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Sustainability and WASH: reflections from the UNC Water and Health Conference 2018

The University of North Carolina (UNC), Water and Health Conference 2018 in Chapel Hill, United States, provided researchers, implementers and donors the opportunity to reflect and discuss how the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector is achieving sustainability, the biggest challenges to progress and possible ways forward to make sanitation outcomes equitable, accessible and affordable to everyone at all times.

Promoting Rapid Action Learning in India

This year the Knowledge Hub have continued to collaborate with WSSCC and India state governments facilitating rapid action learning workshops. These events enable districts to come together to share, learn and plan for the implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission – Gramin. One workshop took place in Ranchi, Jharkhand, 18-19 September and another in Patna, Bihar, 29-31 October 2018.

Below we share workshop reports, selected good practices and a guide for facilitating Rapid Action Learning workshops.

Challenging gender norms to achieve sustainable sanitation

At the beginning of 2018, the CLTS Knowledge Hub based at the Institute of Development Studies released a call for applications for a desk-based study looking at ‘the other side of gender’. The idea came out of discussions with different sanitation and hygiene (WASH) actors who felt that despite gender relations being regarded as socially constructed power relations between men and women, boys and girls - gender in WASH discussions was often being reduced to the roles and experiences of women and sometimes only to menstrual hygiene management (MHM).

Reflections on the CLTS Knowledge Hub’s Sharing and Learning Workshop

I attended the 'CLTS Sharing and Learning Workshop' organised by the CLTS Knowledge Hub on 8th July, 2018 at Nakuru, Kenya – the day before the WEDC conference started. The workshop saw an interesting mix of participants including policymakers, practitioners, researchers and social entrepreneurs. Participants identified three broad themes for the day and then shared their experiences on these.

Learnings from the 41st WEDC Conference

I had the opportunity to attend the 41st WEDC Conference held at Nakuru, Kenya 9 – 13th July 2018 . The theme of the five-day event was, 'Transformation towards sustainable and resilient WASH services'. The power-packed week saw more than 160 presentations, 29 side events, 21 capacity building workshops, exhibitions and posters - there was something for everyone! I was thrilled to interact with participants who were working on diverse themes, but with one common objective. As we all eagerly await next year's conference, here are my reflections on some of my conference highlights.

Finance and marketing for CLTS and rural WASH: challenges and opportunities in West and Central Africa

The CLTS Knowledge Hub held a four-day regional workshop in Saly, Senegal; the major aim was encouraging and engaging sanitation practitioners across fifteen West and Central African (WCA) countries for them to share knowledge and experiences, as well as challenges and innovations in regards to Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and rural water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

Sustainability of ODF achievements and safely managed sanitation in West and Central Africa

At the recent West and Central Africa Regional Rural Sanitation workshop, organised by the CLTS Knowledge Hub, in Saly, Senegal 25-28 June 2018, sanitation practitioners from 15 countries met to discuss regional and national sanitation challenges, to identify lessons learned and share best practices. Many participants identified the different components of the sustainability of open defecation free (ODF) achievements and links with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically with the ‘safely managed sanitation’ target 6.2, as significant challenges.

Reaching the last mile: notions and innovations from the 41st WEDC Conference

The 41st WEDC Conference in Nakuru, Kenya was an open door for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practitioners from different organisations and parts of the world to discuss how to reach the 'last mile', how to involve the most vulnerable individuals and communities in open defecation free (ODF) processes, and to debate the design of, and access to, sanitation facilities which adapt to diverse needs, means and contexts.

Reduction of stunting by CLTS in Mali: a case study to learn from

Mali is renowned as the location of the one of the few Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programmes that has managed to demonstrate a reduction in stunting from increased community-level sanitation coverage. There is much to learn and share from this programme, especially across the West and Central Africa region where similar sanitation challenges are faced and open defecation rates generally remain high.

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