On March 1st, IPA and PATH organized a Handwashing Innovation Summit bringing together two dozen participants including representatives of many organizations working on handwashing technologies such as the Water and Sanitation Project, Safe Water and Aids project, Kenya Water for Health organization and PATH. The discussion focused on existing evidence on waste water collection and use of hand sanitizer as opposed to soap and water. There was interest to develop good engagement structures with the county and national governments in order to scale up proved handwashing technologies.
Dissemination of research results and information sharing are critical to the success of Kenyan health policies. This event presented an opportunity for all implementing and evaluating partners to consider the impact and relevance that these learning and networking forums have to the design of future national and county strategies and to shape the future research agenda.
The summit concluded with the following action points:
- Formation of a working group to engage the National Health NGO Network.
- Develop a standardized national curriculum on handwashing.
- Acknowledge the power of rigorous evidence and reinforce the implementation of research.
The summit also highlighted a few issues to consider when planning to scale up new technology:
- Cost of the technology, affordability and accessibility by the end user.
- Instill a sense of ownership within the community.
- Constantly redesign the technologies to maximize their functionality.
- Build strong government partnerships to promote integration of the new technology into existing or new government programs to facilitate distribution