WASH in Schools

Live & Learn has worked with The International Water Centre to establish evidence-based, school-specific, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programming in schools as part of the Western Pacific Sanitation Marketing & Innovation program funded by the Australian government Civil Society WASH fund. The program was implemented across four countries - Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea – and worked with 43 schools and 18,800 Students.


The approach used by Live & Learn has:

  • built and shared understanding of schools WASH challenges
  • empowered change agents to recognizing and demand improvements, and
  • built LL staff capacity to engage with national level school actors and start influencing for change on school WASH policies and budgets.

At heart of the adapted process used by Live & Learn is the UNICEF bottleneck analysis. Bottleneck analysis assumes that WASH in Schools problems can be conceptualized as a type of service delivery chain. The bottleneck is a point where services are restricted. In Live & Learn's program we have set out to both build evidence based that can be used engage local actors, but also to provide local partner staff and local change agents with the tools and skills to critical assess WASH needs for individual schools, and subsequently engage national and regional level actors.


Live & Learn has seen the following improvements through program:

  • improved institutional capacity to plan and deliver WASH in schools
  • improved teacher led hygiene promotion in classes
  • improved peer-to-peer advocacy amongst students
  • improved engagement with enabling environment actors

We implement a three-phase participatory evidence-based approach to WASH in Schools:

  1. To build understand of the current situation in schools we focus on the adaptation of baseline data collection tools to collate data that reflected knowledge, attitudes and practice along with current challenges, school behaviours norms
  2. To build better understanding of the barriers findings were analysised using a simplified bottleneck approach. This approach allowed individual school-based consideration of challenges across four areas; the enabling environment; supply & demand issues and the quality of services.
  3. The third step was each school developing a localized theory of change and action plan.

We have observed that the process empowered school change agents to consider locally relevant starting points for incremental improvements to water, sanitation and hygiene. The approach also allows for diversity in the starting points for different schools.

WASH_in_Schools_3_image.jpgDuring this program Live & Learn also published “Arts for Advocacy” – a guide for teachers to empower students to promote WASH through arts-based activities. This guide helps teachers to support any club or group in their school plan and implement WASH advocacy campaigns. It shows how creative activities such as painting, photography, video, drama, music, stories and dance are powerful tools to inspire people to tell stories, raise visibility and inspire others to build culture and create stronger communities.

The Arts for Advocacy website

Thematic Areas
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene