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School Campaigns (RR)

Author/Compiled by
Arne Menn (seecon international gmbh)
Executive Summary

A school campaign on water and sanitation consists of two main components: one component is the provision of safe water and sanitation facilities in schools. The other component is a school education that promotes practices helping to prevent water and sanitation-related diseases and teaches the wise use of water and favourable hygiene behaviour in the future generation of adults. Therefore, an effective school programme consists of adequate planning, management, training and capacity building, coordination among the institutions involved, and participatory education in addition to sound construction of water and sanitation facilities with child-friendly designs (MOOIJMAN et al. 2010). If these conditions are created, children come to school, enjoy learning, learn better and take back to their families and communities concepts and practices on water, sanitation and hygiene. This factsheet gives an overview on issues to consider when planning a school campaign.

Advantages
Schools can easily reach children with water and sanitation messages
Safe water and sanitation facilities in schools are important steps against the spread of diseases and intestinal parasites
A school campaign will initiate a process of passing on water and sanitation information and behavioural changes from school to household to community
Schools usually provide unique systems for production and dissemination of educational material
Combining the provision of safe water and sanitation facilities with educational, behavioural and promotional aspects will have a positive impact on the conditions of the community
Disadvantages
Implementation usually requires support at regional (or national) level (government, NGOs)
Community participation in decision-making can be complicated and takes time
Costs for building/replacing facilities and for soap, chlorine etc.
Management and covering of costs for operation and maintenance (upkeep, cleaning, repairing) is difficult to organise
As well as the children, teachers have to be trained and motivated to be role models for others

The Challenge

Today, in many countries, students suffer from non-existent or insufficient water supply, sanitation and hand washing facilities; toilets that are not adapted to the needs of children, in particular girls; broken, dirty and unsafe facilities; non-existent or irrelevant health and hygiene education for children and dirty classrooms and school compounds (MOOIJMAN et al. 2010). Besides health impacts and the spread of diseases and intestinal parasites (see also health and hygiene issues), none of these conditions make learning pleasurable or easy. In the long term, educational achievement is one of the most important determinants of health, life expectancy, economic productivity, and the wellbeing of future generations. Safe water to drink, water and soap to wash hands, and clean and private toilets make healthy, child-friendly schools, and healthy schools make healthy children (NAGPAL 2010).

Why Schools?

Schools present an opportunity to reach thousands of children with safe water and hygiene and health messages (NAGPAL 2010). They provide unique opportunities for awareness raising as they bring large groups of people together for learning purposes and usually have systems for production and dissemination of educational material (SCHAAP and VAN STEENBERGEN 2001). Schools can also provide an entry point to the community as a whole, for example, the introduction of latrines and hygiene-education at schools, for example by using the CHAST-approach, may trigger the development of improved hygiene norms in the household, because children take back to their families concepts and practices on water and sanitation.

More than Construction of Facilities

The provision of safe water and sanitation facilities in schools is a first step towards a healthy physical learning environment benefiting both learning and health (SNEL 2003). However, the mere provision of facilities does not make them sustainable or produce the desired impact. It is the use of facilities and the related appropriate behaviours of people that provide benefits for the community. In schools, education aims to promote those practices that will help prevent water and sanitation-related diseases as well as promoting the wise use of water and favourable hygiene behaviour in the future generation of adults. The combination of adequate facilities, correct behavioural practices and education is meant to have a positive impact on the health and hygiene conditions of the community as a whole, both now and in the future. The success of a school hygiene programme is therefore not determined only by the number of latrines constructed and the number of hand pumps installed or water connexions built. Nor is the success of a programme determined simply by what children know (SNEL 2003). A good School Campaign will find an optimal combination of different objectives and a balance between provision of safe water and sanitation facilities, and educational, behavioural and promotional aspects such as including the issue in the schools curriculum (SCHAAP and VAN STEENBERGEN 2001).

