Hygiene and Sanitation Software. An overview of approaches

Andy Peal, Barbara Evans, Carolien van der Voorden
Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

Problems caused by a lack of toilet facilities are well documented, but simply providing facilities is not enough. Public health practitioners recognize that until good hygiene is properly practiced, both at home and in the community as a whole, the desired impact of improved water and sanitation services in terms of community health benefits cannot be realized. Several methods are used to address this problem and engage target groups (individuals, households, communities, institutions or even organizations) in development programmes that enable a change in behaviours or create a demand for services. These methods or approaches are generally referred to as ‘software’ to distinguish them from the provision of 'hardware', which is defined as the physical facilities. There is often confusion over areas such as what a particular approach is designed to achieve, what it actually comprises, when and where it should be used, how it should be implemented or how much it costs. This publication takes an in-depth look at the various hygiene and sanitation software approaches that have been deployed over the last 40 years by NGOs, development agencies, national and local governments in all types of settings – urban, informal-urban and rural. The first section outlines the importance of Sanitation Software and describes the contextual factors that influenced the design of existing approaches as well as the importance of context when choosing an approach to follow. The second section is dedicated to detailed examinations of the most significant hygiene and sanitation software approaches, outlining perceived strengths and weaknesses, evidence of effectiveness and references to sources of information, toolkits, guidebooks and further reading. In the third section you will find reviews of combined national and global programmes, which often employ several approaches in combination, to form interesting examples of how approaches are mixed and matched to achieve the desired outcome.

About the publisher

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a global multi-stakeholder partnership and membership organization that works to save lives and improve livelihoods. It does so by enhancing collaboration among sector agencies and professionals who are working to provide sanitation to the 2.6 billion people without a clean, safe toilet, and the 884 million people without affordable, clean drinking water close at hand. Through its work, WSSCC contributes to the broader goals of poverty eradication, health and environmental improvement, gender equality and long-term social and economic development. It has coalitions in 36 countries, members in more than 160 countries, and a Geneva-based Secretariat which is hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). www.wsscc.org

Last updated: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 11:42