Return to CreateDebate.comJoin this debate community

IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre


Debate Info

53
42
We have failed We have not failed
Debate Score:95
Arguments:57
Total Votes:117
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 
 We have failed (36)
 
 We have not failed (21)

Debate Creator

dietvorst(42) pic



We have failed on WASH in Schools

There are many examples out there that reflect that WASH in schools has not worked.

Less than half of the countries have information on WASH in Schools coverage

Less than half of all primary schools have access to safe water and just over a third have adequate sanitation in countries where data are available. Even where facilities exist, they are often in poor condition and hygiene education is often non-existent.

For more information visit www.unicef.org/wash/schools and www.washinschools.info

This is the first of four WASH in Schools debates organised by the WASH in Schools Thematic Group.

The second, third and fourth debates WASH in Schools has failed in setting standards and monitoring coverageWe don’t need more evidence for WASH in Schools and We are sharing enough of our WASH in schools information are now open! Please join in.

 

We have failed

Side Score: 53
VS.

We have not failed

Side Score: 42
4 points

If you consider the fact that we have been working in the area of WASH in schools since 1980s, the key question is: have we seen enough results that have come out from WASH in Schools? When reflecting on WASH in Schools should we not be a lot further in our developments in getting WASH in Schools on the agenda globally? Relatively speaking, only a few countries have a WASH in Schools policy, either separate or part of their overall sanitation and hygiene policy, in place. We also do not see enough inter-sectoral cooperation taking place between the various Ministries whether they be the Ministry of Health, Education, Infrastructure and any others. How can we expect WASH in Schools to work well if inter-sectoral co-operation does not take place properly and national policies do not directly acknowledge the role of WASH in Schools?

Yes, there are various case studies which focus on planning & management, actions in schools and teaching-learning, technology/design, scaling up or expanding the program while retaining its quality. However these are only global, national, district or community pocket case studies.

If we still have issues such as the lack of provision of facilities to provide water, lack of use and cleanliness of latrines and urinals, lack of teachers trained in school sanitation and hygiene, lack of standard norms (which vary considerably among countries), lack of behaviour change in communities and lack of funding for WASH in Schools programmes (e.g. per child costs of a WASH programme for each year ranges from the equivalent of US$2.40 to US$16 (Source: School sanitation and hygiene education- Results from the assessment of a 6 country pilot project- May 2006) how can we say that WASH in schools has been a success?

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
2 points

WASH in School improvements may have occurred in six or seven countries, it may be on more agendas as before. But looking back at our collective efforts over the last 15 to 20 years my overall conclusion is that we have failed on WASH in Schools. There is no developing country yet where all the schools have decent water, sanitation and hygiene facilities that last for girls, boys and their teachers.

We failed to make WASH in Schools sexy. We failed to get massive buy- in from the private sector or charity funds. Where is the massive global campaign supporting national governments on delivering on the promises? Where is the famous global WASH in Schools Ambassador that can influence governments to invest and help to get media and public attention? Which countries have a national celebrity acting as national ambassador for WASH in Schools?

The three-year US Ambassador’s Schools WASH initiative is a case in point. This US$ 150,000 programme started in July 2009 aiming to provide water, sanitation and hygiene education to children in at least 15 schools globally and to raise awareness about the importance of safe water and sanitation. The Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) in partnership with the Global Water Challenge (GWC), Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG) and Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, in the Department of State (OES) will identify countries and schools and implement the WASH activities. US embassies are asked to contribute $8,000 for each project and host at least two high level public out-reach events to raise awareness about the need to provide clean water and sanitation. MWA and its partners will provide additional financial and in-kind resources, valued at over $10,000, to implement the project and feature it in a global WASH-in-Schools advocacy campaign. See http://www.mwawater.org/programs/a-wash-ambassadors-schools-water-sanitation-and-hygiene-in-schools-initiative/

Given the massive needs in the great majority of schools in the developing world these amounts of money are peanuts.

Dick de Jong

3 years ago | Side: campaigning
1 point

All date / information / monitoring / evaluation / scales / financial ROIs indeed lead to the failure conclusion. So, let us take another inroad and partner WASH with education money flows. Supporting education that dis-favours girls even leads to more gender divide because boys do learn further. So, no education programme without WASH.

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

Agree with Dick on his rationale. We failed. Given that even evolution history had some good news, and it improved various processes and human being progressed in many sense. So, is the case with sanitation, and in comparison to the laudable efforts in WASH, we are not even fair. In my personal opinion, we need to review our strategies and funding mechanism, and focus upon close and consistent monitoring of funded programs. Developing infrastructure and doing research or pilot projects is not enough. We have to rely upon the sustainability of efforts and look the cases of failure at large. Writing good reports with escalated figures, is the trend now! We need to face field realities and work upon with integrity.

2 years ago | Side: We have failed
3 points

Given the focus on the provisions for water and sanitation at least in India we failed. This is not only true in government run schools, but also in booming private schools in small, medium and major towns in India. This I could say from my experiences, that even the international schools in Delhi don't have provision of soap for the children before eating food in their wash basins. So, you can imagine the situation in government run schools. If a school has toilet, then it has water problem and so on. There are hardly efforts in separate toilets for boys and girls in primary schools in rural areas. We can't imagine the use of soap before their meal in schools and after defection. The coordination between institutions responsible for water and sanitation and education department is a major concern. Further, the awareness level among teachers in these schools is a concern. We will hardly find that the schools have adequate provisions of WASH in real sense.

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

Let me support my argument with Indian Daily NEWS about the grim situation of water in Schools from National Capital NEW Delhi. You can imagine situation in other part of country:

Quote

The Education Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has urged the Delhi government to renew its efforts for providing clean drinking water to MCD schools, 35 of which have no water supply at present. Mahendra Nagpal, chairman of the Education Committee, has written a letter to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in this regard.

The MCD has 1,746 primary schools and 1,361 of them have been fitted with water purifiers. For the rest of the schools, Nagpal asked the education directors to instruct children to bring water from home as the water in the schools, provided by Delhi Jal Board (DJB) tankers, might be unsafe. A recent study by the Health department of the MCD had shown that 18 per cent of water supplied by the DJB is contaminated.

