Request for proposals (Female-friendly toilets)


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A lack of suitable public and community toilets that meet the requirements and expectations of women and girls impact on many aspects of their lives. For example, it can limit women’s mobility, their ability to be economically productive, or increase their exposure to gender based violence. In most places the inadequacy of both the quality and quantity of toilets for women and girls is related to a historic and ongoing lack of participation of women in the planning and decision-making spheres and insufficient consideration of their requirements when it comes to developing these facilities.

Some good efforts have been made both in theory and in practice to ensure that sanitation facilities are planned, designed and managed in a way that ensures inclusion. While considerable progress has been made on developing practical resources for accessibility –see for instance the Compendium of accessible WASH technologies–, resources that give practical guidance on how to reduce, for example, the potential for gender based violence in relation to sanitation, need further development and more visibility. A seminal resource is the Violence, Gender and WASH Toolkit, but decision makers may not know about it or find it accessible or actionable enough. There are also several more practical guides that are toilet-specific guides, but they are many times not relevant to developing country settings or for working at scale.

This piece of work seeks to learn from and build on what is already out there and on best practices, to produce a ‘how to’ resource targeted at decision makers in charge of public and community toilets (primarily government officers at municipal level in charge of sanitation) to help them address these issues from a city-wide perspective.


This assignment WaterAid aims at developing guidance for planning, designing and managing public and community toilets in way that better caters for the requirements of all women and girls. The primary audience for the guidance is decision makers and practitioners at the city or municipal level in developing countries.



  • Summarising the requirements of the audience, based on available evidence and conversations with city-level decision makers (WaterAid would facilitate the connection) [2-3 days]
  • Gathering existing guidelines, resources and best practice on the topic and structuring the evidence available (WaterAid would provide an initial list of resources) [2-3 days]

Output: Inception report (3-5 pages)
First draft: 12 January 2018
Final version: 19 January 2018


  • Developing a short, practical and visual guidance resource1, in a language that is accessible across contexts and including pictures and illustrations2. It would have three key sections: [18-30 days]
    • Introduction: background, including a brief summary of impact of sanitation on women and girls, and framing of the guidance, establishing links and potential applicability to other
    • The planning chapter: summarised guidance to support decision makers in getting a good understanding of women’s requirements regarding public and community toilets throughout the city/town context, and developing a plan to address those. It can include suggested steps, ways to use existing data, mapping/diagnostic tools and participation mechanisms, emphasising the need to ensure women and girls are consulted and involved in the planning and decision making.
    • The design & management chapter 3: guidance on the practicalities and standards of building female-friendly public and community toilets and/or adapting existing ones. Adequate differentiation between community and public toilets will be reflected where relevant. The guidance will include a combination of concrete ‘to dos’, as well as more open ‘things to consider’, that decision makers would need to decide based on the outcomes of the planning and consultations.

Output: Guidance document
First draft: 23 February 2018
Final version: 6 March 2018


  • Developing a 2-page brief or summary resource for easy dissemination of the key aspects of the guidance [1-3 days]
  • Drafting a dissemination and uptake strategy, suggesting outputs and channels and highlighting opportunities going forward [1-3 days]

Brief: (First draft – 20 March 2018, Final draft – 29 March 2018)
Dissemination & uptake draft: (First draft – 20 March 2018, Final draft 29 March 2018)

We are envisaging regular engagement with the consultant and opportunities for providing feedback to the drafts and at other relevant stages of the assignment.


Consultants are requested to submit their application, which should include:

  • Cover letter (400-500 words)
  • Short proposal (1000-1800 words), delineating how the assignment will be approached and containing a budget (including VAT)
  • CV (1-2 pages), including references
  • Example of previous work relevant to this assignment, linked or attached (optional)

Applications should be sent in to [email protected] with ‘Female-friendly toilets’ in the subject and pdf versions of the documents requested, no later than the 19th December 2017, 4pm. A WaterAid committee will be review the proposals based on strength of the candidate (40%), quality of proposal (40%) and cost (20%), and will strive to select a consultant by the 3rd of January (estimated date). Applicants might be required to answer follow-up questions and/or be interviewed.