Shaping the future: Our strategy for research and innovation in humanitarian response.

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Qatar Red Crescent Society is piloting rapid exploration tools capable of:

  1. Tapping into users’ reality and users’ needs
  2. Co-creatively feeding them into technical pitches
  3. Iteratively improving the sanitation infrastructure.


Although consultation with affected community is strongly encouraged in almost all guidelines in the humanitarian sector, lack of ownership in the affected community when it comes to sanitation provision is a persistent dilemma. This often contributes to low usage and maintenance, regardless of rapid-on-set or protracted emergency.

Terms such as “community preference” and the “community feedback” are documented in guidelines, but what does community preference really mean for WASH engineers? How can we provide functional useful data for engineers to rapidly design for?


During on-set-rapid emergency response, immediate action plans dictate the approach for data collection. Existing practice recommends that secondary data is consulted first and then, if there are gaps, primary data is gathered to specifically address the identified gaps.
In the case of protected emergency, the  existing approach for input data is normative and catered towards meeting indicators of – for example – number of users per number of latrine, and tagging latrines as a latrine that is according to standards or not according to standards. We aim at offering user centred data as functional input data in the decision making process.
The project puts to the test a methodology capable of producing functional user-centred rapid data through rapid ethnographic questions and co-creation sessions to design the immediate sanitation provision.


Firstly the production of 108 user-centred latrines, including at least 3 technical prototypes that reduce and/or eliminate pain points of users before, during and after his/her private journey to use the sanitation provision. We will also create a user centred hygiene promotion campaigning.

Secondly the transformation of the community’s lack of ownership into increased ownership, demonstrated by individual and collective action.
The ultimate goal is increased usage of sanitation provision and community based maintenance of sanitation provision.

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Latest Updates

Engaging sanitation users

31 Oct 2018

QRCS begin their project dealing with which users to engage and how.


Read the Humanitarian WASH Innovation Catalogue

Learn more about this WASH project, and many others, in our Humanitarian WASH Innovation Catalogue.

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