Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney  

(Type 2) Research: WRA034

Research Focus: Gender equality in WASH: strengthening civil society partnerships, workforce development and impact measurement 

Locations: Indonesia, Cambodia, Timor Leste and Nepal 

Partner CSOs: SNV, Plan International Australia, WaterAid, iDE and Thrive. 

Key Research Questions: 

How can Civil Society Organisations more strategically engage with other civil society actors, government and private sector actors to achieve gender and inclusive WASH policy, practice and outcomes?

a) What are the drivers, benefits, and challenges of coordinated engagement between WASH organisations and women’s rights and advocacy organisations? 

b) How can women better participate in and benefit from contributing to the WASH workforce including enterprises and government institutions? 

c) How can a multi-dimensional index, complemented by qualitative approaches, generate evidence on attributable impacts of WASH on gender equality?    

Research Description: 

Despite increasing attention to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the WASH sector, there remain gaps in both evidence and guidance for practitioners and policy-makers.

Partnering with The Institute for Sustainable Futures – University of Technology, Sydney (ISF-UTS), this research project will look at three new areas that connect gender equality and WASH: partnerships with other civil society actors, gender equality in the WASH workforce and measurement of gender equality outcomes in Indonesia, Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Nepal to achieve gender and socially inclusive WASH policy, practice and outcomes.

The project is made up of three research components that will support improved CSO implementation as follows: 

  1. Civil society partnerships: The research will inform more effective, mutually beneficial partnerships between WASH CSOs and gender and women's rights organisations at national and local levels.
  2. Gender equality in the WASH workforce: The research will contribute to CSO empowerment outcomes for female entrepreneurs, support gender equality in workplaces and more inclusive program implementation by local and national governments.
  3. Impact measurement: The research will contribute a robust quantitative measure and qualitative methods to improve CSO partner monitoring of gender equality outcomes and broader sectoral monitoring efforts.

Taking a collaborative, co-design partnership approach, including in-country researchers and specialist agencies, the research will contribute to global evidence and practical guidance for CSOs and wider development partners.

This research will contribute to other Water for Women CSO project outcomes including: WaterAid Timor-Leste and Plan Indonesia’s partnerships with gender equality focussed CSOs, Plan Indonesia and Thrive Cambodia’s planned empowerment outcomes for female entrepreneurs; Plan Indonesia's gender and inclusive sanitation program implementation by local government; and Plan and Thrive's national policy influence in relation to gender and inclusion in WASH.

This research will also contribute to improved measurement of iDE Cambodia’s empowerment outcomes and SNV Nepal’s outcomes of improved leadership, voice, and choice of women and socially excluded.

“This research will help provide credible evidence to support advocacy of improving national sanitation program gender and inclusion regulations at the national level while supporting the improvement of gender and inclusive implementation at the local level. In addition, this research will help us [Plan Indonesia] improve our methods of partnership with gender, disability and women’s right’s organisations”

- Silvia Landa, Project Manager for Plan Indonesia’s Water for Women project

Water for Women is proud to be partnering with the Institute of Sustainable Futures – University of Technology, Sydney, SNV, Plan International, WaterAid, iDE and Thrive, Universitas Indonesia and Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa'e in this important research work.

 

Photo: Women in the WASH workforce and community engaging in discussion and decisions on access to WASH services. (Credit: ISF-UTS Juliet Willetts)

Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney
SNV
Plan International
WaterAid
iDE
Thrive Networks
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IWDA
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