December 2017 Update




A new paper on water security was recently published by numerous HWISE consortium members – read it here. In the paper, the authors explore the multidimensional nature of water insecurity and propose methods for measuring these numerous dimensions – many of which are captured by our scale!


Consortium members from Arizona State University, Northwestern University, McGill University, and icddr,b recently submitted a Letter of Intent for a USAID funding opportunity. In the letter, we outlined potential next steps for HWISE, including scale validation within a programmatic context and robust examination of the relationships between food and water insecurity.

Dr. Sera Young and Dr. Michael Tiboris, a global water fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, submitted a grant in October to the American Council of Learned Societies. In their proposal, they outline methods for investigating how the facts of water insecurity and the institutional features that reinforce it interact with moral value.

Dr. Asher Rosinger has applied to the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program. His application references current HWISE work and outlines ways to further explore the consequences of water insecurity.


Dr. Sera Young recently presented HWISE work before partners in Mexico City and at a gathering of USAID project managers in Washington, DC. Both were highly productive meetings and have opened doors for future collaborations and expansion of HWISE.

At the American Anthropological Association annual meeting in November, Drs. Amber Wutich and Sera Young participated in an oral presentation session entitled “Water Matters.” There were many great presenters and topics covered – be sure to check them out!


Members of the consortium are currently using HWISE data to investigate important topics. If you have analyses you’d like to perform, please read the above section regarding data requests.

  • How water insecurity may impact infant feeding (Roseanne Schuster, Maggie Butler)
  • How worry over water impacts perceived stress (Amber Pearson, Ashley Hagaman, Cassie Workman)
  • Describing water sharing practices, which includes both borrowing and loaning (Amber Wutich)
  • Subjective assessment of the severity of various water insecurity items in Ethiopia (Kenny Maes, Yihenew Tesfaye)
  • How water insecurity experiences differ between men and women in Tanzania (Vicky Santoso, Shalean Collins, and Sera Young)




A new conference, Water Security, is being hosted by Elsevier in Toronto, Canada from June 17-20, 2018. Abstracts are due December 15, 2017. Please let us know if you plan on attending!


Organized by Dr. Amber Wutich, the meeting’s topic this year is “Water and Economy.”  Hosted at Arizona State University from March 1-3, 2018, we encourage all of you to attend!


There is a tentative meeting planned for HWISE data analysis. Currently, there are no obvious sources of funding available, but we hope that our analytic team is able to convene in Montreal, Canada on February 8-9, 2018 to use Rasch modeling and factorial invariance for preliminary scale reduction. If you are interested in attending, please let us know!


  • Data collection is complete in San Borja, Bolivia
  • Isabel Alvarez visited Northwestern University to discuss best practices for implementing the HWISE scale in Guatemala
  • Dr. Matthew Freeman has joined the team as collaborator for several HWISE sites
  • In total, we have cleaned data for 3,891 participants across 13 sites

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