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Water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions for households, communities, health facilities and schools: findings from a sector-wide evidence gap map

October 10 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


To help achieve ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and reach the most disadvantaged populations, decision makers need access to high-quality evidence on what works in different contexts, and for different groups of people. 3ie’s sector-wide water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) evidence gap map provides an assessment of the evidence base for behavior change, health, and socioeconomic outcomes resulting from WASH promotional approaches in households, communities, health facilities and schools. WASH sector research is a truly multi-disciplinary field where academics aim to overcome disciplinary silos to answer relevant questions for policy makers, and have done so since at least the 1970s. The evidence map includes 367 completed or ongoing rigorous impact evaluations, across 87 developing countries, plus an additional 42 completed systematic reviews. Since the International Year of Sanitation 2008, there has been a ‘behavioural revolution’ in impact evaluation and related research towards conducting studies that answer questions about the best way to promote WASH technologies and sustain good practices. We articulate an intervention-outcome framework that incorporates these different promotional approaches and indicates the density and paucity of studies examining behavioural, health and socioeconomic outcomes. We also examine the extent to which studies examine equity and incorporate programming for particularly vulnerable groups, such as people living with disability.


Hugh Waddington is an economist who specialises in impact evaluation and evidence synthesis. He is Senior Evaluation Specialist and also the elected co-chair of the Campbell Collaboration International Development Coordinating Group for systematic reviews, which is based at 3ie’s offices in London. Before joining 3ie, Hugh worked as a Planning Economist at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of the Government of Rwanda, where he helped develop the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy and related monitoring and evaluation tools. He previously worked with World Bank’s Operations Evaluation Department, the UK National Audit Office, Save the Children UK, the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Poverty Research Unit at Sussex.

Hannah Chirgwin is a development economist and research associate working with the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). She is part of the synthesis and review team and supports the production of systematic reviews and evidence gap maps. Before joining 3ie, Hannah worked on the monitoring and evaluation of programmes, including Women Empowered and PAISANO (food security), for Project Concern International (PCI) in Guatemala. She also has experience working as a research assistant for Professor Dutta in Canada and with the Malaria consortium in Nigeria. Hannah’s research interests include health and behavioural economics, as well as how to maximise the impact, and use, of evidence. Hannah has an MSc in Economics from University College London and a BSc in Chemistry from McGill University.

water-energy-food nexus

Upper Meeting Room, London International Development Centre
36 Gordon Square
London,WC1H 0PDUnited Kingdom

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