Theme 2: Implementation Level

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  • Doreen
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Re: TDS: Invitation to participate in our thematic discussion on "Managing WASH in Schools - Is the Education Sector ready?"

Dear Colleagues,

Some information about the school situation in Kenya.

The Kenyan education sector has made significant progress in the pursuit of universal education through the implementation of free primary education, however the development of water supply and sanitation infrastructure has not kept pace with increased pupil enrollment.

Below are some pictures I took in a school in Isiolo, Kenya








Some of the challenges faced are as follows:

- Education is a national function that is not devolved (Kenya has a devolved government structure). Challenges experienced, who is responsible for the operation and maintenance of infrastructure in schools?

- National data on the status of sanitation infrastructure in schools is not available

- In the past funding of sanitation infrastructure has largely been dependent on development partners.

- Unclear responsibilities in the past and lack of cooperation between the sectors (water, health and education)

- Insufficient funds allocated to construction of sanitation infrastructure by the government. Huge huge investment gap.

Current situation is unacceptable.

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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  • Nicole
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Re: Theme 2: Implementation Level

Dear Belinda,

you raised some valid points and my post was of course a quite provocative one. You are very correct, we of course provide external technical support and I was not intending to say that external support is not needed. The question for me is more what kind of support we provide in which context.

Since the second phase of the regional Fit for School program focusses on supporting partners in their attempt to scale up previous achievements we adjust our support and focus more and more on system strengthening (capacitate sub-national structures, include Wins in monitoring and incentive systems of the eduction sector etc) and reduce our active involvement in implementation related processes (e.g. trainings for schools are conducted by sub-national partners compared to the pilot phase where we conducted those trainings; partners develop their own scale-up and roll-out plans etc.). This works better in some countries than in others and has to do with the level of ownership of course. Philippines and Laos are two good examples where the joint efforts of WASH partners helped to move forward with a more system oriented support approach for WinS. Maybe some of our government partners can share some of their experiences here.

In other countries/context the support might be different and even substitute where the situation requires, simply because there are no systems in place yet or other structural hurdles exist. However in that case it would of course be favorable to have longer program periods and to plan for the time after the support will end (phase-out periods, exit strategies) in oder to avoid things to collapse completely as soon as the external support ends. Sometimes I feel this falls a bit short in the reality of WASH program planning and implementation but if we ambitiously aim for sustainability and scale we have to take these aspects into consideration.

Are we expecting too much of education to take on WASH in schools fully?

An importnat question. Functional toilets, access to (drinking-) water and hygiene material should be part of every school by definition. Since schools are run by the education sector there is for me no question that this falls under the responsibility of the education sector, not saying that support from other sectors and stockholders is not important to support them in this role. But for me the education sector should be in the lead in this multiple-partnership set up.

WASH has for me a different priority over some of the other aspects you listed. Prioritization is crucial and you have to start somewhere and countries that have sophisticated and comprehensive school health programs often started off with WASH and added other aspects later (e.g. South Korea or most of the european countries). Especially for systems that are rather weak still it is important to focus and prioritize first, strengthen them and build up from there instead of expecting all at the same time.

I believe that one of the key factors is to provide approaches that do not overwhelm the education sector and make it easy for them to start with some simple, focussed and effective interventions instead of super comprehensive programs that include everything but no one on school level dares to start without external support since it is so far away from their reality. Stepwise approaches that start with some doable aspects (like the Three Star Approach) and build up from there have the potential to overcome this paralysis and dependency and create some sense of ownership. This is why it is so important to make the interventions on school level simple and not too time consuming and to integrate program management on district and provincial level in existing systems and to strengthen organizational and individual capacities (on school and sub-national level).

But I agree that there might be other options to address these issue and it would indeed be interesting to hear a few voices from other countries/continents and their experiences on how they addressed these issues that are so well known to all of us.
Nicole Siegmund
Regional Program Coordinator

GIZ Regional Fit for School Program
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  • koushikibnrj
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Re: Theme 2: Implementation Level

