Disability and the WASH sector (report by WaterAid)

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  • Sallyp
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Re: Disability and the WASH sector

Hullo,

My name is Sally and Jane of WaterAid introduced me to the forum, so thank-you Jane. Elisabeth, we met at the dry toilet conference in Tampere. I am also posting this in the menstrual issues part of the forum.

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---> Note by moderator: please go to the category "Menstrual Hygiene Management" of this forum, where you will see the very interesting posting of Sally Piper!

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  • Elisabeth
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Re: online training course?

Dear Jane,
Thanks very much for your postings!
I look forward to hearing more about Sally Piper's thesis on MHM in Malawi, I hope she will announce it here soon (have you e-mailed her already?).

Regarding the mentioned online courses on disability in the WASH sector for WaterAid staff, I am still a little bit confused. Do I understand right that WaterAid paid WEDC to develop the course materials (specifically for WaterAid staff), and that the materials are now not available for self study but only for fee-paying students? Or did I misunderstand? Wouldn't it be useful for the sector to make the online course materials available to everyone (but if someone wants tutoring and take it in a manner which includes feedback on assignements etc. then they would have to pay)?

(This is how I used to run the ecosan online courses back in 2007/2008 when I was working at UNESCO-IHE in Delft: all the materials were available for free in a demo version, but to take the course in a structured way, together in a group and with tutoring support, then people had to pay a course fee - this worked very well. I am not 100% if my successor, Mariska Ronteltap, continued with it in the same fasion, but I think she did).

My second point about the bench UDDTs: what is WaterAid's feelings about this technology at this stage? It is not very new technology but perhaps still not so well known. By the way, composting toilets are also often set up with such a bench, e.g. in Sweden, e.g. Carl Lindstrom told me it makes it easier to use for people with disabilities (I had posted this elsewhere on this forum, under sanitation systems, UDDTs).

Kind regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
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  • Jane
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Re: Disability and the WASH sector

Dear All

I'd like to correct my blog above where I said that the WEDC training programme is designed for other organisations.

The training is not designed for other organisations to complete. WEDC would welcome the opportunity to design similar mixed mode trainings, which would be tailored to the needs of the organisation.

We (WaterAid) highly recommends it to other organisations! The person to contact is Hazel Jones (WEDC) who will also respond further when she's back from Mumbai.

Warm wishes

Jane

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  • Jane
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Re: Disability and the WASH sector

Thank you for your comments on my report - it’s wonderful to read people’s thoughts on mainstreaming disability in sanitation. To answer your first question, I thought I would firstly give a bit more background on the training.

In partnership with the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) at the University of Loughborough, WaterAid has developed a technical training programme of written assignments, webinars and workshops for country programme and UK staff. These encourage participants to explore ways to make water, sanitation and hygiene more accessible to vulnerable and marginalised groups.

One of the challenges has included getting staff to complete the online training as it is self paced learning, without an academic qualification at the end. We have had organizational buy in and managers have encouraged staff to take part in this training, which has really helped.

We have found this course invaluable as it has really increased people’s awareness for the need of accessible designed programmes which address all barriers (environmental, attitudinal and institutional). The training programme is designed for other organisations to complete and WEDC is considering the best way to take this forward. We plan to roll it out to our partner organisations.

I completely agree that reducing the distance to toilets is a key addressing the natural environmental barriers people face – this includes distance from toilets and/or open defecation areas and terrain. The bench UDDT looks really interesting – I’ll circulate that to WaterAid staff.

In terms of ensuring everyone has access throughout the life cycle, we must be mindful of children, menstruating women, pregnant women, older people and people who are chronically ill; these people may or may not be disabled. Mainstreaming inclusive development (inclusion, equity and access) which looks at the hardware and software components of programming is arguably, the best way to can do this.

