Accountant

Are you a CPA looking for a little more meaning in your work? CAWST is looking for an accountant who will support our organization to continue effecting change around the world. By joining our passionate team of over 40 engineers, educators, and other professionals, you’ll be collaborating to build a world where people have the opportunity to succeed because their basic water and sanitation needs have been met.

Are you a CPA looking for a little more meaning in your work? CAWST is looking for an accountant who will support our organization to continue effecting change around the world. Joining CAWST means joining a passionate team of over 40 engineers, educators, and other professionals who work collaboratively towards building a world where people have the opportunity to succeed because their basic water and sanitation needs have been met.

The Position: Accountant

Reports to: Finance Manager

Type: Full time, permanent

Location: The position is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Position start date: As soon as possible

Application due date: Applications will be reviewed on a continuous basis until the position is filled

Compensation: Salary will be discussed in the personal interview so please include salary expectations in your cover letter

Position Summary

The Accountant assists with book keeping, payroll, accounts payable and receivable, to ensure financial statements and reports are prepared in a timely manner in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Standards for Not-for-Profit Organizations in Canada

This role reports to the Finance Manager and works closely with Project Managers to maintain the smooth operations of the organization’s finances.


The Role

Principal Accountabilities 

Management

  • Manages all accounting and bookkeeping functions for CAWST
  • Manages petty cash reimbursements, special cheque requests
  • Manages general ledger, expense codes, department codes, and corresponding project codes which are the foundation of CAWST’s financial management system

Transactions

  • Records all journal entries and manages posting to the general ledger within CAWST’s accounting system, Microsoft NAV
  • Ensures proper coding for all invoices, expenses, and requisitions 
  • Processes monthly reconciliation across accounts as directed by the Finance Manager 
  • Processes all bank deposits, wire transfers, and other day-to-day banking activities
  • Processes payment of all expense claims and invoices
  • Processes bi-weekly payroll, including deductions for the benefits and group savings plan, for review and approval by HR and the Finance Manager
  • Processes all tax receipts for review and approval by the Finance Manager
  • Creates invoices for all services, as required by Project Managers
  • Processes all monthly uploads into CAWST’s accounting system, Microsoft NAV (e.g. credit card statements, timesheets, personal expenses, requisitions, etc.)

Reporting

  • Supports the accumulation and consolidation of all financial data necessary for accurate accounting of consolidated operational results
  • Prepares ad-hoc reports for Project Managers and the Leadership Team, maintains fixed asset schedule, assists in balance sheet reconciliations, and monitors spending against budget
  • Assists the Finance Manager with preparation of required schedules and supporting documentation for annual audit and charitable return (T3010)
  • Prepares financial reports for large funders, ensuring all expenditures for grants and programs are aligned with agreements and reporting is completed on time
  • Calculates and issues financial and operating metrics 
  • Calculates variances from the budget

Compliance 

  • Conducts accounting or tax research as necessary
  • Ensures CAWST meets CRA requirements to maintain charitable status
  • Supports with the provision of information to external auditors for the annual audit
  • Complies with reporting requirements and filings for not-for-profit organizations in Canada
  • Ensures accounting function is in compliance with all CAWST policies and procedures (e.g. cash flows and GICs)
  • Supports the Finance Manager to ensure accurate and timely submission of GST returns 
  • Ensures all deductions and payroll activities are compliant with legislation
  • Other ad-hoc duties as required

Any other duties and responsibilities as directed by the Finance Manager.


The Person

The ideal candidate is a proactive problem solver with a keen eye for detail. You are comfortable with uncertainty, and are able to apply your practical experience to new challenges. This important role requires a person who is service and solutions oriented, and enjoys working with a team.

Qualifications

  • 3-5 years of accounting experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting or business required  
  • CPA certification required
  • Experience and ability to modify accounting systems to match non-profit needs
  • Experience with Microsoft NAV, Excel, Visual Basic, SAP Concur, and other software systems
  • Knowledge of Canadian GAAP and not-for-profit accounting standards in Canada
  • Experience in charitable and non-profit organizations an asset

Competencies

  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to take initiative
  • Ability to train and support others
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Ability to meet deadlines

To Apply

Please apply by sending your cover letter and resume to CAWSTHR@cawst.org. Applications will be reviewed on a continuous basis until the position is filled.

Please note: Only resumes from candidates eligible to work in Canada will be reviewed, and only those applicants granted an interview will be contacted.


Organizational Background

CAWST is a Canadian charity that focuses on the principle that clean water changes lives. Safe water, sanitation, and hygiene are fundamental to health and breaking the cycle of poverty. We address the global need for safe drinking water and sanitation by teaching people the skills that they need to have safe water in their homes. To do so, we transfer knowledge and skills to organizations and individuals in low- and middle-income countries through education, training, and consulting resources and services. In turn, our clients catalyze households into taking action to meet their water and sanitation needs. Since 2001, CAWST’s network of clients has expanded to over 5,000 organizations worldwide, and our global community of 17,000 clients, donors, members, volunteers and collaborators across 190+ countries is taking action. Collectively we are making a difference at a scale beyond what any of us could do individually. Together, we are helping millions of people get better water or sanitation.

Our vision is a world where people have the opportunity to succeed because their basic water and sanitation needs have been met.

Our mission is to provide technical training and consulting, and to act as a centre of expertise in water and sanitation for the poor in developing countries.

CAWST values equitable opportunities, sustainable solutions, and collaborative and inclusive processes. We recognize and accept differences in cultural, religious, and political processes.

2019 Reflections: Letter to CAWST Community

With 2019 behind us, our CEO Shauna Curry reflects on CAWST’s accomplishments this year and shares her thanks with you, our CAWST community.

With 2019 behind us, I had the opportunity to reflect on CAWST’s accomplishments this year and share my thanks with you, our CAWST community.

I write to you from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. It’s the furthest north I’ve ventured. In the context of this remote location, I reflect on CAWST’s accomplishments and how we reach people in some of the most remote locations in the world.

From new commitments to collaborate on non-networked solutions, to new ways of reaching remote populations through online services, we are laying the groundwork to support our partners and clients to accelerate reach and impact towards our vision.

Read my letter on LinkedIn to learn more about the 2019 achievements of our global community.

Handwashing in emergencies: there’s an app for that

In the acute stage of a crisis, hygiene interventions can prevent the spread of illness. Yet, as cost effective as they are and simple as they seem, their implementation can be complex. Learn about Wash’Em, the app that’s helping humanitarian workers design better hygiene programs.

Image Credit: Medair

“I can tell you I had a good life; I was rich. I had cows, goats, and farms. But everything changed when I was displaced. Now everything is bad… We are living like animals here.”

This is the sentiment of a man displaced during the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Ebola outbreak. It is a common sentiment among displaced people. Whether their displacement is due to natural disaster, war, or disease outbreak, their world and lives have been turned upside down with no certainty for the future.

