series event

Where next for evaluations of water and sanitation interventions in LMIC cities?


It is often stated that the massive gains in health in Europe and North America at the turn of the 20th century were the result of improvements in water and sanitation (for example, construction of sewers). However, careful examination of records from this time period paints a more complex picture; in some cases health gains happened before these developments while in other cases health gains failed to follow after improvements in water and sanitation had been put in place. Now, over 100 years later, a concerted effort has been made to improve water and sanitation in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). Again, however, these investments have had patchy success and, overall, the results fall short of expectations. The reason for these disappointing results are not clear. Diseases of the stomach and intestines remain common in LMICs, and diarrhoea is still one of the two largest causes of death in children under the age of five, killing more people than malaria, TB and HIV combined. This presentation will investigate where next for evaluations of water and sanitation interventions in LMIC cities.



Professor Richard Lilford CBE is Professor of Public Health at the University of Warwick and directs the Warwick International Centre for Applied Health Research and Delivery, pursuing a programme of applied health research in developing countries with an emphasis on service delivery research. During his academic career Lilford has published 300+ peer-reviewed publications and has been either a principle investigator or co-applicant on over 100 externally grant-funded projects. He was corresponding author on a Lancet series on the health of people who live in slums. He was a co-Principal Investigator on a successful application to the Rockefeller Foundation to hold a prestigious Bellagio Conference. He has presented his work in slum health to WHO in Quito (at the UN-Habitat 30 years conference), United Nations Population Fund and the US Agency for International Development. He was recently awarded an NIHR grant of £5.6million (with additional matched funding from the University of Warwick) to establish the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Improving Health in Slums. Lilford is also the Warwick co-lead for the $8m Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa that aims to strengthen doctoral training in Africa.


Chair: Val Curtis is Director of the Hygiene Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). The Hygiene Centre is a multidisciplinary group dedicated to improving hygiene, sanitation and water in households and schools through enhancing knowledge. Curtis has a background in 

engineering, epidemiology and anthropology, and has a particular interest in human behaviour, especially from an evolutionary perspective.


Chair Introduces: 15.30 to 15.35

Presentation: 15.35 to 16:25

Discussions and Q/A: 16:25 to 16:50

Chair’s Concluding remarks and close: 16:50 to 17:00



Next Seminar by Naila Kabeer from SOAS on April 25th “Asset transfers to women in poverty in South Asia: qualitative reflections on two randomized control trials” – we will announce the venue please look at 3ie website for further information.


Free and open to all. Registration required, register below.