We’re hearing from our colleagues around the world of the likely impact of the virus on the poorest communities, who will be ill-equipped to cope. With many living in overcrowded settlements in unsanitary conditions, social distancing will be almost impossible in places where access to soap and water for handwashing was already limited.
On this page you’ll find free resources from Practical Action Publishing, Practical Answers Information hub, Health Books International, and our partners to support organisations through each of these stages. Please share them and use them freely!
Practical Action’s view of the response to the Coronavirus pandemic combines three stages, to help people prepare for, withstand and recover from the impact of the virus:
1. Limit the spread
Protect the lives of vulnerable people by improving access to handwashing facilities and improving sanitation.
FACTSHEET How can communities with access to small quantities of water keep hands clean and free from infection in the face of illnesses like COVID19? This factsheet details four methods: tippy-taps, calabash washers, leaking ladle dippers and washing stations. Download it free in English, French, Spanish, or Portuguese.
FACTSHEET Harvesting water for handwashing
TECHNICAL BRIEF Making soap: A technical brief
JOURNAL ARTICLE Handwashing is particularly important in the acute phase of emergencies where people are more vulnerable to disease due to overcrowding and lack of access to safe water and sanitation. This article found that different emotions played a role in motivation to wash hands (shame, purity, love and care) in different cultures.
JOURNAL ARTICLE Measurement of handwashing behaviour in Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys and Demographic and Health Surveys, 1985–2008. How can handwashing uptake be measured globally in the hardest to reach areas?
JOURNAL ARTICLE Teaching schoolchildren about handwashing: Experiences from Zimbabwe. This article describes simple, easy-to-contruct devices that can deliver water for handwashing even when water is in short supply.
JOURNAL ARTICLE Is soapy water a viable solution for handwashing in schools?
JOURNAL ARTICLE Designing evidence-based communications programmes to promote handwashing with soap in Vietnam. Handwashing promotion for children under 5 needs unified ‘team’ communication via lots of channels including school, home, and society for uptake at scale.
JOURNAL ARTICLE A promising approach for motivating handwashing in Tanzania. Information about handwashing for example must also be accompanied by mechanisms to address the behavioural and sociocultural factors that motivate handwashing in different communities.
TECHNICAL BRIEF The treatment of water to kill pathogens
Hygiene and Sanitation in communities
MANUAL Environmental Handbook : Waste from Health Care Facilities – particularly important in the face of disease
TECHNICAL BRIEF A toolkit for improved WASH systems
TECHNICAL BRIEF A Practical Guide for Building a Simple Pit Latrine
2. Keep essential services running
Ensuring that water, sanitation and waste systems continue and food supply chains remain intact.
BOOK The Sphere Handbook 2018 The newest edition of the essential guide to humanitarian response includes a stronger focus on the role of local authorities and communities as actors of their own recovery, and relevant new standards including WASH and healthcare settings in disease outbreaks. Also read it in French, Spanish or Arabic.
BOOK Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts discusses the most effective ways of providing WASH for water supply and hygiene in the face of a disaster, with examples from around the world.
BOOK Hygiene Promotion: A Practical Manual for Relief and Development, 2 Beyond just information – working with communities in a collaborative, participatory way for long term behaviour change to stop the spread of disease.
PARTNER RESOURCES Knowledge Point is the only technical question and answer service for development agencies, providing fast and accessible technical expertise for humanitarian and development workers worldwide. It is a collaboration between major agencies, and has an emphasis on WASH information.
PARTNER RESOURCES The Global Distributors Collective has pulled together resources, strategies and tools to enable last mile distributors to plan for a range of scenarios and phases of the crisis and its aftermath.
PARTNER RESOURCES Our publishing partner Latin America Bureau has posted a host of articles about the impact of Covid-19 across the region, including a survey of cases and government responses, an account of a journey down the Amazon from Peru to Brazil witnessing the dependence and vulnerability of riverine communities, and a story of how street traders and marginal people in Buenos Aires are struggling to survive. Explore our LAB book collection on our website here.
TECHNICAL BRIEF Building a pumpkin water tank for water supply in a crisis
TECHNICAL BRIEF Making the right choice: Comparing your rural water technology options Water harvesting for hand washing and more
TECHNICAL BRIEF Home composting systems – to address food shortages during a crisis
TECHNICAL BRIEF Compost Bin Manufacturing Technical Guide – to address food shortages during a crisis
TECHNICAL BRIEF Home composting bins – to address food shortages during a crisis
TECHNICAL BRIEF Vermi composting guide – to address food shortages during a crisis
TECHNICAL BRIEF Sandbar cropping – to address food shortages during a crisis
TECHNICAL BRIEF Pumpkin Growing Using Sandbar – to address food shortages during a crisis
TECHNICAL BRIEF Breaking Barriers in Water and Sanitation Service Delivery to Informal Settlements – Case studies of the Mukuru model in Kenya
TECHNICAL BRIEF Mobilising finance for WASH : getting the foundations right – Setting up lasting, participatory WASH systems and focusing funding where it’s needed
VIDEO Low-cost Technology for Sanitation – Zimbabwe Solutions to reduce the incidence of disease in Epworth, a peri-urban settlement on the outskirts of Harare in Zimbabwe (a combination of improved ecosan toilets, which are cheap and sustainable, and hygiene education)
TECHNICAL BRIEF Water Supply During Emergencies
TECHNICAL BRIEF Details of a city-wide participatory Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) service for the urban population of Faridpur – to prevent the spread of any disease.
TECHNICAL BRIEF Digging in, Spreading out and Growing up: Introducing CLTS in Africa to give communities long term resilinence against the spread of disease
TECHNICAL BRIEF How can we achieve the most health reislience while spending the least? This briefing note describes the life-cycle costs approach and the main cost components for water and sanitation in rural and peri-urban areas
TECHNICAL BRIEF Removing Arsenic from water – Ensuring a clean water shortage due in a crisis.
TECHNICAL BRIEF Solar Water Disinfection Health and resilience against disease: This document looks at issues surrounding clean drinking water and a simple and low-cost solution where the heat and UV rays from the sun fall on water in plastic bottles, killing patho-genic micro-organisms.