NGO program efficacy and outcomes in Eastern Nepal
Bignell, Frederick Byron James
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SubjectNepal; sanitation; community; health; survey; toilets; E. coli; disease; gastrointestinal; water
The author is concerned with the question of success and its measurement regarding NGO projects in Nepal and the actual project state versus projected outcomes, and how the impact of evolving conditions and contexts affect the project and the community. Using Lyons’ 2008 data as a starting point, the researcher designed a project to evaluate the outcomes of a sanitation initiative in the village of Namsaling. The author, with the help of the community, developed a digital survey which was deployed in the village of in the winter of 2016. The survey included socioeconomic and health information as well as Geographic Information System (GIS) data. The 2016/17 data were analysed and compared to the 2008/09 Lyons data to determine the quantifiable changes in rates of gastrointestinal (GI) in the community and to examine the efficacy of the sanitation program. The 2017 results show an overall decrease in the rates of GI disease, although water testing for E. coli indicate its presence. Survey demographics of the 2017 data are like the Lyons (2008/09) data; the average age was 42 years, roughly 60% of all respondents were women between 30 and 40 years of age. A significant change is seen in the number of households without toilets, which is under 5% in 2017. The 2017 results show a similar correlation between distance from the spring and the incidence of disease as the 2008/09 data. The research also identified a potential problem with the local geological conditions, the design, age and placement of the septic tanks; a set of conditions the research suggests be monitored for changes as failure may represent a direct threat to the health of an already burdened system.