Sanitation and Hygiene

Our Sanitation and Hygiene (S&H) theme focuses on S&H in rural areas, beginning with research on initiatives to improve household S&H, compared with S&H in institutions, such as schools and clinics, or in public places, e.g. markets. The dynamics of S&H are, in many respects, different from water supply and S&H policies and programmes face particular challenges of design and implementation. For example, a central feature of improvement of S&H is changes in behaviour, which compares with the focus of water supply projects on use by communities.

The S&H case study focused on SNNPR’s successful sanitation and hygiene implementation strategy brought to the international community’s attention by WSP. The aim of the study was to look at how success is achieved and how far to draw learning points for the region as well as the country. The study included an assessment of the policy making process at the region and Woreda level and an in depth study of six localities in two districts assessing changes in practice of households with regard to latrine construction and use, hand washing and water storage and handling. The findings showed substantial increase in household latrine construction – using basic technology – and use, although there are problems in sustainability in prevailing environmental conditions. Awareness about hygiene is also high, although improved change in practice is low. The study recommended further action research on household behavioural change and latrine design and material choice.

The study on the policy making process showed that a combination of political promotion and institutional mobilization was successful in launching and rolling out the strategy. Packing sanitation and hygiene as part of basic community health package and developing financially and administratively feasible options has helped its successful implementation. Communicating the strategy in a political attractive manner, ability to leverage donors financing for the software aspects and flexibility in adopting promotion tools also contributed to the success. The study helped to document the SNNPR experience as an example of how vision and leadership by government can create political momentum for Sanitation and hygiene to achieve outreach to rural communities.

Page last updated 28 Aug 2009