Sharing water, sanitation and hygiene knowledge and insights

Staff and community partners from Live & Learn project teams in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Australia participated with over 120 water, sanitation and hygiene practitioners in the Civil Society WASH Fund Learning and Reflection Event (FLARE) held in Brisbane at the beginning of August. The FLARE hosted participants from 19 countries across Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the South Pacific to learn from each other and improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program effectiveness.   

 The event focussed on priority themes within the WASH sector that include:

• Gender and Social Inclusion

• Hygiene and sanitation behaviour change

• Strengthening the enabling environment/WASH governance systems


The FLARE is an opportunity to build partnerships, share project experiences and capture lessons for future initiatives. Live & Learn shared learning through a variety of presentations, including:

Disability – Inclusive Sanitation: Portable Toilets

Through the partnership of Live & Learn with Engineers Without Borders a technical advisor worked with two community-based sanitation enterprises in Vanuatu to design and build simple portable toilets. The presentation shared the technical specifications of the design, and experience in using the portable toilets from people with disabilities who have trialed them.

Hygiene – Aspirations in place of disgust – changing focus of hygiene promotion approach

Live & Learn’s initial program design included reference to three approaches for generating demand for sanitation and improving hygiene behaviour: Social marketing, Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS), and Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST).

Live & Learn had previous experience with CLTS and PHAST in the South Pacific. Structured social marketing was newer to our field teams. While developing the social marketing approaches Live & Learn staff developed an approach that uses social marketing as a framework to combine traditional hygiene promotional tools with approaches from marketing and psychology to plan campaigns to influence people to increase washing their hands with soap, and to invest in improving their toilet.

WASH in Schools – Bottleneck Analysis as a tool for WASH improvements in Schools

This presentation shared the results of the adapted UNICEF Bottleneck Analysis approach in identifying barriers to good WASH access and services, and facilitating school planning to address WASH barriers. Case study examples from pilot schools across the program were shared to demonstrate the changes the schools have made as they worked through the process.

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WASH in Schools – Arts for Advocacy

The Live & Learn WASH in Schools program also works with student-led WASH Clubs to implement an approach called Arts for Advocacy.  The approach is student-led and based on systems thinking and power dynamics to identify areas where the WASH Clubs can implement creative, arts-based campaigns to influence change in improved sanitation and hand-washing practice. 

The Civil Society WASH Fund is Australia’s flagship WASH investment. The FLARE was a wonderful opportunity to bring people together to learn from one another, explore how results and progress vary across different countries, and build on future ideas.

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