am surprised by a figure quoted in your video at the start, saying that "40% of women do not use the latrines that we provide". Thank you for being honest about this failure! What is the value for men? Is it similar or even less (I would have thought women are more diligent toilet users than men)?

Secondly, I find it interesting that you are stressing this very strict segregation of toilets for men and women, when there seems to be a slowly emerging trend worldwide to look more into the unisex toilet options for a variety of reasons (one being that the binary concept of gender is being questioned).
See for example here where we discussed this on the forum:

But perhaps in the humanitarian context things are different and the designs tend to be a bit more conservative / old-fashioned / robust. Interestingly, we seem to have given up on addressing male violence against women in this context and think / hope that just be separating out their toilet blocks we already "solve" the problem... It's a sad situation with no easy answers! *


* this reminds me of a tweet from the excellent satirical account @manwhohasitall:

TODAY'S DEBATE: Should men be expected to go running in groups in case women attack them?

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