Tag Archives: Gates Foundation

Gates Foundation offers grants for innovative sanitation technologies

US$ 100,000 grants are available for innovative non-networked sanitation technologies for the urban poor. “Create the Next Generation of Sanitation Technologies” is one of topics in Round 7 of Grand Challenges Explorations, a US$ 100 million grant initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Proposals are being accepted through May 19, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time.

The sanitation call focuses on four specific challenges:

  1. Unhygienic and inadequate pit/tank emptying and extraction;
  2. Recovery of energy from communities’ fecal sludge;
  3. Inappropriate sanitation solutions for areas challenged by an abundance of water (e.g. communities that face seasonal flooding, high groundwater tables, riparian or tidal communities, etc.);
  4. Easy to clean, attractive and affordable latrine pan / squatting platform technologies that enhance latrines

Proposed ideas must ultimately be designed for low income urban settings such as slums, informal and formal peri-urban settings, or dense rural settings in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia where demand for fecal sludge emptying and treatment are high.

Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.

Innovations can be new ideas or important improvements to existing solutions. Proposals must provide an underlying rationale, a testable hypothesis, and an associated plan for how the idea would be tested or validated.

Proposals are being accepted online at www.grandchallenges.org/explorations.

Read the application instructions.

Read full details of the Create the Next Generation of Sanitation Technologies challenge

Source: Gates Foundation press release, 15 Mar 2011

South Africa: in Durban it pays to pee

A new initiative in South Africa is testing practical, community-scale ways to use urine as a fertiliser. The initiative is part of new project funded by the Gates Foundation.

Urine-diverting dry toilet in Umlazi, near Durban. Photo: Eawag

After installing about 90 000 urine-diversion toilets in home gardens, the port city of Durban now wants to install 20-litre (quart) containers on 500 of the toilets to capture urine, which can be turned into fertiliser.

Although a news item about the initiative claimed that the municipality would be paying households about around R30 (US$ 4.40) for a week’s supply of urine, the project coordinator Bastian Etter from Eawag, says that this is “an invention of a journalist of Agence France Presse (AFP) and not the strategy of the eThekwini Municipality”. “Neither the eThekwini Municipality nor our research team has set up a compensation scheme for collected urine”, Mr. Etter said in an e-mail.

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Water For People gets US$ 5.6 million Gates grant for Sanitation as a Business program

Denver-based charity Water For People has received a US$ 5.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support their Sanitation as a Business program.

The four-year grant allows Water For People to test and scale-up sustainable sanitation services in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The program will combine profit incentives for small local companies and income generation programs for poor households and schools. The aim is bring about a shift from “unsustainable, subsidy-based sanitation programs toward sustainable, profitable sanitation services”. To bring about this shift, the program will employ the business principles of market research and segmentation as well as comprehensive community involvement and evaluation of results.

Water For People first began experimenting with Sanitation as a Business principles in Malawi, Africa in 2008. Since then, sanitation entrepreneurs have developed ongoing maintenance relationships with households to service over 1,000 latrines.

Read more about Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Read the full press release (Peter Mason, Water For People, 30 Aug 2010)

Grand Challenge: Create the Next Generation of Sanitation Technologies

Grand Challenge logo Submit an original and innovative idea in 2-page proposal for a decentralised, non-waterborne sanitation technology and get a chance to win US$ 100,000 to develop the idea further.

Create the Next Generation of Sanitation Technologies” is one of the new topics in Round 6 of the Grand Challenges Explorations grants, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Explorations are part of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of US$ 1 million or more, and could eventually evolve into Grand Challenges project.

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WSSCC gets US$ 2.1 million from Gates Foundation for hygiene and sanitation promotion

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) has received nearly $2.1 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support its efforts at improving access to safe sanitation and promoting good hygiene practices for people in developing countries. These funds, provided over the next two years, will enable WSSCC to carry out its global networking, knowledge management and advocacy work programmes.

“We are thrilled and honoured to be selected by the Global Development Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for these funds,” said WSSCC’s Executive Director, Jon Lane. “The foundation’s support will help us to carry out our work programme, to increase global and national awareness of these important issues, and to have a positive impact on peoples’ lives.”

The foundation is the first non-state donor to WSSCC, joining the Governments of Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States as supporters of the organisation.

Specifically, WSSCC will use the Gates Foundation grant to:

  • enhance coordination and collaboration through WSSCC’s National WASH Coalitions
  • circulate knowledge and information in the areas of sanitation, hygiene and water
  • influence the development and implementation of national policies, and
  • increase awareness and influence the global policy debate on sanitation and hygiene.

Source: WSSCC, 19 Feb 2010

Gates Foundation awards $10.9 million to study impacts of sanitation on diseases

05 November 2009

BERKELEY — Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have received a five-year, $10.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to evaluate several interventions to combat diarrheal disease in developing countries.