Hello Belinda,
I would like to introduce the current work i am engaged in as an UNICEF WASH State Consultant in Govt of Maharashtra, India. I am currently working with the Tribal Development Department. The main objective of the program is to start the first line of discussion of the importance of WASH in Residential Ashramshalas( schools). The tribal populations are facing issues which ranges from Poverty to health. The department have been engaging in developing the education of the tribal population from the last 40 years by opening residential schools. This reservation policy for tribal children is to only ensure quick impact.
However the current status of WASH in these Ashramshalas are in questionable condition.It is evident that all the old buildings had WASH facilities developed ,but the major challenge that the dept had faced is plainly with Operation and Maintenance. The kind of practices in these belts support open defecation still now. Also the lack of facilities in the surrounding villages makes it a very common thing to continue.
As I was reading through the various comments in this link, I found that Three Star approach has been utilized in similar programs. So the department had engaged into creating a bench-marking study on basis of the three star approach and further it was realized that a demonstration model three Star School will help the department to initiate the WASH dialogue. But here I would like to say that unless there is a constant operation and maintenance done at the school level, even the three star schools will go back into Poor WASH condition.
In a govt system with such huge and constant change in Leadership, one of the key issues is about the priority of the department. Unless there are some robust mechanism to constantly monitor the WASH conditions, the equation hardly changes.
So besides ensuring adequate facility the thrust is to constantly develop ownership of the various stakeholders within the department. There are state level direct training done with school Principals, Wardens, teachers. Along with this intervention needs to be triggered within the students and the village level. Currently there are SMC bodies and guidelines are issued for them to engage in repairing of WASH facilities as and when required.
Also I believe certain bottlenecks at Central and State level to channelize funds for facility development, needs to be taken up seriously. It is important that there is a comprehensive process that is followed in constant loop. These are a) WASH facility development/up-gradation b) Motivation of the grassroots stakeholders like HMS, wardens, teachers, etc, c) Constant sensitization at Dept level and of students d) Operation and Maintenance that includes funds and required mechanisms.
There are various small kick-start activity also constantly being taken up to keep the momentum.
I would request you to suggest if there are some interesting engagement that can be done at large scale by the department for quickening the impact. Would like to hear from you.
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  • PaminFinland
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Re: Theme 2: Implementation Level

Great discussion so far.

I am working with the Finland-Nepal bilateral WASH projects in Nepal (RVWRMP and RWSSP-WN). Probably the biggest difficulties with school WASH that we see is access to water (in the rural hill areas). Water is needed for washing during toilet use, and for flushing the toilet (sulav style toilets). Without sufficient water the toilets will block up and become unused quickly. Schools often employ an assistant to cart water, but it may be insufficient. Consequently it is critical that school needs are considered when planning new rural water schemes.

In addition, some schools have a shrine within the school perimeter. Particularly in the far west of the country, menstruation is a taboo issue, and if there is a shrine at the school the teachers may say that girls can't attend during menstruation, as it would be disrespecting the gods. This is both a community and Department of Education issue to resolve.

Earlier, girls weren't attending school anyway during menstruation as there wasn't a separate toilet where they could wash, with lockable doors and privacy. However, that is now improving, as the education department is beginning to understand the problems and are making a big push to build separate girls' toilets.

School teachers and children have played an important role in the national sanitation campaign. Children's clubs have been very active in monitoring of Open Defaecation and are very important actors regarding behaviour change.
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  • JacquesPiP
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Re: Theme 1: Policy Issues on the Regional and Global Level

Dear all,

I have just submitted this post under the other theme but I presume that it may be relevant in this discussion too.

Many thanks Katrin and Vielen Danke Susana for this much needed opportunity to share our reflections on these important issues.

I find it very stimulating to read the introduction of this discussion and the emphasis it puts on the need for leadership in relation to WinS. For sure, we are not merely talking about top down leadership from the Ministry of Education, but also about the kind of pervasive leadership needed amongst school, community and district level stakeholders for WinS to work. The introduction also refers to the promise of inter-sectoral collaboration in relation to SDGs with clear implications on WinS. Let us also consider the growing trend in development agencies to better integrate WASH-health, and food security, and notably in schools. How to better manage WinS? That is a big issue too, and it only takes a few visits to schools in areas of intervention of WinS programmes to realise how challenging it is to anchor new hygiene habits and to set up sustainable WinS O&M systems.

So this thematic discussion really addresses the big issues in relation to WinS. Where shall I start? Well, I would like to tell you about WaterAid recent WinS research - In view of its long-running concern about the state of WinS, and against the background of its extensive programmatic and policy work on the topic, WaterAid took the initiative in 2015 to undertake a programme of research. I joined the research team led by Richard Carter and was tasked to undertake four country case studies in south Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan). There were also several case studies in East Africa.

Much of the work consisted in reviewing and deepening existing WinS bottleneck analyses, or in the case of countries with no such analysis, undertaking them. In the four Asian countries, the research not only provided us with an opportunity to undertake comprehensive bottleneck analyses, but it allowed us to dig a bit deeper and explore the underlying causes of strengths and weaknesses. A wide range of political economy factors, often well-known by practitioners but unfortunately rarely factored in programmes, have thus been uncovered and analysed. The case study reports deliver interesting insights into WinS dynamics at central, district and local levels. Good practices from various organisations are also extracted and recommendations made to improve WinS programming.

