IWC researcher collaborates with WASHCost to analyse raw data
Since 2008, WASHCost has been developing a new methodology for monitoring and costing sustainable WASH services by assessing costs and comparing them against levels of service provided. The methodology, known as the “life-cycle costs approach”, has been tested in Burkina Faso, Ghana, India, and Mozambique. The life-cycle costs approach catalyses learning in order to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of WASH service delivery - to essentially provide WASH services that last indefinitely.
As the WASHCost project nears its end in December 2012, the team is working to analyse and understand their large database - consisting of more than 1000 indicators - which were collected from Burkina Faso, Ghana, India (Andhra Pradesh), and Mozambique. Four academic researchers, including IWC's Diane Cousineau, have been recruited to examine some of the unused WASHCost data.
Ms Cousineau, who will analyse WASHCost India data on hygiene interventions in Andhra Pradesh, said, “most organisations and donors doing WASH projects don't have an understanding of what they spend on hygiene. Since effective hygiene promotion can have major impacts on achieving behaviour change, the WASHCost outputs can play an important role in advocacy - in understanding what kinds of interventions are the most cost effective in in achieving sustainable results.”
In addition to better informing the general WASH sector, the new research associates also foresee linkages between their upcoming WASHCost work and the current work they are doing with their respective organisations, demonstrating the continuing model of the life-cycle costs approach.
Ms Cousineau explained that WASHCost research can link nicely with her work at IWC, where she is focusing on hygiene behaviours in the Pacific. WASHCost can help assess a better way forward for hygiene interventions in the Pacific region, where operational costs are problematic due to rising fuel prices and poor infrastructure.
For more information about WASHCost