Learning, acting, and learning (LAL) research on schools' menstrual hygiene management (MHM): Pakistan
UNICEF Pakistan adopted a conceptual framework for global qualitative research to advance their ongoing exploratory research work on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in 2013-14. The findings of qualitative research informed the design of certain interventions in schools to improve MHM. These interventions were implemented as action research so that the benefits of these interventions can be studied. Qualitative research gave an in-depth understanding of girls' needs and their preferences to address MHM-related issues. Data analysis of qualitative research helped a team of sanitation practitioners and social scientists in understanding different factors influencing MHM in girls' schools. A few simple and focused interventions were hence designed and implemented. Six weeks after the implementation of hard and soft activities on the ground the results were studied. Results showed significant improvement in MHM conditions in girls' schools. Girls and teachers welcomed the initiatives and there were indicators for future sustainability. Areas of improvement were also noted by UNICEF before taking these interventions to scale. This research was documented as ‘learning, acting, and learning’ (LAL: literally meaning ‘Red’ in the local language, Urdu) research.