Water for Women’s New Research (Type 1) Awards Announced


The Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has announced the successful recipients for Research Awards (Type 1) through the Water for Women Fund, their flagship WASH program.  The Australian Ambassador to Thailand, Mr Allan McKinnon, announced the recipients at a joint celebration with UNICEF, WHO and World Bank marking World Water Day in Bangkok, Thailand on 22 March.

‘The Water for Women Fund is a partnership that values collaboration… Our two meetings in Bangkok are an important step towards cementing that collaborative spirit. It is how we have to work if we want to make a difference to the 2.1 billion people who do not have safely managed drinking water services and the 4.5 billion people who lack safely managed hygiene services,’ said Mr McKinnon.

‘Working smarter is also important and we need good evidence to do this. I am therefore very pleased to announce the WASH Research Awards Type 1 today,’ he continued. 

The Research Awards are part of a $10.6 million Research Component associated with the wider Water for Women Fund, which supports civil society organisations (CSOs) to implement gender and socially inclusive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Funds are provided for high-quality, policy-relevant research that is available, accessible and communicated to the policy development and program design community in Australia, Asia, the Pacific and to the global WASH sector.

In 2018, the Water for Women Fund awarded six research grants in a first round of (Type 2) funding  on knowledge gaps associated with CSOs implementation of WASH activities, while the new awards are for research that addresses key sector knowledge gaps and contributes to the Water for Women Fund end of program outcome of “strengthened use of new evidence, innovation and practice in sustainable gender and inclusive WASH by civil society organisations, national and international WASH sector actors”. 

In this round, four research projects have been selected. The following Australian and international research partnerships were successful:

  • The International Water Centre (IWC), Brisbane focusing on a sustainable behaviour change model of infant faeces management, with research undertaken in the Solomon Islands.  This proposal partners with Griffith University, the Solomon Islands National University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • The International Water Centre in partnership with Griffith University examining how the private sector (in this case the tourism industry) can leverage and support safe water and sanitation in industries, communities and households.  Field sites include locations in Indonesia and Fiji.
  • Monash University, Melbourne in partnership with Emory University of the United States examining approaches to inclusive WASH project design in Indonesia and Fiji.  Research is associated with the Asian Development Bank/Wellcome Trust’s RISE project.
  • The University of Technology Sydney – Institute of Sustainable Futures (UTS-ISF) examining the safety of on-premises water supply in Indonesia and Vanuatu through an extensive household survey and use of an innovative contamination detection process.  This proposal partners with UNICEF, the University of Indonesia and the University of the South Pacific.

These research projects are expected to commence in June 2019 and run for approximately two years.

For further information, contact Bill Pennington, Knowledge and Learning Manager, Water for Women


About Water for Women

The Water for Women Fund commenced on 14 December 2017. It is a flagship program in Australia’s engagement in WASH and is part of Australia's commitment to the High Level Panel on Water. The Fund will invest AUD $110.6 million over five years to December 2022 to improve the health, gender equality and well-being of Asian and Pacific communities through inclusive and sustainable WASH projects.  The Fund is managed by GHD on behalf of the Australian department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Research is an important element of Water for Women. Research is a key pathway for development innovation and to inform policy-making and program delivery. Investments in research facilitate access to diverse partnerships and networks, contributing to Australia's aid policy and wider diplomatic engagement in partner countries.

Contact Us