Assessing climate impacts on gender and socially inclusive WASH: lessons from a research-practice project
This paper describes a research-practice project that produced guidance materials for, and built knowledge on, assessing climate impacts on gender and socially inclusive water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. Lessons about the relevance of gender and social inclusion for WASH climate resilience, and recommendations for programming and policy are provided. This paper outlines how a team of researchers and practitioners developed participatory community-based activities for assessing climate impacts on inclusive WASH in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The team found differences in the type and magnitude of impacts that different people experience, burdens of responding to impacts, capacity to prepare for and respond to impacts, and influence on WASH decision-making. WASH programming and policy-making should seek to leverage tacit knowledge of local stakeholders and consult diverse people to inform climate interventions that provide equitable benefits. Partnerships between civil society organizations and research organizations can generate valuable and innovative learnings for WASH practice and policy.
A call to action: organizational, professional, and personal change for gender transformative WASH programming
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets aimed at improving access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are also an opportunity for the transformation of gender norms. To facilitate this transformation, this paper makes a call to action for global and national efforts for organizational, professional, and personal change. Several NGOs are leading a process towards a more reflective and transformative approach. This paper presents a number of examples – from headquarters, and others from country offices and research institutes – of the changes under way to support a stronger connection between the ‘outer faces’ of WASH professionals in the sector and the individual, personal inner spaces. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for personal and organizational change.