WaSH Policy Research Digest
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.
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 #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.
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 #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 #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 #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.
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 #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 jeopardies 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.
About the 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.