The Actors and their Roles: Participation in Planning

A successful school campaign in Nepal, where the family and wider community were involved into the programme. On this day, the school became an award for its leadership in making the village open defecation free. Source: KROPAC, M. (2009)

A successful school campaign in Nepal, where the family and wider community were involved into the programme. On this day, the school became an award for its leadership in making the village open defecation free. Source: KROPAC (2009)

In the school, participation in planning is not only related to planning construction, but also to maintenance, use and management (IRC 2007). Those directly concerned are teachers, girl and boy students, school heads, parents, the school management committee and parent organisations. In many programmes, health workers, other local government workers, and members of NGOs and community-based organisations are also involved. Participation is important because it can help ensure that facilities are used and maintained and new insights are acquired (IRC 2007). Participation in decisions also makes children and adults more proud of and responsible for what they have created. Community involvement may enable a programme to have a broader impact. It is hoped that a school campaign will initiate a process of passing on information and behavioural changes from school to household to community, or, in other words, from students to siblings, friends and neighbours (IRC 2007). School children may be involved in activities at the community level, for instance collecting environmental data, surveying homes, counting latrines and distributing materials. Their involvement may also go one step further, to the promotion of community sanitation and hygiene (see also young people as promoters).

The vision: Main actors involved and their roles in a school sanitation, water and hygiene education campaign. Source: MOOIJMAN et al. 2010

The vision: Main actors involved and their roles in a school sanitation, water and hygiene education campaign. Source: MOOIJMAN et al. (2010)

In addition to the community-based participation, the implementation of school programmes requires support at regional (or national) level. Experiences have shown that only a small number of headmasters will have the time and the capacity to develop a schools programme without the support from the intermediate level (IRC 2007). Those headmasters and teachers working in remote areas need support in particular. At district/regional level, it is important to dedicate a large proportion of available resources to the support of teachers and to the continuous capacity building of regional staff, teachers and headmasters. There is a need for regular follow up through a supervisory system and periodic visits to schools. This enables support and supervision of the teachers in their implementation of sound education, the effective operation and maintenance of the facilities, and the involvement of and outreach to communities. The provision of logistical support is therefore essential, as well as the distribution of sufficient teaching materials (IRC 2007).

How to Conduct a School Campaign

Possible steps — some of which are carried out at the same time — for implementing a school campaign are described below (adapted from MOOIJMAN et al. 2010; IRC 2007):

 

Step 1 — Explore

 

  • Make a plan of your activities
  • Baseline data collection: Useful for planning at the beginning of the programme and monitoring at later stages. The purpose of a baseline study is to build on current strengths and get information to make plans that will prevent or solve problems. Topics for a baseline study include: current situation concerning water, toilets, urinals, capacity, curriculum and teaching, community
  • Form a Village Education Committee (VEC)
  • Raise awareness among community members
  • Organise community contribution
  • Explore funding sources

 

Step 2 — Decide

 

 

Step 3 — Implement Software and Hardware

 

  • Train teachers and head teachers
  • Train other community people (VEC, water committees, health workers, etc.)
  • Develop/ search hygiene/ sanitation/ water education materials
  • Keep school compounds and classrooms clean
  • Adapt and test training materials and teaching aids in classes
  • Calculate bill of quantities and select contractor/ supplier for hardware
  • Agree on specifications and quality checks and who will certify
  • Organise construction of the facilities; community inputs
  • Organise (skilled) help for construction
  • Check construction quality and timelines

 

Step 4 — Ensure Sustainability

 

  • Organise children to collect water, filling tanks and receptacles so that enough water is always available at all times
  • Organise children to maintain and clean toilets, water points, school grounds
  • Teach children proper use of toilets and hand washing
  • Monitor use of the toilets
  • Do repairs and replacements in schools
  • Solve problems when the school facilities are not maintained or break down
  • Organise ongoing learning activities in classrooms
  • Organise learning & communication activities outside the classroom: camps, campaigns, etc.
  • Form groups or clubs of pupils in their school
  • Organise various activities periodically to collect funds for activities and repairs
  • Cover recurrent expenditures for soap, repairs, etc.
  • Organise refresher training each year

Operation and Maintenance as the Key Issue in Ensuring Sustainability

A school campaign does not end when the water and sanitation facilities have been constructed. The period following construction usually receives too little attention from programme planners and implementers, and continuous inputs are needed to ensure sustainability. It is often assumed that national and local governments take responsibility for a healthy school environment. However, it is often necessary to rely on students, teachers, parents and community groups for the improvement of the situation at schools, including the operation and maintenance of school facilities. To prevent rapid run-down of facilities, different kinds of maintenance are necessary (SNEL 2003):

 

  • Upkeep; cleaning and maintenance activities to be done by teachers, children and other users on a regular basis.
  • Minor repairs and preventive maintenance such as greasing, bolts, fixing taps, cracks, and broken doors, once a week at least.
  • Major repairs such as the repairs that cannot be done by children, teachers or their parents. They can be referred to the village mechanic, a block mechanic or engineering divisions.

