We are problem solvers focused on the sustainable management of water for health and human development. We contribute to improving access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene for all.
Updated Peer-Reviewed Literature on CLTS Available Now
Written as part of a situational assessment process in support of the ‘Testing CLTS Approaches for Scalability’ grant, this 2012 report details findings from a review of literature focused on Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and the role of local actors. Contained within the report are a series of conclusions about CLTS, in addition to identifying knowledge gaps common to both sets of literature, drawn out by comparing the various stages of CLTS implementation in a more systematic and rigorous manner than the existing body of evidence.
New CLTS Video Available Now
A new video from Plan International and the Water Institute at UNC offers a preview of five exciting lessons on sanitation policy and practice, based on findings from operational research on community-led total sanitation (CLTS). These lessons relate to CLTS planning at the national and local levels, its place in national sanitation systems, and the importance of involving local actors. In particular, government officials, teachers, and natural leaders can play important roles in improving access to basic sanitation, and their involvement can ensure sustainable outcomes over time.
Routledge Handbook of Water and Health
A new handbook on global water and health edited by Water Institute Director Jamie Bartram and public health graduate student Rachel Baum on is now available. Written by a team of expert authors from around the world for interdisciplinary teaching for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, “Routledge Handbook of Water and Health” covers both developing and developed country concerns. Sections include hazards, exposure, interventions, intervention implementation, distal influences, policies and implementation, investigative tools, and historic cases.
Best of UNICEF 2015
A study led by The Water Institute at UNC was just named one of the Best of UNICEF Research studies for 2015, based on research that excels at generating knowledge to inform action, shaping policy agendas, and shifting discourse to improve the lives of children everywhere. Only twelve studies were selected by UNICEF for this recognition. “Fecal contamination of drinking-water in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis” was selected as a top example of quality research and evidence gathering on children.
WaSH Coverage and Climatic Change in PICs
Pacific Island Countries (PICs) have some of the lowest rates of sanitation and drinking water access due to physical isolation and limited resources. Expected climate change impacts will add increased variability in rainfall and rising sea levels. In the Journal of WaSH for Development, we propose an integrated water resource management (IWRM) approach to respond to these challenges. Holistically grasping the relationship among all activities in a catchment offers the best platform from which planners can generate adaptive, sustainable solutions to improve WASH in these vulnerable communities.
CLTS in Haiti
Plan International supports Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) implementation in two departments in Haiti. In this learning brief and underlying country report, we present the roles of local actors in Plan International’s program activities and highlights considerations for scalability, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Plan International Haiti can lead the effort to determine the viability of CLTS in Haiti by targeting the approach to smaller, more cohesive communities, helping to build the supply chain for sanitation hardware, involving a variety of local actors in the post-triggering stage, and by providing training for multipurpose community health agents to carry out CLTS implementation.
Unsafe Return of Human Excreta
Sanitation facilities are often assumed to create a barrier between humans and excreta; however, this may not be the case if excreta is insufficiently contained or improperly disposed of. Thus, we conducted a literature review of peer-reviewed studies and grey literature to identify pathways of human excreta leaking unsafely into the environment. The fate of collected fecal sludge and the extent of wastewater treatment was not well documented. Future sanitation research should specifically document the location of fecal disposal to aid in characterizing public health risks.
Disparities in Water and Sewer Access in NC
North Carolinians rely on wells and septic systems at nearly twice the rate of citizens in other states. In the American Journal of Public Health, we interviewed NC policymakers, utility providers, and residents about factors affecting access to water and sewer services. Both residential and municipal participants identified the cost of extending service instead of the benefits to public health. Improving the mechanisms that inform policymakers about the risks of self-supplied systems and the value of extending services – including economic development– can influence decision-making.