“Fifty water purifiers in (various) schools are not working at present. Students of such schools should bring water from home till the time the purifiers are fixed,” Nagpal told Newsline.

unquote

Link-http://www.indianexpress.com/news/mcd-panel-sounds-warning-water-in-our-schools-unsafe-kids-must-get-own-bottles/772334/0

2 years ago | Side: We have failed
3 points

WASH in Schools have failed in the sense of coverage and awareness.

I am from Haiti and until I started working at UNICEF in 2011, I didn't know such program existed. I lived in St. Marc and in Port-au-Prince, never heard of such implementations in the schools, and I attended public schools. Even now, when I tell families still living in Haiti and going to schools, they never heard of such program. I think it is important to raise the profile of WASH beyond PaP, in Haiti, for example.

Even if UNICEF can not physically implement in other cities/areas, I think they should try to convene region wide/country wide conferences where they reach people beyond the borders of their physical implementations and inform people how they can promote hygiene in schools, menstruation hygiene management without support on their own. And by conferences I do not mean campaigns. I mean for environment where WASH professionals go to schools in other places where they are not working in and educate with others. Feel out the interests of other schools who currently are not getting UNICEF support and engage in conversation with those folks, share with them tools/packages and kits.

There are 2.6 billion who lack access to toilet, we need to work harder to spread information, tools and program reach.

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
3 points

Up front:

- who is we? the development incrowd?

- how do you measure failed?

My perception:

I have worked for a good 15 years full time in various poor societies (with obviously some very richt among them) around the world. After that I have been involved for another 15 years in WASH and IWRM related cooperation in over 25 countries. Whenever I went rural or low-income urban, the overwhelming majority (guestimate>75%) of the (primary) schools I visited had either unkept or derelict toilet facilities, most of the time not providing much privacy to girls. Probably even a higher percentage did not have any decent handwashing facility: either no water, dirty water, and very very rarely anything resembling soap or ash.

Peter J. Bury, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

Who are the we' and why this debate?

Peter and others ask "who is we". The "we" in the debate statement refers to the collective of everyone in the water, samitation and education sectors. The 'we' of the organizers of this debate: UNICEF and IRC people working with WASH in schools, information sharing, advocacy and communication. The email invitation for this debate went to the existing mailinglist of UNICEF/IRC School Sanitation and Hygiene Education networks. The announcement put on the IRC home page and promoted by UNICEF. It was also picked up by the Water Supply and Sanitaion Collaborative Council's news.

Why thiis debate now ?

Outcomes of this discussion will feed into a European Call for Action on WASH in Schools that IRC and UNICEF are organising on 24 and 25 May in The Hague. The international Call to Action for WASH in Schools campaign (www.unicef.org/wash/schools) was launched in 2010 calling on decision-makers to increase investments and on concerned stakeholders to plan and act in cooperation, so that all children go to a school with child-friendly water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

This international call for action of 2010 and now in 2011 illustrate that our earlier work in WASH in Schools has failed.

Dick de Jong,

Communication specialist, IRC International Water and Sanitation

2 years ago | Side: We have failed
2 points

Whilst I agree that a range of governments and NGos and other organisations have supported improvement of some WASH in schools as well as schools themselves, I also agree with the comments above re the scale of the problem has not been responded to with the scale of resources required. This is one area where we have so far failed. In Tanzania during 2009-2010, SNV/WaterAid/UNICEF undertook a detailed mapping project of the real situation on the ground in school WASH. It mapped 2697 pre-, primary and secondary schools, about 1/6 in the whole country and found that: only 11% reached the current Ministry of Education standard ratio for latrine drop holes, 20% have more than 100 pupils per drop hole and 6% have no latrines; 96% did not have sanitation suited for people with disabilities; 52% of girls latrines did not have doors (boys a similar number); 92% did not have functional hand-washing facilities; and 99% did not have soap. The quality of construction and maintenance / governance also varied dramatically, something that does not show up well on the regular data collection. Using the data from the school WASH mapping and using a range of costs from different organisations who had been implementing school WASH a very basic calculation was undertaken. This indicated that to bring all schools in Tanzania up to a basic minimum standard, a sum in the region of USD 3.2 million would be needed for each district on average, and about USD 0.5 billion for the whole country. These figures do not include the organisation / institutional costs or overheads for managing the implementation / follow up etc and do not consider population growth, both of which would add significantly to the cost. This could mean a real price tag of maybe USD 1 billion or 1.5 billion considering the number of years it is likely to take to bring all up to a basic minimum standard. In some countries including Tanzania there are SWAps for water supply, the Tanzanian one having a nominal contribution to household and school sanitation. The 'Water' SWAP for Tanzania (one of, or the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa) has a target budget of USD 2.89 billion for a 20 year period, and has most of the large donors supporting it (but even with this it is still estimated that these funds will not be able to keep pace with population growth let increase access to water supply for all Tanzanians from the current situation). School WASH would require a maybe half of this whole budget, but the focus on school WASH and the resources had not until recently been on the national government or donor agenda except for supporting occasional projects or programmes. This is the challenge for resourcing for school by not being more realistic in identifying the real resources that are needed to be able to respond to this huge problem at scale. Solving school WASH is not as simple as giving out a mosquito net or a Vitamin A tablet which are now being done at scale. But as a sector we have to start thinking bigger...

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

Dick de Jong passionate on the need for sanitation and hygiene in schools

There is one issue which Dirk de Jong is passionate about: the need for sanitation facilities in schools. The lack of decent toilets in schools causes kids - especially girls - to drop out once they reach puberty. Dick talked to Lovisa Selander on the Water Cube at the World Water Day celebrations in Cape Town. See the video clip http://watercube.blip.tv/file/4917714/

Who else can upload a video clip that can help enliven the debate?

