Important new resources from our work in India, Cambodia and with IDS

Date: 1st July 2018

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Important new resources from our work in India, Cambodia and with IDS

The new CRSHIP report from Cambodia addresses WASH challenges of women and girls with disabilities.

From India to Cambodia, and with partners such as the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), WSSCC and has been active in developing new training guides, reviews and reference briefs for members and the broader water, sanitation and hygiene sector. The new publications described in this article (click links below to download) include:

Men and Boys in Sanitation
Following an Institute of Development Studies Learning Workshop in Tanzania in April 2017, WSSCC and sector partners examined the role of men and boys in the WASH sector, resulting in Men and Boys in Sanitation and Gender: A desk-based review.

The discussion of Sanitation and Hygiene (S&H) has, for the most part, been focused on women and girls, who are disproportionally affected by inadequate access to sanitation facilities. However, recent studies have provided new literature engaging men and boys, thus filling in the gap for gender balance in responsibility for S&H.

The first set of findings showcase the negative outcome of S&H campaigns and WASH programmes in targeting men’s behaviour change in India, wherein gender inequality has been reinforced rather than working more towards transforming gender norms. The second set of findings reveal the importance of men and boys as catalysts for change in the promotion of S&H practices. Male celebrities, politicians, and personalities have proven to be successful in advocating positive change in Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and sanitation practices through their institutional and occupational positions.

Yet despite this successful outcome, it should be noted that men can still (unintentionally) reinforce negative gender stereotypes due to their ‘technical expertise’ in the field of latrine design and construction—leaving women the lack of opportunities to participate—thus widening the gap in gender norms. The final set of findings concern men and boys as partners for change to use their power, status, and resources to support women’s leadership, decision-making, and technical skill-building in WASH movements. Men have successfully encouraged women’s self-confidence, which has been a key issue in promoting their engagement.

These findings, both positive and negative, reinforce the need for proper cooperation between governments, agencies, and stakeholders vis-à-vis their efforts in promoting men’s participation in S&H responsibility towards gender equity, taking into consideration cultural sensitivity and context specificity

Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement (CRSHIP) Reference Briefs

A new CRSHIP publication voices the importance of social context and collective action as a mediating factor between programme implementation and its success.

James Dumpert, Learning and Documentation Manager of WaterAid Cambodia, together with the CRSHIP Learning and Development Team, produced two publications in June 2018 on Fostering Collective Action to Improve Sanitation in Rural Cambodia and WASH Experiences of Women Living with Disabilities. Both studies focus on Cambodia’s access to basic water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), which still remain low compared to other Southeast Asian countries despite improvements over the last decade.

The first publication voices the importance of social context and collective action as a mediating factor between programme implementation and its success. CRSHIP assessed the social factors that influenced sanitation uptake, indicating the efficiency of communities participating together with local community leaders or NGOs to work cohesively in achieving their S&H goals. These participatory development approaches such as Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), School-WASH, and Sanitation Marketing have been successful tools in improving household sanitation at the grassroots level in rural Cambodian communities. To utilize existing social structures and controls within these communities, CRSHIP recommends national institutions to prioritize WASH, promote sanitation as a public good, set shared community sanitation goals & rules, and take into consideration social capital and collective efficacy in all its programs.

The second publication discusses the particular WASH challenges of women and girls with disabilities. Hygiene and sanitation are already central issues for women and girls. However, those living with disabilities carry an additional burden and increased vulnerability due to accessibility, safety and added discrimination on top of gender role among many factors. There is limited documentation about the WASH experiences of women with disabilities in Cambodia, for which this publication recommends paying greater attention to the issue. The general findings show that it is critical for WASH sector actors to proactively include women (and men) with disabilities in their community development meetings and to implement inclusive, human-centred design approaches to ensure that all people can access WASH facilities.

Source Book for all District Magistrates on the basis of Rapid Action Learning
Vinod Mishra, WSSCC India Coordinator, India Support Unit, together with colleagues in India developed a campaign resource book for District Magistrates (sub-national level) under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) with the Institute of Development Studies.  It provides a thorough compilation of learnings from the Rapid Action Learning (RAL) workshop activities, which provide an efficient means for knowledge sharing at all levels for capacity building and learning. These workshops are designed to be participatory, informal and democratic for participants to pick up ideas from one another through a horizontal, peer-to-peer approach. As a result, four RAL participatory workshops conducted between 2015 and 2018 in India have received enthusiastic feedback from participants and more requests from districts, divisions, and states.

The Government of India is forwarding the resource book to 677 District Magistrates to escalate the campaign at district level. These guidance notes result from the enthusiastic participation of hundreds of Government officers and champions nationally and at state, district, block and other levels. It serves as a useful reference in tackling new, unique, and urgent challenges met by the SBM-G such that anyone planning or leading a campaign at Block, District, or State level can draw on these ideas and actions at once.

Special thanks to WSSCC Analyst/Intern Creol Grandjean for preparing this report.

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