New Water for Women research explores gender, climate change
We're excited to be commencing work on three Water for Women (WfW) research projects, which will examine issues within the areas of gender equality and WASH, social accountability, and climate change.
The Water for Women Research Fund, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, aims to support improved health, equality and wellbeing in Asian and Pacific Communities through socially inclusive and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects. Water for Women will deliver 19 projects in 16 countries over five years.
The first of these research projects investigates how civil society organisations (CSOs) can more strategically engage with civil society, government and the private sector, in achieving socially inclusive WASH policy and practice, with a special focus on ensuring and measuring gender equality impacts.
Drawing on feminist theory and gender and development literature, cross-cutting themes of women’s voice and leadership, intersectionality and empowerment will be applied in the course of engaging with these CSOs, in order to ensure the development of holistic approaches to gender transformative WASH.
This research collaboration, which includes partnering with five WfW Fund implementing CSOs (SNV, Plan, WaterAid, iDE and Thrive) and working across four countries – Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Cambodia and Nepal – will use a collaborative, co-design partnership process to contribute significantly to global evidence and practical guidance for CSOs and partners, within and beyond the Water for Women Fund.
The second of these projects explores the contributions of social accountability to inclusive WASH, with a particular focus on improving levels of water service.
Social accountability approaches have been proven to be effective in strengthening cross-sector governance and service delivery, but there is a gap in understanding whether these approaches lead to successful gender and social inclusion outcomes. This, in turn, raises questions surrounding the effectiveness of gender transformative social accountability for sustainable WASH.
Through exploring concepts of gender equality, social inclusion and gender transformation, this research contributes to World Vision Bangladesh’s implementation of Citizen Voice and Action; an approach which mobilises and equips citizens to monitor and advocate for the improvement of government services.
The use of approaches such as participatory action research, the innovative use of systems thinking, mixed methods design, multi-actor perspectives and reflective CSO practices provide research findings around issues of social accountability approaches, both in Bangladesh and more broadly.
The third of these projects builds on recent ISF research, addressing different disciplinary and sectoral approaches for addressing climate change; physical risk and hazard analysis, capacity-building assessments and socio-ecological approaches amongst them.
This project addresses significant gaps in sector knowledge about how to best address the intersecting impacts of climate change on WASH services, and how these impacts directly affect the health, gender equality and wellbeing of communities within the Asia-Pacific region.
This research will allow CSOs to assess and understand how climate change affects their WASH service, gender and inclusion outcomes, to use the assessment information and replicate the methods in their own WfW projects, and to encourage the adoption of climate change assessment findings and methods by other WASH practitioners and local governments.
Read more about the Water for Women Fund at their website, linked here.