Informal weekly bulletin with some of the most recent WASH-related research (Water Currents by USAID)


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  • Dan Campbell, WASH knowledge management specialist
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Re: A WASH update from USAID Water CKM

Dear Colleagues:

Below is an informal update from CKM that is distributed biweekly. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please send me your email address and mine is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The purpose of this informal research update is to highlight some of the most recent WASH sector studies and resources by USAID and others. Please send links to recent or upcoming studies and events that you would like to feature in upcoming issues. We welcome your suggestions to make the updates more useful.  This biweekly features:
  • updates
  • Other USAID updates
  • Events
  • Water quality/water security studies
  • Health studies
  • Sanitation studies
  • WASH & COVID-19 updates
USAID Global Water and Development Report FY 2018–2019 . USAID, October 2020. During the first two years of the U.S. Global Water Strategy implementation (Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019), USAID provided $835 million to support water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities in 51 countries.

What Does it Take to Sustain Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Outcomes? Lessons from Six Ex-Post Evaluations . USAID Water CKM Team, October 2020. Through its commitment to identifying sustainable approaches to WASH, USAID commissioned a series of six ex-post evaluations of its WASH activities completed three to 10 years prior. These studies identified what outcomes had been sustained years later and why. Link to the October 22, 2020 webinar .

USAID Water and Development Technical Series . These technical briefs provide guidance on important topics for developing and implementing water and sanitation activities in support of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and USAID’s plan under the strategy. Technical Briefs are available on: Rural Water Services , Rural Sanitation Services , WASH and Its Links to Nutrition , Gender Equality and Female Empowerment in WASH , and Urban Sanitation Services .

USAID Transform WASH: Ethiopia’s Business Environment and Business and How It Influences WASH Market Development . IRC WASH, September 2020. This Learning Note explores challenges in the private sector enabling environment and highlights opportunities for growth and investment in the WASH sector.

Additional Learning Notes Nutrition, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Assessment among Urban Poor Children and Adolescents: A Community Case Study of the Katwe II Slum in Kampala, Uganda . USAID, July 2020. This community case study sought to understand factors that contribute to poor nutrition among poor children and adolescents in Katwe II and what solutions can be used to best address their needs and the report has highlighted them.

World Toilet Day 2020: Sustainable Sanitation and Climate Change, November 19, 2020 - World Toilet Day is a United Nations Observance that celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation.

iDE and PRO-WASH Learning Journey Using Human-Centered Design Tools for WASH . iDE and PRO-WASH offer a four-week learning journey where participants will use a new Human Centered Design tool: the Possibilities Map for Market Based Sanitation. This journey includes two online meetings and one-on-one support from Human Centered Design and WASH experts over a four-week period. The event starts on Tuesday, November 10th and runs for four weeks -  

Water in the Balance: The Economic Impacts of Climate Change and Water Scarcity in the Middle East . World Bank, September 2020. The report emphasizes how the growing dependence on shared water resources reinforces the need to manage water across boundaries.

Integrating Water Quality Testing into Household Surveys: Thematic Report on Drinking Water . UNICEF; WHO, October 2020. Integration of water quality testing into household surveys has become a feasible option due to the increased availability of affordable and accurate testing procedures and their adaptation for use by household survey experts. 

Water Borrowing Is Consistently Practiced Globally and Is Associated with Water-Related System Failures across Diverse Environments . Global Environmental Change, September 2020. These data are the first to demonstrate that borrowing water is commonly used by households around the world to cope with water insecurity.

Empowerment in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Index . World Development, January 2021. Limited tools exist to measure women’s empowerment and gender outcomes in WASH. The Empowerment in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Index is a novel survey-based index designed to measure agency, participation and empowerment in the water and sanitation sector.

Baby WASH Programming: Integrating Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Interventions across Sectors to Impact Child Health Outcomes Learning Note . UNICEF, September 2020. The mainstreaming of Baby WASH follows three key principles, so that interventions are: (1) Context Specific, with responses tailored to meet the different needs of families in these contexts (development/humanitarian emergency; location such as workplace, school, health facility; urban/rural, etc.). (2) Integrated into existing sectoral programmes in WASH, MNCH, nutrition and ECD. Stand-alone Baby WASH programmes are less likely to be successful and risk duplication. (3) Based on high-quality research and evidence. Baby WASH is a relatively new concept and the evidence base is evolving. 

