Making standards practical is critical to sanitation innovation for rapidly expanding urban areas in developing countries

Trabajadores de Sanergy recogen desechos procedentes de los retretes Fresh Life en Mukuru

WASH solutions can only implemented when they work in context. In the lead up to World Toilet Day, Katie Whitehouse explains why in some cases standards may not be achievable. Container based sanitation social enterprises are pushing the boundaries in decentralised sanitation management and yet continue to be classified as an unimproved form of sanitation. There are social enterprises – … Read More

The Ladies’ Room

Humanitarian camps are dark at night. The curfew is sunset and the camp is heaving. Spilling out of their crowded tents onto the streets, people sit around dim cooking stoves talking and waving the mosquitoes away. The streets are slippery with mud, dotted with deep pools of stagnant water. Making your way to the toilet after dark is treacherous, the … Read More

The impatient optimist: Urine-tricity to light humanitarian camps

In this blog we’re introduced to two sides of the ‘Urine-tricity’ story. Firstly, we hear from Oxfam’s Head of Water and Sanitation Andy Bastable, who shares his eager observations on the project, which produces electrical power from urine. To conclude, Ioannis Ieropoulos, Professor of Bioenergy and Self-sustainable Systems at University of the West of England, maps out the history of … Read More

Bringing clarity to troubled waters

How Oxfam is facilitating change in water and sanitation management in Tajikistan In Tajikistan, water is a key resource in emergencies, and for irrigation and drinking water, yet its management is chaotic, which often leads to breakdowns in water supply systems. Many communities have resorted to taking drinking water directly from irrigation canals and rivers. Oxfam has been working for … Read More

Taking the long view

For several years, Oxfam has been working with communities in Turkana and Wajir, Kenya, building the capacity of local water committees to better manage their water supplies and hold higher authorities to account. Instead of short incentive-based workshops with little follow-up, Oxfam has taken a longer-term approach by developing a toolkit to provide regular training and support. Having demonstrated considerable … Read More

Empowered Voices! How we improved our lives

Taken together, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) constitute the heart of all long lasting socio-economic development and environmental sustainability. In fact, none of the Sustainable Development Goals could be realised without WASH activities. Between 2011 and 2016, the Australia Government (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) funded Oxfam to work with four Local NGOs, government agencies and communities in six … Read More

Facilitating Active Civic Engagement

This publication is a reflection on approaches that stimulate responsiveness in citizens and communities – based in their strengths – and enable more confident expressions of their civic voice and agency. This is done through the lens of the Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES), a community-led water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiative implemented in South Africa and Zambia by … Read More

Measuring WASH sustainability in a Payment by Results context

Payment by Results (PbR) is bringing new ways to fund water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes. Here Mimi Coultas from Plan International UK, reflects on a recent joint side-event at WEDC Conference which explored the opportunities and challenges to this new way of funding. Sustainability of WASH programmes is a key concern for everyone involved in the sector: country governments, … Read More