In 2013, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) and the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) worked with partners to establish technical design standards for school WASH infrastructure for the Solomon Islands. These standards were titled Water Supply, Sanitation & Hygiene for Educational Facilities in the Solomon Islands: Technical requirements for school WASH projects.
During the preparation of the guidelines, WASH and health partners identified MHM as a key gap in knowledge and programming guidance by sector stakeholders. To fill this gap, MHMS, MEHRD, and UNICEF conducted a study in four schools in Honiara and Guadalcanal Province in August 2014. The study was based on the Emory University and UNICEF Tools for Assessing MHM in Schools publication, adapted to the Solomon Islands context. The purpose was to understand the challenges that girls face during menstruation, and make recommendations for addressing them through WASH in schools programmes and specifically better facility designs.
So far, only project specific monitoring for UNICEF implementing partners, Live & Learn Environmental Education (a regional NGO), and World Vision Solomon Islands is occurring. MHM-related questions have been integrated into the MHMS Rural WASH Baseline Survey for Schools, for which enumerator training is ongoing (October 2015) with data collection to begin in November 2015.
UNICEF is increasing support to WinS through MEHRD this year and has developed a funding proposal centred around girl-friendly WinS; regardless of external funding, UNICEF is considering funding a dedicated WinS officer at MEHRD to move this forward nationally.
The overview was compiled based on information from the Solomon Island EAPR Country MHM Mapping Questionnaire submitted by UNICEF Office of the Pacific Island Countries.