Sanitation intervention review

Eight key steps to conduct a Synthetic Review on water and sanitation

November 11, 2009

Speaker: Hugh Waddington

How do we assess the range of evidence on development programmes to provide guidance to policy makers and planners? Synthetic review enables us to assess the quality of evidence and summarise it to provide clear guidance to policy makers and practitioners. 

Hugh Waddington from 3ie presented at the Delhi seminar series the eight key steps used to conduct his review on ‘water sanitation and hygiene interventions to combat childhood diarrhoea in developing countries’.

1.Scoping to identify relevant topic. This involves looking at:
The kind of interventions: Water supply, water treatment, sanitation, and hygiene programs
Populations: Children in low- and middle-income countries
Outcomes: Diarrhoea disease morbidity, intervention adoption or compliance
Theory: Disease transmission model and behaviour change

2.Background: determine the policy relevance and knowledge gaps
In a year, 6 times more children are killed by diarrhoea than by conflict around the world. So, what is the most effective kind of intervention to reduce the prevalence of diarrhoea among children in developing countries? 

3.  Theory: unpack the causal chain and factors influencing behavioural change
Theory: Disease transmission pathways

4.Rigorous search to identify published and unpublished sources and application of strict inclusion criteria, set out in Study Protocol

5.Systematic data collection and coding of information relating to:
a. Intervention and comparison group
b. Study quality (assessment of internal validity)
c. Contextual factors (external validity)Outcomes (impact ‘effect size’)
d. Causal chain (behavioural change)

6. Quantitative synthesis using meta-analysis, including assessment of impact heterogeneity

7. Synthesis of quantitative and qualitative information relating to causal chain

8. Review updated as new evidence emerges: every 3 years

Download Hugh Waddington's presentation (251.9 KB)

Scroll to Top