CHALLENGE: Developing and Disseminating Guidance on Faecal Sludge Disposal Sites in Emergencies

Create and effectively disseminate guidance to support humanitarian practitioners select, establish and mitigate the risks related to faecal sludge disposal sites in rapid-onset emergencies.

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The Problem

During the first phase of a humanitarian crisis, the safe management of faecal sludge produced from human waste quickly becomes a pressing problem. In these situations, the necessary infrastructure is frequently missing or compromised preventing established faecal sludge management (FSM) techniques from functioning correctly.

The removal and disposal of faecal sludge in an emergency is often dependent on the equipment that is locally available, as well as land and topography. Access to sites and resources is typically decided by local or national authorities. This means that the selection of disposal methods and sites are context specific and can be heavily restricted.

In the early stages of a rapid-onset emergency, faecal sludge disposal decisions focus on the selection and/or establishment of disposal sites that minimise the risk for the affected community and the environment. Although some guidance exists on faecal sludge disposal, this is often not translated into appropriate action during emergencies. This places emergency affected populations at risk of contact with faecal matter and contracting disease.

A key challenge is to develop contextually appropriate guidance materials that are sensitive to the pressures and priorities of humanitarian settings to inform those responsible for the management and disposal of faecal sludge. The challenge is not only to develop these materials, but also to make sure that those responsible for decision-making on disposal are aware of them and can act on them in a rapid-onset emergency.

The Challenge

To develop and effectively disseminate guidance that informs decision-making on the selection, establishment and risk mitigation of faecal sludge disposal sites in the first stages of a rapid-onset emergency.

This Challenge aims to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Synthesise available and relevant good practice and guidelines on the selection, establishment and risk mitigation of faecal sludge disposal sites in emergency settings, understand the reasons behind the underuse of existing guidelines, and identify and address any key gaps.
  1. Develop a set of accessible and engaging materials to guide early decisions on disposal sites for faecal sludge in the first stages of a rapid-onset emergency.
  1. Develop and implement a dissemination plan to share guidance materials.
  1. Monitor and evaluate the impact of the dissemination plan on the uptake of the guidance materials, as well as their overall use in making decisions on faecal sludge disposal sites in rapid-onset emergencies.
  1. Develop and share key lessons learned on how to effectively disseminate guidance and change decision-making around faecal sludge disposal in emergencies.

 

Funding Calls

In order to meet these objectives we are looking to fund…

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NOW CLOSED
Deadline for applications: 17 March 2017
Funding of up to £50,000 is available

 

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NOW CLOSED
Deadline for applications: 24 March 2017
Funding of up to £70,000 is available

 

If you would like to apply for both the Research Partner and the Dissemination Partner Calls, we welcome your proposal. You will, however, be required to fill out individual applications for each of the Calls.

Innovation Process

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1: Calls for Research Partner and Dissemination Partner Open

In February 2017 we will launch two Calls, one for a Research Partner and one for a Dissemination Partner. The role of the Research Partner will be to conduct a review of existing guidelines and practice relevant to decision-making on faecal sludge disposal sites in a rapid-onset emergency and synthesise these into guidance materials.

The Dissemination Partner will be expected to work together with the Research Partner to identify the most relevant and engaging format for the faecal sludge disposal guidance materials. The Dissemination Partner will also be responsible for developing and implementing an innovative dissemination plan to raise awareness of the resulting guidance materials, as well as evaluate their uptake and use after a 10-month period.

Both Partners will be selected in late April 2017. They will also be closely involved in planning and facilitating the Guidance Design and Dissemination Workshop on 12 September 2017, in the UK.

2: Review of Existing Faecal Sludge Disposal Guidelines and Practice

The selected Research Partner will conduct a comprehensive review of existing guidelines and good practice relevant to the selection, establishment and risk mitigation of faecal sludge disposal sites in rapid-onset emergencies. The aim of the review is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of existing guidance materials and understand what is limiting their uptake/application. The findings should allow the Research Partner to prioritise and synthesise key information, as well as point out gaps that can either be addressed through drawing on existing knowledge in the sector or that require further research.

As part of this review, the Research Partner is expected to engage with faecal sludge management (FSM) experts and humanitarian practitioners with experience of sanitation and human waste disposal in emergencies. This should help build an understanding of the challenges in translating guidelines into practice, and potential ways to address these. Based on this analysis, the Research Partner is expected to build guidance materials to inform faecal sludge disposal decision-making in rapid-onset emergencies.

3: Guidance Design and Dissemination Workshop with FSM experts

The HIF, with input from the Research Partner and the Dissemination Partner, will host a Guidance Design and Dissemination Workshop on the 12th September 2017, in the UK. The aim of this workshop will be to prioritise content and develop an innovative format for the guidance materials.

During this workshop, the Research Partner is expected to share their findings from the review, as well as an initial proposal of what should be considered relevant guidance in this area. Together with the Dissemination Partner they will be expected to put forward a number of proposals for the format of this guidance. In addition to this, the Dissemination Partner will present their proposed plan for disseminating the guidance to support FSM decision-making in emergencies. All these materials will be discussed in the workshop and reviewed in relation to the realities of making disposal decisions and changing practice in emergencies.

Those attending the workshop will be sanitation and FSM experts from key humanitarian agencies.

4: Guidance Materials and Dissemination Plan Developed

Following the Workshop and the feedback from participants, the Research Partner and Dissemination Partner will update their plans for the content and format of the guidance materials. The Dissemination Partner will also update their proposed dissemination plan. A number of iterations are expected of these materials as the two Partners engage with relevant experts and potential users of the guidance.

5: Dissemination of Guidance

The Dissemination Partner will be responsible for the implementation of the dissemination plan, as well as ongoing monitoring and evaluation work, the framework for which should be developed in collaboration with the Research Partner. Their role will be to raise awareness of the guidance materials and support their uptake by those responsible for making sanitation disposal decisions in an emergency. Dissemination should start in November 2017 and last up to 10 months.

6: Evaluation of Uptake and Use of Guidance

After the 10-month period, the Dissemination Partner will be expected to prepare an evaluation of the uptake and use of the guidance materials in humanitarian contexts. The evaluation should include details about awareness levels, degree and nature of uptake, changes in practice and overall impact on FSM decision-making in emergencies. The evaluation should also collate any suggestions or feedback on how to improve the content and format of the guidance materials.

7: Share Dissemination Lessons Learned

The Dissemination Partner will also be expected to create a short, accessible and engaging output with lessons learned on how to effectively disseminate innovations and guidance relevant in humanitarian contexts. This should include details about the process of designing a dissemination plan, main factors to take into account, as well as key distribution formats and channels. The aim of this output is to improve the process of disseminating new knowledge and innovations to the humanitarian community, and inform and shape decision-making in emergency settings.

Background

In 2013, we commissioned a Gap Analysis to identify key challenges in emergency WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene). Improving sanitation in humanitarian emergencies was highlighted as a key area in need of innovation.

To further understand the work carried out to date, as well as existing limitations and opportunities for innovation in sanitation, we commissioned Christophe Grange, Consultant in Water and Sanitation, who has worked with organisations such as the UNHCR, UNICEF, and the ICRC, with the writing of a Problem Exploration Report.

Based on the Problem Exploration Report, we commissioned research and design company Science Practice to create a long-list of specific sanitation challenges towards which we could direct funding. This long list was called the Challenge Candidate List.

Following further research, interviews with the HIF’s Technical Working Group, the Global WASH Cluster and other humanitarian practitioners, the current Challenge was created.

Elrha is hosted by Save the Children, a registered charity in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570).

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