Bottleneck Analysis helps WASH in Schools planning

10573-an-empty-green-beer-bottle-isolated-on-a-white-background-pvOne of the approaches that the Western Pacific Sanitation Marketing Innovation Program (WPSMIP) has been using is Bottleneck Analysis. This is a method that looks at more than just access to services or information, but assess the actual use of health services by different groups of people. Currently we are using bottleneck analysis to look at water and sanitation access, knowledge and practice by students in schools. In an earlier post we shared a summary of a presentation on Bottleneck Analysis made by Iva Koroisamanuna at the recent WASH Futures Conference 2016 held in Brisbane. This article gives further information, and shares early news about the use of Bottleneck Analysis in Vanuatu.

The term “bottleneck” is used to indicate an area where delivery, access, use or quality is constricted or blocked – because the neck of a bottle of water is the most narrow part . Bottleneck Analysis involves working with people who are responsible for provision of a service or product to assess the following:

  • Identification of bottlenecks to delivery, including root causes and solutions
  • Planning actions to resolve bottlenecks and then tracking the impact of these actions
  • Monitoring of bottlenecks to determine whether the actions are effective and to support service providers to make any further needed adjustments.

The diagram below shows the four areas that are usually assessed during a Bottleneck Analysis activity:

Bottleneck Graphic

Source: UNICEF

From 18-20 May Live & Learn Vanuatu worked with UNICEF and the Vanuatu Ministry of Education to facilitate a Vanuatu National WASH in Schools Stakeholders Workshop that used the Bottleneck Analysis approach. The formal report and recommendations from the workshop will be published soon, but we can summarize the process here. The workshop participants were divided into four groups to discuss the following topics:

  1. Bottleneck analysis of daily hand washing in schools in Vanuatu
  2. Bottleneck analysis of the access to safe, hygienic, gender-appropriate sanitation in schools in Vanuatu
  3. Bottleneck analysis of the access to sufficient quantity of water that is safe for drinking and is accessible for children with disabilities.
  4. Bottleneck analysis of the WASH factors that influence school attendance following an disaster event.

Each group analyzed the bottlenecks through the four areas illustrated above: supply, demand, enabling environment, and quality. The report that will be published soon contains recommendations structured around four categories: Coordination, Monitoring, Scaling-up at the school level, and Advocacy.

One of the key findings is that Hygiene Education is supplied in 94% of schools, but the quality of hygiene education is a bottleneck. A solution is supporting teachers to improve the delivery of hygiene education.

School Child HandwashingWhen children are healthy, student attendance and cognitive development increases, leading to increased performance and achievement. Students need to be able to practice good hygiene both at home and at school to keep them healthy. Bottleneck Analysis is a tool that is being used throughout the four countries where Live & Learn is implementing the WPSMIP. Live & Learn Vanuatu looks forward to working further with the Vanuatu government, UNICEF and pilot partner schools on solutions to address the bottlenecks identified through the national workshop.


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