Applied research and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) are integral elements of the Fit for School (FIT) Approach. Strengthening the evidence for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools (WinS) and demonstrating impact of interventions under real-life conditions contribute to a better understanding of the context and improving the effectiveness of the interventions. It also helps in advocacy, supports mobilisation of resources, and boosts credibility and communication with stakeholders, government partners and the wider international WASH in Schools (WinS) community.

A number of studies were conducted or are still ongoing to gain deeper insights in various aspects of WinS. The most comprehensive studies include the larger FIT Programme Assessment Study (FIT-PAS) which was conducted in Cambodia, Indonesia and Lao PDR. Inspired by an earlier study on health outcomes linked to FIT/Essential Health Care Programme interventions in the Philippines, this two-year longitudinal study looked at the impacts of the three FIT interventions (daily handwashing, toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste, and biannual deworming) on body-mass index and intestinal worm infections of children, as well as the incidence and severity of tooth decay. Moreover, the impact of the programme on the school environment measured by availability and usability of WASH facilities was also evaluated. Study results showed positive effects on school environment, hygiene behavior, and disease prevention in schools with FIT interventions compared to control schools.

Qualitative and observational studies on handwashing and toothbrushing behavior, as well as WinS management and related aspects have likewise been successfully concluded. More details of research conducted in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR and the Philippines can be found in the resources section.(Click on country name for further details).

Below is a selection of topic-related research activities: