For the first time ever, a Temple researcher has been awarded a grant by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Heather Murphy, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the College of Public Health, will use the funding to develop a costing model for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs at schools in developing countries.
Murphy explains that schools in many countries have no latrines or running water. But before this critical infrastructure can be built, she says, governments need to be able to estimate costs and develop budgets. That’s something that they may not have previous experience with when it comes to WASH programs. “We are coming up with a tool that they can plug numbers into, to figure out how much these programs cost per student, and how to allocate resources efficiently,” says Murphy. Those are important first steps that pave the way for better overall health and improved performance at school.
Murphy focuses on WASH and water safety issues both in North America and around the world. Among other projects, she is currently examining groundwater contamination in private wells. Read more about Murphy and her work here.