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Schools

The JMP is expanding its global databases to include WASH in schools and will publish harmonised national, regional and global estimates in early 2018.

School children at drinking fountain

 

Children spend a significant portion of their day at school where WASH services can improve educational opportunities and decrease the potential for disease transmission between students, in addition to addressing issues around dignity, particularly for girls. The importance of WASH in schools has been recognized globally by its inclusion in the SDGs (targets 4.a, 6.1, 6.2) as key components of a 'safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environment' and part of 'universal' WASH access.

JMP monitoring of WASH in schools includes tracking ‘basic’ drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services in pre-primary, primary and secondary schools. Definitions of ‘basic’ services have been developed by a global task team convened by the JMP and incorporated into new JMP service ‘ladders’ for WASH in schools. JMP estimates for WASH in schools will be based on the new harmonised core indicators.

 

Drinking water in schools

Schools with an improved drinking water source with water available at the time of the questionnaire or survey will be classified as having ‘basic’ service. Schools without water available, but with an improved source are classified as having ‘limited’ service, and those with unimproved or no water source will be classified as ‘no service’. In countries where ‘basic’ service is already the norm, a country-defined ‘advanced’ service level may be appropriate based on the national context, priorities and resources. Criteria for an advanced level might include normative elements such as water quality, water quantity, and water point accessibility for all users.    

 

  • Advanced

    To be defined at national level

  • Basic

    Drinking water from an improved source is available at the school

  • Limited

    There is an improved source (piped, protected well/spring, rainwater, packaged/delivered water), but water not available at time of survey

  • No services

    No water source or unimproved source (unprotected well/spring, surface water)

 

Sanitation in schools

Schools with improved sanitation facilities which are single-sex and usable at the time of the survey or questionnaire are classified as having ‘basic’ service. The term ‘usable’ here refers to toilets or latrines that are accessible to students (doors are unlocked or a key is available at all times), functional (the toilet is not broken, the toilet hole is not blocked, and water is available for flush/pour-flush toilets), and private (there are closable doors that lock from the inside and no large gaps in the structure).

Those using improved sanitation facilities which are either not single-sex or not usable are classified as having ‘limited’ service. However, pre-primary schools without single-sex toilets may still be considered to have ‘basic’ sanitation service if the toilets are usable. Schools with unimproved or no toilets are classified as having ‘no service’. In countries where an ‘advanced’ service level is appropriate, elements might include students per toilet ratios, appropriate facilities for menstrual hygiene management, or toilet accessibility for all users.

 

  • Advanced

    To be defined at national level

  • Basic

    Improved facilities, which are single-sex and usable at the school

  • Limited

    There are improved facilities (flush/pour-flush toilets, pit latrine with slab, composting toilet), but not single-sex or not usable at time of survey

  • No service

    No toilets or latrines, or unimproved facilities (pit latrines without a slab or platform, hanging latrines, bucket latrines)

 

Hygiene in schools

Schools with handwashing facilities with water and soap available at the time of the questionnaire or survey are considered to have ‘basic’ service. Those with handwashing facilities that have water available at the time of the questionnaire or survey, but no soap, are considered to have ‘limited’ service, while schools with no facilities or no water available for handwashing are classified as having ‘no service’. An ‘advanced’ level for hygiene might include tracking if handwashing facilities are available at critical times (before eating and after using the toilet), if they are accessible to all users, and if menstrual hygiene education and products are provided.

 

  • Advanced

    To be defined at national level

  • Basic

    Handwashing facilities, which have water and soap available

  • Limited

    Handwashing facilities with water, but no soap

  • No service

    No handwashing facilities at the school or handwashing facilities with no water

 

Integrating and harmonizing data from EMIS and surveys   

Data sources for JMP estimates on WASH in schools include censuses such as the Education Management Information System (EMIS) and nationally representative surveys. Data are harmonised to the extent possible based on the indicator definitions for ‘basic’ service. Based on regional scoping studies, a number of countries have data on at least some of the SDG criteria already, though further harmonisation is needed for many monitoring systems. Harmonised core questions have been developed for use in surveys and/or national EMIS questionnaires and are provided in a JMP guidance document: Core questions and indicators for monitoring WASH in schools in the SDGs. Use of these questions would improve the cross-country comparability of data and support countries in tracking service levels beyond the presence of infrastructure alone. Country examples have also demonstrated how the core questions might be integrated into existing EMIS.