Author Archives: dietvorst

Call for contributions: 42nd WEDC International Conference [online]

The call for contributions is now open for the 42nd WEDC International Conference: Equitable and Sustainable WASH Services: Future challenges in a rapidly changing world.

The Conference will be held online from 13-15 September 2021.

The conference comprises three days of online presentations and interactive discussions of peer-reviewed content; agency events from international organizations working in the sector; online exhibitions; and the opportunity for delegates to meet and network in virtual rooms.

Conference themes

  1. Climate change: weather extremes (e.g. floods and droughts) and water resources management, including but not limited to topics related to fundamental understanding, remote sensing, modelling and management strategies
  2. Integrating disaster risk management into WASH interventions
  3. Sanitation systems and services e.g. household and peri-urban approaches and faecal sludge management
  4. Rural water supply e.g. approaches to sustainability and serving the hardest to reach communities and households
  5. Groundwater resources
  6. Innovations and advances in biowaste, wastewater treatment and waste to energy technologies e.g. anaerobic digestion, composting, thermochemical processing, resource recovery and circular economy concepts; and end-use applications
  7. Urban water management
  8. Institutional development and programme management
  9. Data analytics, machine learning/AI applications in WASH

Call for contributions: http://wedc.lu/42-call-for-contributions

Promotion of low flush toilets in urban Mozambique from innovation idea to social enterprise

Infographic of the Biological Urban Sanitation project (BUSP) in Maputo

The Pia Fantastica toilet flushes with just one cup of water under an angle of 45 degrees and has no water seal. It has the convenience of a pedestal like a conventional ceramic toilet, and, if well installed, has no smell or fly problem. It is a toilet made out of concrete which can be produced for a price of just US$ 6.50 and is therefore attractive to the local sanitation market.

The Pia Fantastica was developed as part of the Biological Urban Sanitation Project (2016–2019) where Black Soldier Fly larvae were used for environmental friendly pit emptying.

The project has been translated into a social enterprise “Susamati” run by young professionals in Maputo, Mozambique. Setting up an enterprise is about building a team as well as marketing and sales. At this point, making a financially sustainable enterprise remains a challenge.

Annemarieke J. Mooijman, Yvette E. van Dok, Manuel Lélio A. Gungulo, Björn  Brandberg, Promotion of low flush toilets in urban Mozambique from innovation  idea to social enterprise, Environmental Science & Policy, Volume 116, 2021, Pages 287-291
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901120314167
Use this link for 50 day free access to full article.

Recent publications on Sustainable WASH Systems

Afar 2016
photo: Petterik Wiggers/Hollandse Hoogte Amsterdam

The Sustainable WASH Systems (SWS) learning partnership is a collaborative activity funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop, test, and document high-potential “systems approaches” for local water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) service delivery. The five year project (2016-2021) in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda aims to provide concrete improvements to service delivery while placing a significant emphasis on building knowledge and providing evidence to USAID and the global WASH sector on how systems approaches can be applied, adapted, and scaled in different contexts.

Below are some of the most recent SWS publications:

Valcourt, N., Walters, J., Javernick-Will, A., Linden, K., and Hailegiorgis, B., 2020. Understanding rural water services as a complex system : an assessment of key factors as potential leverage points for improved service sustainability. Sustainability, 12(3), pp.1-17 : 3 fig., 3 tab.

Results from stakeholders workshops in Ethiopia and Uganda indicate that a more intentional focus on factor interactions in WASH systems could lead to more effective strategies for improving service sustainability.  Read more: https://www.ircwash.org/resources/understanding-rural-water-services-complex-system-assessment-key-factors-potential

Hope, R., Thomson, P., Koehler, J. & Foster, T., 2020. Rethinking the economics of rural water in Africa. Oxford review of economic policy, 36(1), pp.171- 190 : 2 fig.

