Philanthropedia Blog

Archive for October, 2011

Identifying High-Impact Nonprofits Working in Water, Sanitation & Hygiene in Developing Countries

October 11th, 2011

Overview

 

Like clean air, most of us living in developed countries take the availability of clean water for granted. However, almost half of the developing world’s population – 2.5 billion people – lack improved sanitation facilities, and over 884 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources. (Source: UNICEF) Poor water, sanitation, and hygiene have many serious repercussions. Children- and particularly girls-can’t attend schools because their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities. Women are forced to spend large parts of their day fetching water, leaving children unattended in homes. And 3.5 million people die each year (three million of whom are children) because of water-borne diseases. (Source: World Water Relief)

Scope of Research

 

Almost all experts I interviewed spoke about water, sanitation, and hygiene hand-in-hand, also known as the “WASH approach,” so we are including those three components in the scope of our research. (Thank you to those of you who offered your time and expertise to help define the scope of this research!) Water, sanitation, and hygiene are important to think about in terms of household behavior and health because disease isn’t spread only by drinking contaminated water, but can be spread through home activities involving ones hands, washing clothes, etc. One expert mentioned when water, sanitation, and hygiene are combined, the impact on community health outcomes is three to five times stronger than if these programs didn’t include information to help people understand sanitation and hygiene.

 

In this research we are asking experts to recommend up to three nonprofits doing high-impact work across multiple countries/regions, and up to three nonprofits doing high-impact work in a specific country/region because we want to be able to highlight both large and smaller scale nonprofits.

  1. Water: Nonprofits recommended could work in one or more of the following areas: water filtration, provision, well drilling, well rehabilitation, water purification technology, advocacy and policy, and trying to improve water quality and quantity.
  2. Sanitation: Nonprofits recommended could include all aspects of environmental cleanliness from safe excreta disposal to solid waste management.
  3. Hygiene: Nonprofits recommended could work on implementation of hygiene promotion activities.

 

Nonprofits can be focused in direct service, advocacy, litigation, research, education, and other areas.

 

We will be primarily focusing on populations in need, this can include rural populations, small town populations, urban slum populations, populations dependent on water carrying, and populations that would benefit from improved hygiene behaviors.

 

So, if you are an expert in nonprofits working in water, sanitation, and hygiene internationally you should have received an email from us with a link to our survey. The survey will be open until the end of October, 2011. We hope you will share your perspective and insights! If for some reason we have missed you and you think you have a valuable perspective to offer, please contact me, Dawn Kwan at dkwan@guidestar.org, and we would love to send the survey to you to include your insights.

Additionally, I’m sure I haven’t been able to capture every nuance in this sector, so I invite your feedback and thoughts about how you might think about this work. For those readers less familiar with this topic, I hope you learned something new and will tune in again when we have the results of this research. Thank you all for your participation!

 

Identifying High-Impact Nonprofits Working in Violence Against Women Internationally

October 11th, 2011

Overview

 

One out of every three women worldwide will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during her lifetime with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries. (Source: Women Thrive) Violations can occur at home, in the workplace, in public, during times of peace, and also times of war. Types of violence range from rape to domestic abuse to acid burnings to dowry deaths to so-called honor killings. Violence against women and girls is an extreme human rights violation, a public health epidemic, and a barrier to solving global challenges such as extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS, and famine. It devastates the lives of millions of women and girls — in peacetime and in conflict — and knows no national or cultural barriers.

Initially Philanthropedia was interested in identifying high-impact nonprofits working in the area of international human rights, but after talking to a number of experts we realized that this topic was too broad so we narrowed it down to international justice and international women’s rights. We decided to focus on international women’s rights because it is a subject area in which individual donors are particularly interested, but we will consider expanding into the area of international justice in the future. Within international women’s rights, we decided to focus on violence against women because of the pressing need and also because a lot of nonprofits and foundations work and fund in this space. (Thank you to those of you who offered your time and expertise to help define the scope of this research!)

Scope of Research

 

In this research we are asking experts to recommend up to three nonprofits doing high-impact work across multiple countries/regions, and up to three nonprofits doing high-impact work in a specific country/region because we want to be able to highlight both large and smaller scale nonprofits.

Nonprofits could focus on one or more of the following areas:

  • Peace and Gender Violence: Women and girls are uniquely and disproportionately affected by armed conflict. Violence against women happens during active conflicts and in post-conflict societies, and can include the systematic use of rape and sexual assault as weapons of armed conflict, terror and intimidation, and repression of women’s freedoms. A disproportionate number of women and children are killed during these times. In modern warfare, an estimated 90% of the casualties are civilians, and 75% of these are women and children. (Source: Amnesty USA)
  • Domestic Violence, Battering, & Marital Rape: This is one of the most common forms of violence against women. A World Health Organization study of 24,000 women in 10 countries found that the prevalence of physical and/or sexual violence by a partner varied from 15 percent in urban Japan to 71 percent in rural Ethiopia, with most areas being in the 30–60 percent range. A World Bank study in 1994 found that on ten selected risk factors facing girls and women in the age group of 16-44 years old, rape and domestic violence were more dangerous than cancer, motor vehicle accidents, war, and malaria.
  • Customary Practices: This includes female genital mutilation, so called “honor killings”, female infanticide, and dowry-related violence.
  • Forced and Early Marriage

Nonprofits can be focused in direct service, advocacy, litigation, research, education, and other areas.

Specifically excluded are organizations working in human trafficking and reproductive health, rights, and justice (because some experts mentioned they should be in their own separate categories and Philanthropedia might conduct research in these areas in the future). In addition, we are excluding violence against men within the definition of gender based violence because women and girls are disproportionately targets of physical, sexual, and psychological harm.    

So, if you are an expert in nonprofits working in violence against women internationally, you should have received an email from us with a link to our survey. The survey will be open until the end of October, 2011. We hope you will share your perspective and insights! If for some reason we have missed you and you think you have a valuable perspective to offer, please contact me, Dawn Kwan at dkwan@guidestar.org, and we would love to send the survey to you to include your insights.

Additionally, I’m sure I haven’t been able to capture every nuance in this sector, so I invite your feedback and thoughts about how you might think about this work. For those readers less familiar with this topic, I hope you learned something new and will tune in again when we have the results of this research. Thank you all for your participation!


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