Water insecurity — which includes persistent water shortages, contamination, and flooding — threatens human health, wellbeing, economic productivity, and international security. As such, the World Economic Forum has listed “water crises” as among the top 10 most likely and most impactful global risks. Yet strikingly, there has been no way to comparably measure household or individual water insecurity. In this webinar, we discussed the development, validation, and uses of the Household Water InSecurity Experiences (HWISE) Scale, a tool that addresses this critical measurement gap.
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Dr. Sera Young is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Global Health at Northwestern University. Methodologically, she draws on her training in medical anthropology, international nutrition, and public health to take a biocultural approach to understanding how mothers, especially in low-resource settings, cope to preserve their health and that of their families. Most recently, she has led efforts to develop the Household Water InSecurity Experiences (HWISE) Scale, a cross-culturally valid tool to measure household water insecurity. The HWISE Scale can be used to estimate prevalence of household water insecurity and investigate its causes and consequences.
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