Why is rural water is different for communities, schools, and healthcare facilities across characteristics of scale, institutions, demand, and finance? Read more: https://www.ircwash.org/resources/rethinking-economics-rural-water-africa

Hollander, D., Ajroud, B., Thomas, E., Peabody, S., Jordan, E., Javernick-Will, A. & Linden, K., 2020. Monitoring methods for systems-strengthening activities toward sustainable water and sanitation services in low-income settings. Sustainability, 12(17), pp.1-16 : 10 fig.

Early findings from the application of outcome mapping and system-wide assessments within the USAID-funded Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership (SWS) indicate the importance of including both within an overall monitoring approach to support systems strengthening of water and sanitation services. Read more: https://www.ircwash.org/resources/monitoring-methods-systems-strengthening-activities-toward-sustainable-water-and

University of Colorado Boulder. Environmental Incentives, 2020. Defining collective action approaches in WASH. (Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership. Research brief). Washington, DC, USA: USAID Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership. 4 p. : 1 tab.

This research brief presents a definition of collective action approaches and a working typology of the range of related approaches. Read more: https://www.ircwash.org/resources/defining-collective-action-approaches-wash

Harper, D., 2020. Using social network analysis in WASH programs. (Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership. Learning brief). Washington, DC, USA: USAID Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership. 5 p. : 2 tab.

This learning brief summarizes the application and use of social network analysis (SNA) in the Sustainable WASH Systems (SWS) Learning Partnership in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Cambodia. Read more: https://www.ircwash.org/resources/using-social-network-analysis-wash-programs

Pugel, K., Javernick-Will, A., Koschmann, M., Peabody, S. & Linden, K., 2020. Adapting collaborative approaches for service provision to low-income countries : expert panel results. Sustainability, 12(7), pp.1-26 : 6 fig., 2 tab.

This study contributes to both literature and practice by identifying the relative importance of factors to consider when designing collaborative approaches in low-income countries with limited governance capabilities. Read more: https://www.ircwash.org/resources/adapting-collaborative-approaches-service-provision-low-income-countries-expert-panel

Chintalapati, P., 2020. Maintenance approaches to improve the sustainability of rural water supplies. (Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership. Research brief). Washington, DC, USA: USAID Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership. 7 p.

This document reviews literature about the factors influencing the sustainability of rural water services, and the emerging maintenance approaches seeking to address these factors and improve service reliability. Read more: https://www.ircwash.org/resources/maintenance-approaches-improve-sustainability-rural-water-supplies

Valcourt, N., Javernick-Will, A., Walters, J. & Linden, K., 2020. System approaches to water, sanitation, and hygiene : a systematic literature review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(3), pp.1-18 : 4 fig., 3 tab.

There is insufficient information in the literature to evaluate the utility and efficacy of systems approaches for improving WASH service sustainability. This article proposes recommendations for improving the evidence base. Read more: https://www.ircwash.org/resources/system-approaches-water-sanitation-and-hygiene-systematic-literature-review

McDermott, M., 2020. Ethiopia midterm organizational network analysis report. (Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership. Research report). Washington, DC, USA: USAID Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership. ii, 67 : 27 fig., 16 tab.

Measuring change over time in the relationships and network structure of learning alliances in four separate Ethiopian locations in USAID’s Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership (SWS). Read more: https://www.ircwash.org/resources/ethiopia-midterm-organizational-network-analysis-report

Ajroud, B., Hollander, D. & Peabody, S., 2020. Measuring systems change in WASH programming : a practical application of two tools. (Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership. Research report). Washington, DC, USA: USAID Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership. 31 p. : 6 boxes, 3 fig.

This report provides a guide to the practical application of outcome mapping and sustainability scorecards to monitor systems change in WASH programming. Read more: https://www.ircwash.org/resources/measuring-systems-change-wash-programming-practical-application-two-tools

For more on the Sustainable WASH Systems (SWS) learning partnership and a full list of publications go to:
https://www.globalwaters.org/sws

Safely Managed Sanitation Services in the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF)

Sustainable Development Goal 6 for water and sanitation calls for the realization of safely managed services (SMSS) for everyone by 2030. While there has been significant research and implementation to improve the sanitation service chain in urban settings, little guidance is available on how to achieve and sustain SMSS in rural contexts.