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

Like Dick, I'm also passionate about the need for decent school toilets - the disheartening thing is, I've found few others where I'm working who really seem to feel the same way. Is it because people's toilets at home are so shitty that it's seen as quite normal to have the same situation at schools - who cares if the toilets are disgusting? Although about 90% of rural households in our programme area have some kind of toilet, when you really look into them you find only 5% to 15% qualify as 'sanitary' and/ or 'hygienic.' After all the optimistic reporting about improved sanitation coverage over the past decade or two, it now feels like we're going backwards with household and school sanitation if we begin to factor in functionality, quality, convenience, cleanliness, effective use etc. I'm sorry that after more than 30 years working near the sharp end, I have to say I'm for the argument that we have failed on WASH in schools. When I have at least 50 pictures of foul, shitty, stinky school toilets to every one decent school toilet, it feels impossible to be on the other side of the argument - though we can always brighten up our day by recalling a few small successes :)

John Collett, Bhutan

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
2 points

My view is based on my personal experience in Cameroon. One or two years ago UNICEF organized a national seminar in Yaounde with this big idea of bringing WASH closer to the people at grass-root level but since then I have heard nothing about WASH in Cameroon again. At least at the regional level where I am in the North West Region.

It is true that we need to mainstream some of these concepts in policies but the political environment differ in different countries. Going by policy in Cameroon will definitely take a long time and may even end on papers. I think that WASH in schools program needs to broaden its approach such that while it is pursuing the policy level or political level progress, some practical strategies should be put in place. I give the example of diplomatic missions which though are pushing the government to develop policies, at the same time it is supporting communities with what is known as small embassy grants. If the WASH in School program could make such facilities available to schools even on a competitive bases we could be talking of a number of sanitation and water facilities in many schools as well as changing habits.

There are equally NGOs who need just a little push and they will make the difference but the opportunities are not there.

Notwithstanding it is an important program which should be continued with improvement. There is already an outbreak of cholera in Cameroon now in almost all regions with thousands infected and hundreds dead.

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

Dear Andrew

How good to read you all the way up north-west of Cameroon! I like your optimism and pessimism, that's why I support you.

But... I am convinced that highl level WASH at Schools advocates should shame much more courageously governments that fail to develop a coordinated strategy to change behaviour at all levels. Embassy projects are less than a drop and I doubt that a majority - in the long run - reach any sustainability or contribute to changing behaviour.

Peter

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
2 points

It was considered in the beginning that the children could be the best messengers for hygiene practices and through them the messages could reach to the community effectively, and the the messages will be accepted by the community, therefore it was obvious to give priority for WASH facilities in the schools.Hence schools were provided with the infrastructure but without any monitoring mechanism in place to check whether the toilets are in use or whether there are any efforts made to educate and change the behavior of the children, which was very easy to do.It is has been also felt that the involvement of teachers which was taken as granted is very limited . Instead of going for behavior change of teachers and children, many toilets have been built which are serving not more than monuments.In schools toilets are hardly functional.Not a single school I have found where one can satisfy that the hand washing before MDM is taking place and more over there is less possibility of availability of safe drinking water, in many schools children bring there own water bottle.The whole idea of propagating in to the community through the school children has been failed.

2 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

Considering WASH in general, we have in Cameroon shameful statistics and facts: 1) Proportion of households having access to latrines (mainly traditional) is 73.8% (90.4% in urban areas and 66.5% in rural settings); 2) The North and the Far-North Provinces of the country are particularly dry. It is very common for people and flock to use the same watering hole. 3) Proportion (country-wide) of children of less than 5 years having a significant in-take of fluid during diarrhoea episodes is 23%. This is due to frequent shortages of water and lack of education on the management of diarrhoea.

Now, considering WINS, Most of the schools located in villages and suburban areas have no hygiene facilities (water points and latrines). In the North Province, 70% of schools with latrines have no water to clean the latrines, and only 40% of schools have access to potable water. Girls have to walk kilometres in search of water, thus forsaking school activities for domestic chores.

While some improvements have been noticed since 2004, in regard to the allocations of the State’s budget (22.68% to the Education sector as a whole – Preschool to tertiary), considerable efforts still need to be made to improve school infrastructure and hygiene facilities, especially in the UNICEF supported schools located in villages and rural areas of the East Province, the three northern Provinces (Far-North, North, and Adamawa) of the Great North, and those located in the suburban areas of Douala and Yaounde. The case is more critical in the above-mentioned 3 Northern Provinces where school children, especially girls, have to forsake classes to return to the family to use home latrines because the school has no separate latrines for girls. In addition to their regular domestic chores, girls in the rural areas of the Great North, before going to school also have to walk kilometres each day in search of water. Many children arrive late at school, tired and thirsty, and yet cannot hydrate themselves for lack of drinkable water in the school compound.

So. It is clear that we have failed. Let us recognise it and plan to do something. So this is what I propose as a remedial plan: 1) For hygiene promotion It must be recognized and highlighted that the provision of physical accommodations alone would not meet the aim of improved health, hygiene and environmental sanitation. It should not be expected that once the latrine is constructed, it would automatically be used. We need to put emphasis on sensitisation, on promotion sessions on the use, in addition to topical issues on hygiene and sanitation. This will help pupils and the community at large to build their capacities towards hygiene. 2) Strengthen Classroom Instruction on Health, Hygiene and Sanitation by including these themes transversally in the teaching of other subjects. To this end, school teachers and inspectors and other supervisors will be trained. Also, materials and communication tools would be developed for the programme. Alternatively, existing materials will be adapted, taking into account local specific situation. 3) Ensuring a Healthy School Environment will include, improving deficiencies in school environment and maintaining hygienic conditions notably as regards cleanliness, disposal of liquid and solid wastes, provision of clean water, and planting of trees and flowers. Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrine would be the technology of choice for latrine construction since this model is what is being encouraged for institutional latrine systems in Cameroon. The effective Involvement of Pupils and Communities will be a crucial point: Pupils Governments and school health clubs will be involved as well as community WASH facilities’ management committees

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

How many of us can honestly say?

