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IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre



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RSS CarmelitaF

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1 point

How many countries are actually using the Standards set in 2009? Besides UNICEF and WHO, who were involved in the implementation process? We are now in 2011, have these standards been revised? Do the 2009 standards fit in the current contexts today?

If these standards are developed by a small group and have not be truly practiced, than they have failed.

It is one thing to develop standards with a small minority, but who knows of these standards, who are practicing these standards should be the key to its success or failure.

1 point

I agree with Murat. In the last debate, I noted that WASH in Schools has failed because of lack of coverage. This fits right into this argument. In terms of standards and coverage, WASH in Schools is too far behind in progress for its history since the 1980's.

There should be national WASH in Schools standards in every school in a nation regardless of active UNICEF WASH in Schools programming or not. These standards of course have to be developed with people beyond the UNICEF and its WASH in Schools partners. And maybe some countries already have existing standards that need to be revisited or taking upon instead of (reinventing the wheel). Further, there has to be more coverage data, in other words, find out what the WASH status, before setting the stage for setting standards and monitoring. This step remains at a very infant stage in the work of WASH in Schools so far. In fact, this step might even help to know are there existing standards? Are they applicable to current situations? How can WASH in Schools take advantage and campaign on existing standards? To achieve this, WASH in Schools will need to build stronger/deeper relationships with national/local leaders and also with the constituency. I mention this, because I am afraid that in some countries, it may not be well taken if these standards are coming solely from the ‘outside’.

The same practice has to apply in developing complimentary monitoring tools to track the effectiveness of these standards and their ability to adapt to different communities.

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.

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