Indeed, we cannot reasonably go on implementing business-as-usual approaches when we know deep inside the gap between the impact of most WinS programmes and the rosy pictures of WinS brochures. WinS programmes gives great pictures, which are real sources of inspiration for many of us. WinS also deliver the big numbers of beneficiaries that donors often look for. All great. But in the real world WinS is tough work and not many organisations can take pride in achieving decent levels of sustainability. My personal view is that collectively, we need a deeper, shared understanding of the problem. Many issues and obstacles are known but not made explicit. New strategies are needed, which address the underlying hindering factors and activate the potential for change.

Sharing the findings of our research - At this stage the case study reports are not yet in the public domain, and I think it is just a matter of weeks now. That being said, given the relevance of our findings to this thematic discussion, I am allowed to share here the executive summaries of the four reports. Hopefully they can help fuel exchanges. I am attaching the files to this post and I shall post a link to the full reports as soon as they are in the public domain.

Best wishes,

Jacques


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Jacques-Edouard Tiberghien, MSc. PhD.
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  • JovanaD
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Re: Theme 2: Implementation Level

Peer-to-peer education on hygiene in schools

Recognizing that access to safe drinking-water and sanitation is a human right and that young people are at the core of action on water, sanitation and hygiene, the European Environment and Health Youth Coalition (EEHYC) has been working on engaging youth in daily hand washing promotion, menstrual hygiene education and raising awareness about the importance of safe, functioning sanitary facilities in school settings.

Under the framework of the Protocol on Water and Health and in cooperation with WHO Regional Office for Europe and its partners in Austria, EEHYC developed a youth-friendly brochure “HYGIENE MUCH”. The brochure addresses students of all ages and aims at encouraging good hygiene practices by providing health facts, memorable tips and tricks in a humorous way. It also discusses different problems that young people are facing when using WaSH facilities in schools, such as no privacy and bad smell in toilets, lack of toilet paper and soap for hand washing and similar. Special attention has been given to menstrual hygiene management. “Menstruation – full disclosure!” chapter talks about the importance of breaking the taboos around this topic and the need for adequate menstrual hygiene education together with regular access to sanitary menstrual materials in schools.

To ensure wide dissemination, the brochure has been translated in 3 different languages (English, Germany and Russian) and made available for free download at the EEHYC website www.eehyc.org .
Jovana DODOS

WASH & Public health consultant
WASH & Nutrition specialist
Expertise & Advocacy Direction
ACTION CONTRE LA FAIM | ACF-France
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Vice-president and co-founder
European Environment and Health Youth Coalition
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  • cecile
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Re: Theme 2: Implementation Level

@ Pamin,

I am curious about this statement:
"If there is a shrine at the school the teachers may say that girls can't attend during menstruation, as it would be disrespecting the gods".
Does this mean that female teachers also miss school every 4 weeks or so?
Sometime ago there was a discussion on this forum about the importance of relying on leaders, including religious leaders for WASH projects. What do you suggest would be culturally appropriate to influence behaviour in this case?

@ Jovana
I had a look at the Hygiene Much / Much hygiene leaflet. This is a very nice and "refreshing" awareness material but also contains lots of western cultural references. When you talk about dissemination, who are your targets, to whom and how do you intend to convey this information?
Can you upload the leaflets in SuSanA library? They are nice inspirational materials to tackle teenagers (with adaptation depending on local culture). Thanks for sharing!
Cécile Laborderie
MAKATI Environnement
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  • JovanaD
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Re: Theme 2: Implementation Level

Hi Cecile,

You are right. The brochure does contain mainly western culture references. This is because it was developed in cooperation with the WHO Regional Office for Europe ( www.euro.who.int/en/countries ) under the WHO/UNECE Protocol on Water and Health.

The primary target group for this publication are older primary school pupils and high schools students. The dissemination has been done through our national members - partnering organizations, who are active in a field of (environmental) health education. So far we have distributed more than 600 hard copies in Austria, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Romania, Russia etc. The dissemination activities were accompanied by education sessions, workshops and similar, conducted by our implementing partners. The feedback we received is very positive!

