Gender equality and social inclusion mainstreaming in WASH interventions: experiences from implementation, research and policy

Gender equality and social inclusion mainstreaming in WASH interventions: experiences from implementation, research and policy

Date: 02 November 2022



This webinar will be an opportunity to hear from a CEDIL project team, and hear about their research. To see their project page, please follow this link: Gender and Social Outcomes of WASH Interventions

Poor access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services threatens population health and contributes to gender and social inequalities, especially in low-resource settings. Despite awareness in the WASH sector of the importance of promoting gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) to address these inequalities, evaluations of interventions focus largely on health outcomes, while gender equality and other social outcomes are rarely included. GESI mainstreaming in WASH services is often viewed as having the dual purpose of improving the sustainability and effectiveness of the technical and health outcomes, as well as promoting positive change in GESI outcomes.

The project team used a systematic mapping methodology to collate and describe available research evidence of GESI outcomes evaluated in WASH intervention studies. The team searched for both academic and grey literature published between 2010 and 2020 in 16 bibliographic databases and 53 specialist websites.  

The review included 499 publications across 463 studies. Most included studies (78%) lacked a specific GESI mainstreaming component in their intervention design. Of the interventions with GESI mainstreaming, the majority targeted women and girls, with very few focused on other social groups or intersectional considerations.

In light of the research gaps found in the CEDIL-funded review ‘Gender and social outcomes of WASH interventions: synthesis of research evidence’, the aim of this session is to discuss the importance of GESI mainstreaming in WASH interventions. Specifically, the webinar will explore how evaluations of GESI mainstreaming efforts in WASH can be done better and what type of support is needed to achieve this mainstreaming.  

Biljana Macura

Senior Research Fellow, SEI

Biljana Macura isan environmental social scientist with the main research focus on the synthesis of robust evidence for decision-making in environmental policy and practice. She is conducting systematic evidence syntheses in environmental management, developmentand related fields. She is working on the improvement and development of evidence synthesis methods as a contributor to the Guidelines and standards for evidence synthesis in the environmental management of the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence and as a member of Campbell-CEE Qualitative Evidence Synthesis Methods Group. Biljana is also a co-creator of RepOrtingStandards forenvironmentalEvidenceSynthesis (ROSES) and associate editor of Environmental Evidence journal.



Sarah Keener

Senior Social Development Specialist, World Bank

Sarah Keener leads the social inclusion agenda in the World Bank Water Global Practice.    She has worked for over 25 years with the World Bank Group in the Middle East and North African Region, the Latin American and Caribbean Region, and the Africa Region, leading efforts to increase citizen engagement and social inclusion within World Bank lending and non-lending operations.   She has pioneered approaches to inclusion in water via leading a  stakeholder engagement project among the riparians of the Nile Basin, contributing to the Africa Region Infrastructure Flagship on water provision to the urban poor, managed technical assistance focused on infrastructure regulation and citizen engagement, and developed innovative approaches to peri-urban water provision in Peru, Mozambique, Angola, Lesotho, Zambia and elsewhere.   She has focused extensively on issues of inclusion and voice in the context of infrastructure operations in municipal, water, energy and transport.    Ms. Keener, an American national, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. 

Zinash Kefale

Regional Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (PMER) Advisor, Water Aid

Chair: Jess MacArthur

3 Responses

  1. I like to participate in your discussions even if I am not aware of such projects in Burundi. I’d like to be part of the local team for further developments.

    1. All of the recordings of our events are put on our YouTube channel ( and onto the relevant event pages. Check back at this page next week and the recording should be there. And do follow us on Twitter (@CEDILProgramme) and/or sign up to our mailing list ( if you’d like to be informed about future webinars and about our online conference happening in early 2023.

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