If you wondered what prompted the recent issue of National Geographic, A World on the Move, or the daily news headlines, such as this article from the BBC: Globally, displacements are at an all-time high. The UN Refugee Agency released its Global Trends report that “an unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from home.”

Amidst the terror, trauma, and chaos in emergency contexts, hygiene is a vital priority. In the acute phase of a crisis, diarrheal diseases cause about 40% of all mortality. Without handwashing at critical times, health risks quickly get out of hand. Handwashing is an effective intervention that can reduce the risk of death by half.

While the importance of hygiene in emergency contexts may seem obvious from the stats, implementation is much more complicated than adding handwashing stations in temporary settlements. In emergency contexts, handwashing habits are a function of the physical environment and a person’s experiences, knowledge, motives, and perceptions of risk.

“Give me back my previous life, see how my emotions and life would change, and then there would be a high chance I will wash my hands with soap,” reflects the same man from DRC.

Those working in emergency contexts face time and financial pressure to deliver on hygiene programming. “The challenge is that most hygiene programs in emergencies are not designed with context in mind, nor are they evidence-based. Therefore, they do not provide the hygiene behavioural change intended,” explains Olivier Mills, CAWST Senior Director of Global Services and Wash’Em team member.

Wash'Em app - handwashing behaviour change in emergency contexts

  Fortunately, there’s an app for that.

Through a USAID-funded partnership between Action contre la Faim in France, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the UK, and CAWST in Canada, a series of rapid assessment tools and a decision support tool have been developed. The Wash’Em software allows humanitarian program managers to assess key factors that influence handwashing within a week, and then make recommendations for design of handwashing programs. Thus, bringing handwashing interventions to the forefront, instead of an afterthought.

“In emergencies such as displacement, it’s common for humanitarian workers to rely on instincts and design programs without truly understanding the local context. But we know a lot about the behavioural science behind handwashing, and by using this software, we can bring that into practice very quickly,” shares Lona Robertson, CAWST Instructional Designer and part of the Wash’Em team.

In crises, hygiene and handwashing promotion is often done by distributing hygiene kits, or educating people about disease transmission, but these approaches alone are insufficient to influence handwashing behaviour.

Early indications and adopters suggest that this is an effective, potentially revolutionary tool in emergency contexts. During the 2018 Ebola outbreak in the DRC, Medair started a handwashing program in high-risk areas to mitigate the spread of the disease using Wash’Em tools.

“The Wash’Em tools appealed to us because they have been designed for use in settings where time and resources are limited, yet they still allow you to apply the science behind behaviour change,” Tom Russell, Medair Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Advisor, explains. In one day, staff were trained to conduct a needs assessment across three villages in order to inform the design of a handwashing program. It’s still too early to assess the full preventative power of an intervention like this, but it is clear that it has potential.

After one year, Wash’Em has been tested in 27 locations across 18 countries by 40 organizations, including Plan International and Concern Worldwide. The team continues to grow and iterate the software to provide more accurate recommendations.

For the millions of people displaced, the future remains uncertain. Yet, Wash’Em is honouring their dignity, personal histories, and cultural knowledge to design better handwashing programs that prevent the spread of illness.

How do the partners work together on this project?

Each organization brings something unique to the Wash’Em Team. The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine provides the subject matter expertise and content for the tools. Action contre la Faim contributes the practical knowledge and testing of the tools in the field. CAWST brings strengths in training, graphic design, and provides the technological ability to develop an app. CAWST contributed to the design of the training, with an emphasis on making it practical. As Lona Robertson reflects, “our strength is helping people disseminate knowledge. And making that knowledge stick.”


About the Wash’Em project

The Wash’Em project is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Action contre la Faim (ACF), The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), and CAWST (Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

No alt text provided for this image

 

References

UNHCR. (2018). Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2018.

An opportunity for us to do better for the communities we work with

Angelica Fleischer is a WASH Technical Advisor with the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, United States Agency for International Development. In this guest blog post, Angelica shares her thoughts on how Wash’Em offers the opportunity to design handwashing promotion programming based on the barriers people face while recognizing the capacities they have to achieve behaviour change.

Guest blog post by Angelica Fleischer, WASH Technical Advisor with the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, United States Agency for International Development.

When I arrived in Indonesia to help respond to an earthquake as a young Hygiene Promotion Coordinator, I wondered: Where were the theories of change and the community health education approaches I had learned so much about in school? Why were we just talking about handwashing and germs when we all know that motivating someone to change their behavior is much more complicated than that?

Now as a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene technical advisor with USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), I have the same reflection as the donor—“why do we keep using the same approaches to hygiene promotion, and in particular handwashing promotion, when it isn’t really the most effective way to change behavior?”

“Now (…) I have the same reflection as the donor—“why do we keep using the same approaches to hygiene promotion, and in particular handwashing promotion, when it isn’t really the most effective way to change behavior?

At the same time, I couldn’t really blame the humanitarian community (or my younger self!) as there wasn’t an easy way to make behavior change concepts and approaches accessible to people implementing WASH programs. Change is hard. Plus, people are motivated by different factors. Identifying what resonates with a specific group and tailoring programs accordingly is key to helping people make difficult changes. For example, some people are motivated by respected leaders and will change to emulate them. Others are striving to be the best parents they can be, so they might be motivated by what behaviors give their children the best chance to be healthy and happy.

And that to me is the value of the Wash’Em approach. They’ve looked at the theory and the evidence, and distilled it into practical tools that anyone can use—whether or not you actually know the behavior change principles they are based on.

Using Wash’Em from the assessment to design phase can take two weeks, but even in the most complex emergency, this is not too long.

But it’s very important to remember that Wash’Em is not just a set of tools to collect data and then tick a box and say the work is done. The tools are the first step. The more critical part is using the data to improve handwashing promotion programming through implementing the guidance that Wash ‘Em provides. It’s using methods that we may not be familiar with—maybe try talking about how clean hands make us feel good instead of emphasizing the 5 key times for handwashing. And this is where commitment and investment—from not only WASH staff, but also program managers and headquarters staff—is essential. Allow WASH field teams to try something new—to break out of the formulaic and didactic approaches that are the hallmarks of most hygiene promotion programming.

“Using Wash’Em is an opportunity to design handwashing promotion programming based on the barriers people face and at the same time recognizing the capacities they have to do so.”

Using Wash’Em is an opportunity to design handwashing promotion programming based on the barriers people face and at the same time recognizing the capacities they have to do so. And that’s why OFDA supports Wash’Em—it’s an opportunity for us to do better for the communities we work with.

World Toilet Day: Eva Muhia

As World Toilet Day approaches, are proud and honoured to share stories of some of the non-sewered sanitation professionals with whom we work. Eva Muhia is leading systemic non-sewered sanitation change in Kenya, fighting contamination of the water source and encouraging coordination of the public and private sector. 

