Through extensive desk reviews, in-depth key informant interviews and field-based implementation research in up to seven countries, WASHPaLS works with implementing partners to broaden the evidence base on the use and effectiveness of sanitation interventions, including CLTS, MBS, and promoting safe hygiene environments for infants and young children.
CLTS: As guided by the findings of a comprehensive literature review and consultation with global thought-leaders, WASHPaLS implementation research related to CLTS, led by the Aquaya Institute, focuses on three themes: 1) understanding whether targeted subsidies can improve the outcomes of CLTS programs; 2) investigating the relative importance of factors associated with CLTS performance (i.e. identifying a performance envelope for CLTS); and 3) understanding the effect of using Information Communication Technology (ICT) to aid CLTS implementation.
MBS: Using a similar literature review and consultative process to identify key knowledge gaps, WASHPaLS MBS implementation research, led by FSG, focuses on two themes: 1) Viability: understanding the factors that impact viability of sanitation enterprises, the profile of entrepreneurs who are best suited to act as focal point of sales for the customers, and the types of enterprise capital that are required to improve viability; and 2) Market Rules: understanding the types of changes in market rules (e.g., legislation, government policy, regulation) that can potentially improve viability of sanitation enterprises or increase toilet sales.
Hygienic Environments: The WASHPaLS Hygienic Environments desk review identified two under-emphasized aspects of Wagner and Lagnoix’s seminal F-diagram that are worthy of increased attention: 1) domestic animal excreta as an important reservoir of disease-causing agents in immediate living environments, and 2) exposure of infants and young children (IYC) to pathogens via ingestion of dirt (geophagy) and/or human and animal excreta as well as through exploratory mouthing behaviors as a critical exposure pathway not disrupted by the traditional suite of WASH measures. Through multi-year research effort led by FHI 360 including aspects of product development, formative research, and experimental trial, WASHPaLS will attempt to understand whether a protective play space (playmat and play pen) significantly reduces exposure of IYC to harmful enteric pathogens.