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Adapting a Stepwise Approach to Improving Hygiene in Schools in Lao PDR

Adapting a Stepwise Approach to Improving Hygiene in Schools in Lao PDR

From June 6-9, 2016, the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) of Lao PDR organized a workshop on establishing a monitoring framework for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools (WinS) in Vang Vieng. Led by the Department for Pre-Primary and Primary Education and supported by GIZ and UNICEF, government representatives from the Water Quality Section and the Nutrition Center of the Ministry of Health were invited to participate in the process. Several development partners working on WinS, such as Luxembourg Development, World Vision, Plan International and Rural Development Agency were also present to share their expertise on the topic.

The WinS monitoring framework is based on the Three Star Approach for WASH in Schools, a stepwise approach in improving WASH conditions in schools with an emphasis on behavior change through the daily implementation of group hygiene activities.

Two workshops had been done previously in Lao PDR: 1) orientation on the global guidelines for the Three Star Approach for WASH in Schools; and 2) review of the overall policy framework in Lao PDR. In the workshop in Vang Vieng, participants took a closer look at national standards or defined these in areas where there has been no definitions yet. The discussion focused on six major areas of WASH in Schools, namely Drinking Water, Water for Use, Latrines, Sanitary School Environment, Hygiene and Deworming. Standards and indicators for each of these major areas were identified.

These WinS standards and indicators will be shared with district officials and school principals for further input and refinement. The intention of this process is that schools will reflect more on what is realistically achievable within a timeframe of five years and that schools are encouraged to take initial steps to improve their WASH conditions.