As World Toilet Day approaches, are proud and honoured to share stories of some of the Emptiers with whom we work. The non-sewered sanitation service chain is the process of containment, collection, transport, treatment, and disposal or reuse of human feces. In this process, every step is critical to making non-sewered sanitation a viable solution to one of the greatest challenges our world faces: two-thirds of the population (4.5 billion people) lack access to safely managed sanitation.1

The collection step in the non-sewered sanitation chain involves emptying latrines and septic tanks, and the professionals in this line of work are called Emptiers.

Eva Muhia is a non-sewered sanitation champion

She is changing sanitation in Kenya, fighting contamination of the water source and encouraging coordination of the public and private sector.

“As the president of Global Sanitation and Environmental Services (GSES), I’m leading a four-pronged strategy targeting innovation, strategic partnership, advocacy, and services. My team serves close to 60% of housing units in Metropolitan Nairobi, an area with a fecal discharge of 3,520,000 litres daily. They provide on-demand service, so they’re typically servicing orders via cell phone.”

(Wondering what 3.5 million litres of fecal sludge would look like?
It’s enough to fill about 1.75 Olympic-size swimming pools. Yes—that’s a lot).

“The current sewer system serves 50.6% of the Nairobi’s estimated 6.4 million residents, about 3,238,400 people—it was originally designed to serve 800,000 people. The majority of the new and upcoming developments do not have access to the sewer and rely on Emptiers to discharge their septic tanks and pit latrines. 36% of Kenyans rely on water from underground sources—over 90% of Kenya’s sanitation structures are sub-surface in nature. In the absence of conventional sewer systems, our fresh water sources are constantly in danger of contamination by wastewater.

Despite the central importance that sanitation plays in our society, the majority of consumers I interact with view sanitation as an afterthought. I was surprised to learn that out of Kenya’s 47 counties, only a handful of counties made provisions regarding wastewater management in their five-year development plans. It’s especially surprising because almost all tributaries, streams and rivers flowing through Nairobi are brackish, black with a pungent smell characteristic of raw effluent. Further, undue strain on existing sewer infrastructure leads to burst sewers, which discharge raw effluent into storm drains, and eventually, rivers.”

The non-sewered sanitation chain
The non-sewered sanitation chain

Eva Muhia’s workdays are not only spent coordinating her team, but also advocating to improve the system within.

“My challenge is to influence positive perceptions towards sanitation so that it is better considered in planning. There has been a prevalent silo mentality within the sanitation industry. The emptying industry is governed by strict policy and a licensing regime that lacks coordination and consultation between service providers and statutory bodies.

I’m honing my organizational skills to encourage conversations between actors in the sanitation value chain so that we can have more positive and productive collaborations. I’m hopeful that this will improve legislative and operating environments of the sanitation industry and conserve our environment.

Learn more

Want to learn more about Fecal Sludge Management (FSM)? CAWST is co-delivering a FSM workshop with CASS and CDD Society in Bengaluru, India November 20-22, 2019. You could attend if you’re in the area! If not, check out our Fecal Sludge Management Technical Brief on Emptying and Transport.


References

Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2017. Special focus on inequalities. New York: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization, 2019

World Toilet Day: from mistreated emptiers to successful entrepreneurs

As World Toilet Day approaches, we are proud and honoured to share stories of some of the Emptiers with whom we work. Emptiers transport and empty fecal sludge, a public health service that is vital to the health of a city. When Alidou Bande witnessed their work in Burkina Faso, he invented sanitation technology solutions to improve their safety. He’s also helping Emptiers become successful entrepreneurs.

As World Toilet Day approaches, are proud and honoured to share stories of some of the Emptiers with whom we work. The non-sewered sanitation service chain is the process of containment, collection, transport, treatment, and disposal or reuse of human feces. In this process, every step is critical to making non-sewered sanitation a viable solution to one of the greatest challenges our world faces: two-thirds of the population (4.5 billion people) lack access to safely managed sanitation.1

The collection step in the non-sewered sanitation chain involves emptying latrines and septic tanks, and the professionals in this line of work are called Emptiers.

Alidou Bande’s path to non-networked sanitation is an unconventional one. In fact, it was a sidewalk.

Before working in sanitation, I was a photographer. When I would go into neighbourhoods to take pictures, I saw all the wastewater and sludge running through the streets, right in front of people’s homes! Doing this, I learned that emptying services are prohibitively expensive for most Burkinabe people. This inspired me to start developing a prototype that would allow pits to be emptied inexpensively and safely. I entered a competition with this prototype emptying technology and came in the top 25 participants out of 1800.

Aside from the technology, Alidou’s mission is a deeply social one.

“Because the general public has a negative perception of the work being done by manual Emptiers, they discriminate against them. In Burkina, people say that their job is a dirty, disgusting job, that anyone willing to do that job is lost in life and hopeless. Despite this mistreatment, manual Emptiers work hard to earn their daily bread. However, because of this mistreatment by the general population, a lot of manual Emptiers will start drinking alcohol. It is a big problem.”

When asked about the day in the life of an Emptier in Ouagadougou, Alidou shared that most manual Emptiers work at night.

“Since manual Emptiers are denigrated by the population here, it is very common that manual Emptiers work at night to hide. They do not want to be seen by their girlfriend, or their entourage. Those who work the night, they typically start at 10 pm, and by 4:30 or 5 am they will finish the job. A manual emptier goes to work equipped with basic tools: a rope, bucket, pick axe. They often work in pairs: one enters the pit and one stays outside.
In Ouagadougou, manual emptying is essential to public health and yet they are people who have been abandoned by the population, sometimes even rejected by their families.”

That’s why Alidou founded ABASA,the manual Emptiers association in Burkina Faso, and is working closely with the Pan-African Sanitation Actors Association.

I want to provide a support system for these Emptiers to help them work, earn a living, do their job better and more safely. I am honoured to be engaged in this work. Manual Emptiers are rarely supported. They need support to develop and do their jobs well. My biggest hope is to turn these mistreated Emptiers into successful entrepreneurs.

See Ouagadougou and learn more about sanitation challenges and solutions in this short documentary, created by Alidou.

Through our project, Scaling Up Capacity Development in Non-Networked Sanitation, Emptiers of all sorts inform and strengthen our work. On World Toilet Day, November 19, along with the global efforts to recognize the public health service that Emptiers provide and to dignify their work,  we will be premiering short video stories about our manual Emptiers clients. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about Emptiers’ crucial role in global health.


References

Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2017. Special focus on inequalities.
New York: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization, 2019

World Toilet Day: the answer is within us

As World Toilet Day approaches, we are proud and honoured to share stories of some of the Emptiers with whom we work. Emptiers transport and empty fecal sludge, a key step in achieving safely managed sanitation and public health. Jafari Matovu, based in Kampala, Uganda, began his Emptying career washing, emptying equipment and sweeping a facility, and now he leads the Association of Uganda Emptiers.