See my first contribution (arguing perception of failure). How many of us can honestly acertain that of all schools ever visited in poor societies, a majority was offering the full menu of decent WASH services at the school (for boys and girls, well kept and maintained, provided with hand washing facilities, including soap or ash) ?

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

Thanks for all these ideas and experiences shared on Cameroon. I have much appreciated this sentence put forward by our colleague: >.

Indeed, Cameroon has developed lot of strategy documents: “Vision 2035” Strategy, was used to elaborate the national Growth and EmploymentStrategy (DCSE). The DCSE is result-oriented and focuses on growth and job creation. It describes the situation of women and girls in Cameroun, in terms of human development (including education), and also places special emphasis on the promotion of women and the youth. But, one of the key issues in Cameroon is the lack of reliable data, which makes it difficult to obtain gender disaggregated data to better identify and understand gender issues. Such data are also necessary for planning and monitoring. Disaggregated data are published periodically by the National Institute of Statistics on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

It is clear that Projects that mainstream gender should systematically have a set of gender-sensitive quantitative and qualitative indicators in the logical framework. These indicators should be measured against baseline data to be identified at the appraisal stage of the project, which would allow for better monitoring and evaluation of the project gender related components and their impact. Many education projects support by donors address gender issues through generic activities such as the construction of separate latrines and classrooms equipment. However, for girls and boys who belong to the most disadvantaged groups these all-purpose measures may not have a positive impact on their school attendance. For this particular group, a study may be necessary to assess their situation in order to better address their specific needs.

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

I lost something in my previous intervention. In fact, I said that I appreciated the intervention of our colleague Atayong who stated that ''Going by policy in Cameroon will definitely take a long time and may even end on papers''. The rest of my arguments is without change. I simply reiterate that when made dispassionately and objectively the analysis of the situation, we realize that much was not done, while opportunities are present. Need to build on the existing. This construction must be driven by the Government which must take the lead and coordinate all interventions. WINS interventions are part of a dynamic set for a school safe and appealing. The capacities of the Government partners need to be developed accordingly.

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

Below is a link to a March 2011 report from the London School, CARE International and others:

What impact does the provision of separate toilets for girls at school have on their primary and secondary school enrolment, attendance

and completion? A systematic review of the evidence.

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/R4D/PDF/Outputs/SystematicReviews/Birdthistle_Separate_toilets_for_girls_20110331.pdf

We will add a link to this on Sanitation Updates and feature in an upcoming WASHplus Updates.

--

Dan Campbell

Knowledge Resources Specialist

WASHplus Project

1825 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th floor

Washington, DC 20009

Email: dacampbell@aed.org

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

We have failed on WASH in Schools...

...is the title of this debate. Clearly the title suggests 'we' did, a hint? The problem is really with the 'we'. Who is responsible for WASH in schools? The director, the board, the department, the government, the parents, the kids (as of a certain age) ??? My take is that the prime responsible is government, starting at central and then down to lowest levels, in terms of facilitating awareness, offering solutions, subsidizing resources, offering information, accountability and transparency on the WASH situation in Schools in a country or local-government. If government is the prime 'we', driven by politicians, then it depends on the level of education and democracy (not always, see the Tigers in Asia) of populations i.e. citizens whether 'we' is failing or improving. If 'we' is the development mafia (of all sorts, more, or less mafia), then 'we', is my conviction, play only a minor role. Still whoever the 'we' is, at a global scale we, human beings, are still failing, even if progress is made at times (in a sustainable way? do we know? probably not!). - Peter

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

It would be interesting to hear the 'we' understood as the organizers of this debate: UNICEF and IRC cum partners who promote WASH in Schools!

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

More worrisome is...

... the fact that many contributors, contribute in anonimity. Now if the anonymous contributes from an unfree environment, that is acceptable. If that is not the case, then remaining anonymous may say something about the failing!

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

Thanks Sarah, to stress the issue of population growth. pupil: stance ratio might counteract or stall any statistics.

In terms of donors and other various initiatives, it must be always clear that no matter how many funds "we" collect and spend, it cannot be sufficient. Unless we don't have real government bye-in, and adress the issues Marielle mentioned above, we fail.

I want to throw in 3 questions here:

1. Which countries have adopted specific and adequate budget lines for WASH in schools (infrastructure + maintenance + hygiene education), that are also available to each school?

i am aware of a SWAP in Kenya, the "Kenya Education Sector Support Programme" which enables direct grants to schools for improvement of infrastructure. Unfortunately, schools still don't access enough funds to provide for soap, cleansing materials, toilet paper, which competes with other items on the small school budget. But it goes into the right direction. It would be interesting to read some experiences from the KESSP here.

2. Concerning ownership of the schools, to build and maintain and educate: During a trip to Kenya it was also interesting to discuss with SWASH+, who had a typical donor driven model (design, selecting and paying construction company) and a newly introduced model. In the later the school sanitation team decided how funds were spend, entirely managed the funds , and oversaw construction. the School headmaster was so enthusiastic "into" the project, no doubt he will make sure that the toilet will be build correctly and maintained. contrary to the conventional model school headmaster who was very passive. (it reminded me a bit on the shift in sanitation from supply to rather demand-led approaches) Is this later model happening widely?

and lastly:

3. as data is reported back from some countries on their pupil:stance ratio, isn't it really time to establish a global overview, similar like the JMP data but for WASH in Schools?

I am not aware of these in a document or on a website, because I was recently trying to gather figures for the SACOSAN school session, but failed. we all know JMP is powerful for advocacy and monitoring, so can be a WASHinSchools-JMP.

Supporting Evidence: KESSP (planipolis.iiep.unesco.org)
3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

We have really failed on WASH in Schools, African as we know are undergoing a very serious transition, so is the humanitarian sectors, basically in Nigeria many Schools both nurseries, primaries, secondaries and universities are lacking the access to WASH and Hygienic sanitation's.

