|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 15|
ASER Centre, the research and assessment arm of Pratham Education Foundation sees measurement as the first stage of action. ASER uses primary research to push and give empirical foundations to policy discussions at a multitude of levels. At a household level, common citizens use a simple assessment (a floor-level test) to measure learning across rural India. This paper presents the evidence on the applicability of an ASER approach to the health sector. A citizen-led assessment was designed and executed that collected information from young mothers with children up to a year of age. The pilot assessments were rolled-out in two different models: Paid surveyors and student volunteers. The survey covered three geographic areas: 1,239 children in the Jaipur District of Rajasthan, 2,086 in the Rae Bareli District of Uttar Pradesh, and 593 children in the Bhuj Block in Gujarat. The survey tool was designed to study knowledge of health-related issues, daily practices followed by young mothers and access to relevant services and programs. It provides insights on behaviors related to infant and young child feeding practices, child and maternal nutrition and supplementation, water and sanitation, and health services. Moreover, the survey studies the reasons behind behaviors giving policy-makers actionable pathways to improve implementation of social sector programs. Although data on health outcomes are available, this approach could provide a rapid annual assessment of health issues with indicators that are easy to understand and act upon so that measurements do not become an exclusive domain of experts. The results give many insights into early childhood health behaviors and challenges. Around 98% of children are breastfed, and approximately half are not exclusively breastfed (for the first 6 months). Government established diet diversity guidelines are met for less than 1 out of 10 children. Although most households are satisfied with the quality of drinking water, most tested households had contaminated water.
The practice of open defecation can be devastating for human health as well as the environment, and this practice persistence could be due to ingrained habits that individuals continue to engage in despite having a better alternative. Safe disposal of human excreta is essential for public health protection. This study sought to find if open defecation relates to fecal-oral infections in Burat and Ngaremara Wards in Isiolo County. This was achieved through conducting a cross-sectional study. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 385 households that were used in the study. Data collection was done by use of questionnaires and observation checklists. The result show that 66% of the respondents disposed-off fecal matter in a safe manner, whereas 34% disposed-off fecal matter in unsafe manner through open defecation. The prevalence proportions per 1000 of diarrhea and intestinal worms among children under-5 years of age were 142 and 21, respectively. The prevalence proportions per 1000 of diarrhea and typhoid among children over-5 years of age were 20 and 20, respectively.
In April 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal, killing, injuring, and displacing thousands of people. The earthquake also damaged water and sanitation service networks, leading to a high risk of diarrheal disease and the associated negative health impacts. In response to the disaster, the Environment and Public Health Organization (ENPHO), a Kathmandu-based non-governmental organization, worked with the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST), a Canadian education, training and consulting organization, to develop two training programs to educate volunteers on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs. The first training program was intended for acute response, with the second focusing on longer term recovery. A key focus was to equip the volunteers with the knowledge and skills to formulate useful WASH advice in the unanticipated circumstances they would encounter when working in affected areas. Within the first two weeks of the disaster, a two-day acute response training was developed, which focused on enabling volunteers to educate those affected by the disaster about local WASH issues, their link to health, and their increased importance immediately following emergency situations. Between March and October 2015, a total of 19 training events took place, with over 470 volunteers trained. The trained volunteers distributed hygiene kits and liquid chlorine for household water treatment. They also facilitated health messaging and WASH awareness activities in affected communities. A three-day recovery phase training was also developed and has been delivered to volunteers in Nepal since October 2015. This training focused on WASH issues during the recovery and reconstruction phases. The interventions and recommendations in the recovery phase training focus on long-term WASH solutions, and so form a link between emergency relief strategies and long-term development goals. ENPHO has trained 226 volunteers during the recovery phase, with training ongoing as of April 2016. In the aftermath of the earthquake, ENPHO found that its existing pool of volunteers were more than willing to help those in their communities who were more in need. By training these and new volunteers, ENPHO was able to reach many more communities in the immediate aftermath of the disaster; together they reached 11 of the 14 earthquake-affected districts. The collaboration between ENPHO and CAWST in developing the training materials was a highly collaborative and iterative process, which enabled the training materials to be developed within a short response time. By training volunteers on basic WASH topics during both the immediate response and the recovery phase, ENPHO and CAWST have been able to link immediate emergency relief to long-term developmental goals. While the recovery phase training continues in Nepal, CAWST is planning to decontextualize the training used in both phases so that it can be applied to other emergency situations in the future. The training materials will become part of the open content materials available on CAWST’s WASH Resources website.
