WaSH Policy Research Digest

Issue #10, December  2018: The Impacts of Seasonality on Rural Water Supply

The tenth issue of the WaSH Policy Research Digest examines the impacts of seasonality on rural water supply, particularly the challenges water point management committees face during the rainy season.  The accompanying literature review provides insight into the effect of seasonality on rural water quality, availability and use.

Issue #10 Webinar: The Impacts of Seasonality on Rural Water Supply
Issue #9, September 2018: Cholera Control

The ninth issue of the WaSH Policy Research Digest focuses on cholera control. 

Issue #8, May 2018: Remote Monitoring of Handpump Functionality

The eighth issue of the WaSH Policy Research Digest focuses on remote monitoring of the functionality of rural handpumps.

Issue #8 Webinar: Remote Monitoring of Handpump Functionality

This webinar further examines the topic of Remote Monitoring of Handpump Functionality.

Issue #7, December 2017: Intermittent Water Supply

The seventh issue of the Digest examines the effects of intermittent water supply. Much of the world’s population is served by piped water that is neither continuous nor reliable, and this jeopardizes water quality, and thus the health of users. It also costs users time and money, and damages water infrastructure. The Digest outlines the successful measures that utilities have put in place to ensure continuous supply.

Issue #7 Webinar: Intermittent Water Supply

This webinar further explores Issue #7 by highlighting policy take-aways from research on this issue.

Issue #6, August 2017: Community Management

The sixth issue of the Digest looks at the topic of community management in rural water supply.  Management of water systems by local communities, once considered standard best practice, has come under fire of late due to its failure to ensure sustainable services in many contexts.  However, as this Digest argues, there are places in which it has worked, but considerable support is needed.

Issue #6 Special Live Webinar: Is community management an efficient and effective model of rural water supply service delivery?

Extending the conversation from Issue #6 of the Digest, we hosted a webinar and live panel discussion at the Water and Health conference in October 2017 on community management of water. Ongoing discussion of questions raised during the webinar can be found at the Rural Water Supply Network (login required).

Issue #5, December 2016: Water Tariffs and Subsidies

The fifth issue of the Digest focuses on subsidy targeting, specifically the poor performance of increasing block tariffs in targeting subsidies to low-income households. This issue explores recent literature on this topic, focusing on policy implications, and calls for decision-makers to consider alternative subsidy delivery mechanisms.

Issue #4, August 2016: Sanitation and Nutrition

Our fourth digest addresses sanitation and nutrition. This issue explores recent literature and the emerging evidence base on the connection between sanitation, nutritional outcomes, and child stunting.

Issue #3, March 2016: Handpump Functionality Monitoring

The third issue of the WaSH Policy Research Digest focuses on handpump functionality monitoring. This issue of the Digest explores recent literature on this topic, focusing on policy implications, recommendations, and a call for standardized functionality measurements.

Issue #3 Webinar: Handpump functionality monitoring: Getting it right

In February 2017, we extended the conversation from Issue #6 of the Digest, by co-hosting a webinar with the Rural Water Supply Network.

Issue #2, October 2015: WaSH in Healthcare Facilities

Issue two of the WasH Policy Research Digest digs in to the critical issue of WaSH in health care facilities, including a detailed review of WHO and UNICEF’s 2015 report on the topic and a synthesis of literature and solutions to address its impact on infection, mortality, maternal and neonatal health.

Issue #1, July 2015: Sanitation Subsidies

Our first Digest deals with the difficult issue of when and how to use subsidies for on-site sanitation.


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About the Digest

Video: Water Institute Director Jamie Bartram introduces the WaSH Policy Research Digest

In 2013, The Water Institute and the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted civil servants from finance ministries in six African countries to learn about water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) sector decision making. This group unveiled perceptions of sector weaknesses that cause skepticism in finance ministries about sector investment effectiveness. The findings from this meeting suggest that the people making investment decisions, while convinced of economic and social benefits of WaSH, are unsure of how best to target financing. This highlighted the need for an information resource focused on supporting decision makers to develop effective policy in countries that are faced with WaSH challenges.

The WaSH sector lacks an easy-to-access resource that provides balanced information on policy best-practices, based soundly in evidence. Key country actors face time and resource constraints that prevent them from finding and analyzing the myriad of existing information for policy advice on WaSH programs.

The Water Institute at UNC developed the WaSH Policy Research Digest to meet the evidence needs of in-country decision makers. The Digest, published quarterly, has two sections: the first summarizes and explains the significance of recently published policy-relevant research or analysis, highlighting implications for WaSH policy. The second section focuses on a particular policy-relevant question with synthesis of available literature to reaching specific conclusions, highlighting policy relevant implications, and providing guidance to additional resources on the topic.