On the 1st Social dialogue hosted in Lagos state by Pan-African University on 1 December 2010, i made it clear that many social justice focuses on urban area while the rural communities are left without giving them attention. and i Score WASH/Sanitation in urban cities 57% and rural communities 2%. truly we have failed. from ppaul_uahdp@yahoo.com

Supporting Evidence: wash (uahdp.yolasite.com)
3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

Have we failed or succeed in WINS?

If we talk about the emphasis of the concept, better documentation, highlighting the importance of WINS to play a big role in the society by given to children (future adult and citizen) all necessary skills and good habits for the life… I will say you have not failed, but if I take a look on the situation of analysis in a country like Cameroon (already develop by Brigitte), I will say it’s a failure because no one has the real lead on WINS and the coordination between all the government ministries in charge (basic education, water, health) remain a big challenge. This lack of leadership coupled to the lack of funding is a big handicap to develop strategies at policy level.

How can we say that we have succeeded if we have only 1 school/3 at national level with toilettes? And 2 schools out of 5 with potable water? The handwashing facilities are not included in the EMIS and when you have handwahing stations, the availability of soap is a big issue. If the basic infrastructures do not exist in school, how can we insure that children will develop expected skills so that they will be used as agent for change of behaviours for their peers, parents and all the community? And are we able to demonstrate these behaviour changes? The monitoring and evaluation of our interventions is still very weak.

The interaction between all the stakeholders needed to be reinforced: inside organisations between WASH and Education Programme and between all the stakeholders at different level.

So we are on the way, but we need to advocate strongly at high level in order to have a strong leadership and commitment of the government for WINS.

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

I would argue that, we failed due to following issues:

1. Un-coordinated efforts in covering schools for water and sanitation at all levels.

2. Project approach that failed in sustaining the efforts and no followup by the donor/implementing agency.

3. Incorrect reporting of data on the coverage of water and sanitation situation in school. Please read the article - http://vajpai.org/2011/03/30/re-viewing-jmp-on-mdgs/

4. Top-down approach by agencies in developing countries.

5. Failing to communicate safe water, sanitation and hygiene related messages up to the children in schools. Poor communication means / tools adopted by agencies promoting WASH in schools.

5. Poor monitoring mechanism, which is unreliable and no liability fixed on wrong reporting by government as well.

2 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

I will add one more example from one of the Indian province Bihar where BBC Correspondent Mike Thomson traveled in November 2010 to rural areas to meet the so-called manual scavengers whose work – removing human waste from dry latrines – has been outlawed by the government due to prejudice and abuse, but still exists in practice. Link to Dirty, horrible job’ of manual scavengers. You can see the interview at http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9174000/9174738.stm . If this is the situation in our villages, how we can imagine better in educational institutions where the same children from families are going to study..

2 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

Indeed we have failed on WASH in Schools. Imagine a country like Ghana, colonized by the United Kingdom, still constructing school blocks without toilets. We have the nice ideas on paper and the designs are WASH friendly and inclusive. Lamentably, these ideas and designs are not reflected during construction. This is not surprising though, as people still construct residential homes without provision for toilets in major cities and it appears the policy makers and Local Government authorities are powerless to enforce the laws. WASH in schools underpins behaviour change in the community and in the country as a whole as children are agents of change. Without mincing words, the insanitary environment. witnessed in most parts of the country could be attributed to failure on WASH in schools. Children spent most of their formative years in school and learn and adopt many good behaviours during these periods which they can demonstrate and/or advocate for when they occupy key strategic/responsible positions in society. Charity begins at home as the saying goes. Providing sustainable WASH services in school will bring enormous good returns to the built environment in Ghana. It will enhance school attendance of girls and maximise health benefits in our communities. Even though there is the awakening now, the Central/ Decentralized government must show more commitment, the Ministry of Education/Ghana Education Service has to provide policy direction and also to be delivery focused; and WASH sector actors must be more proactive to promote sustainable WASH services to schools.

2 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

In Central America it is clear that we have failed. Our partners estimate that approximately 30,000 of 40,000 rural public schools in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua lack adequate WASH conditions. Sadly most had them at one point in time.

WASH in Schools shouldn't be so complicated but it is - due to the reasons well described in this debate. The key challenges are:

a) poor maintenance due in part to lack of clarity on who exactly is responsible for it and who pays

b) lack of leadership of teachers and ministry of education officials to mandate and implement hygiene training in classrooms

c) lack of medium/long-term monitoring, and

d) inadequate WASH conditions at home.

These are some big IF'S but - IF we can achieve inclusion of school components in broader WASH initiatives and WASH components in broader educational initiatives, and get agreement on how to address a, b, and c above prior to investing more, we might not repeat this debate in 2021!

2 years ago | Side: We have failed
1 point

WASH in schools failed due to so many reasons that exist at the field level. Some the reasons are;

1. Introduction of irrelevant methodologies

2. Short-term interest of the implementing agencies

3. Poorly designed WASH programs

4. No or poor response of the government agencies

5. Existence of other critical issues in developing countries on school level

1 year ago | Side: We have failed
2 points

Fulfilling every child’s right to water, sanitation and hygiene education remains a major challenge for policymakers, school administrators and communities in many countries. The number of UNICEF Supported Countries Implementing WASH in Schools programmes has nearly doubled since 2002 . This shows that we are increasingly recognizing the challenge and acting on it. I.e. In India, Number of schools having drinking water facility increased from 9.35 lakhs (83.2%) in 2005-06 to 12.19 (93.5%) in 2009-10, Number of schools having toilet facility has increased from 5.89 lakhs (52.4%) in 2005-06 to 10.47 (80.3%) in 2009-10 according to PAISA2010. This shows that we are moving in the right direction but challenge still remains high as number of schools having separate toilet facility for is still around (59.5%) in India.

We are also doing better in documenting our experiences and contributing to evidence base. According to raising Clean Hands When hand washing is practiced in facilities such as day-care centres and primary schools, studies show a 30 per cent reduction in diarrhea cases. Washing hands with soap could reduce acute respiratory infections – including pneumonia, which kills more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined – by 25 per cent.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
pjbury Disputed
2 points

Murat of course many positive statistics can be given. But if we look behind these statistics, do we see consistent changing behaviour or sustained good quality WASH at schools facilities? I wonder. In any case, even if parts of India show positive developments (and I saw good things in Kerala), is it representative for the global situation of WASH at schools?

