BRIEF

Evidence to Policy: Water and Sanitation notes

October 3, 2016

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Evidence to Policy, a monthly note series on learning what works, highlights studies that evaluate the impact of programs in the critical areas of human development --health, education, social protection, water and sanitation and labor. From how to best supply rural health clinics with drugs to what helps students do better in school, World Bank-supported impact evaluations provide governments and development experts with the information they need to use resources most effectively. As impact evaluations increasingly become more important to policymakers, this series offers a non-technical review of the many innovations the World Bank is supporting, and the growing number of rigorous studies analyzing the impacts of those innovations. The note series is managed by SIEF, which receives generous funding from the British government's Department for International Development and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).

 

SENEGAL: DO HYGIENE AND HANDWASHING MAKE FOR BETTER BRAIN DEVELOPMENT?

In Senegal, researchers evaluated a program that focused on local media and community events to encourage regular handwashing with soap and water. While identifying the best routes for effective handwashing and campaigns remains a key goal for researchers, this evaluation underscores the challenges of both changing behavior and measuring impacts.

 

TANZANIA: DO CAMPAIGNS TO GET PEOPLE TO WASH HANDS & USE (IMPROVED) TOILETS WORK?

In Tanzania, the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Partnership worked with the government to create and implement campaigns to improve sanitation and reduce illness among young children by encouraging hand washing and use of improved sanitation such as toilets.

 

WHAT'S SO HARD ABOUT IMPROVING ACCESS TO WATER AND SANITATION?

A World Bank research team, with support from the Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF), conducted a systematic review of water and sanitation impact evaluations to provide a basis for future policymaking and research.

 

INDIA: HOW MANY TOILETS DOES IT TAKE TO IMPROVE HEALTH?

An evaluation of sanitation coverage underscored that campaigns for ending open defecation need to include a communal approach. Individuals may not be investing in toilets because unless everyone does the same, the direct benefits to are so small.

 

CAN DEMAND FOR TOILETS BE ENCOURAGED? EVIDENCE FROM INDONESIA

In Indonesia, the World Bank worked with the government to develop new approaches to discourage open defecation and increase the number of toilets in poor, rural areas. An impact evaluation of a program to foster demand for toilets by raising awareness—instead of building sanitation facilities and hoping people would use them—showed a boost in toilet construction and a drop in diarrheal illness.

 

PERU AND VIETNAM: WHAT GETS PEOPLE TO WASH THEIR HANDS

Impact evaluations from Peru and Vietnam give us more information about the difficulties of changing handwashing behavior on a large scale.