Principal Investigator: Marni Sommer, Columbia University
The project sought to better understand the ways in which humanitarian emergency organisations respond to adolescent girls’ and women’s menstrual hygiene management (MHM) needs in humanitarian emergency contexts, through key informant interviews and qualitative assessments with women, girls and staff in two different emergency contexts (in Myanmar and Lebanon). It aimed to develop a toolkit for use in emergencies that could help address menstrual hygiene needs, followed by an evaluation of the pilot toolkit in a refugee camp setting in Tanzania. The study wanted to assess the extent to which the toolkit was implemented, the factors that supported and prevented its uptake, its influence on the provision of MHM programming, and how the toolkit guidance was modified during implementation.
Mainstreaming is key for integrating menstrual hygiene management (MHM) effectively into emergency response
The research and toolkit developed was undertaken as planned. A broad range of focus group discussions and key informant interviews, including with women and girls in Myanmar and Lebanon, helped to inform the development of a comprehensive Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) toolkit. This was piloted in Tanzania using a process and endline evaluation to establish its effectiveness and use in an emergency setting. There was strong engagement of NGOs and UN agencies in the development of the final version of the toolkit, which has been published in open access format and widely disseminated within the sector.
Further advocacy for the uptake of the toolkit is planned. The toolkit is anticipated to be listed as a key reference in the revised Sphere Humanitarian Guidelines which will be published in autumn 2018. The toolkit will require revisions as further evidence is generated about effective MHM strategies in emergency contexts.
Menstruation does not know you are displaced or that you are traveling. It will just come; so it came while we were on the road [and] for others it came…View
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