If so, what can we learn from India's experience? Where is the magic? Maybe Bollywood should advocate more!

Peter

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
murat(6) Disputed
2 points

The challange is great and we have to face it. from my perspective setting standards for WASh in schools, monitoring WASH in Schools coverages and taking approriate actions to increase access and utilization of facilities is improtant. We have come forward along way in facing the reality that many schools lack acess to facilities. Nowadays national montiroing systems reflect these. (National Surveys or statistics from Ministries) by this way we are putting this unrecognized or untold problem of lack of access to WinS facilities to the table of policy and decision makers. Number of countries recognizing the issue is increasing and this is a great success ( You do not anymore meet Gov officials or aid admistrators saying that there is no problem in access to facilities in schools/. We are now at a stage where we recognize the problem and we are acting on it). i.e. Number of UNICEF country offices implementing WASH in schools programs more then doubled from 2003 and we are now, in 2010, having 94 countries reporting on implementation of WASH in Schools programs.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
murat(6) Disputed
1 point

• There are many positive examples where agencies and Government get together to recognize the issue. I.e. CARE Mali, Oxfam GB, Save the Children Federation, UNICEF and Water Aid have joined forces and developed a partnership to strategically scale-up WASH in Schools throughout the country. The development of this partnership has been designed within the framework of the Government of Mali’s WASH-related national strategies and priorities. As a result, 16,000,000 USD have been allocated by Dubai Cares to the UNICEF-led partnership in order to roll out an innovative and large scale WASH school program in Mali. This has attracted other donors to join and priorities WASH in Schools in Mali.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
Bakhodir(1) Disputed
2 points

Uzbekistan experienced with different type of project in SWASH starting from 1998. Different approached were used for establishment of SWASH principles. One of the most intervened regions was Republic of Karakalpakistan. UNICEF supported as soft as well hard components of the SWASH activities. However, if in the beginning everything was very good once UNICEF finalized a project and handed over to local government in a couple of months all constructed latrines were destroyed. Talking about hand washing behavior unfortunately, it was also disappeared because of absence of stabile water and soap supply. Several times the project on SWASH was initiated and after completion everything almost failed. UNICEF has been trying to develop sustainability of SWASH interventions and projects especially in that region due to specificity of climate, environment and traditions. Currently, to avoid any failures identify risks UNICEF will initiate a comprehensive situation analysis in Republic of Uzbekistan taking into account all aspects of successful SWASH programs implementation which also will include assessment of training and learning materials, KAP on hygiene behavior among schoolchildren, evaluation and impact of health promotion and health education advocacy materials and knowledge of school teaching staff including capacity evaluation of local education authorities. Unfortunately, such comprehensive countrywide situation analysis was not conducted before and it was one of the case of failed SWSH programs.

2 years ago | Side: We have failed
knvajpai(4) Disputed
1 point

What ever figures have been mentioned from developing countries are doubtful in general. Please read the article on JMP process ( http://vajpai.org/2011/03/30/re-viewing-jmp-on-mdgs/ ), that gets data from DHS, which focuses on Health and Family Planning primarily. When we don't have research focus for water and sanitation to elicit such data we must on vouch on our figures.

Quote

"The determination of the overall sample size is also governed by the magnitude of the key indicators, the desired level of precision of the estimates, etc.. So, it is more about producing population and health indicators at both the national and state levels. It has been found one of the major limitations of NFHS or DHS data, which, at present is being used under JMP to show progress of a country on MDG target 7c, so a limitation of JMP data itself."

Unquote

Another issue is related to institutional functioning in generating / gathering data on sanitation from rural areas. You may like to read article- http://vajpai.org/2011/03/11/winning-edge-sanitizing-institutional-functioning/

What ever data we are providing in general are either incorrect or manipulated in majority of cases. When we don't have basic facilities like water supply for drinking purposes in schools, we can't even imagine that children are practicing better hygiene. The situation is like, schools have toilets, but they are filth ridden, they have no water, or the taps are dry, or the toilets are locked. The teachers are not oriented towards sanitation and hygiene situation and safe water related issues. The teachers themselves are not able to communicate messages to students. Another issue is related to maintenance of built facilities / infrastructure in schools, once the toilet or wash room or urinal is broken, there are hardly efforts to correct the problem and then the school management / teachers are constrained with funds.

I won't buy the statement given by Murat at all about such highlighted figures.

2 years ago | Side: We have failed
2 points

While acknowledging that much remains to be done, we also need to acknowledge that much has been achieved in the area of WASH in Schools. So we can view the glass as being half empty or half full! I for one feel that we have a lot to be optimistic about, there are numerous Governments, donors, NGO's and communities working hard to ensure that children have access to improved water, sanitation and hygiene in schools. The global Call to Action for WASH in Schools "Raising Clean Hands" has seen a strong partnership evolve to advocate for WinS, more robust evidence is evolving and enhanced programming at all levels is ensuring that each year more and more children do get access to improved facilities and conditions in their schools.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
2 points

Considering where we stood 10 -12 years ago, we have not failed. WASH in Schools is on the agenda and more and more people are interested in the subject.

Of course there are still many challenges and needs for improvement. Financing is limited and more scientific research is needed on its impacts and consequently those working in WASH in Schools should stop making claims on impacts that cannot yet be proven (particularly related to girls attendance and drop-out) and focus on what can be proven (increased knowledge on hygiene, reduced WASH-related diseases).

