WASH Research Weekly Updates

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WASH Research Weekly Updates

Dear Colleagues:

The USAID Water CKM team prepares an informal bulletin each week with some of the most recent WASH-related research and these are archived on a Google Document . Please let us know if you find this useful or contact us if you wish to subscribe to the weekly updates.

FEBRUARY 4, 2019


How Humans Get in the Way of Clean Water. Scientific American, Jan 26. There are many cheap and effective ways to provide safe water to the world’s poor regions. But projects often fail due to inadequate planning, maintenance or persuasive power.

Taking Concrete Actions to Leave No One Behind: Government of Ghana Pro-Poor Policies and Sanitation Guidelines for Targeting the Poor and Vulnerable. Global Communities, Jan 8. Global Communities Ghana, with funding from USAID, as part of the WASH for Health project has been collaborating with the Government of Ghana Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to develop Guidelines for Targeting the Poor and Vulnerable for Basic Sanitation Services in Ghana, published in 2018, to provide guidance for targeting poor and vulnerable populations.

The economics of antimicrobial resistance and the role of water and sanitation services. WASHeconomics, Jan 21. Seeing a paper published a few weeks ago in Nature Communications (more on that below) reminded me of some reading I did last year on WASH and antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and got me thinking about the economics of this.

Menstrual health programs need a new focus in developing world, critic says. Washington Post, Jan 13. In her new book, “The Managed Body: Developing Girls and Menstrual Health in the Global South,” she contends that programs to provide pads and cups to girls in developing countries — also known collectively as the Global South — miss the mark, well-intentioned though they may be. They overlook higher priorities, such as clean water and comprehensive education efforts, she says, and actually work against eradicating taboos surrounding menstruation.


WASH and Health working together: a ‘how to guide’ for NTD programmes. WHO, January 2019. This toolkit provides step-by-step guidance to NTD programme managers and partners on how to engage and work collaboratively with the WASH community to improve delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene services to underserved population affected by many neglected tropical diseases.

WASH Innovation Catalogue. Elrha, Jan 2019. Our WASH Innovation Catalogue is the first of its kind. It offers a unique overview of some of the most promising new solutions in WASH, and is designed to help practitioners decide which innovations could help them solve their most pressing problems. Taking an innovation from idea to scale can take years, and the innovations featured in this catalogue are all at different stages on that journey, but what this offers the WASH sector now is a look at the exciting work happening around the world to address common challenges.


Exposure to Livestock Feces and Water Quality, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Conditions among Caregivers and Young Children: Formative Research in Rural Burkina Faso. AJTMH, Jan 28. Poultry and other livestock feces were visible in all 20 and 19 households, respectively, in both kitchen areas and in the household courtyards where children frequently sit or crawl. Direct soil ingestion by young children was observed in almost half of the households (45%). Poor handwashing practices were also common among caregivers and children. Although latrines were available in almost all households, child feces disposal practices were inadequate.

A culture-dependent and metagenomic approach of household drinking water from the source to point of use in a developing country. Water Research X, Feb 1. Using culture-dependent and -independent techniques, microbial water qualities was examined. Potential health risks increased when water was stored for more than 3 days.

Safely-Managed Hygiene: A Risk-Based Assessment of Handwashing Water Quality. Environ. Sci. Technol., January 28. Our model suggests that handwashing with non-potable water will generally reduce fecal contamination on hands but may be unable to lower the annual probability of infection risks from hand-to-mouth contacts below 1:1000.


AfricaSan5 – AfricanSan5 will be held on 18-22 February 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference Sub-themes are: 1. Hygiene and the SDGs: Leave no one behind; 2. Policies, institutions and regulation; 3. Monitoring and using evidence to improve hygiene & sanitation; 4. Building capacity and financing sanitation in Africa.



Determinants of Latrine Use Behavior: The Psychosocial Proxies of Individual-Level Defecation Practices in Rural Coastal Ecuador. AJTMH, January 21. Using the integrated behavior model of water, sanitation, and hygiene framework, we sought to characterize determinants of latrine use in rural Ecuador.

Effect of Neighborhood Sanitation Coverage on Fecal Contamination of the Household Environment in Rural Bangladesh. AJTMH, January 21. Improved sanitation coverage in the neighborhood had limited measurable effect on FCs in the target household environment. Other factors such as access to improved sanitation in the household, absence of cow dung, presence of appropriate water drainage, and optimal handwashing practice may be more important in reducing FCs in the household environment.

Pit latrine fill-up rates: variation determinants and public health implications in informal settlements, Nakuru-Kenya. BMC Public Health, January 15. This study argues for a need to link information and awareness to users, construction artisans, property owners and local authorities on appropriate vault volumes and management practices.

Perceptions of drinking water cleanliness and health-seeking behaviours: A qualitative assessment of household water safety in Lesotho, Africa. Global Public Health, January 18. Qualitative interviews conducted in the Maseru District of Lesotho addressed how people decided if their water was safe, their understanding of the linkage between water and enteric illness, and health-seeking behavior. Respondents overwhelmingly relied on visual inspections to determine if their water was clean and not all participants linked consuming unsafe water with diarrheal disease.

Water, not temperature, limits global forest growth as climate warms. Science News, January 16. The growth of forest trees all over the world is becoming more water-limited as the climate warms. The effect is most evident in northern climates and at high altitudes where the primary limitation on tree growth had been cold temperatures. The research details the first time that changes in tree growth in response to current climate changes have been mapped at a near-global scale.

As we grow up: a digital book on menstrual hygiene management. WSSCC, December 2018. This book brought out by Saksham, Noida Deaf Society and WSSCC is in 5 different formats

Dan Campbell
USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project
1901 N. Moore St, Suite 1004
Arlington, VA 22209
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