WaterAid at 40th WEDC Conference

4 min read
Image: WaterAid/ James Kiyimba

Academics and practitioners working in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector will attend the annual WEDC International Conference, hosted by Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) at Loughborough University on 24–28 July. Aditi Chandak, WaterAid’s Learning and Knowledge Advisor, introduces the range of topics WaterAid will cover at the 40th WEDC International Conference.

The 40th WEDC International Conference will run from 24–28 July at Loughborough University, UK. This year’s theme is ‘Local Action with International Cooperation to Improve and Sustain WASH Services’. The conference is an interactive learning event, providing a platform for WASH sector professionals to meet, share and learn from each other through presentation, debates and discussions.

The four days will be packed with paper presentation and discussions, side events, capacity development workshops and networking.

WaterAid will be covering various subjects at the conference, including:

  • Sanitation: covering sanitation marketing, overcoming barriers to open defecation free
  • Hygiene: covering formative research, menstrual hygiene management
  • WASH and nutrition
  • WASH in schools
  • WASH service delivery and finance
  • Solid waste management
  • Working with government
  • WASH and health
  • Inclusion

Highlights of WaterAid staff presentations

  1. Mohammad Naved, Project Manager from WaterAid India, will present a case study on the unique public–private–people partnership for sanitation delivery to targeted marginalised community in an informal settlement in Delhi.
  2. Ruth Hinds, Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Advisor, will present key lessons from our multi-country WASH in schools programme funded by H&M Foundation from 2013–16. The presentation will summarise the key lessons and recommendations to enhance programme design quality.
  3. Sanjoy Mukherjee, Program Manager from WaterAid Bangladesh, will present on the experience of addressing hygiene behaviour in 2,500 schools in rural Bangladesh. Read Om Prasad Gautam’s blog on what has and hasn’t worked in handwashing hygiene behaviour change.
  4. Nneka Akwunwa, Sanitation Marketing Manager from WaterAid Nigeria, will present a market-based approach to sanitation that focuses on increasing the affordability, availability and sustainability of rural sanitation options in two states of Nigeria. Recap on what WaterAid’s Erin Flynn wrote about Nigeria’s sanitation problem and ambitious targets.
  5. Abdullah Al-Muyeed, Technical Adviser from WaterAid Bangladesh, will present on the co-composting of faecal sludge with solid waste to improve faecal sludge management practice in Sakhipur municipality of Bangladesh.
  6. WaterAid commissioned a study to investigate the underlying incentives that encourage political will on sanitation into action. Nathaniel Mason from Overseas Development Institute and Andrés Hueso, Senior Policy Analyst for Sanitation at WaterAid, will present this study, drawing on case examples from India, Ethiopia and Indonesia. You can find the synthesis report and policy brief here. Andrés Hueso will also present on the subject of LGBTI and sanitation – read his blog on transgender students’ rights to toilets.
  7. Seyram Asimah and Perpetual Diabene, Programme Officers from WaterAid Ghana, will present a study on socio-cultural, economic and political challenges and opportunities around menstrual hygiene management practices in Ghana.
  8. Accountability of service providers to their clients/users is an essential condition for sustainability of water services. Social audit, Citizen Report Card and Community Scorecard have been widely used tools enabling citizens and communities to hold government to account for delivery of basic services. A team from WaterAid Australia will present their experience of applying community scorecard to rural water services in Timor-Leste. Catch up in this blog from Country Director Alex Grumbley.
  9. WaterAid Australia will present on the barriers and enablers to becoming and staying open defecation-free in remote Timor-Leste.

WaterAid is also co-convening multiple side events. These include:

24 July: Translating sanitation tool results to policy with Center for Global Safe WASH, Emory University; World Health, Organization; TREND Group, Ghana; Center for Science and Environment (India).

Monitoring inclusive WASH in schools: harnessing SDG4 to improve the lives of children with disabilities with UNICEF/WHO/State University of New York at Buffalo. 

WASH and nutrition: lessons from research and from the field with Action Contre La Faim (ACF); London School of Hygiene and Tropical, Medicine (LSHTM); SHARE Research Consortium; UNICEF

Can WASH improve the impact of vaccination? with Centre for Infectious Disease Research, Zambia; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Queen Mary University of London; SHARE Research Consortium. 

Where there are no services – the role of household-led investments for achieving full coverage with Skat Foundation; WaterAid; RWSN; SuSanA.

26 July: Working with government for sustainable services with SNV; Water for People; IRC.

Formative research for hygiene behaviour change programme design with Plan International UK and WaterAid.

We are excited to be part of the conference and share experiences with others who are passionate about the issues around WASH. We look forward to widening our perspective and improving knowledge in our areas of work.As part of the capacity development workshop, WaterAid will be participating in three capacity development workshops, delivered in collaboration with other development organisations. They will cover making WASH inclusive, with a focus on disability, menstrual hygiene and gender equality, and monitoring evaluation and learning in WASH projects. The other capacity development workshop will be on the path to sustainable development goal 6 with road mapping a way to full service delivery at the district level.

The cross-sharing will help ensure that practitioners are not re-inventing the wheel, and that reinforcement of messages from past experiences and learning will continuously add value.

You can find the full conference schedule here.

Keep up with the action at WEDC by following #wedc40 on Twitter.

All relevant papers and publications will be made available after the event on the WEDC website.