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Dayna Hansberger, 2019 Slape Awardee – Research in Ethiopia

Dayna was awarded the George and Conni Slape Fellowship for $1000 (Spring 2019) to support her international research in Ethiopia.

Dayna writes: “My thesis centers on the experiences of rural households in Ethiopia in exploring drivers and barriers to household latrine ownership. Ethiopia has one of the lowest rates of safe sanitation in the world, meaning fewer than 10% of households have a latrine to safely separate human waste from human contact. Without this safe separation, the risk of disease transmission (e.g. diarrheal disease or intestinal worms) is elevated. Diarrheal disease is the leading cause of death for Ethiopian children under the age of five, but safe sanitation could help reduce this risk.

“In my research, I conducted extensive interviews with households in southern Ethiopia, as well as health workers and other workers in the sanitation marketplace. I talked to households who had a ‘traditional’ pit latrine (a pit covered with poles or mud) and households with a newly available concrete slab (). I sought to explore why a household with limited income would choose to invent additional money in the concrete slab, rather than the traditional latrine. Additionally, I looked at households’ satisfaction with their current latrines. Lastly, I dove into human-centered design, and the best way to design a sanitation market (design of the latrine, the sales and installation process, financing options, etc.) to incentivize households to upgrade their latrine.

“This thesis research builds on my previous work in my MPH program before coming to the UO, and my hope is that it can further explore the important but neglected area of global public health. I am so glad to be awarded the Slape Fellowship to facilitate the international data collection component of my research over this past summer.”

In addition to the Slape Fellowship, Dayna’s thesis research is also supported by the International Studies Department Thurber Award and the Graduate School Special ‘Opps’ Trael and Research Award.