As World Toilet Day approaches, are proud and honoured to share stories of some of the Emptiers with whom we work. The non-sewered sanitation service chain is the process of containment, collection, transport, treatment, and disposal or reuse of human feces. In this process, every step is critical to making non-sewered sanitation a viable solution to one of the greatest challenges our world faces: two-thirds of the population (4.5 billion people) lack access to safely managed sanitation.1

The collection step in the non-sewered sanitation chain involves emptying latrines and septic tanks, and the professionals in this line of work are called Emptiers.

Jafari Matovu, based in Kampala, Uganda, is one of those professionals.

Jafari started his Emptying career washing emptying equipment and sweeping the facility, and now he leads the Association of Uganda Emptiers.

“My first day, I felt like vomiting. I could barely stomach the smell. I suspended eating: I couldn’t even eat my favourite meal, Pillawo. I came into the emptying business because the bank I was working for had closed and I had no other option.

But I’m still in the business today. What changed? When I started this job, my wife and I had our first daughter. I had a family to support And with few trucks and high demand for the service, I stuck it out, paid my debts, and the rest is history. I’m now the President of Uganda Emptiers Ltd. and a communication and information officer of the Pan-African Sanitation Actors network.”

While Jafari’s skill and status have increased in his profession, he still faces discrimination and business barriers.

“While I’ve learned to stomach the smell, customer attitudes haven’t changed much.

Customers think that I, the service provider, am a disease-carrying human.
They mock us, asking questions like: “Do you eat food? Do you have a wife?” and only appreciate that our existence is lifting the burden of full latrine pits off their shoulders.

“Asides from customer attitudes, there are great barriers to our business success. The infrastructure and technology can be a challenge; travelling far to discharge fecal sludge sometimes renders a day unprofitable, and limited availability and quality of parts like hoses drive up costs. Financially, we often struggle to access loans because the value of our work is not well-documented or known.”

“One of my biggest concerns is the accessibility of our services in order to truly impact public health in Uganda. It is very difficult for customers in remote areas to access the service. It’s challenging for us because the demand is low and it’s not cost-effective to serve the informal settlements that surround Kampala. It’s challenging for them because they can’t afford the service. Further to that, many don’t have lined latrine pits, which means that fecal sludge is at risk of contaminating the water source, and these latrine pits don’t get full as quickly.

Despite these challenges, I have faith that customers and our industry can change. Awareness campaigns on the benefits of sanitation and how our services help break the cycle of disease could help. The answer is within us.

The answer is within all of us, indeed. And on World Toilet Day, CAWST takes pride in recognizing Emptying professionals like Jafari Matovu, whose work is vital to global health.

Learn more

Jafari speaks about the importance of lining latrine pits. Learn more about proper construction and maintenance of latrines in our Latrine Design and Construction Technical Brief and through our Latrine Design and Construction Workshop.


References

Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2017. Special focus on inequalities.
New York: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization, 2019

World Toilet Day: changing the face of Emptiers

Through the project Scaling Up Capacity Development in Non-Networked Sanitation, we have worked extensively with Emptiers. Emptiers are professionals who are responsible for the safe collection of fecal sludge for transport to treatment facilities. They play a significant role in public health. This World Toilet Day, we share their stories.

As World Toilet Day approaches, are proud and honoured to share stories of some of the Emptiers with whom we work. The non-sewered sanitation service chain is the process of containment, collection, transport, treatment, and disposal or reuse of human feces. In this process, every step is critical to making non-sewered sanitation a viable solution to one of the greatest challenges our world faces: two-thirds of the population (4.5 billion people) lack access to safely managed sanitation.1

Through the project Scaling Up Capacity Development in Non-Networked Sanitation, CAWST completed a study to document the skills and knowledge along the sanitation service chain. Then, we hosted workshops with Emptiers from across Africa to develop a competency framework to guide professional development for Emptiers. But this work is not only about developing new studies, structures, and tools. It’s also about changing perceptions.

The way we’ve engaged Emptiers as true experts in their profession is changing their own perceptions of themselves. And outwardly, the work we’re doing together is changing the face of emptying, so that ultimately it can be done more safely and effectively.

Laura Kohler, PhD, CAWST Senior Knowledge and Research Advisor.

That said, for World Toilet Day we are sharing some of the faces of emptying by profiling Emptiers with whom we have had the opportunity to work. Emptiers are a very diverse group, ranging from manual pit latrine Emptiers, who enter pits with shovels and buckets to collect fecal sludge, to business owners with fleets of emptying trucks.

Through their advocacy and professional achievements, Eva Muhia, Jafari Matovu, Alidou Bande, Julius Mbuvi, and many more Emptiers are changing the world—and the face of the Emptying profession. As their stories reveal, there are many challenges to effective emptying as a service, business, and respected profession. However, we see a future full of opportunity in this industry.

Learn More

Sanitation knowledge can change the world. Advance your sanitation knowledge for World Toilet Day:

Learn more about World Toilet Day and the role of sanitation in global public health and prosperity.

 


References

Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2017. Special focus on inequalities.
New York: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization, 2019

CAWST in the News: Celebrating our very own Top 40 Under 40 – Kelly James

Our very own, Kelly James, has been awarded Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue magazine for her commitment to social justice, sustainable development, and global health with CAWST.

Image Credit: Avenue Magazine | Photograph by Jared Sych.

Each year, local lifestyle magazine, Avenue, celebrates Calgary’s best and brightest in its Top 40 Under 40 issue. Published annually in November, the issue is full of high achievers, ranging from inventors to doctors to entrepreneurs to academics to athletes, and everything in-between. As such, it is no surprise within the CAWST office that Avenue decided to celebrate one of our own – Kelly James!

Kelly is an instrumental member of our Global Services team. She supports our partners around the world to design strategies to effectively monitor and evaluate their programs, in order to design more effective interventions. Her work is driven by one bottom line: seeing more people around the world with access to safe water and safely-managed sanitation.

However, it’s not just her work at CAWST that contributed to her being awarded this impressive honour. Kelly’s commitment to sustainable development was sparked long before CAWST. Kelly has years of experience working on health, disability, and capacity-development projects in Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, and Uganda. She is a founding member and volunteer of Fair Trade Calgary, she holds her Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in Development Studies and a minor in Economics from the University of Calgary, and went on to obtain her Masters of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

We are so lucky to have Kelly on our outstanding CAWST team. Kelly contributes to inspiring a new generation of global citizens, and we are thrilled to celebrate her.

Join us as we congratulate Kelly!

Read Avenue Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 issue here.

