The biggest problems for people with disabilities are social discrimination and obstacles in their environment, not their impairment itself. People with disabilities often have limited access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in emergency and development situations. All those responsible for providing WASH services have a key role in reducing attitudinal, institutional and environmental barriers. This relates closely to articles nine and 19 of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
Often only minor changes are needed to ensure that people with disabilities can be included in WASH service provision. Specialist skills and knowledge are extremely valuable, but are not always required. Involving people with disabilities in programme design can help to ensure that WASH provision responds to different needs, for example by considering different water and sanitation technology options, using different ways to communicate hygiene messages, or providing additional hygiene training to caretakers. It is much cheaper to ensure designs are inclusive at the planning stage than to make adaptations later. Making WASH programmes more accessible, inclusive and user-friendly benefits everyone in the community, including older people, children, pregnant women and those who are ill.
WASH programmes can also support people with disabilities to claim their rights, by helping to increase their visibility, dignity, self-confidence and active participation in policy and decision-making, often by working closely with disabled peoples organisations. This keylist aims to raise awareness on the issue of WASH for people with disabilities, providing access to key documents, tools and resources to support development practitioners, service providers and people with disabilities.
This key list has been produced in collaboration with WaterAid and builds upon resources by the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) at Loughborough University. We welcome your suggestions, please send comments or suggested additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This paper presents the issues of older people in accessing water and sanitation facilities in developing countries. Three examples of practical interventions by HelpAge International are provided, and recommendations are highlighted for policy maker and practitioners
This database contain resources relating to water, sanitation and hygiene resources and learning material that explore equity and inclusion
"This factsheet sets out to explain the connection between water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and HIV and AIDS, and provides recommendations on how HIV interventions can integrate WASH into their programming"
This report presents a comprehensive work of reference, primarily targeted at WSSCC members, sanitation and hygiene practitioners and policymakers. It seeks to further complement and build upon the Forum report which provides a broad overview of events and key “take-home” messages. This report is centred upon the key themes of the Forum: leadership, equity and inclusion, behaviour change, accelerating change and partnerships
This website provides a free learning portal for WASH practitioners and researchers. It contains useful case studies, webinars, a reference library, archived forums and updated news items
for a WASH programme to be inclusive, it has to respond to the local context. This factsheet provides a checklist of some of the issues to take into account to make WASH programmes more inclusive
This report presents the findings of a desk study that provided an overview of the current state of disability and ageing issues in WASH, from the perspective of the WASH sector. Both disabled and older people were looked at together, because many frail older people, although they may reject the label ‘disabled’, experience impairments that limit their daily activities, which result in them facing similar kinds of barriers to accessing WASH
This resource provides a comprehensive resource on menstrual hygiene that supports the development of context-specific information for improving practices for women and girls in lower- and middle-income countries. The resource presents a synthesis of good practices and guidance considering a range of contexts and situations for women and girls around the world, and encourages increased engagement in advocacy . It is divided into modules, each with its own toolkit, focusing on various aspects of menstrual hygiene. Readers can choose the sections most relevant to them and follow the recommendations and cross references for more information.
