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Question 3: Have investments (input) in WASH interventions (activity) led to better access to WASH facilities (output), resulted in a reduction in % of children suffering from diarrhoea (outcome) and reduced child undernutrition and mortality (impact)?

WHAT are the characteristics of a well-formulated policy question?Comments for Question 3
1. The question must respond to a relevant policy need The policy relevance is ensured by going through steps 1 and 2 of the question formulation process.
2. The question must be answerable with existing quantitative data Data experts need to identify the main datasets available that measure the indicators mentioned. Budget data, routine data, monitoring of progress indicators, and population-based surveys seems to be a good source of information for this question.
3. The question must provide a timely answer for policy use The timeliness of the answer is discussed during steps 1 and 2 of the question formulation process. Note that only the data analysis plan will be able to define precisely the time needed for the analysis.
4. The analysis of the question must lead to actionable recommendations and decisions This is ensured by going through steps 1 and 2 of the question formulation process.
5. The question must specify:
a) the population groups
b) the type of intervention
c) the objective
d) the time frame
e) the expected outcomes
a) “Children”: age groups must be specified, for instance, 0-59m or 6-59m of age.
b) This question is about an intervention in the WASH sector, but the exact interventions need to be described more specifically.
c) The underlying “policy objective” could be made more specific, as this would guide the development of the data analysis plan.
d) The question does not specify the time frame. Is it based on the time frame of the official action plan on WASH intervention?
e) Diarrhoea is the outcome indicator. The data analysis plan will detail whether the analysis will use prevalence or incidence of diarrhoea. The data analysis plan needs to describe precisely the other indicators that should be included in the analysis (WASH indicators, but also impact indicators, namely stunting and mortality).
6. The question must imply data analysis methods which are suitable for use with the NIPN approach The question can be broken down into more specific questions to gain a better understanding of the intermediate steps of the impact pathway:
- Have investments in WASH interventions changed over the past five years?
- How are investments in WASH interventions distributed at sub-national level?
- Has coverage in WASH interventions changed over the past five years?
- Are WASH interventions reaching the target populations?
- Have WASH interventions led to improved access to latrines/access to safe drinking water?
These questions can be answered by suitable descriptive data analysis methods using existing data. The last part of the pathway regarding the impact of repeated diarrhoea episodes on stunting can be tackled with a literature review and/or using a modelling tool such as LiST.