Glitter teaches hygiene for Global Handwashing Day

On Tuesday, October 15th, the world recognizes Global Handwashing Day, a day to increase understanding on the importance of washing your hands with soap to prevent disease and ultimately, save lives. Check out what glitter has to teach us about hygiene and handwashing.

On Tuesday, October 15th, the world recognizes Global Handwashing Day to increase the understanding of the importance of washing your hands with soap, which can prevent disease and ultimately, save lives. Handwashing should be achievable in all settings, yet this effective, disease-preventing action isn’t as easy as we might think. Many barriers exist: unreliable access to water and soap, understanding or valuing handwashing, and prioritizing water or soap for tasks other than handwashing.

Here, at CAWST, we are passionate about spreading the word on the importance of handwashing. We recognize that the “simple” act of washing one’s hands contributes to maintaining the dignity, human rights, health, safety, and security (Humanitarian Innovation Fund, 2016) of all people. The theme for Global Handwashing Day 2019, “Clean Hands for All,” follows the theme of World Water Day, “Leave No One Behind,” which is an adaptation of the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Using glitter, this video demonstrates why soap is an important component of handwashing. Check it out!

Video credit: Wash’Em, a software-based decision-making tool that helps humanitarian actors design rapid, evidence-based and context-specific hygiene programs.

 

Learn more

For additional handwashing resources, which are all free to download, please visit CAWST’s WASH Resources website. These resources include:

To learn more about Global Handwashing Day and disease prevention visit globahandwashing.org

 

References

Humanitarian Innovation Fund (2016). WASH in Emergencies Problem Exploration Report: Handwashing. https://www.elrha.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Handwashing-WASH-Problem-Exploration-Report.pdf

 


About the Wash’Em project

“The Wash’Em project is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)The contents are the responsibility of Action Contre La Faim (ACF), The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), and CAWST (Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Logos, from left to right: USAID, Action contre la Faim, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and CAWST

 

CAWST at the 2019 UNC Water and Health Conference

We’re heading to UNC’s annual Water & Health Conference, to learn and share expertise on household water treatment and safe storage, and its role as an important public health intervention. Will you be there? Get in touch and let us know what you’re up to!

October 7 to October 11, 2019

It’s our favorite time of year again! We’re heading to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to discuss WASH and its link to public health at the 2019 UNC Water and Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy. This annual conference is organized by the Water Institute at UNC, whose mission is to provide global academic leadership for economically, environmentally, socially, and technically sustainable management of water, sanitation, and hygiene for equitable health and human development.

CAWST will be there from Monday, October 7th to Friday, October 11th.

We’re excited to learn and share expertise on household water treatment and safe storage, and its role as an important public health intervention.

Will you be there? Please get in touch and let us know what you’re up to!

See you in North Carolina!

 

Who will be there from CAWST

 

What we’ll be doing

Monday, October 7

HWTS Network (Networking!) Event

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Happy Hour at the Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery
100 East Franklin Street 3rd Floor, Chapel Hill
(in downtown Chapel Hill)


Tuesday, October 8

Measuring the Impact of Capacity Development on WASH: Baseline findings from Lokabaya and Abeshege, Ethiopia

WASH
POSTER PRESENTATION
5 pm – 6:30 pm
Atrium

Presented by Kelly James


Thursday, October 10

Fecal Sludge Management
VERBAL PRESENTATION
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Windflower Room

Coordinated and Effective Capacity Development Services for Emptiers Using the Emptying Service Competency Framework

Presented by Kelly James, CAWST

Evidence-based Planning for Effective FSM in Two Town Panchayats in Tamil Nadu, India
Presented by Santhosh Ragavan Kolar Venkateshan, Indian Institute for Human Settlements

Technoeconomic Analysis (TEA) of Model Fecal-Sludge Management and Sewer-Based Systems in India
Presented by Andrea Stowell, Sanitation Technology Platform at RTI International


Friday, November 11

Annual Meeting of the International Network on Household Water Treatment

SIDE EVENT
10:30 am – Redbud Room

 

 

Household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) is an important public health intervention to improve the quality of drinking water and prevent water-borne and vector-related diseases at the point of use. The HWTS Network includes international, governmental and non-governmental organizations, private sector entities, and academia promoting HWTS as a key component of community-targeted environmental health programmes. We cover four main areas of activities in our network; policy and advocacy, research and learning, implementation and scale-up, and monitoring and evaluation.

The 2019 Annual Network Meeting provides an opportunity to share the latest in research, implementation and policy on HWTS and water safety.

This year’s meeting will focus on experiences with integration of HWTS into public health programs. It will also give the opportunity for sub-groups to meet and plan for future activities, and inform participants on changes to Network coordination and updates on key projects (such as the Scheme and the HIF funded research of filters in emergencies).


Can’t make it to the conference?

•  To learn more about the topics we’ll be discussing, check out the Household Water Treatment Knowledge Base and our Biosand Filter Knowledge Base.

•  Join the conversation on social media:

  • The UNC Water and Health Conference hashtag is #UNCWaterandHealth
  • We’ll also be sharing pictures and conversations on Twitter about #safewater and the #HWTSNetwork. Follow us @cawst!

Meet Martha: International Water Prize Winner

Martha Gebeyehu, Water Expertise and Training Centre Coordinator at Ethiopia Kale Heywet Church, was recently awarded the International Water Prize from the University of Oklahoma. The prize recognizes Martha’s significant contributions to water and sanitation, especially in remote regions.

Image credit: University of Oklahoma | Travis Caperton.

It’s a momentous occasion for Martha, and for CAWST. On the evening of September 17, 2019, Martha Gebeyehu, MBA, Ethiopia Kale Heywet Church Water Expertise and Training Centre Coordinator, was awarded the International Water Prize through Oklahoma University’s WaTER Centre.

It is such a great honour to receive the International Water Prize, not only for me, but for my family, my team at EKHC and my country, Ethiopia. Thank you for considering our work worthy of this incredible recognition,

Martha beams with pride as she accepts the award at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

Biennially, the International Water Prize is given in recognition of an individual with exceptional practical and academic achievements on water and sanitation, with an emphasis on reaching the most remote and vulnerable populations on the planet. The award winner is selected by a jury of leaders in water, sanitation, and hygiene from all over the world, including leaders from international development agencies and distinguished professors in water and sanitation from across north America. Martha is one of the first practitioners to receive this prestigious recognition.

With a population of about 100 million people, 35% of whom lack access to safe drinking water, the challenge in Ethiopia is how to reach a largely rural population with safely managed water and sanitation.

“The government has set a target to reach a third of the country’s population with household water treatment in the next three years. The target is ambitious; they are the only government in the world I know of that has this as a strategy. They have not yet figured out how to do it, and Martha is making a major contribution,” says Shauna Curry, CAWST CEO. “It is an initiative that I am personally quite excited about, and I am impressed by the approach Martha is taking. What she is doing is unprecedented.”