 

To ensure school sanitation programmes are sustainable, schools and communities should cover all operation and maintenance costs. Contributions can be in the form of materials, labour, cash or all three. Schools can join hands with families and communities to raise money for the construction and to organise the operation and maintenance of the facilities. Some possible funding options include (IRC 2007):

 

  • Contributions from parents
  • Donations
  • Using the general school maintenance budget
  • Organisation of income-generating activities

 

Further ideas for funding possibilities can be found here.

Child-Friendly Facilities

Child-friendly facilities are easy and pleasant for children to use. Some things to take into account are (IRC 2007):

 

  • Strength needed to use the pump or to open taps
  • Toilets and urinals need to be well-ventilated
  • Height of doorknobs and locks of latrines
  • Posters showing how to use the facilities, maybe with cartoons
  • Little painted figures in the facilities to train aiming
  • Painted walls to make the facilities an interesting place

 

In addition, there are things to consider when selecting the location for toilets and urinals (IRC 2007):

Children must feel safe and comfortable when visiting the toilets or water points. They must not feel that they will be teased by other children or molested. Older girls in particular need privacy when entering and using facilities. The accessibility of toilets and taps must be assured even after heavy rains. Hand washing facilities should be located near toilets so that children will be more likely to wash hands after defecating. Toilets must be located away from and downhill from drinking water facilities.

Example: School-Led Total Sanitation in Nepal

Children and women participating in a sanitation promotion rally in Nepal. Source: ADHIKARI & SHRESTHRA (n.y.)

Children and women participating in a sanitation promotion rally in Nepal. Source: ADHIKARI & SHRESTHRA (n.y.)

"In Baijalpur village in Kapilvastu, Nepal, school children lead the community sanitation drive. In a country where only 39% of the population have access to a toilet, Baijalpur village is setting an example: today, every home in the village has a latrine. UNICEF and the Water Supply and Sanitation Sub Divisional Office (WSSDO) in Kapilvastu launched the School-Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) project in 2005 and trained the teachers and initially offered to provide technical support. Spearheading this community drive in sanitation and hygiene is a band of school children and teachers of the Shree Pancha Primary School. After the children received training from their teachers, they began to campaign and educate their often-illiterate parents and neighbours about the benefits of constructing a latrine and keeping their community clean. Within a year of beginning the School-Led Total Sanitation programme, the residents of Baijalpur had achieved the goal of constructing a latrine in all of the 314 homes" (MOOIJMAN et al. 2010).

Applicability

Generally, the campaign objectives should be suitable to the children and the country. Specific water, sanitation and hygiene issues may be unique to certain countries, population groups or areas. The cultural or religious background can be crucial when addressing sanitation and hygiene aspects, which affect certain traditions or norms.

Usually, the implementation of school programmes requires support at regional (or national) level, especially in remote areas. When selecting schools for the campaign one should consider:

Readiness of the community: As a principle, it is useful to start with communities that are prepared and want to participate.

Existing school infrastructure: In many schools, the basic infrastructure is very poor. In such situations, it is highly advisable to create water and sanitation facilities at the same time that basic improvements are made to the school.

Political interference: In some cases, elected officials have a good overview of the demands and needs of different schools and communities. In other cases, political involvement is not in the best interest of the programme and will not improve the programme’s credibility (IRC 2007).
 

Library references

Towards Effective Programming for WASH in Schools: A manual on scaling up programmes for water, sanitation and hygiene in schools

This manual deals with school water, sanitation and hygiene education. It describes many of the elements needed for scaling up programmes for water, sanitation and hygiene in schools while ensuring quality and sustainability. It contains many examples, most of which are drawn from a UNICEF-IRC pilot study for School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE) carried out in six countries (Burkina Faso, Colombia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Zambia).

IRC (2007): (= Technical Paper Series No. 48 ). Delft: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

Strengthening Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools – A WASH guidance manual with a focus on South Asia

This Manual is meant for managers and trainers involved in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in school programmes operating at different levels, such as state/ province, district or block. It also provides many useful guidelines and activities that apply to similar programmes elsewhere. The manual can be used in various ways, such as to assist in the planning, designing, implementing and/or monitoring of schools programmes.

