3ie presents updated results of the 2018 Evidence Gap Map on the Effectiveness of Interventions to promote WASH in Low- and Middle-income Countries

Date: 18th September 2018

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The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), a WSSCC partner, has updated the Evidence Gap Map (EGM) that provides an analysis of 41 systematic reviews and 317 impact evaluation studies in low- and middle-income countries (L&MICs). The analysis is based on the impact of WASH promotional approaches on behaviour change, health and socio-economic outcomes in households, communities, schools and health facilities.

Reliable evidence is needed to make good policy decisions to leave no one behind, though often evaluations are difficult to retrieve. The WASH EGM makes access easier by presenting impact evaluations which answer whether WASH programmes in a particular context really work and why. Moreover, it serves as a useful tool for researchers and policy-makers in presenting systemized, evidence-based impact evaluations in L&MICs which may not be available in published academic studies.

The main highlights of the 2018 EGM updated results include:

  • The WASH 2018 EGM has seen a behavioural revolution where more evidence-based studies have been published in the last decade for the WASH sector.
  • There has been a big increase in the measurement of behaviour change (e.g. open defecation) and social outcomes (e.g. school attendance/absences).
  • Very few studies examining WASH for people with disabilities need to be attended to as an important step to promote the “Leave No One Behind” initiative.
  • An estimated 4000 completed impact evaluations are expected to serve as solid counterfactuals to answer whether development programmes in a particular context really work.
  • The WASH 2018 EGM has a filter of behavioural and quality of life interventions.
  • There is a move towards collecting outcomes that are more gender-sensitive because there is a gap on rigorous impact evaluations of latrine access for non-binary or transgender individuals.

The 2018 EGM is a comprehensive update from the previous 2014 EGM and focuses on promotional interventions rather than technologies. This update came as a response to the large numbers of published studies and comments by key individuals in research and policy who criticized the insufficient scope of the 2014 EGM on behaviour change and WASH in health facilities.

Formed in 2014, the EGM was originally funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The strategic partnership between 3ie and WSSCC has resulted to a continuous effort in funding rigorous impact evaluations and systematic reviews to be made accessible and useful to policymakers and practitioners in the WASH sector.

Hugh Waddington, evaluation specialist with 3iE, says “partnering with various organizations like WSSCC has enabled a more collaborative effort in providing comprehensive research which will serve as an effective tool for the years to come.”

3ie aims to facilitate informed judgement and evidence-based decision making in international development policy and practice by providing user-friendly tools for accessing evidence. Through the EGM, policy-makers and practitioners can explore the findings and quality of the existing evidence on a topic quickly and efficiently.

See the 2018 update on the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Evidence Gap Map here

Learn more on the Evidence Gap Map brief here

 Video on mapping the evidence on WASH promotion in communities, schools and health facilities:

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