Gender and social outcomes of WASH interventions: synthesis of research evidence

CEDIL Syntheses Working Paper 7

Biljana Macura, Sarah Dickin, Hugh Sharma Waddington, Carla Liera, Adriana Soto, Arianna Orlando, Ella Foggit, Camille Pross, Jessica McArthur, Audinisa Fadhila, Laura Del Duca, George Njoroge

Safely managed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are fundamental for human health and wellbeing and are thought to contribute to a range of positive outcomes related to education, livelihoods, dignity, safety, and gender equality. However, gender and other social categories (e.g. age, ethnicity, caste, disability, marital status) can mediate who benefits from WASH services and in which ways. As progress in gaining access to safe WASH services has not occurred equally, there has been a focus on mainstreaming gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) in interventions. Despite awareness in the sector of the importance of promoting gender and socially inclusive WASH services, evaluations of interventions focus largely on technical or health outcomes, while social outcomes are not included.

This systematic evidence synthesis aimed to collate evidence on the impact of WASH interventions on GESI outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It also aimed to synthesise evidence on violence-related outcomes, and to advance understanding of barriers to, and facilitators of, change in violence-related outcomes in the context of WASH interventions. It synthesises evidence on time savings and alternate uses of time associated with WASH interventions. 

Suggested citation: Macura, B., Dickin, S., Sharma Waddington, H., Liera, C., Soto, A., Orlando, A., Foggit, E., Pross, C., McArthur, .J, Fadhila, A., Del Duca, L., Njoroge, G. (2023). Gender and social outcomes of WASH interventions: synthesis of research evidence, CEDIL Syntheses Working Paper 7, CEDIL, Oxford. Available at

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