MOOIJMAN, A. ; SNEL, M. ; GANGULY, S. ; SHORDT, K. ; (2010): (= Technical Paper Series No. 53 ). The Hague: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre URL [Accessed: 22.04.2010]

Ideas for Water Awareness Campaigns

This document includes a section for advocacy, presenting an overview of many ideas and initiatives with emphasis on practical suggestions and clues. It is not a guidebook for planning your advocacy work but it might be a great knowledge source and starting point for your activities.

SCHAAP, W. ; STEENBERGEN, F. van ; (2001): Stockholm: The Global Water Partnership URL [Accessed: 17.04.2012]

School Sanitation and Hygiene Education

This paper focuses on sanitation and hygiene education at the school level. It may be of relevance to practitioners and to academics who are working directly or indirectly on School Sanitation and Hygiene Education, for example managers and trainers involved in school programmes operating at the state, district or community level may find the paper useful and it may also assist teachers at the community level who are focusing on certain aspects.

SNEL (2003): (= Thematic Overview Paper ). Delft: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre URL [Accessed: 04.10.2010]
Further Readings

Towards Effective Programming for WASH in Schools: A manual on scaling up programmes for water, sanitation and hygiene in schools

This manual deals with school water, sanitation and hygiene education. It describes many of the elements needed for scaling up programmes for water, sanitation and hygiene in schools while ensuring quality and sustainability. It contains many examples, most of which are drawn from a UNICEF-IRC pilot study for School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE) carried out in six countries (Burkina Faso, Colombia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Zambia).

IRC (2007): (= Technical Paper Series No. 48 ). Delft: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

Ideas for Water Awareness Campaigns

This document includes a section for advocacy, presenting an overview of many ideas and initiatives with emphasis on practical suggestions and clues. It is not a guidebook for planning your advocacy work but it might be a great knowledge source and starting point for your activities.

SCHAAP, W. ; STEENBERGEN, F. van ; (2001): Stockholm: The Global Water Partnership URL [Accessed: 17.04.2012]

Facilitators & Trainers guideBook. Human Values-based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Classrooms

This guidebook targets the water and sanitation service sector, such as public or private utilities in urban centres who wish to engage in water and sanitation education activities through dedicated classrooms. It also focuses on encouraging schools to cooperate with the water and sanitation sector on joint education initiatives.

UN-HABITAT (2006): Nairobi: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) URL [Accessed: 22.04.2010]

Facilitators & Trainers guideBook Part 2. Human Values-based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Classrooms

This part of the trainers guide provides the trainer with applications of knowledge transfer to learners: Various approaches and methodologies of education are explored and applications of these are further demonstrated in a collection of lesson plans. It is a source of information and provides examples of classroom activities.

UN-HABITAT (2006): Nairobi: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)

Strengthening Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools – A WASH guidance manual with a focus on South Asia

This Manual is meant for managers and trainers involved in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in school programmes operating at different levels, such as state/ province, district or block. It also provides many useful guidelines and activities that apply to similar programmes elsewhere. The manual can be used in various ways, such as to assist in the planning, designing, implementing and/or monitoring of schools programmes.

MOOIJMAN, A. ; SNEL, M. ; GANGULY, S. ; SHORDT, K. ; (2010): (= Technical Paper Series No. 53 ). The Hague: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre URL [Accessed: 22.04.2010]

Nepal School Led Total Sanitation Seems Unstoppable

This paper shows the success of SLTS in Nepal. It describes the actions taken and includes some pictures from programmes, which help to understand the impact of the programme.

ADHIKARI, S. ; SHRESTHA, N.L. ; MALLA, M. SHRESTHA, G.R. (n.y): Nepal: UNICEF URL [Accessed: 04.10.2010]

The Joy of Learning: Participatory lesson plans on hygiene, sanitation, water, health and the environment

This paper is a guide for teachers and others who want to design participatory learning activities on hygiene and sanitation as part of, or in addition to, their school curriculum or in work with other children aged 2 to 14. It contains a series of information sheets for planning, implementing and evaluating participatory learning activities on a specific subject. Examples include personal hygiene, the safe transport and handling of water, protecting local water sources, and locally prevailing disease transmission routes.

