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Water and Sanitation Markets in the Pacific: Understanding Demand and Fostering Sustainable WaSH Marketplaces

Sanitation marketing has been identified as a promising approach for increasing access to adequate sanitation. However, it is unclear if sanitation marketing offers a coherent framework that can transform the WaSH sector in the Pacific into a sustainable, demand-driven market. Further, access to clean water, a critical correlate of sanitation, is not adequately integrated with such approaches.

This project will develop an understanding of water and sanitation markets and the demand for services in informal communities in urban/peri-urban areas of Melanesian Western Pacific countries (study countries are: Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea). Research will be done using the Community-based Participatory Research orientation method and will involve collection of qualitative data to gather locally-grounded insights with empirical survey-based approaches used later in the project. In addition, various participatory methods, including stakeholder and outcome mapping will be used to bring actors embedded in communities into discussion with actors in the enabling environment.

The research findings will provide WaSH sector stakeholders, both in the Pacific and globally, with documented guidance, advice and support on enabling sustainable, demand-driven water and sanitation services. Project outputs will include a guidebook for enabling water and sanitation marketing in the Pacific and yearly communiques for local and national government stakeholders. This project is funded by the Australian Government Australian Aid program, and is in collaboration with the International WaterCentre.

Water Institute Researcher(s)

Jamie Bartram – Co-Principal Investigator

Kate Shields – Lead Researcher

Research Product(s)

  • Barrington, Dani J., Bartram, Jamie, Meo, Semisi, Saunders, Stephen G., Shields, Katherine F., Sridharan, Srinivas, & Souter, Regina T. (2017). Fostering water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) marketing exchanges using participatory processes: a guide for working with residents of informal settlements in the Pacific. International WaterCentre: Brisbane, Australia.  ISBN: 978-1-921499-05-0 .
  • Barrington, Dani J., Srinivas Sridharan, Stephen G. Saunders, Regina T. Souter, Jamie Bartram, Katherine F. Shields, Semisi Meo, Annika Kearton, Robert K. Hughes. 2016. “Improving community health through marketing exchanges: a participatory action research study on water, sanitation, and hygiene in three Melanesian countries.” Social Science & Medicine 171: 84-93. 
  • Saunders, Stephen G., Dani J. Barrington, Srinivas Sridharan, Semisi Meo, Wade Hadwen, Katherine F. Shields, Regina Souter, and Jamie K. Bartram. 2016. “Addressing WaSH challenges in Pacific Island Countries: A participatory marketing systems mapping approach to empower informal settlement community action.” Habitat International 55: 159-166.
  • Functions of an enabling system to enable marketing exchange systems in informal Melanesian communities. WASH Futures Conference: Brisbane, Australia, May 16, 2016.

Project Documents

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