Setting the Pace for Better Health and Hygiene through WOBA

Thrive Networks is excited to announce that our Women-Led Output-Based (WOBA) program is now in full swing. After the program’s launch in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos late last year, we are pushing forward with building piped water systems and latrines for our partner communities and educating families about sanitation and hygiene. All our government and NGO partners are on board, committing funds and assigning staff for the program. WOBA has been well received and we’re constantly learning new things that will help us grow our impact.

Vietnam

In line with the national government’s policy changes for global NGO programs, we moved WOBA’s launch date from October to December. Even with our new timeline, we completed all initial meetings and secured the full support of our local government partners from our five project provinces (Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ben Tre, and Ha Tinh). We will soon finish partners’ training on our output-based aid approach and baseline surveys in our partner villages in these provinces.

Working with gender and disability experts, we gained valuable insights about households headed by women or include persons with disabilities (PWDs), children, and elderly members. We found that factors like low income, poor design, and location of services stopped them from using or accessing water and sanitation services. To better support these families, we will share a toolkit and handbook that focuses on barriers to water and sanitation and infrastructure design for PWDs by May.

A few of our elderly beneficiaries
Shaky bridges and rough roads are no obstacle to our team visiting communities in Hoa Binh

Cambodia

Women and girls learn about menstrual hygiene

We are seeing steady progress in WOBA’s sanitation activities in our three project provinces (Prey Veng, Kampong Cham, and Pursat). Today, 1,025 households (or 4,920 people) have hygienic latrines at homes. Of those, 722 now use handwashing basins (plastic buckets with tap) in their kitchens or near their toilets.

Information campaigns covered menstrual hygiene management, often overlooked in most sanitation and hygiene projects. Through this, more families now understand how toilets, sinks, and menstrual hygiene products contribute to women and girls’ reproductive and overall health. For the rest of the program, we will ensure that everyone in our partner communities, especially women and girls, have these necessary facilities and supplies.

Laos

Clearing the ground at the Nahin village cluster site, Kaenthao District, Xayyabuly Province.

We had encouraging results from our information campaigns in 46 villages in Champasak province. Family members from 1,998 households now have a clearer understanding of the benefits of toilets and handwashing, and are prepared to invest in these facilities along with other basic needs. In the coming months, we will bring the campaign to 34 more villages in the province. Once we reach all these communities, we will support them in building their own latrines and handwashing sinks.

In Xayabury province, we are preparing for the construction of piped water systems in two districts together with the provincial government and private water operators. This will provide over 1,000 families with clean drinking water.

Looking at the progress so far, we are confident more women will make informed decisions on safe water, sanitation, and other basic needs for themselves and their families. We are excited to see how rural families can improve their health and wellbeing through WOBA in the months to come.