KHANAL, S. ; MENDOZA, R. ; PHIRI, C. ; ROP, R. ; SNEL, M. ; VAN WIJK, C. ; (2005): (= Technical Paper Series No. 45 ). Delft: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

School Sanitation and Hygiene Education. Thematic Overview Paper

This paper focuses on sanitation and hygiene education at the school level. It may be of relevance to practitioners and to academics who are working directly or indirectly on school sanitation and hygiene education, e.g. managers and trainers involved in school programmes operating at the state, district or community level.

IRC (2003): Delft: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

Sustainable Sanitation for Schools

The aim of this Factsheet is to advocate for sustainable school sanitation by highlighting existing challenges, exploring the various innovations both in hardware and software from examples in Africa, Asia, and South America identifying the common principles that are needed for successful implementation.

SUSANA (2010): (= SuSanA Factsheet ). Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) URL [Accessed: 22.04.2012]

How to Manage Public Toilets and Showers

The purpose of this decision-making aid is to provide practical advice and recommendations for managing toilet blocks situated in public places. It is primarily aimed at local decision-makers in developing countries and at their partners (project planners and managers).

TOUBKISS, J. ; (2010): (= Six Methodological Guides for a Water and Sanitation Services' Development Strategy , 5 ). Cotonou and Paris: Partenariat pour le Développement Municipal (PDM) and Programme Solidarité Eau (pS-Eau) URL [Accessed: 19.10.2011]

Equity of Access to WASH in Schools: A Comparative Study of Policy and Service Delivery

This study presents findings from a six-country study conducted by UNICEF and the Center for Global Safe Water at Emory University in collaboration with UNICEF country offices in Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Uganda and Uzbekistan and their partners. The six case studies presented together contribute to the broader understanding of inequities in WASH in Schools access by describing various dimensions that contribute to equitable or inequitable access across regions, cultures, gender and communities.

UNICEF ; (2013): New York: UNICEF URL [Accessed: 17.04.2013]

Language: Spanish

Handwashing With Soap Toolkit

This toolkit, intended for practitioners interested in behavior change, is organized into four modules: Behaviour Change, Sustainability, Integration and Results. Each has reports and presentations about the lessons learned from previous projects, as well as mass media, direct consumer contact, and interpersonal communication tools used throughout previous projects.

WORLD BANK ; (2013): Washington: World Bank URL [Accessed: 15.05.2013]
Case Studies

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Education

Tajikistan is a country where limited access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities is exacerbated by lack of knowledge and improper hygiene practices in communities. The document “The quality of participation in Tajikistan”, is meaningful and effective, with children and young people at each school actively involved at all stages of programme design and implementation on a daily basis.

UNICEF (2005): New York: United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Water, Environment and Sanitation Section) URL [Accessed: 22.04.2012]

Using Urine to Increase Maize Production in Schools

This presentation exemplifies on how to increase maize production through the application of urine fertiliser.

MORGAN, P. ; SHANGWA, A. ; (2009): The Chisungu Primary School Water and Sanitation project. Stockholm : Ecological Sanitation Research (EcoSanRes), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) URL [Accessed: 20.06.2013]
Training Material

Toolkit on Hygiene, Sanitation and Water in Schools

Hygiene, Sanitation, and Water in Schools projects can create an enabling learning environment that contributes children's improved health, welfare, and learning performance. This Toolkit makes available information, resources, and tools that provide support to the preparation and implementation of hygiene, sanitation, and water in schools policies and projects.

WORLD BANK ; UNICEF ; WSP (2001): Washington, D.C.: The World Bank URL [Accessed: 22.04.2012]
Awareness Raising Material

Kidsan

Comic strip by Sourabh Phadke about the importance of children in the process of sustainable sanitation and how to involve them through education and activities.

PHADKE, S. ; (2009): Pune: Aman Setu Publication

Poo

This comic strip by Sourabh Phadke explains why sanitation matters, how urine and faeces can be treated and how technical measures should be applied. A great piece of artwork and a funny reality check for sanitation issues.

PHADKE, S. ; (2009): Pune: Aman Setu Publication URL [Accessed: 22.04.2012]

Children and WaterAid. Issue sheet

This Factsheet by WaterAid explains the impacts of unsafe water, poor sanitation and bad hygiene on children and what can be done to address these problems.

WATERAID (2008): London: WaterAid

Sanitation Comics

Cartoonists from all over the world have produced comics on sanitation, put together in this publication.

ECOSAN CLUB (2013): (= Sustainable Sanitation Practice , 15 ). Vienna: Ecosan Club URL [Accessed: 21.06.2013]

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