In 2019, WSSCC commissioned this study conducted by Andy Robinson and Andy Peal to examine to what extent Global Sanitation Fund (GSF)-supported programmes enabled SMSS in rural areas with collective behaviour change approaches like CLTS.

This study includes:
– A summary of SMSS concepts and issues in rural areas
– SMSS findings from GSF-supported programmes in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia
– Good practices for monitoring SMSS in rural areas
– Recommendations for rural programming

Authors: WSSCC; Publication date: October 2020; Publisher: WSSCC; No. of pages: 155

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Hazard and Environmental Considerations in Toilet Design

Live & Learn Environmental Education’s training manual for toilet location and design is now available in English and Bislama! This practical manual contains a training schedule, and step-by-step instructions for the range of issues that need to be considered when a person or family decides to improve their household toilet – including cost, management of solid waste, and potential natural and environmental hazards.

This publication was supported by the Australian government, through the Civil Society WASH Program.

You can read or download Hazard and Environmental Considerations in Toilet Design resource here.

Sanitation Sustainability Index

A new index for on-site sanitation systems is proposed and tested in the context of South Korea. It incorporates the technical, social, and economic aspects of sanitation systems, including onsite waste recycling.

Hashemi, S. Sanitation Sustainability Index: A Pilot Approach to Develop a Community-Based Indicator for Evaluating Sustainability of Sanitation SystemsSustainability 202012, 6937. DOI:10.3390/su12176937

Abstract: Evaluating the sustainability of sanitation systems is essential in achieving the sixth sustainable development goal. However, there are only limited number of available evaluation indexes, which are utilized to macroscopically determine a community’s sanitation coverage. Consequently, an index is required, which can evaluate different sanitation options for a specific community. In this paper, the sanitation sustainability index (SSI) is suggested as an indicator for evaluating the sustainability of sanitation systems. The SSI has sub-indexes that consider the technical, social, and economic aspects of the sanitation system, and all the variables are dimensionless and heavily dependent on the current state of the community where the sanitation system is going to be implemented. The applicability of the SSI was demonstrated by evaluating the implementation of two onsite sanitation systems, including one septic tank system and one resource-oriented sanitation (ROS) system in South Korea. A sensitivity analysis defined the variables that have significant impact, and the statistical distribution of the SSI for both systems was forecasted. The results showed that for South Korea, which has a profound history of utilizing human waste as fertilizer, utilizing the resource-oriented sanitation system is more sustainable, although it has a lower social sub-index score compared to the septic tank system.

Announcing the #MakeRightsReal campaign

As of today, the #MakeRightsReal campaign is ready to be shared! 

Before the campaign starts this 30 September, we are sharing information about the campaign with you – and hope you will be excited and take part! 

What is the campaign about?

10 years after the human rights to water and sanitation were first recognised, the #MakeRightsReal campaign has three aims: 

  • Enable you to share your experiences of working with the human rights to water and sanitation in practice. 
  • Provide a platform for you to demand more action to #MakeRightsReal
  • Bring much needed attention and ultimately more support to this work, so that we can all #MakeRightsReal

Speaking together, we can show the potential of human rights – and demand more recognition and support for this vital work! 

And here is how you come in! 

You are already using human rights in your work? You think more should be done? Here is what you can do leading up to the campaign start on 30 September: 

  • Learn everything you need to know to take part in the campaign here.
  • Prepare a story to share on social media. You will find inspiration in the Campaign Guide and materials.
  • You know someone who you think should share their experience? Tell them about the campaign! 
  • Follow @RealiseHRWS on Twitter and @RealiseHRWS on Facebook and share information through your own channels.

And if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

Why a campaign? 

Many WASH sector practitioners already use human rights in their work: Understanding inequalities in the enjoyment of services enables targeted planning to reach equality. With access to information for and participation by service users, their needs can be understood and met. If accountability is part of the service system, it will become more sustainable. All these are human rights principles and integrating them into practice yields results – and makes rights real!