Effects of a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Mobile Health Program on Diarrhea and Child Growth in Bangladesh: A Cluster-randomized Controlled Trial of the Cholera Hospital-based Intervention for 7 Days (CHoBI7) Mobile Health Program . Clinical Infectious Diseases, August 2020. The CHoBI7 mHealth program lowered pediatric diarrhea and stunting among diarrhea patient households. This research was supported by a USAID) Development Innovation Ventures grant awarded to Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Handwashing Compendium for Low Resource Settings: A Living Document . Sanitation Learning Hub, October 2020. The compendium is a living document which will be updated regularly as more examples and good practice emerge. It has been developed and disseminated quickly so immediate, relevant and timely actions can be taken. This version is the third edition.

Hygiene Along the Continuum of Care in the Early Post-Natal Period: An Observational Study in Nigeria . BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, October 2020. In this study setting, hand hygiene practices during post-natal care and the first 6 hours in the home environment were consistently inadequate. Effective strategies are needed to promote safe hand hygiene practices within the post-natal care ward and home in low resource, high-burden settings.

Integrating Savings and Income-Generating Activities into Community Health Clubs for Improved Sanitation . PRO-WASH, September 2020. A qualitative study was undertaken to better understand barriers and motivators to latrine construction and how, and if, the integration of these activities with Community Health Clubs improved uptake of latrine construction. This learning brief shares key study findings along with additional key lessons from implementation.

Women Are More Likely to Expect Social Sanctions for Open Defecation: Evidence from Tamil Nadu India . PLoS One, October 13, 2020. Open defecation practices are known to cause psychosocial stress among women due to their experiences with sanitation insecurity, which may include fear of disapproval from community members. Results highlight the need for gendered intervention strategies when sanitation programs leverage social influence for behavior change.

A Review of the Financial Value of Faecal Sludge Reuse in Low-Income Countries . Sustainability, October 2020. The most common form of reuse in practice is agricultural composting, which is also the lowest value product. Few cases were able to achieve more than $5/person/year from sludge reuse, therefore other drivers are needed to promote proper human waste disposal.

Technical Brief on Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH) and Wastewater Management to Prevent Infections and Reduce the Spread of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) . FAO, WHO, 2020. This technical brief on WASH and wastewater management to reduce the spread of AMR provides a summary of evidence and rationale for WASH and wastewater actions within AMR national action plans.

Sludge Bomb: The impending Sludge Emptying and Treatment Crisis in Blantyre, Malawi . Journal of Environmental Management, January 2021. Very few pit-emptying companies operate in Blantyre. The majority of pit latrines will need to be emptied within the next 3 years.

Strategies to Connect Low-Income Communities with the Proposed Sewerage Network of the Dhaka Sanitation Improvement Project, Bangladesh: A Qualitative Assessment of the Perspectives of Stakeholders . Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, October 2020. This study assessed the challenges and opportunities of bringing low-income communities (LICs) under a sewerage connection within the proposed sewerage network plan by 2025.

WASH During COVID-19: What We Know So Far . Global Water 2020, September 2020. The Congressional International Water and Sanitation Caucus is a bipartisan group of Members concerned about international water and sanitation challenges. Caucus members launched the Caucus in September 2020 with an online event featuring remarks from the co-chairs and a discussion on “WASH During COVID-19: What We Know So Far.

What COVID-19 Reveals about the Neglect of WASH within Infection Prevention in Low-Resource Healthcare Facilities . American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, September 2020. What COVID-19 reveals about infection prevention in low-resource healthcare facilities is that we can no longer afford to “work around” WASH deficiencies. Basic WASH services are a fundamental prerequisite to compliance with the principles of IPC that are necessary to protect patients and healthcare workers in every setting.

COVID-19: Recommendations for Prevention and Response . UNC Water Institute, July 2020. This resource is intended to synthesize currently available evidence and guidance on SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease occurrence, transmission, and management in the context of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) and environmental health.

COVID-19 and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Communication Toolkit . SWA, September 2020. This collection of communications materials serves as a way for organizations and individuals to share key policy messages on COVID-19 and WASH through professionally developed graphics and other materials at no cost.Disclaimer: The contents of this issue are the responsibility of the USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.
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  • MuniWASH
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  • MuniWASH Activity is a five-year regional project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) covering 16 municipalities in Benin and Côte d'Ivoire. MuniWASH is collaborating with the African Water Association (AfWA) as a learning partner to capture lesson an and help guide urban WASH programming.
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Re: A WASH update from USAID Water CKM

Hi Dr Dan
This a very Nice opportunity. 
I have sent you a mail
Olivier Konan 
Communication Specialist 
The five-year, $18 million MuniWASH project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and began in September 2019. Implementation is led by Tetra Tech with support from Population Services International (PSI) and SEGURA Consulting LLC. Initial focus countries include Cote d’Ivoire and Benin. Contact details: Safaa Fakorede, Chief of Party, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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