There are many reasons Martha is deserving of this award, and many anecdotes to go along with those reasons (follow our social channels to see some of them next week). But, in the meantime, here are our top three reasons that Martha is an outstanding choice for the International Water Prize:

1. Her innovative approaches

Seeing pathways to progress where others may not, Martha leads innovative and impactful approaches to development within Ethiopia. One of those approaches has been integrating water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) training into formal and informal structures within Ethiopia, such as Health Extension Workers and Self-Help Groups.

Martha saw an opportunity for the WET Centre to create demand for affordable household water and sanitation solutions by training government Health Extension Workers. Leading the WET Centre team, Martha started with a few workshops to make the connection between safe water and health and this quickly expanded to an official partnership with the national government.

In parallel, Martha pursued the idea of creating demand for household solutions at the community level by training members of an informal network of 16,230 Self-Help Groups (SHG) throughout Ethiopia. These are community groups that enable saving and lending among members. After initial success with training, Martha led her team to design and conduct an applied research project in SHGs with outcomes that have been transformative. Learning more about the needs and values that community members see in their water technologies, the research respected community members as consumers, rather than recipients of aid. Her research led to practical feedback on water technology that producers could incorporate. The impact on demand was quickly evident: over 200 households purchased, and are using, water filters.

2. Her leadership style

Talking to CAWST and EKHC staff, and almost anyone who meets Martha, they have a resounding reflection: she is a kind, gentle leader. Beginning her career as a schoolteacher, Martha has followed her passion for sharing knowledge throughout her career. As EKHC’s first water quality analyst, not only did Martha look after all things water quality and build the lab from the ground up, she taught her team members about water quality, training her successor and integrating water quality into EKHC training.

Martha has a seemingly effortless way of mentoring those around her. As Ruhama Bereket, a WASH Officer with EKHC, shares:

Martha is a leader who inspires us all to do better and work together for the communities we serve. She does so through role modelling and mentorship.  She appreciates me and gives me confidence; she trusts me to grow and do my best work, and always gives her honest feedback in the interest of my growth. Martha is constantly sharing her knowledge with others.

Beyond her team, CAWST, and Ethiopia, Martha was a founding member of the Africa Biosand Filter Implementation Network, which shares lessons and research through peer-to-peer learning across 10 countries.

3. Her determination

The patriarchy? No problem. Or at least that’s how Martha makes it look. “I had to fight against negative stereotypes and perceptions of my peers, my professors, that as a woman I was unlikely to graduate. Some women internalize those perceptions, but I didn’t. If you don’t believe that you can do it, then maybe you won’t.”

Indeed, Martha has beat perceptions and odds. In her early days as a water quality analyst she would be in the field for long stretches—once, she took her 16-week old daughter with her on a month-long assignment. Remarkable, considering the remote places where Martha serves.

At the end of a project, Martha is always looking forward to the next opportunity we can’t yet see, with hopeful vision. Following the action research project that Martha led through 2017-18, Martha has her eyes on scaling up, to seize the opportunity of so many families buying filters. She reflects, “I see a community ready for change—they want to learn. I’m excited about that.” Martha is  determined to create change. And she knows that the communities and people she serves have the capacity to change.

Don’t let Martha’s quiet, caring demeanor fool you. She is a strong, visionary, natural leader with tireless perseverance and big ideas. And she’s just getting started.

 


What’s next?

  • Learn more about Martha and meet her at our Annual General Meeting
  • Keep up to date on her North American visit to Oklahoma and Calgary by following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
  • Do you have a question you would love to ask Martha? We’ll be interviewing her while she is in the office. Submit one for inclusion in the interview

See you at World Water Week 2019

We’re looking forward to participating in World Water Week again this year. Will you be there? Let’s connect!

CAWST at World Water Week

Let’s connect in Stockholm!

CAWST will be in Stockholm from Saturday, August 24 to Friday August 30 for World Water Week activities and the SuSanA (Sustainable Sanitation Alliance) meetings.

Will you be there? Get in touch, let us know what you’re up to. We will be connecting with colleagues to share knowledge and learn from each other’s work in WASH.

The CAWST team traveling to Stockholm will include:

Shauna Curry & and Eva Manzano - CAWST at World Water Week 2019

 

What we’ll be doing

Drinks on a blue table, Canadian maple leaf overlay and event details

Why capacity development?

(We’re glad you asked!) Because it’s how you get knowledge to the people who will make use of it, and achieve behaviour change.

Are you into capacity development and sanitation? CAWST co-leads the SuSanA Capacity Development Working Group 1, via Laura Kohler, BA, MSc, PhD. We’d be delighted to see you join the group!

Find out how CAWST can help you start, scale up, or strengthen your WASH programs through capacity development .

 

Why Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS)?

HWTS focuses on simple, yet effective solutions to improve water quality and reduce the risk of diarrheal disease.

The ability of a networked system to provide full-service, sustainable service to a community or city may be limited by cost, land requirements or lack of government capacity. Non-networked WASH solutions:

  • Are affordable and easily adapted to local contexts
  • Provide services to marginalized, vulnerable or hard-to-reach communities in remote areas
  • Protect human health and the environment, in contexts where networked systems are not feasible
  • Can be constructed, operated, maintained, and financed by community members, when combined with knowledge and skill training.

 

Dive deeper into HWTS

Learn more about the exciting advances in this area that are happening in Latin America. Check out our HWTS Knowledge Base at hwts.info/tandas.


About Shauna and Eva

Shauna Curry is the CEO at CAWST. She joined the team as a Global WASH Advisor in 2004, became head of our global training and consulting services in 2005, and assumed the CEO seat in 2011. She has led the development and expansion of CAWST’s service delivery from two countries to its current network of 1,490 implementing clients in 87 countries. Shauna has worked in 14 low- and middle-income countries, has experience in environmental engineering, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Bio-resource Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. She is passionate about decentralized water, sanitation and hygiene, and the role of capacity building in reaching everyone with safe water and basic sanitation.

Eva Manzano, BEng, MA is a Senior Global WASH Advisor at CAWST. She joined our team as an intern in July 2010 as the translation coordinator. In 2011, she became a Technical Advisor and since then, she has provided training and consulting services to clients in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Eva holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering with a specialization in Environmental Engineering, and a Master’s Degree in Development and Humanitarian Aid. Eva leads CAWST’s efforts to expand Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS) in Latin America. Notably, Eva co-organized and co-facilitated the first-ever Latin America Regional Workshop: Advancing the Water Safety Agenda alongside the WHO/UNICEF HWTS Network, the Government of Colombia, the Panamerican Health Organization (PAHO) and UNICEF. Subsequently, she has co-hosted a number of Learning Exchanges in the region, converging efforts of training and implementing organizations, local service providers, government ministries and departments at various levels, and technology solutions providers. Eva is fluent in English and Spanish. Say “Hola” to Eva and ask her about the encouraging progress reaching remote regions in Latin America with safe water through non-networked solutions at emanzano@cawst.org.