This resource is for use by all professionals who are concerned with improving the lives of girls and women. It will be of particular use to WASH sector professionals, as well as those from other sectors, including health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, education, community development, protection and gender
This database provides water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and inclusion papers presented at WEDC conferences. Topics include inclusive sanitation, urban sanitation, school WASH, emergency sanitation and community led total sanitation in low-income countries
Drawing on examples from Africa and Asia, this paper describes water and sanitation in low-income countries, explaining the barriers that prevent access for vulnerable users and gives an overview of inclusive design for latrines and water points
Proceedings of the ICE, Municipal Engineer, Vol 165, Issue 3
This paper details a literature review and discussion about water and sanitation issues for persons with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. It provides information about what is currently known of water and sanitation issues for people with disabilities and current gaps in research, practice and policy are identified. This paper would be useful for people interested in water and sanitation issues for people with disabilities in developing countries
"This report gives an overview of the information relevant to the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector in the world’s first report on disability. It also highlights how WaterAid is addressing the recommendations in the report, as well as where we could develop our approaches further"
Rights and policies
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities acknowledges their rights to education, health, work and more. It provides a platform for action and activitism on inclusion and equity in countries which ratify and strive to implement it
This policy report provides a practical understanding of equity and inclusion aimed to reach out to people who are excluded and marginalised by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) in the world’s poorest communities. The purpose of this framework is to help implement WaterAid’s policy on equity and inclusion. The policy is divided into the following three sections: WaterAid’s position and approach; standards and indicators for equity and inclusion; and an explanation of terms and examples. This document is useful for people interested in international NGO policies on WASH equity and inclusion
This website provides information about human rights related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation. An overview of the rights to water and sanitation is highlighted, as well as the latest news and missions. Good practices, the issues in focus, related links and feature stories are given. This website is useful for people interested in human rights to water and sanitation
This manual demonstrates how human rights can be applied to the water and sanitation sector. It provides practical guidance for implementation, including explanations of key water and sanitation components, descriptions of practical policy measures, examples of successful policy measures, a checklists for governments and descriptions of contributing individual and community roles. This manual is useful for policy makers and practitioners interested in implementing the human right to water and sanitation
This book presents the discussion and analysis of existing practices in how rights to water and sanitation should be implemented to inspire policy- and decision makers, practitioners, activists and civil society in general to engage with the rights to water and sanitation to assist in the process of ensuring that everyone has access to safe drinking water and sanitation services for all daily personal and domestic purposes.
The practices were taken from submissions, consultations and meetings with a range of actors and have been organised into four main types: State actions and the legal and institutional frameworks that promote the realisation of the rights to water and sanitation; financing for the sector; non-State stakeholder practices to promote and protect the rights to water and sanitation; and practices that demonstrate how States and other actors can be held accountable through the monitoring of water and sanitation services
This report explores the right to water and sanitation in India and the different responsibilities and actions among the stakeholders. Based on a workshop, it highlights lessons learned from other rights based approaches, water and sanitation rights in the Indian context and steps for future action. This report is useful for practitioners and policy makers interested in the right to water and sanitation in India
This document presents the link between stigma and the human rights framework as it relates to water and sanitation. The report outlines that stigma, as a deeply entrenched social and cultural phenomenon, lies at the root of many human rights violations and results in entire population groups being disadvantaged and excluded. The link between stigma and explicitly water, sanitation and hygiene is detailed, and stigma is then placed within the human rights framework considering human dignity, the human rights to water, sanitation, non-discrimination and equality, the prohibition of degrading treatment and the right to privacy. The report acknowledges that States cannot fully realise the human rights to water and sanitation without addressing stigma as a root cause of discrimination and other human rights violations
This website provides information on relevant policy issues and explains the concepts and theories of human rights law with respect to the right to water, in addition to promoting the use of the right to water as a tool for community empowerment, advocacy and legal issues. The website contains helpful links to related documents and websites. It would be useful for people interested in learning about the human right to water
Manuals and guides
This compendium of accessible WASH technologies is designed for use by staff, such as health workers and community volunteers, working directly with communities in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. A few examples of technologies are presented that families can adapt to suit their needs and budgets with many more options possible. Most of the ideas are geared towards disabled and older people, but are suitable for anyone who may have difficulty using standard facilities, such as pregnant women, children and people who are ill. The main focus is on household facilities, although some ideas might be useful for institutional facilities as well