Many organizations in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector provide education and training in order to increase the effectiveness of their WASH interventions. A key challenge for these organizations is measuring how well their education and training activities contribute to WASH improvements. It is crucial for implementers to understand the returns of their education and training activities so that they can improve and make better progress toward the desired outcomes. This paper presents information on CAWST’s development and piloting of the evaluation methodology. The Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) has developed a methodology for evaluating education and training activities, so that organizations can understand the effectiveness of their WASH activities and improve accordingly. CAWST developed this methodology through a series of research partnerships, followed by staged field pilots in Nepal, Peru, Ethiopia and Haiti. During the research partnerships, CAWST collaborated with universities in the UK and Canada to: review a range of available evaluation frameworks, investigate existing practices for evaluating education activities, and develop a draft methodology for evaluating education programs. The draft methodology was then piloted in three separate studies to evaluate CAWST’s, and CAWST’s partner’s, WASH education programs. Each of the pilot studies evaluated education programs in different locations, with different objectives, and at different times within the project cycles. The evaluations in Nepal and Peru were conducted in 2013 and investigated the outcomes and impacts of CAWST’s WASH education services in those countries over the past 5-10 years. In 2014, the methodology was applied to complete a rigorous evaluation of a 3-day WASH Awareness training program in Ethiopia, one year after the training had occurred. In 2015, the methodology was applied in Haiti to complete a rapid assessment of a Community Health Promotion program, which informed the development of an improved training program. After each pilot evaluation, the methodology was reviewed and improvements were made. A key concept within the methodology is that in order for training activities to lead to improved WASH practices at the community level, it is not enough for participants to acquire new knowledge and skills; they must also apply the new skills and influence the behavior of others following the training. The steps of the methodology include: development of a Theory of Change for the education program, application of the Kirkpatrick model to develop indicators, development of data collection tools, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and use of the findings for improvement. The methodology was applied in different ways for each pilot and was found to be practical to apply and adapt to meet the needs of each case. It was useful in gathering specific information on the outcomes of the education and training activities, and in developing recommendations for program improvement. Based on the results of the pilot studies, CAWST is developing a set of support materials to enable other WASH implementers to apply the methodology. By using this methodology, more WASH organizations will be able to understand the outcomes and impacts of their training activities, leading to higher quality education programs and improved WASH outcomes.
The increasing availability and quality of internet access throughout the developing world provides an opportunity to utilize online spaces to disseminate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) knowledge to practitioners. Since 2001, CAWST has provided in-person education, training and consulting services to thousands of WASH practitioners all over the world, supporting them to start, troubleshoot, improve and expand their WASH projects. As CAWST continues to grow, the organization faces challenges in meeting demand from clients and in providing consistent, timely technical support. In 2012, CAWST began utilizing online spaces to expand its reach by developing a series of resources websites and webinars. CAWST has developed a WASH Education and Training resources website, a Biosand Filter (BSF) Knowledge Base, a Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage Knowledge Base, a mobile app for offline users, a live chat support tool, a WASH e-library, and a series of webinar-style online training sessions to complement its in-person capacity development services. In order to determine the preliminary outcomes of providing these online services, CAWST has monitored and analyzed registration to the online spaces, downloads of the educational materials, and webinar attendance; as well as conducted user surveys. The purpose of this analysis was to find out who was using the online spaces, where users came from, and how the resources were being used. CAWST’s WASH Resources website has served over 5,800 registered users from 3,000 organizations in 183 countries. Additionally, the BSF Knowledge Base has served over 1000 registered users from 68 countries, and over 540 people from 73 countries have attended CAWST’s online training sessions. This indicates that the online spaces are effectively reaching a large numbers of users, from a range of countries. A 2016 survey of the Biosand Filter Knowledge Base showed that approximately 61% of users are practitioners, and 39% are either researchers or students. Of the respondents, 46% reported using the BSF Knowledge Base to initiate a BSF project and 43% reported using the information to train BSF technicians. Finally, 61% indicated they would like even greater support from CAWST’s Technical Advisors going forward. The analysis has provided an encouraging indication that CAWST’s online spaces are contributing to its objective of engaging and supporting WASH practitioners to start, improve and expand their initiatives. CAWST has learned several lessons during the development of these online spaces, in particular related to the resources needed to create and maintain the spaces, and respond to the demand created. CAWST plans to continue expanding its online spaces, improving user experience of the sites, and involving new contributors and content types. Through the use of online spaces, CAWST has been able to increase its global reach and impact without significantly increasing its human resources by connecting WASH practitioners with the information they most need, in a practical and accessible manner. This paper presents on CAWST’s use of online spaces through the CAWST-developed platforms discussed above and the analysis of the use of these platforms.