10 years after the human rights to water and sanitation were first recognised, it is high time to focus on this practical value of human rights – and to demand that more attention, recognition and more support is given to this vital work! The #MakeRightsReal campaign aims to achieve this by showcasing experiences and demanding more action. Because it’s time to #MakeRightsReal!

We are looking forward to a great campaign start this 30 September!

Who is behind the campaign?

The campaign is intended as a neutral platform for all. It was developed by a group of WASH sector organisations: WASH United, WaterAid, Simavi, UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures, Unicef, Rural Water Supply Network, End Water Poverty. We share the interest of using the human rights to water and sanitation in practice to catalyse progress towards the realisation of services for all.

www.human-rights-to-water-and-sanitation.org

@WASHStrong takeover: How do human rights strengthen systems?

A4C Twitter takeover

Tuesday, 28 July, marks the 10th anniversary of the recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation!

@WASHStrong takeover: How do human rights strengthen systems?

On this day, @RealiseHRWS and @sanwatforall will take over the @WASHStrong twitter account to discuss how human rights contribute to strengthening WASH systems. We will share local and global approaches from Making Rights Real and Sanitation and Water for All.

The takeover will take place from 8am to 8pm Central European Time / 11.30am to 11.30pm India Standard Time / 2am to 2pm US Eastern Time.

Join us! https://twitter.com/WASHstrong

10 years after the human rights to water and sanitation were first recognised and with 10 years to go until the promise of SDG 6 should be fulfilled, we want to use this day as an opportunity for everyone to share their experiences of applying human rights to their own work.

Joins us if you…

–          Have used human rights and it has helped to improve WASH systems

–          Have questions on how human rights are relevant to WASH systems change

–          Want to see what experiences other have made

We hope for a lively exchange among practitioners in this space!

See you there

Hannah (WASH United/Making Rights Real), Manishka (SWA), Alec (Agenda for Change)

Decolonising the WASH sector

Being true to #BlackLivesMatter. Report of an IRC Global Talk

BlackLivesMatter-Montreal-Martin-Reisch-Unsplash

Gay Village, Montreal. Credit: Martin Reisch/Unsplash

“The problem isn’t men, it’s patriarchy.
The problem isn’t white people, it’s white supremacy.
The problem isn’t straight people, it’s homophobia.
Recognize systems of oppression before letting individual defensiveness paralyze you from dismantling them”. (Ruchika Tulshyan, founder of inclusion strategy firm Candour)

This is not a quote you would expect to hear from an opening speaker in your usual WASH sector webinar, but the title of the IRC Global Talk on 16 July was anything but usual: “Decolonising WASH sector knowledge and decolonising systems thinking”.

On 18 June 2020, IRC posted a message from our CEO on Black Lives Matter with a commitment to the global struggle against racism. For this Global Talk, we found two, young undaunted voices to help IRC kickstart discussions on our commitments to #BlackLivesMatter. We asked them to elaborate on their recent provocative think pieces on decolonisation. First up was Euphresia Luseka, a WASH Governance Consultant from Kenya who wrote “Initiating De-colonization of WASH Sector Knowledge”, followed by the UK-based writer/facilitator and historian, Alara Adali who believes in “Decolonising systems thinking” for social change.

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Waste-to-Value Sanitation in Kakuma Refugee Camp

Waste-to-Value-Sanivation-Thumb

Market-based solutions are increasingly seen as having an important role in filling gaps in public services provision and bring increased efficiency to humanitarian assistance. UNHCR partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to investigate waste-to-value sanitation solutions for areas with difficult ground conditions in protracted refugee camp settings in East Africa. In response to a call for sanitation solutions for difficult ground conditions in refugee settings, Sanivation introduced an innovative market-based solution with a waste-to-value component to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

This report examines the business model and financial model that Sanivation developed during the project and illustrates some of the real world challenges and opportunities for waste-to-value sanitation. It is hoped that the insights from this research will provide a useful reference for potential investors and entrepreneurs, as well as humanitarian practitioners looking to design self-sustaining waste-to-value sanitation services in refugee and low-resource settings in the future.

Download the full report.