Broadening standard WASH indicators would improve global health

Author: Pulte Institute

Water scarcity now threatens the health and development of communities around the globe. And climate change intensifies the problem, pushing governments to find more innovative, collaborative ways to address water stress. That’s why we need new metrics to monitor and assess Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene or WASH interventions, says Pulte Institute Evidence and Learning Associate Director Danice Brown Guzmán.

Access to WASH protects individuals' and communities' health, security, resilience, and economic potential worldwide. The lack of WASH is not just a symptom of poverty, it is one of the first lines of defense in slowing the spread of most infectious diseases, including the flu, diarrhea, and the coronavirus.

The journal, The Lancet Global Health, recently published Guzmán’s and her collaborators’ — the Keough School’s Ellis Adams and the University of Miami’s Justin Stoler — comment piece “Revisiting transformative WASH” where they advocate for “multiple-indicator, dashboard-type approaches that can be adapted to local contexts.”

The team argues that approaches that allow for community feedback and the use of data could increase the speed of discovery and translation of WASH best practices.

Watch Danice Brown Guzmán's overview of her team's comment piece "Revisiting transformative WASH":

Broadening standard WASH indicators would improve global health