Oxfam's Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Resources

Remembering Val Curtis

Oxfam’s Global Humanitarian Team is paying tribute to Professor Val Curtis, a leading thinker in the fields of water, sanitation and hygiene.

Val worked across many fields and in different roles, first working with Oxfam in Luwero in Uganda in 1983, responding to humanitarian needs caused by the ongoing civil unrest in the country at the time. She is remembered fondly by both those that she worked with in humanitarian contexts, and by those within Oxfam who have been taught by her as students at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, or through her prodigious research and guidance contribution to the fields of behaviour change and WASH policy.

Val both directly and indirectly contributed to defining Oxfam’s humanitarian public health team and their work with crisis-affected populations worldwide. We remember her as an adventurous free spirit with prodigious talents who went on to develop her skills and knowledge used to great effect to influence and benefit many people around the world.

Colleagues past and present offer their sincere condolences to Val’s family, colleagues and friends.

With thanks to Jan Davis, Paul Sherlock, Pat Diskett, Cathy Gibb, Cathy Mears, Olwyn and Chris Mason and Anne Lloyd for sharing their memories of Val.

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Research shows that many emergency latrines are not used by the people they are intended for.

Sani Tweaks is about simple changes that can fix this: consulting users, modifying latrines, and providing sanitation as a service, not a one-off installation.

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Collectively, the WASH team have an acknowledged reputation in the sector for research and development initiatives. We also have a long history of developing products which are now used by many agencies, including the Jerry Bucket, steel water tanks and handwashing stand.

We also work to develop new approaches including how to measure quality in humanitarian responses, tiger worm toilets and solar powered water pumping

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Oxfam aims to be the leading player in humanitarian WASH by:

  • demonstrating rapid and high quality emergency response,
  • influencing the WASH sector with evidence of our effectiveness,
  • supporting community resilience in disaster prone and fragile contexts and
  • enhancing national capacity to improve WASH coverage for the most vulnerable.

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All humanitarian agencies can access Oxfam's equipment from the Oxfam Supply Centre. The website includes all specifications and instruction manuals for our kit.

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