Humanitarian Innovation Fund – call for funded research proposals: Lighting for Safer Sanitation

by Humanitarian Innovation Fund

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund is looking to fund up to two research projects that address the gap in evidence that links sanitation and gender based violence (GBV) with lighting in emergency humanitarian camps.

Funding of up to £200,000 is available for the strongest proposal(s) for a study comprising of desk based and field research.

In many camp settings, communal latrines are not lit at night. The lack of adequate lighting in bathroom facilities can affect the willingness of people to use facilities because of safety concerns. Women and girls are more commonly affected by this but males are highly vulnerable too.

Research has suggested GBV can increase due to poor public services – particularly a lack of privacy and security in latrine and bathing facilities. However, there is currently a gap in evidence on the impact of lighting in reducing incidences of GBV in camp settings, and the follow on impact on usage of WASH facilities.

We want to fund a study which addresses the gap in evidence linking increased lighting of latrines and bathing facilities to reductions in Gender Based Violence (GBV), and the knock on effect this could have in increasing WASH-related health outcomes, and community member’s own perceptions of safety, cleanliness, and dignity.

1. To identify the relationship between increased lighting of latrine and bathing facilities with:

  • Changes in rates of use for these facilities;
  • Changes in community member end-user’s own perceptions of safety, cleanliness, and dignity.

2. To compare the efficacy and impact of different lighting options in contributing to these three outcomes, and the preferences of women, adolescent girls, adolescent boys, men and children in using different lighting options. Three specific lighting options will be studied:

  • Moveable lighting sources – including torches, lamps, etc
  • Lighting of the latrine and bathing facilities alone (lighting should be provided both for the female and male)
  • Lighting off the whole camp, including main routes through the camp and alongside the lighting of latrine and bathing facilities.

Each team must include – as a minimum – one researcher who has experience in emergency WASH and one specialist in GBV, but may also include additional team members.

The team should demonstrate that they have the knowledge and experience of:

1. implementing emergency WASH interventions;
2. undertaking participatory qualitative and quantitative studies; and
3. ethical and protection considerations that will ensure that no-one will be put at risk through this study.

For more information visit the Humanitarian Innovation Fund website.