Understanding behaviour change in WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) projects in Nepal

Institute Staff: Dr Celia McMichael

Collaborators: Australian Red Cross, Nepal Red Cross, Priscilla Robinson (La Trobe University), George Liu (La Trobe University)

Funding: La Trobe University, Australian Red Cross

Status: In progress

This collaborative research project aims to better understand the motivators and challenges for sustained water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) behaviour change in Nepal.

The aims of this one-year research include:

  • Identifying key lessons from previously conducted WASH programs in Nepal;
  • Completing a background review around motivators and challenges for WASH-related behaviour change, with particular focus on Asia and Nepal; and
  • Conducting preliminary fieldwork around the social, cultural and environmental factors affecting WASH and sustained behaviour change in Bahjang district.

The project is currently in its early stages, with a preliminary fieldwork planned for late-2014.

Reconceptualising Human Security: Its Uses and Limitations for Developing Australian Foreign Policy

The Academy of Social Sciences-ARC Learned Academies Special Project Reconceptualising human security: its uses and limitations for developing Australian foreign policy, was led by Professors Dennis Altman, Joseph Camilleri and Robin Eckersley.

Over the course of the project two workshops were held at La Trobe. Reports from the workshops can be downloaded from the links below.

Workshop reports

The workshop led to the development of Why Human Security Matters: Rethinking Australian foreign policyWhy Human Security Mattersargues that threats to Australian security today are more likely to come from climate change or international criminal networks than in the form of a military attack. The book sets a framework for understanding human security, from food supply to drug cartels, setting Australian issues in a regional context. Order a copy here.

The book was officially launched at Melbourne University by former Australian Foreign Minister and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group Gareth EvansRead his speech here.

La Trobe University Migration Research Network

The La Trobe migration research network has been hosted by the Institute for Human Security. Its aim is to enhance the University's research strength in this field by encouraging greater inter-disciplinary collaboration and developing opportunities for publications, research collaboration and competitive research grants.

The network brings together academics and postgraduate research students on a regular basis to discuss works in progress, encourage the establishment of new research teams and projects leading to grant applications and provide critical feedback on manuscripts in progress. 

Discussions are currently being held with the Research Focus Area on Transforming Human Societies about where best the network is now housed.

Centre for Democratic Institution

Institute staff Chris Roche and Paul Nichols provide research support and input to an impact assessment of Australian National University's the Centre for Democratic Institutions. The CDI's mandate is to support democratic processes and institutions in south-east Asia and the Pacific through knowledge sharing and interchange between Australia and our neighbours.

This project includes a review to help develop a comprehensive understanding of how 'thinking and working politically' can enhance the effectiveness of democratic governance interventions, development of an M&E plan for the CDI's 2014/15 work program, and development of a framework outlining the objectives and outcomes and theory of change for the next phase of the CDI program.