 

 

CAWST 2019 AGM

Join us to celebrate our achievements of the past year at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

CAWST will host our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. We hope you will join us to celebrate our achievements of the past year, and to shape our future.

Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Time: 5.00pm – 7.30pm (MST)
Location: B12 – 6020 2 St SE, Calgary, AB T2H 2L8

RSVP by September 20

The meeting will include the following: Appointment of the Chair and Secretary of the Meeting * Report from the Chair * Appointment of Directors * Approval of the CAWST 2018 Audited Financial Statements * Appointment of Auditors for CAWST 2019 * Adjourn

Yemen

Case Study Context

Country: Yemen
Context: Rural villages
Organisation: Solidarités International, CARE, and UNICEF
Point Person: Luca Zaliani, WASH Programme Manager, Solidarités International
Duration of Training: Half a day (covering 2 methods only)
Number of People Trained: 12 including hygiene promoters, WASH officers and WASH engineers
Duration of Data Collection: 2 days (about 3 hours in each village)
Number of Locations: 2

What appealed to you about the Wash’Em tools and made your organisation want to try them?

We made the decision as a mission, together with our HQ in France. We chose just to try two of the tools to start with. I chose the handwashing video because I wanted to show my team that it is important not just to ask questions about handwashing behaviour, but to also try and see directly what is the actual behaviour without influencing them. I also chose risk perception because I am interested in how people perceive their risk of disease. The other appealing thing about these two tools was that they seemed quite easy to understand for my team and for me to train them on. But I am very interested in the other three; we just thought we would do this as a start given the time we have and the profile of the team.

Having tried the Wash’Em tools, what is different about them compared to the standard processes you used for WASH assessments in crises?

The tools try to understand in more depth what works better, what will be more effective, and have greater impact. They provide qualitative data about real behaviours.

Give an example of one particularly interesting insight you gained from using the Wash’Em tools or something you wouldn’t otherwise have known.

My team realised that informed consent is an important step to get trust and not only to get the participant’s consent. An important aspect before starting the assessment is the presentation of the approach to communities. This enables the creation of a relationship with beneficiaries. It is part of the training, and can take more time than the assessment in itself.

“My team realised that informed consent is an important step to get trust and not only to get the participant’s consent.”

 

How does your organisation intend to use the findings?

We are withdrawing from the area in two weeks. I will hand over the findings to the WASH Coordinator and he will coordinate with other NGOs who will intervene in the area so that the activities can be implemented.

Nigeria

Case Study Context

Country: Nigeria
Context: Internally displaced people in camps in Maiduguri
Organisation: ACF
Point Person: Pir Bakhsh – ACF Nigeria Regional Coordinator WASH
Duration of Training: 2 days
Number of People Trained: 27 members of ACF WASH team including WASH managers, WASH officers and WASH assistants
Duration of Data Collection: 1/2 day
Number of Locations: 1 (4 teams)

What appealed to you about the Wash’Em tools and made your organisation want to try them?

Wash’Em allows you to get a real-time picture of handwashing practices and provides a user-friendly approach to improving the status of handwashing within displacement camps.

Having tried the Wash’Em tools, what is different about them compared to the standard processes you used for WASH assessments in crises?

Wash’Em does not just provide the figures about how many people are or are not washing their hands. It also identifies and dig out information about values, beliefs and the historical context of the community, generating many interesting stories.
 

“Wash’Em does not just provide the figures about how many people are or are not washing their hands. It also identifies and digs out information about values, beliefs and the historical context of the community, generating many interesting stories.”

 

Give an example of one particularly interesting insight you gained from using the Wash’Em tools or something you wouldn’t otherwise have known.

During the data collection, IDPs shared that they do have access to WhatsApp and this was very surprising for me. It turns out that WhatsApp is used for all sorts of purposes, like managing money and navigating the local economy.

How does your organisation intend to use the findings?

The Wash’Em findings will be used to develop a hygiene promotion strategy (centered on handwashing promotion) for the ACF Nigeria mission. We used the findings to develop a set of handwashing activities which we are incorporating into ongoing and new WASH grants for Borno and for the Yobe state in Nigeria.

CAWST in the News: Launching Multi-Million Dollar Match

CAWST was featured in the news for our announcement of a multi-million dollar investment by David O’Brien and Geoffrey Cumming that will match all new donations, one-to-one.

Pictured, left to right: Gail O’Brien, David O’Brien, Shauna Curry, Anna Cumming, and Geoffrey Cumming.
obrien-cumming-match-campaign-cawst
All donations up to $12-million will be matched, thanks to generous donations from David O’Brien and Geoffrey Cumming.

Following our announcement of the generous commitment by renowned businessmen and philanthropists David O’Brien and Geoffrey Cumming to CAWST, our story was featured in several news outlets.

660 News Calgary

Shauna Curry, CAWST’s CEO, was interviewed by 660 News Calgary. Tune into 660 News to listen (all day on June 6), or check out the article online.

Calgary Herald

The Calgary Herald interviewed David O’Brien, Geoffrey Cumming, and Hailey Carnegie. They spoke about their involvement in CAWST’s mission and our hope for increasing collaborative impact throughout the world. Read the article to learn more.

CBC News Calgary

David O’Brien, CAWST Board Chair and donor, was interviewed by CBC Calgary, featured on the Eyeopener and in an article. 

CBC Radio-Canada

Emilie Sanmartin, CAWST Public Engagement Lead, was interviewed by CBC Radio-Canada for Le Café radio show. Listen to the segment here (in French, at 7 h 46). 

CTV News Calgary

CTV News Calgary interviewed Shauna Curry, CAWST CEO. You can read the article here.

Consulting Canada

Consulting Canada, the Canadian branch of consultancy.org, an online platform for the global advisory and consulting industry, posted this article.


We are excited to launch the O’Brien-Cumming Match, and very thankful for the support we have received thus far. If you’re interested in joining us to tackle the critical global need for safe drinking water and safely-managed sanitation, please donate. 

 

Calgary-based global water charity receives multi-million dollar boost from two Canadian businessmen and philanthropists

CAWST, Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology, announced today two significant gifts from David O’Brien and Geoffrey Cumming that will see all new donations matched, up to $12 million.

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

 

CALGARY, June 6, 2019 – CAWST, Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology, announced today two significant gifts from David O’Brien and Geoffrey Cumming that will see all new donations matched, up to $12 million. The two successful Canadian businessmen and philanthropists have each chosen to invest in accelerating the impact of this Calgary-based international clean water charity.