I would be more than willing to upload this brochure, in all 3 languages, to the SuSanA library! :)
Jovana DODOS

WASH & Public health consultant
WASH & Nutrition specialist
Expertise & Advocacy Direction
ACTION CONTRE LA FAIM | ACF-France
www.actioncontrelafaim.org

Vice-president and co-founder
European Environment and Health Youth Coalition
www.eehyc.org

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  • Katrin
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Re: Theme 2: Implementation Level

+++ BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE DISCUSSION SO FAR +++


Dear all,

Thank you to all for all contributions so far. In the following, I would like to provide a quick update on the main points and questions that emerged during the last days.

The guiding questions were/are:
- Do you agree with the statement that WASH in schools does not need more money?
- If the education sector is to manage WASH in schools, is it only a question of money whether it is successful?
- Why is it easier to build new facilities than managing existing ones and collaborate with institutions like the education sector on this?
- Are we, as members of the WASH sector, promote mismanagement in schools by putting our attention on building new facilities instead of focusing on operation and maintenance?
- Who is to blame for poorly managed WASH in schools? Donors, teachers, parents, engineers, governments?

The main discussion points up to now:

1. The inflexibility of large institutions makes it often impossible/more expensive to repair structures instead of building new ones. Institutions that manage schools on the other hand have no budget/qualified staff for maintenance beyond the most basic level.

2. A sole focus on hardware is not enough! More emphasis has to be given to the importance of “software” issues. Issues of accountability and ownership, for instance, have to be addressed as well.

3. Many successful pilots never go to scale: The example of Fit For School shows that in order to move from the micro-level (model schools) to the meso- and macro-level you have to successfully engage the political level as well. It requires a shift from individual capacity (a hands-on approach) to institutional processes.

4. The education sector has to take the lead regarding WASH in Schools. There are other stakeholders that are important, but the education sector has to take the lead among all of these actors.

5. Prioritization is crucial: It is better to have a simple but clear intervention focusing on one aspect instead of an overwhelming intervention that no school dares to start without external support. Step-wise approaches are key.

6. Improving WASH in schools is an ongoing project. A constant loop of activities is needed to ensure that schools do not fall back into poor WASH conditions.

I am looking forward to hearing more about your experiences on implementing WinS.
If you have any questions, please let me know.

Best,
Katrin
Dr. Katrin Dauenhauer
SuSanA Thematic Discussion Series Coordinator
Bonn, Germany
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  • PaminFinland
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Re: Theme 2: Implementation Level

Hi, you asked about whether female teachers have to miss school also. In fact the only time I have heard about this problem it has been in schools with male teachers only. It is not a standard thing to have a shrine in the school grounds - only some of the time.

We have been talking about possible behaviour change communication strategies, particularly with regard to these really problematic issues like menstruation taboos. Working with religious leaders is one approach - another in this particular case would be to talk with the education department. However, there is normally a Village WASH Coordinating Committee, with participation of government staff as well as community leaders. This is probably the best place to start. There aren't easy fixes though. In many communities in far west Nepal menstruating women can't use the toilet at all as they will "make it dirty", even in communities that have been declared Open Defaecation Free.
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Theme 2: Implementation Level

A practical way forward could be to advocate for more vocational training like activities in schools. This is based both on the general observation that school curricular are way too theoretical in most countries (i.e. not actually teaching life skills) and that if they had such classes they would also have more technically minded teachers/staff that could manage maintenance better.

So maybe instead of advocating for better WASH facility maintenance, we should get school authorities to set up classes in basic carpentry/masonry/plumbing etc. including a budget for a small workshop and tools. This would probably help in overall facility maintenance, not only the sanitary ones.

In addition it is helpful to have a organized group of parents (in the Philippines they call it "PTA", Parent-Teacher-Association) that can maybe help out here and there with skills and small amounts of money if needed.
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  • cecile
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Re: Theme 2: Implementation Level

Dear Kris,

I cannot agree more with your suggestions but I hardly imagine this would be possible to do it in a top down manner because this means changing the curriculum and allowing parents to have a word to say, which is impossible in most countries? However it could be possible in few schools, depending on the willingness of the school head and human resources (one or two teachers enthusiastic about this kind of idea)

In the French system the daily maintenance of facilities is taken care of at municipal level : ie there is one or several technicians who are paid by the municipality and take care of the school facilities, the nursery, the roads (e.g. trees falling on the road), green areas, market area, drainage, etc. This is cost effective in terms of human resources, tools and procurement.
Of course, some municipalities allocate more funds than others so it is not perfectly equal. There is no way you could get teachers or headmasters involved in WASH or technical aspects.
I am saying this because sometimes we are trying to implement solutions in developing countries which are unthinkable in so called developed countries and I doubt we are so different.
Cécile Laborderie
MAKATI Environnement
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