This practical book assists managers and trainers of engineers in raising awareness of social and gender issues with their staff. The book is written in the form of training notes, divided into 38 units with eight checklists to use in meetings. It would be useful for engineers, technicians and project managers interested in infrastructure development in low- and middle-income countries
This issue of Frontiers of CTLS (Community led total sanitation) focuses on “people with disabilities and particular needs for access to sanitation. There are many forms of disability, including mobility impairments, sensory impairments (affecting sight or hearing), chronic illness, impairments caused by older age or mental health issues. People affected tend not to be present at triggering, to lack voice in the community, to have their needs overlooked, and may even be hidden by their families. This issue outlines the reality of the experiences of disabled people, the varied nature of their needs and how they can be met. It includes practical recommendations for people engaged in CLTS to make the different phases and processes of CLTS more inclusive”
Frontiers of CLTS : innovations and insights, Issue 03
A video and presentation is also available
This web page presents learning materials about equity and inclusion in water, sanitation and hygiene. The materials consist of activity sheets which can be used as stand-alone activities or as part of structured training/capacity building activities, presentations and tools. They are useful for practitioners interested in inclusive WASH
This useful manual provides an introduction to the three-manual series about accessibility standards. General background information is highlighted about the concept of accessibility. An overview of Handicap International's approach is outlined, as well as infomation about the standardised vs individualised approaches. Throughout the three manuals, illustrations are provided for technical drawings, construction methods and construction materials from Handicap International's project in Cambodia This manual series is useful for people interested in learning about accessibility standards in developing countries
This practical manual provides a detailed overview about how to build accessible water and sanitation facilities, specifically accessible toilets and closed showers. Information is highlighted about internal construction of toilets, external construction of toilets and the construction of accessible closed showers for both a water basin and water jar. Different construction methods and materials with technical drawings are provided This is manual two, part one of a three-manual series and is useful for people interested in learning about accessible toilets and closed shower in developing countries
This practical manual provides a detailed overview about how to build accessible water and sanitation facilities, specifically accessible open washing areas and water points at lakes and rivers. Information is highlighted about washing areas with pumps and/or wells, open washing areas with jars or water tanks, and docks for access to rivers, lakes and water pools. Details are given for various construction methods and materials in technical drawings This is manual two, part two of a three manual series and is useful for people interested in learning about the construction of accessible open washing areas and water points in developing countries
This policy paper, deals with Handicap International’s mandate and values in the field of the inclusive local development. It is an action guide that presents the approaches and reference tools for Handicap International’s actions, choices and commitments. The aim is to promote consistency in the practices of various programmes working in the area of inclusive local development, while taking into account the different contexts and circumstances encountered.
This online toolkit is intended to help water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH) and associated practitioners better recognise the risks of violence linked to WASH and to encourage WASH practitioners to recognise their capacity to make WASH safer and more effective. It has been developed in response to an acknowledgement that although the lack of access to WASH is not the root cause of violence, it can lead to increased vulnerabilities to violence of varying forms.
The key toolkit documents are the four briefing notes and the associated checklists, however other materials in the toolsets, such as case studies, checklists, videos, training scenarios etc., are available and may be drawn on as required. This toolkit has been developed for use by WASH practitioners but will also be useful for gender based violence (GBV), gender, protection, health and education specialists working for organisations and governments that are providing access to these essential services, to help them better identify and acknowledge these risks and contribute to their reduction in practical ways.
Note: Documents in the toolkit can be opened or downloaded from the online links. The entire toolkit (except the videos) can be downloaded from the download options page. Once downloaded, hyperlinks will operate if the folders and documents remain in their existing positions.
This book is aimed at water and sanitation planners and service providers as well as organisations of and for disabled people. It aims to promote the equitable access to water and sanitation facilities for disabled people. The main focus of the book is the development of facilities for families in rural and peri-urban areas of low- and middle-income countries, but many of the approaches and solutions may also be applied in institutional settings, such as schools and hospitals and in emergency situations. The contents include a rationale for improving accessibility; guidance on inter-sectoral communication and collaboration; guidance on making service delivery approaches inclusive; simple low-cost technical solutions for inclusive design; developing strategies for implementation; and case studies illustrating solutions and their benefits to disabled people.