We’ve documented some of our attempts to do this. You can find the reports and briefing notes under ‘further information’ on our website www.wateraid.org/international/what_we_d...d_inclusion/8352.asp. These include ‘creating user friendly water and sanitation facilities in Nepal’ and a really interesting accessibility audit of our work in Madagascar (‘Diagnostic d’accessibilite’). There’s also a write up of an evaluation I did of WaterAid’s project in Ethiopia, which was designed to meet the needs of disabled people within their service delivery work (‘briefing note – principles and practices for inclusive development’). Findings and recommendations covered inclusive development, understanding the power relations and inviting strategic participation across power levels for more empowering interventions.

In terms of menstrual hygiene management, Sally Piper’s just completed her MSc thesis in collaboration with WaterAid Malawi. It’s called ‘toilets are not enough’. Her findings are fascinating as they cover access, gender relations and attitudinal barriers related to the cultural context. I think she’s a member of this forum, so might post some comments too, but I’ll also send her an email to highlight this discussion to her.
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  • Doreen
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Re: Disability and the WASH sector

Quite an interesting report from WaterAid. Thumbs up!

Elisabeth you are right! It is so important to move the toilets closer to the bedrooms and classrooms. I am really impressed by the concept of the bench UDDTs because the toilet can be located indoors and even on any level of the house reducing walking distances and increasing security. By the way, in addition to reading the factsheet that Elisabeth mentioned "Making sustainable sanitation inclusive for persons with disabilities" it would also be very worthwhile to visit the flickr collection on toilets, urinals and bathing units for people with disabilities (worldwide)
www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157626092736007/

Here you shall find a variety of facilities which have been adapted in some way to make them more easily usable by people with disabilities.

All of us at some point in our lives might face some form of disability. Basic infrastructural structures need to be implemented to assure accessibility of sanitation facilities for disabled people. It is also important to incorporate inclusive designs taking into consideration age and gender aspects especially in terms of menstrual hygiene management. That way, all groups have access to safe sanitation facilities. This is possible through the active inclusion of key stakeholders and through carrying out baseline surveys in the communities. Engaging stakeholders is top priority so that different approaches and technical solutions can be implemented depending on the different types of disabilities in the communities.

I look forward to further discussions on technical solutions and feedback from Wateraid.

Best regards

Doreen
Doreen Mbalo

GIZ Sustainable Sanitation Programme
Policy Advisor in Bonn, Germany
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
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  • Elisabeth
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Disability and the WASH sector

WaterAid has published an interesting report about "disability and the WASH sector". You can see the announcement and link here on Sanitation Updates:
sanitationupdates.wordpress.com/2011/10/...and-the-wash-sector/

www.wateraid.org/documents/report__what_..._the_wash_sector.pdf

This report gives an overview of the information relevant to the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector in the world’s first report on disability. It also highlights how WaterAid is addressing the recommendations in the report, as well as where we could develop our approaches further.

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I have 2 comments to make:

a) I am interested in this activity of WaterAid and wonder if this is available also to everyone or only to WaterAid partners:

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Awareness-raising training on
equity and inclusion,
highlighting disability, has
been provided for all staff in
the UK and in country
programmes.
Through a partnership with
WEDC, we are rolling out
technical training in equity
and inclusion to WaterAid
staff via webinars and
workshops. The training
modules are designed so that
they can be shared more
widely with staff and
partners.
Training has been provided
by disabled people in
WaterAid country
programmes to raise staff
awareness of the issues

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b) As with most of these documents there is a strong focus on adapting simple pit latrines. But maybe the sanitation system itself needs to be changed radically to suit the needs of people with disabilities. I have already mentioned elsewhere on this forum that I believe that toilets must move closer to the bedrooms (or classrooms) - reducing the access distance is so important in my opinion. And here my hypothesis is that bench UDDTs have great potential (as they can be indoors). (Peepoos, mobile toilet pots, waterless uni-sex urinals may be other interesting options)

See this factsheet of ours:
von Muench, E., Duering, I. (2011). Making sustainable sanitation inclusive for persons with disabilities - Factsheet. Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany. [390.33 KB]
www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=1210

So I am wondering what the WaterAid staff think of these suggestion?
(I will also contact the author, Jane Wilbur, directly and hope that she is keen to take part in the discussion here).

Greetings,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/elisabethvonmuench/
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