Understanding children and their caregivers’ experiences with self-wetting (incontinence) in humanitarian contexts
This research project aimed to understand the barriers to inclusion and well-being that those living with incontinence, particularly children aged five to 11 and their caregivers, face in humanitarian contexts, so that more holistic, effective and inclusive WASH and protection programming can be developed (download the project brief). We used a participatory research method to work with children, their caregivers, and other stakeholders in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh and Adjumani District, Uganda. You can watch a video about the methodology, or download the research tools in English, Bangla, Dinka, Madi and Arabic. Below are some of the results of the project thus far.
Read the Key Findings from our project here.
We found that there is a need for children, caregivers and members of the public to understand that children are likely to outgrow self-wetting with time, and should be supported (rather than punished). To promote this, we have created some posters that can be downloaded, printed and used freely. Although they were developed with the Cox’s Bazar Refugee Camp and Adjumani Refugee Settlements in mind, they may be useful in other places, as well.
You can download the posters (including in editable format, should you want to translate the main message into another language) here.
CHILD-SAN: a new disability-inclusive framework for emergency sanitation for children aged five to 11
Before beginning our work on this project, we reviewed all of the existing work on sanitation for children in emergency settings, and developed guidance for practitioners. This included a checklist that was used in this project when reviewing the currently available WASH facilities, and adapted following recommendations arising from the research. You can download a summary of the guidance and the checklist here. You can read about the development of the guidance here. We have submitted this work for potential inclusion in the next edition of the SPHERE Handbook.
2023 Understanding children’s experiences of self-wetting in humanitarian contexts: An evaluation of the Story Book methodology, PLOS Global Public Health (available 15th May 2023)
2021 CHILD-SAN: a new disability-inclusive framework for emergency sanitation for children aged five to 11, based on a systematic review of existing guidance, Journal of International Humanitarian Action
2022 Hear from 5 grantees striving for better health outcomes for refugees (first example), Elrha Blog
2022 Conducting research with children: Developing the story book methodology. Elrha blog
2022 Conducting research with children: Honouring a child’s right to be heard. Elrha blog
2023 Understanding children’s experiences of self-wetting (incontinence) in humanitarian contexts (PDF of slides – you can also download the slides with audio – approx. 12 mins – from here), Water and WASH Futures Conference
2022 How to better understand the experiences of children who wet themselves (PDF of slides), Colorado WASH Systems Symposium
2022 CHILD-SAN A new disability-inclusive framework for emergency sanitation for children aged five to 11, based on a systematic review of existing guidance (poster), Colorado WASH Systems Symposium
2022 Understanding children and their caregivers’ experiences with incontinence in humanitarian contexts (link to video, also embedded below. Our work is presented from 35-42 minutes), WASH Cluster Hygiene Promotion Technical Working Group Speaker Series, UNICEF