This briefing note presents information about the cost and benefits of inclusive design of school latrines. It is useful for anyone interested in the inclusive design of school latrines
WEDC Briefing Note 1
This book provides easy-to-use tools for assessing sanitation, water supply and handwashing facilities in primary schools in Africa, aimed at improving sanitation. It also presents illustrated information about guidelines to encourage handwashing with soap, various types of latrines, and technical designs. It would be useful for agency and government staff who are interested in sanitation in primary schools in Africa The link provides electronic access to the book, in English, as a single pdf, in addition to posters in English and Spanish
This database search presents a wide range of materials related school WASH including reports, papers, case studies, conference materials, training materials and posters
This manual deals with school water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH). It describes the many elements needed for scaling up programmes for water, sanitation and hygiene in schools while ensuring quality and sustainability. It is meant for government and NGO staff responsible for programming WASH in schools
This conference paper presents a design for standard toilet blocks with single, unisex, accessible toilet cubicles for primary schools in Rwanda. The design is based on the Child Friendly School approach implemented by UNICEF Rwanda in partnership with the Ministry of Education. This paper is useful for people interested in primary school infrastructure
This web site focuses on WASH in schools and serves as a discussion forum and an information exchange platform for sector professionals working in the field of WASH in Schools. It also aims to provide the opportunity for WASH in Schools Partnership members to share information on their events and programme activities linked to the Call to Action Campaign, which started in 2010, or beyond. It contains a wide range of materials including publications, videos, training courses and case studies
This document provides guidance on water, sanitation and hygiene required in schools. The guidelines it contains are designed to be used in low-cost settings in low- and medium- resource countries, and to support the development and implementation of national policies
This practical manual provides technical guidelines for physical and communication accessibility to ensure that persons with disabilities can access all emergency facilities. Illustrations with key points are highlighted. These guidelines would be useful for emergency stakeholders who are interested in inclusive accessible designs for emergency facilities
This report reviews the contributions of international NGOs, NGOs, Disabled People Organisations and other stakeholders in the disability and ageing sector. Their responses to mainstreaming disability and/or ageing issues in humanitarian response in Pakistan are presented, and general recommendations are provided. This report would be useful to those who work with disabled and older people in disaster situations
Adapted from the 'Disability Task Force', this checklist provides useful guidelines about general protection and inclusion principles for people with disabilites or injuries in emergency situations. The following topics are highlighted: health, food and nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene; protection; psychosocial support; reconstruction and shelter; livelihoods; and education. This checklist would be useful for practitioners interested in the protection and inclusion of people with disabilities in emergency situations
This technical brief provides useful information about waste disposal in emergencies for people with physical disabilities. Latrine and bathing designs and modifications are given based upon best practice from the field. This document is useful for people interested in excreta disposal for physically vulnerable people in emergencies
This manual provides guidance on the design and building of barrier-free emergency shelters that are used by all people within a community following a natural disaster, such as a flood or landslide. It provides information with examples of the essential aspects to consider when designing and building barrier-free emergency shelters, such as ramps, toilets, cooking areas, waterpumps and shelters. Recommendations are also highlighted to ensure accessible environments for people with specific disabilities. The information for this manual is based upon a 'Mainstreaming disability and people with disabilities into disaster management in Nepal' project, which was implemented by Handicap International in December 2007. This manual is useful for people interested in the design and building of barrier-free emergency shelters
This paper describes an initiative that put screened toilets, bathing and menstruation units into emergency camps in rural mountain areas in northern Pakistan, following an earthquake in October 2005. Design drawings are provided, and recommendations for improvements are given, based upon the feedback from users of the facilities. This information would be useful for people interested in hygiene units
Project reports and case studies
This is a summary of the evaluation of a pilot project that installed accessible wells and adapted household latrines for disabled people in rural Mali. Technical details, photos and drawings of designs are provided. It would be useful for people interested in inclusive water and sanitation projects in rural areas
