Scientific Unit 10: Water and Sanitation
l Reasoning & Problem Solving in Comparative
Unit 10: Water and Sanitation
What are some of the most pressing water and sanitation challenges facing the world? Using a
variety of primary
sources, document at least three of them. How, if at all, does your discipline offer theories and
for examining how to secure clean water and sanitaOon to people in places of great want? You
develop a proposal to be presented to the InternaOonal Monetary Find (IMF) that would help
problem in the lives of one village or township examined in your primary source materials.
Next, read Creswell’s
Research Design: QualitaOve, QuanOtaOve, and Mixed Method Approaches (2009). Write an
proposal. Submit a drah of the proposal to your teacher within three weeks of the assignment.
your teacher in a session of not less than 30 minutes to an hour. Redrah your proposal. PracOce
proposal with five to seven members of your learning community. IdenOfy the elements of the
project. What are the implementaOon steps? What are the expected outcomes?
One of the most pressing issues for communiOes around the world is water and sanitaOon.
zens of the industrialized naOons take access to clean water and sanitaOon faciliOes for
unit will allow students to appreciate these issues and how they factor into enhancing well‐
being in developing
This unit begins by reporOng key findings from the United NaOons Development Program that
issues concerning water and sanitaOon. Students will be provided with water and sanitaOon
resources to review the status of parOcular naOons and regions of the world. Students will have
opportunity to read case studies that describe ways to improve water and hygiene for
communiOes in parOcular countries. Next, students will learn how to conduct field studies to
these issues. Leading a lot of community and regional development acOviOes are governmental
nongovernmental agencies which students will learn about. The process these agencies use to
about posiOve change ohen involve responding to requests for research or funding and wriOng
to which students will be introduced. At the end of the course, students will present water and
Oon proposals targeOng a region or country of their interest to the class.
Class Schedule (8‐ day session)
Day 1. Introduce students to the problem of water/sanitaOon.
a. What is the scope of the problem?
b. Provide some maps and staOsOcs.
c. What prevents some people from having access to water/sanitaOon?
d. Have the students read a case study.
e. Assign students search for other case studies available from the UNICEF site that
they may be interested in.
Day 2. Governments and WSH
f. How do various governments deal with/prioriOze WSH?
g. How do various enOOes define and measure WSH?
h. Are there organizaOons (governmental) in place? How do they negoOate with
each other to provide resources? How do they interact with the target community?
Day 3. The Role of NGOs
i. What are NGOs?
j. InteracOon paIerns between NGOs and governments
k. Key NGOs dealing with WSH
l. Assignment web review memorandum of Water and SanitaOon NGOs (see 4biii
Day 4. The UN, WHO, and World Bank (WB)
m. What they are, who runs them, and what they do.
n. How do NGOs and governments react to UN/WHO/WB
o. UN/WHO/WB and WSH
Day 5. What is a grant? I
q. Grant wriOng Ops
Day 6. What is a grant? II
r. RFAs/RFPs dealing with WSH
s. Group acOvity: Find one RFA/RFP dealing with WSH. Review it. Consider what
you can answer. What are some of the areas that are outside of your discipline?
What discipline/approach would be appropriate to idenOfy those areas. Allocate a
person best suited to answering each part of RFAs/RFPs. Write a memorandum
that reacts to the RFA/RFP. Be ready to present on Day 7 or 8.
Day 7. PresentaOons
Day 8. PresentaOons/Wrap‐up
UNICEF. 2008. “Nicaragua ‘Being Dirty Had to End.’” SanitaOon and Hygiene Case Study 9.
New York: UNICEF. Accesses at
hIp://www.unicef.org/wash/files/9_case_study_NICARAGUA_4web.pdf on 26 Jul, 2010.
Watkins, Kevin. 2006. Human Development Report 2006: Beyond Scarcity: Power,
the Global Water Crisis. New York: United NaOons Development Programme. Accessed at
hIp://hdr.undp.org/en/media/Forword_Acknowledgements_Content.pdf on 26 Jul, 2010.
World Health OrganizaOon. 2003. The Right to Water. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health
OrganizaOon. Accessed at hIp://www.who.int/water_sanitaOon_health/rightowater/en/ on 26
1. What are some of the most pressing water and sanita5on challenges facing
According the United NaOons Development Program (2006:v) there are three major
challenges to water and sanitaOon needs in the world community:
a. Access to water and sanitaOon tend to shunted to the boIom of governmental
prioriOes. Many developing naOons do not have the poliOcal will or the resources
to alleviate the water and sanitaOon needs for their poor ciOzens.
b. Poor people pay proporOonally more for water than do more affluent people. Lack
of infrastructure, isolaOon in rural communiOes and other factors make access to
water that much more difficult and therefore expensive to provide.
c. There is a lack of cooperaOon and prioriOzaOon of water/sanitaOon development
between the internaOonal communiOes as expressed in the UN’s Millennium
2. Using a variety of primary sources, document at least three of them.
a. Map of water and sanitaOon with naOons proporOoned to lack of water access.
