ii However several areas requiring strengthening were noted. The absence of separatelatrine blocks for boys and girls; little involvement of users in the design of infrastructure; open-air latrines that cannot be used when it rains; inconsistency in theemptying and burning of anal wiping materials; lack of maintenance and repair budgetsfor WASH facilities, to name a few.In the absence of guiding policies, a favourable environment for the development of WASH in schools is provided by the
Madagascar Action Plan (MAP)
, and the existenceof a national Diorano-WASH initiative. The initiative has facilitated the creation of anational WASH in Schools Thematic Group, bringing together key stakeholders fromgovernment, local and international NGOs, bilateral and multilateral agencies, privatesector and the media. However, inadequate staffing of the WES section at UNICEF hasdecreased its ability to capitalise on provided opportunities. It has also greatly reducedability to implement key activities on the ground such as monitoring and follow-up. Inthis regard, key recommendations are summarised as follows:
The number of WES staff should be increased to three and WASH should begiven full programme status within the country programme as required forpriority countries.Implementation of this recommendation will effectively support the development of aUNICEF WASH in schools strategy defining a clear monitoring and scaling-up plan. Itwill also enable the WES section to:
Provide support government in the development of a national WASH in schoolsstrategy
Carry out systematic documentation and dissemination of lessons learned and bestpractices
Provide technical support to strengthen the capacity of partners (NGO andgovernment staff) on the ground in areas such as monitoring and gender
Strengthen existing partner monitoring systems with regard to WASH in schoolsThe Madagascar WASH in schools experience provides valuable lessons to learn from,not only to strengthen the country’s programme but regional programmes. The lessonslearned and best practices captured in this report are all key ingredients for thedevelopment of a scaling up strategy. Integration of the global WASH initiative in thenational development plan has provided momentum for its adoption and incorporation bythe ministry of education in the school education programme. Inclusion of WASH in theMAP has provided an effective advocacy niche for WASH in schools, a niche that WESis yet to exploit to its fullest. With adequate staffing, WES will be able to further theWASH in schools agenda in all sectors and participate in policy influence.