Unlocking critical WASH contributions to care and domestic work for a feminist-led COVID-19 economic recovery



March 2023

SNV recently completed this Innovation and Impact (I&I) project, which included the co-design and trial of an intervention in two target communities in Sarlahi and Dailekh that has provided an evidence-base for transforming gendered economic and social attitudes about unpaid WASH-related care and domestic work. 

You can read more about the project and the research findings in the project wrap up:

Transforming gender norms: The impact of COVID-19 on WASH-related care and domestic work in Nepal

Blue background with white text stating "Innovation & Impact"

SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV)


Innovation and Impact projects are contributing to ongoing research and development in Water for Women as a way of strengthening the use of new evidence, innovation and practice for inclusive, sustainable and resilient WASH.


Water for Women is partnering with SNV Netherlands Development Organisation to deliver the project, Beyond the Finish Line: Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All, to improve the health, gender equality and social inclusion, and wellbeing of rural communities in Nepal.

Target exceeded


SNV’s five-year Water for Women project is using the opportunity of decentralisation in Nepal to develop inclusive, sustainable and resilient water supply services and hygiene behaviour change communications for households, schools and healthcare facilities in two districts, as a model for inclusive WASH services. Alongside these efforts to strengthen the Rural Municipalities, SNV is supporting private sector development, promoting new economic activities, facilitating inclusive entrepreneurship opportunities, and strengthening women’s leadership and voice in existing WASH businesses.


Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant disruption of the WASH landscape and related school and healthcare settings, and impacted every facet of people’s lives. It has heightened socio economic vulnerabilities and increased pressures within households and WASH-related businesses.


Through the Innovation and Impact project, SNV is undertaking important inclusive-focused research into practical and effective responses to pandemic-driven shifts in care work, and opportunities and challenges to transform gender norms via WASH interventions.


The project is exploring the gendered impacts of COVID-19 and their potential to open opportunities for positive gendered economic and attitudinal changes.


Two communities are trialing scalable interventions to influence WASH related care and domestic (CAD) work arrangements. The aim is to leverage this ‘change’ moment in socio-economic dynamics to champion an inclusive economic recovery.


This Innovation and Impact project project is using empowering and participatory research and data methods to identify pandemic-driven changes to WASH-related CAD work attitudes and practices in diverse populations in Nepal. Central to the project is gaining an understanding of the context arising from COVID-19, including changes to gendered economic activities, the intensity of these activities and impacts on people’s mobility, time-use, and WASH-related CAD work burden.

SNV is using these insights and a collaborative design approach to trial a transformative WASH-related CAD work intervention in the two communities. The research team is leading reflection workshops with the communities to assess preliminary changes to gendered attitudes or practices around CAD work. The researchers are preparing guidance material to inform the development of future interventions and associated policies.

This research is providing evidence for delivering gender transformative WASH-related CAD work interventions as part of the COVID-19 recovery.


See also

Innovation & Impact in Lao PDR and Nepal

SNV Netherlands development organisation logo in blue

The Australian aid program is investing in innovation and learning to deepen impact in Nepal through the Innovation and Impact grants. By supporting partners to further their innovation and impact, we can not only improve WASH outcomes in South Asia, but also contribute to improved WASH policy and practice globally. Water for Women is proud to be partnering with SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.


Photo by SNV 

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