'This paper reviews the social, technical, financial and policy barriers to meeting the water and sanitation needs of disabled people in Nepal', and provides solutions to overcome them. Case studies are highlighted, and recommendations given about improving coordination and collaboration in the sector to improve delivery of water and sanitation services to disabled people. This paper is useful for people interested in inclusive water and sanitation services
Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is a revolutionary approach in which communities are facilitated to conduct their own appraisal and analysis of open defecation and take their own action to become open defecation-free. This report presents CLTS approaches in six countries which differ organisationally with contrasting combinations of NGOs, projects and governments. Practical elements in strategies for going to scale have included: training and facilitating; starting in favourable conditions; conducting campaigns and encouraging competition; recruiting and committing teams and full-time facilitators and trainers; organising workshops and cross-visits; supporting and sponsoring Natural Leaders and community consultants and inspiring and empowering children
Practice Paper, Vol 2009, No 1
Community – led sanitation often neglects the poorest and most disadvantaged people in society as they are often unable to participate. This paper looked at the experiences of three CLTS communities in Bangladesh. It found that a well being ranking, amongst other things, should be used to help identify vulnerable members in the community and that vulnerable people themselves strongly believe in the power of CLTS to improve their livelihoods and their importance in the participation of CLTS activities. Furthermore, vulnerable people are motivated to move up the sanitation ladder and most households have made improvements to their latrine. Finally, the installation of toilet seats on latrines to aid disabled people has in some cases decreased the sanitation independence of other household members
This paper provides information about an awareness-builidng programme from WaterAid Bangladesh focusing on the issue of menstrual hygiene. It highlights the incorporation of menstrual awareness and management in sanitation and hygiene programmes. This paper is useful for people interested in menstrual hygiene issues
This report describes a formative evaluation of WaterAid’s pilot project in Butajira, Ethiopia. Using research methodologies such as a literature review, case studies, participant observation and semi-structured interviews, the findings present that WaterAid applied the charity model within its intervention and had limited impact on societal discrimination. The report concludes by recommending nine key principles for development organisations to mainstream inclusive development. This report would be useful to people interested in the inclusion of disabled people in access to safe sanitation
This report is a synthesis of three individual country studies on Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) activities in WaterAid programmes in Bangladesh, Nepal and Nigeria. The studies examined whether CLTS had led to sustainable and equitable sanitation behaviour change. The study explored whether achieving open-defecation-free (ODF) status is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the entire community to use and maintain hygienic latrines in the long-term. Also, where possible, the study explored the additional factors that enhance the probability that ODF status will translate into entrenched behaviour change, as well as the capacity of communities to move onwards up the ‘sanitation ladder’
"This publication is a record of efforts to achieve equity and inclusion in WASH programming around the world. It includes one keynote paper and 16 case studies from 13 countries. Within its pages there is a clear message that ‘business as usual’ is not sufficient to meet the water and sanitation rights of traditionally excluded or marginalised groups. The case studies are therefore a story of adaptation, of technology, of process and of policy, and innovation to try something new. Many of the case studies are accompanied by supporting materials, including research reports, survey tools and videos. The authors hope these materials will be of use to other practitioners who hope to build on the stories presented in this publication"
Note: full details of each case study are provided on the website
"This paper provides an overview of research aimed at understanding the barriers and opportunities that disabled and older persons with additional access requirements may face using standard WASH facilities...and provides an overview of the preliminary baseline data findings"
336th WEDC International Conference
1-5 July 2013
Briefing paper 1803
"This report provides a summary of activities and findings of the study. It is also intended to serve as a practical guide for WASH practitioners who seek to develop community WASH programs that are inclusive of disabled people in the West African region. The report provides a review of specific issues facing the disabled, details of the design and development of low-cost assistive technologies, as well as guidelines for engaging the disabled and the communities where they live"