WASH Futures 2016 Conference

Jeff Albert, Vice President of Thrive Water, delivers research talk in Brisbane, Australia

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practitioners and professionals from around the world are convening in Brisbane, Australia for the WASH Futures 2016 Conference hosted by the International WaterCentre in partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian WASH Reference Group. Themed “WASH Futures: Pathways to universal and sustained water, sanitation and hygiene”, the conference is exploring the cross-cutting issues of private sector participation in WASH, equity and WASH in the pacific.

The five-day event takes place 16-20 May at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, and features over 80 informative presentations across seven thematic focus areas, and 18 training workshops, along with networking opportunities, a trade exhibition and Keynote addresses delivered by former UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Water Catarina de Albuquerque (Sanitation and Water for All), Nugroho Tri Utomo (BAPPENAS – Indonesia), Don Blackmore (IWMI & eWater), and Bruce Gordon (World Health Organization).

Jeff Albert ,Vice President of Thrive Water, at Thrive Networks (known as East Meets West Foundation in Asia) delivered a research presentation on “The Effect of OBA Subsidies Combined with Sanitation Marketing (SanMark) on Latrine Uptake Among Rural Populations in Cambodia” on 16 May 2016. This session, facilitated by DFAT’s Anne Joselin, focuses on the role and nature of subsidies for delivering improved sanitation to the world’s poorest people.

“OBA subsidies and Sanitation Marketing must be recognized as complementary interventions, each targeting a particular income group within the population. ” said Albert.

“Our results are consistent with those of Guiteras and collaborators in the journal Science, in the observation of the positive spillover effects of subsidy for toilets to the poor. The availability of subsidy to poor households resulted in increased latrine adoption among all households. Meanwhile there was no evidence of pro-poor subsidies acting as a disincentive to wealthier households to purchase and build latrines.”

The results presented are from a collaborative research effort between East Meets West Foundation and the Water and Sanitation Program of the World Bank in Cambodia, with data also provided by International Development Enterprises (IDE) and WaterSHED Asia. The lead author for the study is Rafael Rivera, a graduate student at Harvard, and the others are George Joseph, Susanna Smets, and Virak Chan of the World Bank and and Sreymom Um, Hanh Nguyen, and Per Ljung of East Meets West Foundation.

The International WaterCentre (IWC) provides education and training, applied research and partnerships to implement a whole-of-water cycle approach and develop capacity in Integrated Water Management.

Thrive Networks is an international NGO pioneering evidence-based programs and technologies in health, water and sanitation, and education for underserved populations in Asia and Africa.