a community effort to bring open data practices to the WASH sector

Lars Schöbitz

Global Health Engineering

January 23, 2024

openwashdata community

openwashdata community


An active global community that applies FAIR principles (Wilkinson et al. 2016) to data generated in the great water, sanitation, and hygiene sector.


Empower WASH professionals to engage with tools and workflows for open data and code.

The Opportunity

Journal Articles


Journal Articles


PDF reports


PDF reports


PDF reports + Dropbox


PDF reports + Dropbox


The Journey

The Product

What does final look like?

Screenshot of the wasteskipsblantyre R package documentation homepage at


Our channels

One-way communication

Two-way engagement

course: data science for openwashdata

Zoom for 10 modules over 2 months at the following times:

  • Start: 31st October 2023 - 2 pm to 4:30 pm CET
  • End: 20th February 2024 - 2 pm to 4:30 pm CET

Registration open for next course:

  • free
  • provides participants with a certificate
  • using exclusively tools that are free and open source
  • offers 1:1 coding support for a final project with own data

course: data science for openwashdata 001

  • 200 registrations
  • 110 show-ups
  • expected 40 graduates all with a reproducible data analysis report (paper)
  • motivating graduates to publish underlying data with openwashdata

open - misconceptions

open - misconceptions

  • Misconception 1: Publishing my data does not benefit anyone
  • Misconception 2: Others may criticize my code
  • Misconception 3: Publishing my content under CC-BY-NC will prevent people from exploiting my content commercially. (go for CC-BY)

The only way to write good code is to write tons of shitty code first. Feeling shame about bad code stops you from getting to good code. - Hadley Wickham (Chief Scientist, Posit PBC)

Thanks 🌻

This project was supported by the Open Research Data Program of the ETH Board.

The slides were created via revealjs and Quarto:

You can view source code of slides on GitHub

Or you can download slides in PDF format

This material is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0 International.


Greene, Nicola, Sarah Hennessy, Tate W. Rogers, Jocelyn Tsai, and Francis L. de los Reyes III. 2021. “The Role of Emptying Services in Provision of Safely Managed Sanitation: A Classification and Quantification of the Needs of LMICs.” Journal of Environmental Management 290 (July): 112612.
Mupinga, Ratidzaishe T, Tanaka M Chatema, Savanna R Perumal, Eva Mary, et al. 2021. “Addendum of Data Related to Drying of Faecal Sludge from on-Site Sanitation Facilities and Fresh Faeces.” Gates Open Res 4 (188): 188.
Soeters, S, P Mukheibir, and J Willetts. 2021. “Treatment Technologies in Practice: On-the-Ground Experiences of Faecal Sludge and Wastewater Treatment.”
Wilkinson, Mark D., Michel Dumontier, IJsbrand Jan Aalbersberg, Gabrielle Appleton, Myles Axton, Arie Baak, Niklas Blomberg, et al. 2016. “The FAIR Guiding Principles for Scientific Data Management and Stewardship.” Scientific Data 3 (1).
Yesaya, Mabvuto, Limbani Msuku, Elizabeth Tilley, and Sebastian Camilo Loos. 2023. “Wasteskipsblantyre: Locations of Public Waste Skips in Blantyre, Malawi.”