• The University of Western Australia (M431), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 326 Citations
  • 8 h-Index

Research output per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I use interactive methods to understand people’s experiences with toilets, menstrual health and hygiene, water and rubbish management, with a focus on low-middle income countries. My participatory research and teaching focuses on ensuring that everyone has access to the services that they want to use, regardless of their income or the country they call home. I also believe that there is more to well-being than economic development, and that although technology and products play a crucial role, they alone cannot solve all of our water, sanitation and hygiene challenges.

I am a Lecturer in the School of Population and Global Health at The University of Western Australia and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I am also a Visiting Lecturer in Water, Sanitation and Health within the School of Civil Engineering at The University of Leeds and an Honorary Fellow within the School of Public Health at The University of Queensland. I have worked as a practitioner and researcher in several countries.

I'm also a co-founder of the 'WASH Failures' initiative, encouraging WASH professionals to be more honest about when things don't work out. Check out (and sign!) The Nakuru Accord, and follow us on Twitter!

In my undergraduate days, I was one of the founding members of the University of Western Australia Pantomime Society, where I honed my skill of engaging with audiences on taboo matters, particularly through making a fool of myself on stage.

Geographical Experience

Fieldwork: Australia, Fiji, Luxembourg, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Republic of South Africa, Solomon Islands, The Netherlands, Uganda, Vanuatu.

Research advisor: Belize, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia.


I am a proponent of the Amartya Sen philosophy of "Development as Freedom" and Robert Chambers' approach of participatory development. My work particularly focuses on the use of participatory action research (PAR) to engage with communities and local stakeholders so as to understand, navigate and improve complex water, sanitation and hygiene systems around the globe. Research projects that I am currently working on include: 

Principal Investigator

  • A research and practice partnership to understand and dismantle the barriers to inclusion that women and children with incontinence face in humanitarian contexts (Bangladesh, Uganda) funded by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund
  • Amplifying local voices to reduce failure in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector (Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe) funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering


  • Engaging communities to address antimicrobial resistance: Identifying contextualised and sustainable community-led solutions in low resource settings (Nepal, Bangladesh) funded by the Medical Research Council of UKRI;
  • Scaling up Off-grid Sanitation (Haiti, Kenya, Peru, South Africa) funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of UKRI;
  • Kids Wearable Tech –A SmartWatch system to empower children self-managing their continence care (UK) funded by the Medical Research Council of UKRI;
  • Stop the taboo: Period (UK) funded by POLIS Strategic Research Fund and Freedom for Girls


  • Improving the lives of older people –understanding barriers to inclusion of older people with incontinence in humanitarian WASH programming (Malawi, Ethiopia) funded by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund;
  • Evaluation and monitoring of the UNICEF adolescent Nutrition-WASH-Education Joint Program in Ethiopia funded by UNICEF

PhD projects (students enrolled at University of Leeds)

  • Mofwe Kapulu: An assessment of the costs of shared sanitation in low income urban areas of Lusaka, Zambia  (Twitter: @MofweK)
  • Hannah Robinson: Menstrual health infrastructure and social determinants of behaviour (Twitter: @_Hannah_Jayne)
  • Claire Rosato-ScottEmergency sanitation for children with urinary incontinence (Twitter: @Claire_RS19)
  • Mariam ZaqoutDetermining the full costs of rural faecal sludge management in Bangladesh, and proposing effective business models for sustainable collection, treatment and reuse (Twitter: @ZaqoutMariam)


Previous research grants include:

Principal Investigator

  • Open innovation for addressing women’s experiences of incontinence: Developing a patient-led research agenda (UK), funded by University of Leeds Research Development Fund
  • Taking the embarrassment out of health problems: Understanding the experiences of women with urinary incontinence (UK), funded by University of Leeds Q-Step Summer Research Program
  • Water and sanitation markets in the Pacific: Understanding demand and fostering sustainable WASH marketplaces (Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea), funded by Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Water supply sustainability through Integrated Water Management (Nepal), funded by Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • The cyanobacteria risk assessment and monitoring program project (Australia), funded by the Water Corporation


