Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)

Menstrual hygiene management, or MHM, refers to a range of actions and interventions that ensure that people who menstruate can privately, safely and hygienically manage their menstruation with confidence and dignity. MHM is not only about distributing pads or providing education to girls. Effective MHM actions have three main components: i) MHM materials and supportive items, ii) Private, safe and appropriate WASH facilities, and iii) Information on menstruation and hygiene (including taboos and cultural beliefs).

NEW: Have a look at the new IFRC MHM global case study collection from RCRC National Societies, both in emergency and long-term contexts.

You will find  “how-to” recommendations, tips that NS has learned, and tools developed through implementing MHM programs that others can learn from, adapt, and apply in their own MHM actions.

A) IFRCs Menstrual Hygiene Management guideline and tools

Guidance and practical tools for designing and implementing appropriate, comprehensive and effective MHM action in humanitarian contexts, adapted for the Red Cross Red Crescent context.

Available in: English, French, Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia and Spanish

Download the tools (in Microsoft Word) below for each step of the project cycle – adapt, translate, use, improve.

Assessment

Step 1: Identifying the problem

 

 

Step 2: Identifying target groups

 

 

Step 3: Analysing barriers and enablers for behaviour change

English
French
Arabic
Spanish

Tool 1: Focus group discussion guide – assessment

English
French
Arabic
Spanish

Tool 2: Checklist for inclusive MHM friendly latrines

English
French
Arabic
Spanish

Tool 3: Checklist for inclusive MHM friendly bathing areas

English
French
Arabic
Spanish

Tool 4: Checklist for inclusive MHM friendly solid waste facilities

English
French
Arabic
Spanish

Tool 5: Cash programming for menstrual hygiene

Planning

Step 4: Formulating menstrual hygiene objectives

 

 

Step 5: Planning

English
French
Arabic
Spanish

Tool 6: Step-by-step tool for deciding priority MHM actions (based on assessment)

 

English
French
Arabic
Spanish

Tool 7: Example MHM outputs, indicators and targets for the Emergency Plan of Action

 

English
French
Arabic
Spanish

Tool 8: Minimum items to be included in dignity or MHM kits for menstrual hygiene

Implementation

Step 6: Implementation

Download links in the table below

Tool 9: Example IEC materials for disposable pads, reusable cloth pads and tampons which can be adapted and translated.

Available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Portugese, Swahili and Kirundi.

Contact wash.geneva@ifrc.org for design files and raw text.

Monitoring, evaluation & learning

Step 7: Monitoring and evaluation

 

Step 8: Review, re-adjust

 

English
French
Arabic
Spanish

Tool 10: Feedback and mitigation log (can also include rumours, complaints and misinformation)

 

English
French
Arabic
Spanish

Tool 11: Post-distribution monitoring survey

English
French
Arabic
Spanish

English
French
Arabic
Spanish

Tool 12: Survey for post-distribution monitoring

 

Tool 13: Checklist for MHM actions in humanitarian operations

i) Example IEC material for menstrual hygiene

IEC materials for disposable pads, reusable cloth pads and tampons (pre-developed, generic materials in English, French, Spanish and Arabic that can be adapted and translated). Contact the IFRC Geneva WASH team for design files and raw text.

B) Red Cross Red Crescent MHM resources

Review of Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) actions with a focus on solid waste: Findings and recommendations (both for the ongoing operation and broadly for future operations).

A summary of the FGDs conducted can be found here.

Periods don’t stop in emergencies: Addressing the menstrual hygiene needs of women and girls.

A case study from IFRCs operational research in Eastern Africa. Results showed improvements in dignity, health and knowledge after the distribution of MHM Kits and promotion of menstrual hygiene.

Join IFRCs global MHM Community of Practice to share and learn more! (login required)

C) Advocacy and videos #NoMoreLimits

On each Menstrual Hygiene Day (28th of May) as well as throughout the year, IFRC continues to advocate for improved actions to address the menstrual hygiene needs of women and girls in the humanitarian contexts. Over 26 million displaced girls and women around the world face challenges such as the lack of access to menstrual supplies, difficulty in finding private and appropriate bathing, drying or latrine facilities, restrictions or stigmas from cultural taboos and traditional beliefs, and a lack of information.

To raise awareness of the challenges women and girls worldwide face due to their menstruation and highlights solutions that address these challenges, including through media work we’ve created two videos and a series of assets to use as a Facebook and/or Instagram story. Some of could also be repurposed for Twitter.

Social media assets – coming soon!

D) IFRCs HIF innovation projects

IFRCs first Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) supported project “Improving Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergencies” ran from October 2014 until March 2016 and was implemented by Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Somalia, Madagascar and Uganda. Many of the resources above have been developed based on this project and using key lessons and recommendations.

See the HIF evaluation case study: IFRC for more information on the innovation process.

IFRCs current HIF project: 2021 – 2021

IFRC are currently developing and piloting rapid tools and designs for inclusive, female-friendly WASH facilities (communal latrine & bathing/laundering areas)  in partnership with Lebanese Red Cross, British Red Cross and ARUP, funded by HIF/Erlha. See here for more information.

E) External MHM resources

UNICEF Guidance for Monitoring Menstrual Health and Hygiene (2020)

Menstrual Disposal, Waste Management and Laundering in Emergencies: A compendium (2020), Columbia University and International Rescue Committee

UNICEF Guidance on Menstrual Health and Hygiene (2019)

UNICEF Guide to Menstrual Materials (2019)

Global toolkit for integrating Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) into humanitarian response (2017), Columbia University and International Rescue Committee

WEDC Guidance note: Menstruation hygiene management for schoolgirls (2014)

Menstrual Hygiene Matters: A resource for improving menstrual hygiene around the world (House, Mahon and Cavill, co-published by 18 organisations)

Menstrual Hygiene Matters: Training guide for practitioners (WaterAid, SHARE)

To include resources on this page, or for more information on IFRCs MHM initiatives please contact: Alexandra Machado