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Introduction to Urban WASH: Working with People

Introduction to Urban WASH: Working with People

It is widely accepted that the provision of new WASH services will only bring benefits if the people using the services are willing to recognise their own role and responsibilities, for example by adopting good hygiene practices and new methods of waste disposal. The users should also be able to participate in, or at least be aware of, the planning, design and management of WASH services.

WASH technicians and other employees of service providers and local bureaus need to have a good understanding of social, cultural, financial and institutional issues at the local level. They also have responsibility to ensure that the service users are aware of their rights and responsibilities, such as how users may influence decision makers, and ensure the service providers are accountable to their customers.

Learning Outcomes for this Module

After you have studied this Module you should be able to:

  • Describe the characteristics of urban communities and how they can affect behaviour and environmental responsibility.
  • Explain the importance of social accountability and community involvement for effective and sustainable WASH services.
  • Discuss the different approaches that are available to influence people’s behaviour in the home, in schools and other institutions, and in the wider community.
  • Plan and undertake community engagement activities to achieve sustainable change in WASH behaviour.
  • Explain how monitoring and evaluation should be used to assess impact of WASH interventions.

How to use this Module

This Module is designed for independent study, although you may in fact be studying in a group with others. Either way, we recommend that you use a Study Notebook that you keep with you as you work through the Module to note down answers to questions and keep a note of any important points.

The Module is divided into 15 separate study sessions, each expected to take about two hours to study if you are learning on your own. You will see that the study sessions all have a similar structure. Following a brief introduction, each study session has a set of learning outcomes that are linked to self-assessment questions (SAQs) at the end of the session. Within the text, there are in-text questions (ITQs) with answers that you can see by clicking on 'Reveal answer'. When you come across one of these questions, try to answer it in your head or by noting down your answer in your notebook before you read the response that is given. This will help you to learn.

Each session ends with a summary, which lists the key points that have been made, and the SAQs. Each SAQ tests one or more of the learning outcomes that were stated at the beginning of the session. When you have finished reading, you should work through the SAQs, writing answers in your notebook before checking against those provided. Writing your answers, rather than just thinking about them, will reinforce your learning and enable you and anyone else to check how well you have achieved the learning outcome.

Important terms are highlighted in bold and defined in the text. You will find that the first learning outcome for all study sessions is to be able to understand and use these key terms. All the key terms from this Module are also defined in the accompanying Glossary.

You will see that the sources of information used in the text are indicated by the name of the author or organisation followed by the date of publication in brackets, for example ‘(Haddis and Genet, 2012)’. Full details of these sources are listed alphabetically by author in the list of references. If an article has more than two authors, we have used the notation ‘Faris et al., 2012’, where ‘et al.’ is a shortened form of the Latin words for ‘and others’.

Please note that we have used UK English spellings rather than US spellings. Please also note that all years are according to the Gregorian rather than Ethiopian calendar, unless otherwise stated.