Call for proposals: research support grants on sanitation workers

2 min read
Sanitation workers emptying a household pit latrine in Inanda, a township in eastern KwaZulu-Natal, that is part of eThekwini municipality which encompasses the Greater Durban metropolitan area in South Africa. March 2019.
Image: WaterAid/Nyani Quarmyne

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The Initiative for Sanitation Workers is offering an exciting funding opportunity for postgraduate students and institutions researching sanitation workers.

Sanitation workers – including pit emptiers, sewer cleaners, and others involved in faecal waste management – provide an essential public service, but this is often at the cost of their dignity, safety, health and living conditions. Often invisible, unquantified and ostracised, sanitation workers are exposed to serious health and safety hazards, risking illness, injury and even death. Sanitation workers deserve greater recognition and attention, as well as policy and regulatory reforms to safeguarding their rights.

The Initiative for Sanitation Workers (ISW), a global advocacy partnership between the International Labour Organization, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, WaterAid and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, is offering support grants for research on sanitation workers in the following categories:

  1. Masters and PhD students
  2. Institutions

We invite research proposals from applicants based in, or belonging to, low or lower-middle income countries, on themes such as:

  • Occupational health and safety: access to PPE and its use, safety protocols, mechanisation of sanitation work, COVID risks
  • Labour rights, wages, working conditions, access to social security, and institutional arrangements for engaging workers (the modalities of contracts between employers and sanitation workers, and management of these contracts)
  • Sustainable livelihoods, rehabilitation, business models
  • Social challenges and the root causes of marginalisation, discrimination and exclusion (such as caste or ethnic identity), as well as the empowerment and mobilisation of sanitation workers
  • Gender dimensions, disparities and intersectionality
  • Legal frameworks, policies, regulations, standard operating procedures and their enforcement
  • Interventions to support sanitation workers, good practices and learnings

Application deadline: 20 August 2021

Please refer to the below detailed announcements for more information on eligibility, the application process, evaluation criteria, and the support offered.