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Oxfam's Sani Tweaks illustrated booklet, part of a suite of resources promoting sanitation best practices.

What is the humanitarian need?

In most responses, there is inadequate consultation before latrines are constructed, little/no specific feedback mechanism on the latrine & poor monitoring – emphasising quantity over quality.

With a first phase of funding from Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF), Oxfam’s Sanitation Lighting research found an average 40% women not using agency latrines – even in daylight. This shows a significant discrepancy between technical standards, what specific user groups want & need, & how programmes are designed & implemented. Consequently, people (mostly female) resort to open defecation/use vessels that are not properly cleaned/disposed of, with huge health implications (diarrhoea rates). Equally worrying is the link between poor quality latrines & risk of sexual abuse.

What is the innovative solution and how will it improve existing humanitarian practice?

Following this research, in 2019, Oxfam GB was awarded a second grant from the HIF’s diffusion call to support the scaling of this intervention. The Sani Tweaks concept proposes latrines should be built rapidly involving community groups in first phase/rapid onset emergencies, but using a good enough approach – rapid, structured & inclusive. Next, latrine quality standards should be “tweaked” & improved, informed by in-depth consultation processes & an understanding of power, social dynamics, people’s preferences & coping mechanisms to adjust designs, materials, maintenance & usage models.

Oxfam’s Sani Tweaks materials (checklist, illustrated booklet, animation & video series) are designed to help all agencies’ field staff implement programmes in a way that ensures all people targeted use the latrines – in the short & long term. With HIF support, it will disseminate these materials (and more) creatively to the global WASH sector, improving how sanitation programmes are implemented, increasing latrine usage & dignity in use – especially for women & girls.

What are the expected outcomes?

This project is ultimately about increasing latrine user satisfaction & rates of latrine use – especially among women and girls – at scale, through WASH field staff.

This project will have a direct, positive impact on the health of humanitarian camp residents due to less faecal matter in the environment.

It will increase the dignity & well being of all latrine users, especially women & girls.

It will disseminate a field-tested suite of Sani Tweaks materials in a variety of formats (e.g. short videos/podcasts, animations, images, booklet), and accessible through a variety of means to suit different learning styles of field WASH staff.

These materials will be made available to all agency WASH staff with the intention of influencing global emergency sanitation programming.

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Related Resources

Literature Review User-Centred Design, Water, sanitation & hygiene

Community Engagement in Sanitation: A landscape review (2018)

Related Projects

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