Dr. Jack Colford, professor of epidemiology at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, will coordinate the project, working with the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).

An estimated 2.2 million children under the age of 5 die from diarrheal diseases each year, according to the World Health Organization. Most of these diseases are thought to be preventable with improvements in sanitation, water quality and hygiene.

Due to the high cost of developing and maintaining large infrastructure projects, such as networked water, there is now a movement toward simpler, alternative methods to improve health in rural areas. However, there is almost no evidence that allows direct comparison of the health benefits or cost effectiveness of these simpler interventions, such as improved latrines, household water treatment and hand washing with soap.

The goal of the new project is to determine how sanitation interventions, delivered alone or as part of combined intervention packages, impact child health and well-being. In addition to improved sanitation, the intervention packages will include drinking water improvements and hand washing solutions. The results have the potential to influence how billions of dollars are directed towards long-term improvements in health and economic outcomes for millions of children each year, said Colford.

“Increasingly, foundations, governments, the World Bank and development agencies such as the MCC (Millennium Challenge Corporation) are demanding evidence of effectiveness when awarding development funds,” said Colford. “Right now, it is unknown whether single interventions are as cost effective as combinations of these interventions. This grant will fund the first large-scale, randomized impact evaluation designed to gather rigorous evidence about this question.”

The study will test the impact of these sanitation, water and hygiene interventions using a large-scale, randomized impact evaluation in Bangladesh and Kenya. These two countries are representative of the two regions that account for the majority of the world’s gastrointestinal disease burden: Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The researchers expect to enroll a total of 23,000 children in the trials, which will be monitored by several institutional review boards.

Of the $10.9 million, about $7.9 million will be subcontracted out to the two field sites. Dr. Stephen Luby, head of the Programme on Infectious Diseases and Vaccine Sciences with ICDDR,B, and Michael Kremer, Ph.D., a research affiliate with IPA, will lead the trials in Bangladesh and Kenya, respectively. They will be joined by a team of experts from various disciplines, including public health, economics, behavioral change, nutrition, cognitive development and tropical enteropathy.

Source – http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2009/11/05_gatesgrant.shtml

IYS one year later: interview with Clarissa Brocklehurst

Updated IYS logo. UN-Water

Updated IYS logo. UN-Water

As a follow-up to the 2008 International Year of Sanitation (IYS) there are plans for a virtual scrapbook of IYS activities and a review of sanitation advocacy campaigns commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The IYS logo has been updated with a bar of soap and the “timeless”slogan, “Sanitation for All”. These are some of the activities that Clarissa Brocklehurst, Chief of Water and Environmental Sanitation at UNICEF and coordinator of UN-Water’s Task Force on Sanitation, mentioned in an interview with UN-Water. During the IYS,  the Task Force assumed a leadership role in global advocacy and capacity building.

Several countries have  developed specific sanitation policies, as a result of the IYS campaign events, Ms. Brockelhurst said. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) is preparing the Secretary-General’s Report on the IYS.

“In some countries the campaign succeeded in leveraging more funds for sanitation. For example, in Nepal, the Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agricultural Roads decided to allocate 20 percent budget of its water supply project for sanitation and the national government has allocated US $660,000 for a stand-alone sanitation programme. In Nigeria, budget allocations in some states and at national level have increased for sanitation and hygiene and the fact that the National Council on Water Resources has made 2009 the National Year of Sanitation, clearly show a commitment to improving sanitation nationwide. Reports we have received from China also indicated that the IYS campaign contributed to an increased budget allocation for rural sanitation.”

Clarissa Brocklehurst. UN-Water

Clarissa Brocklehurst. UN-Water

“Some country’s reported that the IYS campaigns had helped bring out about institutional changes in how sanitation is addressed at the national level. In Angola, the government has taken steps to establish a new national technical unit for environmental sanitation within the ministry of environment. In Pakistan, a Water and Sanitation Sector Donor Coordination Group and National Working Group on School Sanitation and Hygiene Education have been established.”

“With funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), we have commissioned a new project to be carried out by the German Toilet Organization: The My School Loo Contest, which will use comic strips to educate school children about the importance of sanitation.”

UN-Water’s Task Force on Sanitation is supporting implementation of the recommendations of Ministerial Declaration on Water Supply and Sanitation in Small Rural Settlements in the Black Sea Region. The declaration was one of the ouputs of the recent roundtable organised by the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB).

“The Task Force is also supporting follow up to the other sanitation conferences that took place during IYS, particularly AfricaSan and the eThekwini Declaration.”

Read the full UN-Water interview with Clarissa Brocklehurst or listen below to the audio version.

Interview with Clarissa Brocklehurst (audio)