This document provides guidance for staff from UNICEF Supply Division and Programme Division (WASH, Education, and Protection sections) on the selection and procurement of appropriate materials and supplies for menstrual hygiene management, particularly during humanitarian response.
The guide is meant to familiarise UNICEF staff members with the key characteristics and requirements for the most common menstrual hygiene materials: menstrual cloths, reusable pads, disposable pads, menstrual cups and tampons. For each menstrual material, the environmental, health, and financial aspects are highlighted in individual tables – along with considerations of availability, user experience, and standards and regulations. Technical specifications are provided for each material. The guide concludes with a summary table of these key attributes.
This guide is intentionally narrow in scope and does not cover other elements of menstrual health and hygiene programmes, which are instead outlined and explored in the companion piece Guidance on Menstrual Health and Hygiene. There are other additional rich resources for menstrual hygiene programming in emergencies which complement this guidance, including WaterAid’s comprehensive Menstrual Hygiene Matters and Columbia University and IRC’s MHM in Emergencies Toolkit.