The 21st century has been characterized by rapid urbanization with its associated environmental sanitation challenges especially in developing countries. However, studies have focused largely on institutional capacity and the resources needed to manage environmental sanitation challenges, with few insights on the attitudes of city residents. This paper analyzes the environmental sanitation situation in a rapidly urbanizing Tamale metropolis, examines how city residents’ attitudes have contributed to poor environmental sanitation and further reviews approaches that have been employed to manage environmental sanitation. Using secondary and empirical data sources, the paper reveals that only 7.5 tons of 150 tons of total daily solid wastes generated is effectively managed. The findings suggest that the poor sanitation in the city is influenced by two factors; poor attitudes of city residents and weak institutions. While poor attitudes towards environmental sanitation has resulted in indiscriminate disposal of waste, weak institutions have resulted in lack of capacity and pragmatic interventions to manage the environmental sanitation challenges in the city. The paper recommends public education on environmental sanitation, public private partnership, increased stakeholder engagement and preparation and implementation of environmental sanitation plan as mechanisms to ensure effective environmental sanitation management in the Tamale metropolis.
Pleurotus ostreatus is a common edible mushroom with a number of properties that can help to solve the nutritional and economical problems of people in Chiapas, Mexico. The objective of this project was to produce the mushroom under a sustainable management in which only regional products were allowed as a way to promote the cultivation and consumption of Pleurotus ostreatus; 5 different substrates were tested as well as 2 sanitation methods. The obtained results showed that the highest yields were obtained using corn husk and a thermal sanitation method. Pests and diseases were not a problem during the project but they appeared more in the substrates sanitized with calcium hydroxide.
Decentralized eco-sanitation system is a promising and sustainable mode comparing to the century-old centralized conventional sanitation system. The decentralized concept relies on an environmentally and economically sound management of water, nutrient and energy fluxes. Source-separation systems for urban waste management collect different solid waste and wastewater streams separately to facilitate the recovery of valuable resources from wastewater (energy, nutrients). A resource recovery centre constituted for 20,000 people will act as the functional unit for the treatment of urban waste of a high-density population community, like Singapore. The decentralized system includes urine treatment, faeces and food waste co-digestion, and horticultural waste and organic fraction of municipal solid waste treatment in composting plants. A design model is developed to estimate the input and output in terms of materials and energy. The inputs of urine (yellow water, YW) and faeces (brown water, BW) are calculated by considering the daily mean production of urine and faeces by humans and the water consumption of no-mix vacuum toilet (0.2 and 1 L flushing water for urine and faeces, respectively). The food waste (FW) production is estimated to be 150 g wet weight/person/day. The YW is collected and discharged by gravity into tank. It was found that two days are required for urine hydrolysis and struvite precipitation. The maximum nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) recovery are 150-266 kg/day and 20-70 kg/day, respectively. In contrast, BW and FW are mixed for co-digestion in a thermophilic acidification tank and later a decentralized/centralized methanogenic reactor is used for biogas production. It is determined that 6.16-15.67 m3/h methane is produced which is equivalent to 0.07-0.19 kWh/ca/day. The digestion residues are treated with horticultural waste and organic fraction of municipal waste in co-composting plants.