“CAWST is addressing one of humanity’s biggest issues. I had the privilege of seeing the enormous leverage of this small, but mighty charity over the past 14 years. In 2017, I visited East Africa and witnessed how CAWST’s model is so effective and scalable,” said O’Brien, CAWST chairman and major donor. “This match campaign will change lives.”

CAWST is a Canadian charity and not-for-profit engineering consultancy that provides practical training to organizations in developing countries on household water and sanitation solutions. One-third of the world’s population—that’s 2.1 billion people—are trapped in a cycle of poverty because they lack access to safe, readily available water at home[1]. To tackle this issue, CAWST works to scale up the number of local water, sanitation and hygiene professionals in developing countries and improves their knowledge and skills.

“CAWST is notable for its can-do, entrepreneurial, spirit of innovation attitude. The high purpose of its mission and the professionalism of its people is what drew me to this organization,” said Cumming. “CAWST is tackling a critical global need and this unique international charity and professional engineering entity is making significant progress addressing clean water and sanitation in developing countries.”

Both O’Brien and Cumming are no strangers to philanthropic giving. Mr. O’Brien was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, recognizing him as a respected corporate leader and philanthropist, predominantly focusing on post-secondary education. In addition to CAWST, his notable list of charitable contributions include the O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary, Sick Kids, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, McGill University and Concordia University, among others. Mr. Cumming’s transformational $100-million gift to the University of Calgary was one of the largest philanthropic gifts in Canadian history. In honour of the donation, which the Government of Alberta matched, the school of medicine at the University of Calgary carries the name, Cumming School of Medicine. Mr. Cumming also, among other initiatives, created and funds the annual global Ryman Prize, which is frequently referred to as the Nobel Prize relating to aging.

The O’Brien-Cumming Match kicks off immediately. The $12 million donation is split evenly between Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Cumming, with each party contributing up to $6 million. To learn more about CAWST and the match campaign, Canadians are encouraged to visit cawst.org.

About CAWST

Founded in 2001, CAWST is a Canadian charity and licensed not-for-profit professional engineering consultancy working to address the global need for safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in developing countries. CAWST reaches people in need by working with the thousands of existing, in-country organizations to start or improve their water and sanitation projects. To learn more about CAWST and its transformational work, visit cawst.org.

– 30 –

Media contact

Hailey Carnegie
Public Relations Lead
CAWST, Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology
hcarnegie@cawst.org
1.403.243.3285 ext. 258

Find the CAWST logo here.


References

[1]  Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG baselines. Geneva: World Health Organization. (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO. who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/jmp-2017/en/

 

National Nurses Week: Meet Rebecca Morante

In honour of National Nurses Week, we’d like to introduce you to an inspiring nurse on staff, Rebecca Morante. As a Global Learning Advisor, Becky navigates the space between WASH and health, focused on the causes of outbreaks, illnesses and infections, so we can most effectively prevent disease and promote health.

Happy Nurses Week!

In light of this week being National Nurses Week, we’d like to introduce one of our new team members at CAWST, Rebecca Morante.

This year’s theme is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Health for All which is a fitting intro for Rebecca Morante, a Registered Nurse with an MSc in Health Education who sees her role as developing local leaders to improve WASH and health for those in need. Becky’s career as a nurse has evolved from emergency humanitarian relief to capacity development, recognizing, “The greatest changes will come from recognizing the potential within local people, helping them realize their potential and finding ways to develop leadership.” Educated in Calgary at Mount Royal University, Becky has worked in Australia, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, and Peru.

Becky Morante, Registered Nurse, meeting with her staff in Lao PDR

As former Nursing Director of Northern Lao’s first full-service pediatric hospital, Becky brings a firsthand understanding of the links between maternal and child health, WASH and behaviour change. Joining CAWST as a Global Learning Advisor, Becky will navigate the space between WASH and health. Her experience designing training for health professionals is an exciting complement to the team’s instructional design expertise. In her words:

“If we can get to the sources of outbreaks, illnesses and infections, we can prevent disease and promote health. And in many cases, it all starts with water.”

This week and all weeks, we appreciate all the nurses, healthcare and WASH professionals working on this complex challenge towards a world where people have the opportunity to succeed because their water and sanitation needs have been met.

Learn more about the health impacts of WASH and its links to reproductive health, women & children in our infographic. Check it out at cawst.org/WASHandMNCH


Tori D’Avella, BA, MSOD is a Public Engagement Officer on the Public Engagement & Donor Initiatives team. Her background is working in indigenous community development in partnership with institutions and natural resource companies. Tori is a brilliant communicator and loves plants, cooking, and most outdoor activities. 

Ethiopia

Case Study Context

Country: Ethiopia
Context: Internally displaced people in the SNNPRS region
Organisation: People in Need
Point Person: Girmay Hadgu, WASH Engineering and Infrastructure Advisor, People in Need
Duration of Training: 2 days
Number of People Trained: 4 members of its WASH team including hygiene promoters and WASH Engineers
Duration of Data Collection: 3 days
Number of Locations: 1

What appealed to you about the Wash’Em tools and made your organisation want to try them?

People in Need decided to try the Wash’Em tools because sometimes the assessment tool we were typically using doesn’t work perfectly, so we wanted to test and then adapt to our hygiene promotion standard across the mission.

 

Having tried the Wash’Em tools, what is different about them compared to the standard processes you used for WASH assessments in crises?

In the usual assessment period, we just focus on the known facts and methods, i.e., asking technical questions, which by nature can be difficult to easily understand. However, in this tool we learned that we should also give attention to people’s internal feelings. The Wash’ Em tools investigate not only whether people are lacking proper handwashing facilities, they also prompt us to explore the internal reasons or motives why people are not practicing handwashing. It digs more into the barriers to handwashing and then triangulates this with personal histories, Touchpoints, Risk Perception and Motives. I liked that there are images with the tools and these are used to support and trigger the questions. It makes it easy for the communities to participate and engage more. Being more interactive helps to us to get at the true cause of the problem. We were also able to analyse the data quickly and easily after the field visit.

“Being more interactive [by using the Wash’Em tools] helps to us to get at the true cause of the problem.”

 

Give an example of one particularly interesting insight you gained from using the Wash’Em tools or something you wouldn’t otherwise have known.

During interviewing with the “personal histories tool”, the IDPs said they were washing their clothes regularly and I was wondering how that is possible in this particular setup. However, through using this tool I learned that it was because they only have one or two items of clothing so washing them becomes a necessity.

 

How does your organisation intend to use the findings?

We will endeavour to design our programmes based on the recommendations and the key behavioural change challenges that we identified. We will keep focusing on making soap and adequate water more available to IDPs. We will consider the latrine handwashing facilities more attractive and accessible to kids. For the hygiene promotion package we engage IDPs in various committees to foster the feeling that they are capable and have meaningful roles in this new setting. Since our audience already gathers at churches and coffee ceremonies, we will link the hygiene promotion to church leaders and community meetings.