Comparison of WASH in Schools Approaches

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Comparison of WASH in Schools Approaches

Dear all,

I am quite new in this forum and was following the discussion on WASH in schools with great interest so far. I think we do all agree that more priority needs to be given to the promotion of safe sanitation and hygiene practices as well as to better link awareness creation with infrastructure interventions. In my mind it is necessary to create demand of the communities for dignified access to sanitation facilities and safe hygiene practices. But what is the best way to do this?

I am working with the WASH United Initiative ( www.wash-united.org/home.html ) aiming to promote safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for all. One of the areas of intervention is WASH in schools in Africa. Using innovative football-based games and educational materials and star posters in local languages, WASH United educates children and adolescents in a fun way about the importance of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene to facilitate life-saving behavior change.
The WASH in schools activities aim to integrate WASH in schools trainings in national curricula. Therefore, teachers are trained to implement and monitor WASH in schools activities continuously.

WASH United is an innovative new approach (start in 2010) for the promotion of WASH amongst a variety of other approaches in the sector (i.e. Fit for School, CLTS etc) Hereby, the questions arising are: What is the impact of these approaches? How do these approaches support hygiene behavior change?

WASH United intends to conduct a qualitative study comparing the approach WASH United and its impacts on behavior change with other approaches on WASH in schools (regional focus is Tanzania). One of the main difficulties arising in this context may be the comparability of approaches.

I will be grateful about a fruitful discussion on your experiences with different WASH in schools approaches and its impacts on hygiene behavior change as well as advises on existing studies on the impact of different approaches for WASH in schools.

Best regards,
Cordula

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  • christian.rieck
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Re: Comparison of WASH in Schools Approaches

Dear Cordula,
Thank you for bringing up this vital issue. It is interesting to see how WASH United approach is able to use football stars and other role models from sport to get children interested in WASH. I find it an appealing approach in order to create awareness and a positive energy around the topic. I however think that for a long-term impact on hygiene behaviour you will also need to instigate changes on the policy and institutional level that can provide e.g. sufficient budget support for WASH and set clear roles, responsibilities and incentives for all stakeholders involved. From my point of view the mentioned Fit for School approach used in the Philippines would be a perfect addition to WASH United.

Fit for School promotes simple, sustainable and scalable solutions which can be implemented joinly by the government, schools and communities without depending on external donor support. It involves daily group activities of handwashing and tooth brushing and bi-anual deworming. I find it amazing to see that the impact of FIT after one year was that the days of absence in school reduced by 27 %, prevelance of children below BMI (thin) reduced by 20%, prevalence of children with heavy worm (STH) infection reduced by 47% and that the presence of severely decayed teeth also reduced drastically. So there is great health impact and associated behavioural changes happening. More infos you can find on www.fitforschool.ph/ .

Or read this short 3-page article to obtain an overview:
www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=1480

I am not aware about other WASH in schools programs which a similar track record and actual impact measurement. I am eager to learn more from other approaches that have created impact.

(this would be an execellent discussion topic for the SuSanA working group 7)

Best regards,
Christian

GIZ Uganda
Enhanced Water Security and Sanitation (ENWASS)
Sanitation for Millions
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  • keziah
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Re: Comparison of WASH in Schools Approaches

Thanks for this post cordula,
iam a postgraduate student and would like to carry out study in school wash in Kenya. is your study restricted only to Tanzania? are you doing any in Kenya? i'll be glad to hear from you

Keziah
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