IWC participates in US Water and Health Conference
‘Community Water and Sanitation in the Pacific: Fostering Sustainable WASH Marketplaces’ and ‘WASH and climate change adaptation in the Pacific’ are two prominent water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects coordinated by the IWC under the Australian Government’s Australian Development Research Award (ADRA) scheme, making IWC a prime candidate for knowledge sharing at the Water and Health Conference.
In her presentation ‘Buy, give, take and share: WASH marketing in the South Pacific’ Dr Dani Barrington, Research Fellow from Monash University and IWC, focused on the different ways in which people in Melanesian peri-urban informal settlements fulfill their WASH needs, particularly through cultural exchanges which move beyond simple monetary transactions. This was well received, with audience discussions highlighting how these results may be integrated in traditional sanitation marketing models.
Other oral presentations dealt with how local enabling actors can support WASH marketing exchange (Kate Shields, WASH Marketing ADRA, University of North Carolina), and the different types of water sources households use to meet their needs in the face of climate change (Dr Morgan MacDonald, Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change in Water, Sanitaton and Hygiene (PACCWASH) ADRA, Griffith University).
The teams also presented two posters, ‘Establishment of WASH governance in Urban Informal Communities: Lessons from Fiji’ (Semisi Meo, WASH Marketing ADRA, University of the South Pacific) and ‘Climate disasters and water shortages - How local adaptation is being used to develop resilience to extreme weather events in Pacific Island Countries’ (Dr Morgan MacDonald, PACCWASH ADRA, Griffith University).
Members of the WASH Marketing ADRA team (Dr Dani Barrington, Semisi Meo, Kate Shields and Annika Kearton) also facilitated a workshop on the use of Participatory Action Research (PAR) in WASH, the methodology used throughout their project. The workshop tackled the 'too hard, too long and too costly’ perception of the approach by focusing on the unique benefits PAR can provide. The methodology embraces the human right of self-determination, and works towards WASH solutions that have been developed by those most likely to benefit from them. Participants shared their experiences in using the approach and discussed ideas of how to better incorporate PAR into their programs. A common thread that emerged was the difficulty some participants felt with regards to integrating research needs with community priorities. The WASH Marketing ADRA will be addressing this issue in upcoming blog posts and peer-reviewed journal articles.
Published 4 November 2015