Nepal WASH Blog Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) & Development in Nepal

August 11, 2011

A photo exhibition – school sanitation: the neglected development link

February 9, 2011

Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)

Filed under: Advocacy,Gender,Menstrual hygiene — Anita Pradhan @ 9:00 am

WaterAid with support from SHARE, a research consortium, brought together 16 practitioners and researchers with expertise in water, sanitation and health (WASH). The purpose of the roundtable was to assess the state MHM, address various policies and practice and lastly to build a community of practiced individuals and institutions passionate about MHM and who want to share, work, influence and respond to the practical challenges faced by women and girls.

On the first day participants reviewed their knowledge of MHM, understood the issues linked to MHM and learnt key policies in Asia region. They also learnt from experiences and initiatives from countries like Bangladesh, India and Tanzania. It was also concluded that MHM is a big issue for women, one which lacks awareness among both men and women. They also found out that patriarchal culture and tradition determine how MHM is addressed in different communities. While there are evidences of good MHM practice there are no user satisfaction surveys.  Sufficient research on the issue has not been done.

The second day, participants designed research methodology to assess the advantages-disadvantages of different methodological research approaches and developed it to combine quantitative and qualitative learning. They also discussed on the length of the study and if a longitudinal study would be helpful. It was discussed that a balance was needed among the qualitative and quantitative evidence. From this discussion it was suggested that the existing literature be synthesized and clear MHM related indicators be developed to monitor implementation and effectiveness. They also suggested that it would be important to understand the risks of current MHM practices and understand the impact of improved MHM.

Lastly they agreed on keeping in touch as   a group in order to articulate the issue and make it a priority among advocacy workers. They will also remain in contact in order to build a community that practices MHM and support research initiatives.

The post is written by Ms Therese Mahon, Regional Programme Officer - Asia, WaterAid in UK.

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