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
1 point

Holistic and integrated approach is very important to improve WASH program in schools.Taking responcibilities to implement WASH program in schools as contractor will produce unimpressive results. Before implementing WASH in schools must assess WASH situation in communities.Bypassing communities, WASH in schools will not be sustained or successful.A financial mechanism to support operational and maintenance cost of the facilities is the most important issue.Teachers and SMC members should be involved in WASH both in school and community level to get impressive results.Of course, long term follow up system wil be ensured.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
0 points

That's right and primary condition to WASH succes in school. But this holistic approach requires more financing and takes times to give results. Even if the outputs are more sustainable, it is not easy for developping countries to convince donors to invest for a long term results. So we can all the same talk about failure.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
2 points

I agree we have not failed: there is no doubt that progress has been made on many fronts. But there is also no doubt that major challenges remain. The data we have shows progress, but if we had the means to measure progress in relation to the standards in the new WHO/UNICEF guidelines for WASH in Schools (e.g. more toilets per girl than per boy, gender segregation, existence of hygiene education, etc.) the coverage figures would be much lower. The fact that we don’t have a solid data set yet is itself an indication that much still needs to be done. Ultimately it comes down to whether WASH in Schools is a perceived priority for Education officials, decision makers in government, and the development banks (which fund large school construction projects). On this front there is also progress, but it is still common in 2011 to find such officials who have no real interest in WASH in Schools.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
pjbury Disputed
2 points

I wonder if it is only about priorities for WASH at schools or rather it is about working hard on overall changing behaviours at all levels in all corners of society? TV and Bollywood, messages on Coca Cola trucks... could make a difference maybe...

Peter

3 years ago | Side: We have failed
GKeast(3) Disputed
2 points

Of course it's not "only" about priorities for WASH in schools - but it is an important aspect that is sometimes overlooked. To be successful we need to stimulate behaviour change among decision makers as well as among children. Handwashing messages on coca cola trucks are fine and good, but they won't convince the Minister of Education or the development bank official to allocate more funds for toilets (or hygiene behaviour programmes) in schools...

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
1 point

Yes I agree with pjbury, our priorities can not be only for WASH at schools rather than working hard in Hygiene awareness raising, education and introduction of new appropriate technologies and best practices pave way for school children positive behavior changes.

One of the essential element of the community sanitation and hygiene awareness promotion for good hygiene practices either for school children or for community in general can be the IEC (Information Education Communication) materials.

The IEC materials are part of sanitation package that will improve school children hygiene promotion, however it is need to expand those IEC materials to be at all levels in each corner of the society, every where and every time, those IEC materials need to expand to reach all levels of the society and in every where.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
2 points

Though water and sanitation in schools in particular has continued to remain high in Zambia, this does not mean we have failed. There are about 6million children in Zambia from the population of about 12million people.29% of schools in Zambia meet the minimum Ministry of Education ratio of one toilet for every 40 boys. 9% of Schools meet the minimum ratio of one toilet for every 25 girls as at November,2010.

Though the figures look so low, actors in the sector are working extra hard to respond to the challenge. for example, ROCS (NGO), is working with Government to providing water and sanitation facilities in community schools. Much of the rural schools are provided with safe water and adequate sanitation to meet the 500,000+ pupipls in Zambia without access to any sanitation facility.

Government has as well created an enabling environment for actors to operate effectively and the political will is there. we can meet the challenge.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
2 points

BARKA Foundation is taking a long-term perspective. We believe that we have barely begun, so how can we possibly declare failure? BARKA is a relative babe in the WINS woods- we began focusing on issues of clean water in Burkina Faso in 2008. It is only through our affiliation with the UN that we learned about UNICEF's WASH in Schools program and the importance of an integral and holistic approach toward water, sanitation & hygiene education to create lasting impact. Through Ned Breslin's article on Rethinking Hydrophilanthropy, we came to understand the vital importance of a village financial mechanism to collect funds to be used to replace broken water systems when they inevitably fail... only then can local communities permanently reverse the cycle of poverty.

We want to add three things to the discussion:

1. The need for sensitivity to indigenous culture and identity within the context of development. In the Declaration of Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples, "Free, Prior & Informed Consent" is established as a robust set of guidelines for NGOs, govts and outside entities to follow during any intervention. It was self-determined by indigenous people for indigenous people and we in the WASH sector must not take it for granted or forget to apply it in every aspect of our work.

2. Ceramic water filters: an effective, inexpensive, locally sourced, easy-to-use, low-tech solution for clean drinking water at the household level. At the very least, every school should be filtering water for its students and teaching the proper use and maintenance of these filters so the children grow up with filters as a part of their lives. They're readily adaptable and familiar within an indigenous context (at least in West Africa) because water is already stored in ceramic urns. We don't understand why every family on the planet that needs one doesn't have a filter in their home. This is an economic (and socio-political?) issue. BARKA includes ceramic filters as an integral part of its WASH in Schools efforts. In addition, there is a wonderful opportunity to administer basic hygiene education in the process of distributing filters within a community.

3. Inter-Cultural Dialogue: it is important to teach kids who have clean water and sanitation about their counterparts in the developing world who don't, and furthermore to offer a platform for today's youth to get involved in helping, changing and impacting the situation. Through service-learning education (Walks for Water, "WASH ART") water consciousness is raised within schools and communities. This can have life-changing effects on individuals and their relationship to water.

With so much inspiring work currently taking place around the globe, with new awareness that is dawning on all of us about HOW to do what we do, how could we possibly declare failure? Thanks to you all for your hard work and important contributions to the field.

'Barka' is an African word of gratitude, blessing & reciprocity.

Peace, Water & Wisdom

Grassroots Advocacy: Walking for Water

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
2 points

I don't think we as aid agencies supporting the respective governments have failed on WASHH in Schools. What needs to be are as follows:

1. Align our respective assistances with the government priorities. For example in Sri Lanka UNICEF's Education and WASH sections are working with the Ministry of Education (MoE) officials at national and sub national levels to prioritize schools. The MoE has categorized schools in varied levels of sanitation facilities. UNICEF is using this categorization to implement its WASH in Schools interventions, staring with schools with 0% of sanitation and move up the ladder.

2. Much emphasis should also be paid to enhancing the capacity of the MoE officials to plan, implement and monitor progress regularly and update the related database.

3. The children, teachers and parents must play a pivotal and instrumental role (not only a token one) in the siting of facilities, the number of facilities for boys and girls, an mots importantly facilities for disabled persons must be included.

4. and lastly, their must be continuous dialogue between the WASH and Education during all phases from selection of schools to implementation and monitoring. Roles and Responsibilities must be clearly defined.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
2 points

We have not failed because in ghana for example, through the School Health Education Programe (SHEP), schools have been equipped with latrine facilities and handwashing facilities by them. Through series of training, the schools provide soap and children in lower classes now wash their hands with soap after using the toilet without any adult/teacher prompting them. Besides, drinking water facilities are adequately covwered and students are encouraged to use individual cups in drinking. All in all, awareness on WASH in schools in very high and gradually, the students are picking up with the practices.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
2 points

I agree that most of schools didn’t have still proper sanitary facilities while some are in bad shape, however, improving sanitation alone would not improve hygiene if hygiene behaviors are not also improved.

In the other hand, as past experience shows success in some schools specially in schools with effective community participation components which show greater sustainability tendency. In addition to the above, some schools show a great success in created a hygienic school environment through increased access to sustainable water and sanitation facilities as well as awareness raised on crucial hygiene messages among pupils. Therefore, we cant say we failed on WASH in school rather say we are still working hard and doing our best by using the best methodologies to make a success or even a change in this aspect.

We need to remember always that A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, accordingly, let us work hard to make that change happen one day.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
1 point

Truly speaking we have not yet failed to support WASH in schools. For instance most schools have sanitary facilities but the major challenge lies with NGOs who are issuing few resources for the activities. I have been implementing WASH activities since 1996 the problem is we want to cut costs and at the end of the day we produce sub standard structures which will not last. A good example is a Blair latrine is suppose to last 25 years if properly built but they are lasting only three to five years which means we have to redo the project again , failing to cover other areas. So what we have to do is to have proper structures at costs which are reasonable. Also we need to look at population increase they are also schools which are currently being built and they need these services.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
1 point

considering the pace at which uganda government policy is being implemented and enacted one after the other, comitment by the development partners to contribute towards the implementation of WASH at schools, i can be bold to say we have not failed on WASH IN SCHOOLs rather i can say we are moving at a slow pace. Available evidance show that, school enrollment is poor in schools with no WASH interventions comparatively and in uganda everry school must have a water facility and latrines for both girls and boys seperately at aratio of 1:35 for girls and 1:45 for boys as the national standards set by the government.But for your information some schools are having the ratio as low below the national standards eg 1:23 for girls and 1:43 boys. Innovations on new tecnologies are being encouraged by the government & other development partners. Tecnologies like Ecosan latrines, mary -go round powerflash toilet which even present more easy and permanent solution at schools interms of hand washing,flashing and smell free environment(if there's need for these tech pliz contact me on ma mail address for some pics deatails) using water from the same school built water facility with multiple water use, for soap we encourage schools to use much cheaper to get ash instead of expensive soap, training school sanitation clubs and teachers as patron and matron respectively. In nutshell therefore, WASH at schools can be asuccess and is in progress except its pace is to some extent slow as there varrying evidances sugesting more enrollment to girl child education and safe water and decent latrine tecnologies to even address the land pressure possed by using old tech like VIP with design period of less than 5 years,declaring failure is musch earlier now. Till then,SAM

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
1 point

WASH in school is not a separate issue from the other issues of WASH in the communities in general. It is true that pupils can make change, but it is also true that they (pupils and teachers) are influenced by their environment (habits, importance given to WASH, practices, cultures, etc.).

The success on WASH in school is also linked to the success on WASH in the communities in general.

3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
0 points

This is an interesting contribution in terms of failing or succeeding! I fully support the contribution, but wonder whether in itself it is an argument to say that 'we' did not fail?

A few positive and negative pictures attached...

Supporting Evidence: WASH in Schools (www.flickr.com)
3 years ago | Side: We have not failed
1 point

I work for the Yemeni Social Fund for Development and recently I was involved in WASH in schools. I've recently met a young girl 8 years old and have an interesting conversation with her I would like to share it with you. When asked about using the school toilets she answered: "No I don't because they are dirty and have bad smell, so I use the toilet at home before going to school". So you can imagine girls at such age keeping themselves during school time (4-5 hours) without urinating or defecating till they go back home. Her father told me that she complained many times from Urinal System inflammations and the physician prescribed medicines for that symptom. This story is in Sana'a, the capital, the situation in rural areas is much worse.

Though WASH program is new in Yemen, started in 2008 with piloting in 74 schools and impact assessment is due end of 2011, there are some preliminary findings that show success of the pilot program. Preliminary findings are:

•Most of the school toilets that were closed became open and operational

•Absenteeism is reduced

•Soap was a available at schools for hand-washing

•Water became more available than before as a result of recognizing the problem by local stakeholders

•Communities awareness and knowledge about water born diseases have improved

•Communities became more active in the school WASH activities

Within the Yemeni context, these preliminary findings can be considered as a breakthrough encouraging all stakeholders to go into a nationwide program.

2 years ago | Side: We have not failed
1 point

Murat of course many positive statistics can be given. But if we look behind these statistics, do we see consistent changing behaviour or sustained good quality WASH at schools facilities? I wonder. In any case, even if parts of India show positive developments (and I saw good things in Kerala), is it representative for the global situation of WASH at schools?

http://phonyphonecalls.blogspot.com/2011/04/directory-of-cell-phone-numbers.html

2 years ago | Side: We have not failed


About CreateDebate
The CreateDebate Blog
Take a Tour
Help/FAQ
Newsletter Archive
Sharing Tools
Invite Your Friends
Bookmarklets
Partner Buttons
RSS & XML Feeds
Reach Out
Advertise
Contact Us
Report Abuse
Twitter
Basic Stuff
User Agreement
Privacy Policy
Sitemap
Creative Commons
©2014 TidyLife, Inc. All Rights Reserved. User content, unless source quoted, licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Debate Forum | Big shout-outs to The Bloggess and Andy Cohen.