IAS, USP Engaged in 4 Pacific Island Countries Water Sanitation and Hygiene Project

Semisi Meo and Zamira Rua of the University of the South Pacific facilitating Community WaSH Program in Solomon Islands

The University of the South Pacific (USP) under the Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS) is engaged in a regional multidisciplinary WaSH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) project in collaboration with researchers from the Monash University (MU) in Melbourne, the International Water Centre (IWC) in Brisbane Australia and the University of North Carolina (UNC) in USA.   USP Graduate students, Ms Zamira Rua and IAS Senior Scientific Officer, Mr Semisi Meo are engaged in the project whilst pursuing studies in this area.

Funded by the Australian Aid Civil Society Agency, the research-based project intends to elucidate lessons learned and experiences within existing and interested “actors” in good implementation of WaSH programs in community level. The research is focused on communities in four Pacific island countries namely Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. The team expedited their research with two peri-urban informal settlements of Honiara (Burns Creek and Gilbert Camp) Solomon Islands from the 10 to 21 of March 2014.

Community group dynamics in WaSH coalition assessment,

Participatory Action Research is the approach adopted across WaSH stakeholders at the national and community level to assess the status and opportunities of improving WaSH. A range of areas that relate directly or indirectly to improving the conduct and sustainability of any WASH intervention is considered in the research including social marketing, community entrepreneurship, community capabilities and relevant opportunities.

In the Solomon Islands, the NGO Live and Learn Environment Education (LLEE) is identified as the primary local partner to host the facilitation of the project. They would facilitate the conduct of the actual work with the external WaSH expertise and researchers from the MU, IWC, UNC and USP. At the community level,  the project is about empowering them as researchers to change their WaSH situations as appropriate and  as well as provide  information  that may assist LLEE and other NGOs in doing WaSH projects.

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