IRC WASH Dialogues
This is the IRC opinion blog, which features contributions from both IRC staff and guest bloggers who present their views on developments in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector.
08 Nov 13
The business case for sanitation in developing countries is testified by the thousands of small scale entrepreneurs springing up to tackle problems of open defecation and process faecal waste and urine. Will these businesses be profitable and sustainable? Can they address the huge scale of the problem? Will they address the issues in rural areas as well as urban areas? These questions are much harder to answer.
22 Sep 13
The Indian government is aiming for universal, sustainable and inclusive drinking water coverage by 2022. Is this too ambitious? A critical look at the sector resource base of India shows that everyone forever is possibly ahead of schedule. What is lacking is the will to achieve it.
14 Sep 13
Is open defecation really a (health) problem in low-density, dry rural areas? Don't low-cost latrines in reality sometimes turn out to be a health harzard? Perhaps it would better to have hygiene as the key issue, or at least THE entry point for WASH interventions, argues Peter Ryan.
05 Sep 13
Independent state regulators will not be able to solve the deep-rooted water governance crisis in India, says India Country Director Dr. V. Kurian Baby. After a decade of failure, a new approach is needed: a bottom-up process of social and participatory regulation. There are enough successful examples of participatory water resource management to learn from.
24 Jul 13
Programme managers and funders want to know the costs for the provision of WASH in schools and how to fund the desired outcomes over at least a 10 year period. Using the WASHCost life-cycle cost methodology as a starting point, IRC's Catarina Fonseca has been to Bangladesh to develop and test a service ladder, criteria and indicators for WASH in schools in the BRAC WASH Programme
24 Jul 13
Tea stalls are a common phenomenon in Bangladesh, it is a place where people gather not just for tea, but to hang out and talk freely about whatever is important to them. Male field workers in the BRAC WASH programme have started visiting these stalls to discuss sanitation and hygiene practices.
02 Jun 13
Monitoring WASH in extra-household settings is an emerging sector challenge that deserves our attention. Currently the MDG targets for drinking water and sanitation only considers access for households and not settings beyond the household. This needs to change.
23 May 13
Judging by the number of posts on Twitter, evidence for decision making seems to be a hot topic at the moment not only in the WASH sector but more broadly in the development realm. DFID, the British bilateral cooperation agency has published the latest “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – evidence paper”. I agree generally with the broad lines of the conclusions about what we still need to know to do our jobs in the sector better, but it was with utter disbelief that I read what is considered “evidence” in the report and what is discarded as not being “sufficient evidence”.
16 Apr 13
Why are so many professionals from the WASH sector interested in monitoring? After all, more than 400 came to the IRC Symposium on Monitoring Sustainable WASH Service Delivery in Addis Ababa. Is it that they wish to share data? Is it a new method they want to present? Or a specific analysis technique?
21 Mar 13
“After three decades of empty promises we might finally be making some progress in water co-operation, but don’t hold your breath”.
Piers Cross has been around long enough in the water sector to witness several generations' attempts at water co-operation. On the eve of World Water Day 2013, a day devoted to celebrating water co-operation, Cor Dietvorst caught up with Piers in Johannesburg and asked him what he had learned about international co-operation in water. He stroked his white hair and gave a potted personal view of the history of WASH co-operation.