  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water and Waste Infrastructure Systems Engineered for Resilience (UK), funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council of UKRI
  • Health and hygiene improvements to enhance indigenous education opportunities: A health science partnership between Leeds University UK, Johns Hopkins University USA, and The University of Queensland (Australia), funded by the UQ Global Strategy and Partnerships Seed Funding Scheme 
  • Engineering education for social and environmental justice (Australia), funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council


  • The last taboo: menstrual management in the South Pacific (Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea), funded by Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Teaching overview

PUBH1101: Health and Illness in Human Populations

PUBH3305: Health Research Design and Methods

PUBH5758: Public Health Practicum

Previous positions

Sept. 2017 – Mar. 2020, Lecturer in Water, Sanitation and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

Jan. – Aug. 2017.  Research Fellow in Water Engineering for Developing Countries, Cranfield University, Cranfield, United Kingdom

Jun. 2013 – Dec. 2016, Research Fellow, Department of Marketing, Monash University & International WaterCentre, Melbourne, Australia            

Jun. 2016 -  Nov. 2016  Lecturer, Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Aug. 2016, Guest Lecturer, Shantou University Summer School on Environment Science and Engineering, Shantou, China

Jul. 2012 – May 2013, Research Associate, School of Environmental Systems Engineering, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia

Jul. 2012 – Apr. 2013, Research Associate, School of Environmental Science, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia

Aug. 2011 – May 2012, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Engineer, Nepal Water for Health, Bharatpur, Nepal

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, The University of Western Australia

Environmental Systems Engineering, B.E. (Hons), The University of Western Australia

Chemistry/Environmental Chemistry, B.Sc., The University of Western Australia

External positions

Visiting Lecturer in Water, Sanitation and Health, University of Leeds

14 Mar 2020 → …

Honorary Fellow, University of Queensland

31 May 2015 → …

Research expertise keywords

  • Sanitation
  • Water supply
  • Menstruation
  • Participatory research
  • Wellbeing
  • Incontinence

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Dani Barrington is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output

Brief: Mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 and menstrual health and hygiene

Yamakoshi, B., Burgers, L., Sagan, S., Muralidharan, A., Mahon, T., Barrington, D., Wilson, E., Jurga, I., Hekster, O., Thijssen, S., Garcon, S., Sauer, J. & Kamowa, V., 27 Apr 2020, UNICEF.

Research output: Book/ReportOther output

Open Access

Honesty is the best policy

Barrington, D., 20 Mar 2020, In : One Earth. 2, p. 199-200

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Open Access

Breaking the silence: how do women discuss stigmatised topics online?

Davies, B., Jaspersen, L. & Barrington, D., 17 Jul 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Open Access
  • Development of business models for the Nano Membrane Toilet

    Parker, A., de la Brosse, N., Bhargava, A., Adams, R., Hutchings, P., Greene, N., Bhopal, V., Stevens, L., Barrington, D., McAdam, E., Collins, M., Williams, L., Kolios, A. J. & Tyrrel, S., 2019.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

    Ending period poverty: Stopping shame is essential

    Barrington, D., 18 Oct 2019, Policy Forum.

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

    Open Access


    UWA/UQ Joint project on sewer epidemiology

    Ghadouani, A., Thai, P., Mueller, J. & Barrington, D.

    University of Queensland


    Project: Research


    Australian Postgraduate Award

    Dani Barrington (Recipient), 2008

    Prize: Postgraduate Scholarship

    BBC Expert Woman, 2018

    Dani Barrington (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Award

  • Activities

    • 2 Editorial activity

    Waterlines (Journal)

    Dani Barrington (Member of editorial board)
    2015 → …

    Activity: Editorial work or peer review of publicationsEditorial activity

    Journal of Humanitarian Engineering (JHE) (Journal)

    Dani Barrington (Editor in chief)

    Activity: Editorial work or peer review of publicationsEditorial activity

    Press / Media

    Period Poverty, Speak Up-Korerotia

    Dani Barrington


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    The Comfort Kit Presents, Share the Dignity

    Dani Barrington


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    #Pinkbox Dignity Vending Machine, Share the Dignity

    Dani Barrington


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    About Share the Dignity

    Dani Barrington


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media