World Bank Millennium Development Goals at
b. Country data from World Bank Millennium Development Goals at
hIp://devdata.worldbank.org/atlas‐mdg/ (See Table 1 created by Kersen based on
World Bank MDG data). There is a lot of room for improvement in sanitaOon and
water faciliOes and sources in Nicaragua, where in 2008, where in 2008 48
percent of the populaOon had “improved sanitaOon faciliOes. By comparison, the
U.S. was reported to have 100 percent improved sanitaOon faciliOes. In 2008, 79
percent of Nicaraguans had improved water sources compared to the world which
had 86 percent, and the U.S. which had 99 percent.
c. Nicaragua as a case study dealing with sanitaOon and hygiene. See UNICEF’s
2008 Case Study #9 “Nicaragua ‘Being dirty had to end.’” at
case study is included at the end of this document.
3. How, if at all, does your discipline offer theories and frameworks for
examining how to
secure clean water and sanita5on to people in places of great want?
a. There are really no theories or frameworks within sociology about this parOcular
topic. Clean water and sanitaOon is more in the domain of environmental
engineering or related field. However, a sociological awareness would benefit
those proposing water and sanitaOon development.
i. IdenOfying the key players and understanding their agendas. What is the
agenda of the granOng agency? Is it in line with those in the host
ii. Analysis of the power structures within the village, province/state, and the
naOon (both formal and informal). What is the proper way to negoOate
through these structures?
iii. What is needed rather than what is wanted? Who benefits? How many?
iv. Do the social condiOons allow for such a change?
4. You must develop a proposal to be presented to the Interna5onal Monetary
that would help mi5gate the problem in the lives of one village or township
your primary source materials.
a. The InternaOonal Monetary Fund (IMF) may not be the best place to present a
proposal about water and sanitaOon. Consider the World Health OrganizaOon’s
Water, SanitaOon and Health (WSH) Program at
b. There are also a number of Governmental/Nongovernmental Agencies that
specialize in water and sanitaOon such as:
i. USAID’s Environmental Health Program at hIp://www.ehproject.org/
ii. Global Water at hIp://www.globalwater.org/
iii. Various internaOonal NGOs at
5. Next, read Creswell’s Research Design: Qualita5ve, Quan5ta5ve, and Mixed
a. A cursory review of case studies and requests for applicaOon/aid (RFAs) and
requests for proposals (RFPs) indicates that the prevailing methodology is some
form of survey administered by trained workers who go out into the community
and collect data about sanitaOon/water needs. In some cases, informaOon is
collected from the UN or the World Bank.
b. Therefore, a mixed method approach that combines survey research, field
observaOons, and case study approach is warranted.
i. Survey—asking quesOons about access to sanitaOon/water. Any
waterborne illnesses. QuesOons about indoor plumbing are ubiquitous.
Maybe some in‐depth quesOons about possible soluOons, insOtuOonal
ii. Field Studies—the researcher observes water and sanitaOon pracOces.
iii. Case Studies—use a comparaOve approach that looks at exemplary
villages, middle‐range, and the target village.
c. The professor may wish to offer students the opportunity to complete a free online
course from MIT enOtled “Water and SanitaOon Infrastructure in Developing
Countries.” The course can be accessed at hIp://ocw.mit.edu/courses/urbanstudiesand‐
2007/index.htm. This course is designed for graduate students,
so the professor may wish to choose topics and assignments that are
appropriate for a parOcular level of academic ability.
6. Write an original proposal.
a. The process for wriOng a proposal is lengthy and not really feasible in an 8‐day
period, so to fit the objecOves within 8 days, students should
review a RFA/RFP, look at the format, see what expectaOons the funding agency
has for the researchers, and other RFA/RFP Ops. Perhaps devoOng a day to grant
wriOng is warranted. The MIT course described above uses memoranda
assignments rather than wriOng a proposal.
b. Despite the Ome limitaOons, most proposals require the following:
i. Problem Statement
Who (target group), What (the problem), Where (locaOon),
When (when is the project to begin and end?)
ii. Background Literature
1. This secOon explains the Why—lays out the theoreOcal issues
involved with the problem and idenOfies major concepts.
2.. Discusses past pracOces and lessons learned. Provides goals for the
iv. Researcher biographies
v. Appropriate endorsements such as InsOtuOonal Review Board (IRB), State
7. Submit a draS of the proposal to your teacher within three weeks of the
8. Confer with your teacher in a session of not less than 30 minutes to an
9. RedraS your proposal.
10. Prac5ce defending your proposal with five to seven members of your
11. Iden5fy the elements of the service learning project.
12. What are the implementa5on steps?
13. What are the expected outcomes?