American University of Beirut

Validation of the Arabic Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE) Scale



    Water insecurity is a complex, multifaceted global health issue. In Lebanon, unsustainable water management practices, increasing water demands, poor water quality, and ineffective water governance have contributed to increased water insecurity.

    The objective of this study was to develop a cross-cultural validated Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE) Scale that measures water insecurity at the household level.

    While there are a variety of data and indicators to capture water insecurity at the macro-level, the HWISE Scale is the first, cross-culturally validated tool of its kind, used to capture the unique experiences of water insecure individuals by determining the magnitude of water insecurity and its variations over time. This project aimed at validating the HWISE Scale in Arabic through multiple components, including:

    • Translating the water insecurity scale into classical Arabic and colloquial Lebanese and Palestinian dialects
    • Conducting cognitive interviews with Palestinian refugee women, to test the face validity of the scale
    • Using the data from the qualitative survey to design and implement a survey of approximately 500 households in Shalita camp and surrounding neighborhoods
    • ​Contributing to internal and external scale validation of this cross-cultural water insecurity scale through Rasch model analysis.


    Research Timeline: 2017-2018




    • Hala Ghattas (PI), Associate Research Professor and Interim Director, CRPH
    • Sera Young (PI), Northwestern University​​

    Research Team

    • ​Zeina Jamaluddine​

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