PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details
a) we carry out a game-based curriculum designed to improve our beneficiaries' WASH knowledge and behaviour.
b) primarily in schools and youth sport clubs, but also communities
c) Trained local NGOs, teachers and peer educators regularly repeat sessions
d) A session takes several hours
e) local NGO partners, trained teachers and peer educators
f) Our games are very different from other games currently used by WASH sector organizations. WASH United games are action-oriented physical activities that take WASH issues out of the class-room, involving everyone in the class. They are not only extremely fun and exciting, but enable children to generate their insights through fun game experiences they share with their friends. Emotional rewards (like membership cards featuring our celebrity ambassadors) reinforce the experience.
INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.
The WASH sector provides prime proof for the fact that the world is ready to re-imagine learning. For decades, well-meaning experts assumed that building toilets would be enough. India and Africa are full of unused toilets that serve as chicken houses, storage space or temples. Fortunately, there is increasing recognition that infrastructure must go hand in hand with increased knowledge and behaviour change, and partly due to our work, the WASH sector is increasingly turning to games to help achieve just that.
Toilet poeple ready to play? The world is clearly ready to re-imagine learning!
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?
To us, learning through play means to see the joy on a child's face when it has fun playing a great game with friends and learns at the same time. It also means playing games like the "World Toilet Cup" with Ministers responsible for WASH to break the ice and have frank and open discussions on issues that are often considered dirty and unspeakable.
In our work to change attitudes and behaviours around difficult issues such as toilets and menstrual hygiene management, learning through play, fun and games have proven to be absolutely essential ingredients for success.
SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: 60%
German Federal Foreign Office: 8%
Other (Georgetown University, Unicef, etc): 12%
Georgetown University – 80.000 USD – for the c
MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?
WASH United's goal is to make our innovative new approaches to WASH advocacy and behaviour change accessible to as many organizations as possible. To achieve that, we have developed a 3-layer business/distribution model, which allows us to offer standard tools, but also tailor-made solutions.
WASH United is non-profit, but to be able to provide consulting services, we will soon add a "Limited" to become a hybrid.
FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?
Invest in R&D for a „WASH Box“ with extremely low-costs games and a self-explanatory game manual that can be produced and used by everyone, everywhere.
Why? Because such a product would have huge potential to go to scale and R&D funds are extremely hard to get.
PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.
Partnerships with football clubs like Bayern Munich or federations like the International Cricket Council have helped us make our approach extra exciting for kids and adults. We work with streetfootballworld on a program called the WASH Challenge Cup, for which we adopt our WASH games for sport 4 development organizations. This has helped us improve our facilitation guides. More generally, feedback from our local partners has been critical.
COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.
Heeals India is one of the of the partner organizations for Menstrual Hygiene Day, a global advocacy initiative on the issue of menstrual hygiene management WASH United initiated in 2013. We first met Heeals on our "The Great WASH Yatra" travelling carnival, which inspired them to also use games.
VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?
In 15 years, a wide range of actors - government agencies, grassroots NGOs, individual teachers, even parents - has access to and works with a broad array of extremely affordable game-based WASH United tools and materials to promote WASH knowledge and behaviour change. As more actors do more effective work on the issue, we are moving towards a world in which everyone, everywhere has access to and uses a toilet and practises good hygiene.
IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time
Since 2010, WASH United and partners have trained more than 130.000 using our game-based curriculum in India, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Lesotho, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali and South Africa.
Our most recent evaluation of a pilot project with Sanergy in 25 schools in Kenya showed significant increases in hand-washing practice compared to the baseline. See attached report. We would love to have better data re behavior change over time.
APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.