Call: Sanitation, hygiene and gender equality and social inclusion research grant

4th January 2022

A large part of the Sanitation Learning Hub’s (SLH) work is around research and learning to support gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) in sanitation and hygiene programming. This includes using and promoting gender transformative sanitation approaches and ‘Leave No One Behind’ policies and programmes: this keeps the focus on the poorest, most marginalised and hardest to reach households and communities.  

SLH is offering up to 3 grants of up to £15,000 (approximately $20,000) for in-country research institutes, organisations or think tanks, to undertake GESI specific research into sanitation and hygiene in low and low-middle incoming countries. Your research will focus on those who have been overlooked or left behind. It must be co-created with local organisations and people, reflect their knowledge and concerns, and develop practical solutions.  

Within proposals you can develop specific research questions on any GESI topic relevant to your own country context. Research can be undertaken in either rural or urban contexts. Some priority areas include: 

  • Identifying and tackling slippage 
  • The use and effectiveness of different support mechanisms for the construction and maintenance of sanitation facilities  
  • Identifying who, how and why people are being missed in current sanitation and hygiene programmes  
  • The links between social protection and sanitation 

Criteria for this work include: 

  • It should take a qualitative, preferably participatory, approach  
  • It needs to be undertaken in collaboration with a Rights Holder Organisation and a WASH partner 
  • It will tackle a GESI problem associated with sanitation programming in your country   
  • Specific recommendations for future programming are to be proposed in consultation with a WASH programming organisation and communities  
  • Findings will be presented and discussed with the community, asking them what they might wish to do with the findings  


This call is open to all research institutes, organisations and think tanks in low or lower-middle income countries. Calls are particularly welcome from those based in Pakistan, Indonesia and Nigeria. 

Support offered:

Monetary support to cover research costs: up to £15,000 per grant. This is intended to support research costs such as researcher time, accessing data/publications, additional personnel (i.e. enumerators and interpreters), travel, meetings, communication, and any other associated research costs.  

Support for publication: For authors wishing to publish in a journal we will also support Open Access fees.   

Application process:

Please send your proposal addressing the key components below along with CVs and support letter to, by February 18th, 2022. Unfortunately, SLH can only accept proposals in English. Applications will be initially reviewed by SLH and colleagues at the Institute of Development Studies before being reviewed by independent experts. Those that best cover the evaluation criteria will then be invited for a meeting with SLH staff before a final decision is made. Successful grantees will be told by March 11th 2022. Download the Terms of Reference for full details on how to structure the proposal.

If you have any questions please contact