WASH in schools across the Pacific

WASH in schools across the Pacific

The International WaterCentre (IWC) is working with Live & Learn across four Pacific countries under the CS WASH funded sanitation marketing program. IWC’s Senior Project Officer, Declan Hearne, provides an update on the project.

WASH in schools across the Pacific

Marlene Delis, Live & Learn WASH-in-schools officer

While the primary objective of the program is to build community capacity to establish enterprises which can provide cost-effective and safe sanitation solutions for pacific communities, a supporting objective is to improve WASH services and behaviours in schools.

In Papua New Guinea, Live & Learn has three WASH-in-schools officers who currently develop approaches to pilot WASH-related improvements in schools. The current focus is on three schools with the aim to increase the outreach to nine schools over the next three years.

On a recent trip to Kaeving, New Ireland, IWC’s Senior Project Officer Declan Hearne caught up with Marlene Delis, one of the Live & Learn WASH-in-schools officers. A common challenge when attempting to introduce WASH in schools is the lack of policy support for integration of WASH activities into an already busy school curriculum. Teachers are often keen to get involved with WASH activities, but need to balance time commitments with academic demands.

In a short video Marlene describes how she overcame challenges to engage a broad base of teachers and lay a foundation for scaling up behaviour change approaches with school teachers in up to 30 schools.

IWC is currently working with Live & Learn to complete baseline data collection to understand the current status of WASH facilities, practices and policies in their pilot schools. A set of tools has been developed to guide local WASH officers through a participatory process of data collection, analysis and communication of findings. A bottleneck analysis has been adapted to help prioritise baseline findings, while a theory of change approach is being used to guide the type of interventions that might be best suited to overcome challenges. These tools are still being pilot tested and an update on the use of the tools and progress will be shared in coming months.

Watch the i
nterview with Marlene Delis, WASH-in-schools officer, Live & Learn (PNG)

Published 8 December 2015.

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