Author Archives: WSUP

Call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs)

Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) seeks a world-class research team to design and implement a research project in Dhaka (Bangladesh) around the effectiveness of large-scale sanitation promotion strategies to improve usage and maintenance of existing communal toilet facilities in low-income urban communities.

Call published: Tuesday 16 July 2013
Deadline for EOI submission: Tuesday 6 August 2013
Budget: GBP 220,000
Implementation period: Late 2013 – end 2015.

The Call is available for download from the WSUP website.

Get to scale in urban sanitation!

Scale-up of urban sanitation remains an elusive goal in most low-income cities. Donor interventions are often macro-investments without adequate attention to low-income communities, or small pilots that do not address the challenges of scale.

Taking urban sanitation to scale requires ‘scaling out’ models that work for poorer communities, and at the same time ‘scaling up’ sustainable management processes.

This Practice Note reports scale-out and scale-up experience from WSUP‘s programmes in Maputo and Antananarivo.

Get to scale in urban sanitation

For a more in-depth look at lessons for scale-up deriving from these programmes, see our accompanying Topic Brief on Getting to scale in urban sanitation.

100% access by design: a financial tool for urban sanitation

PN009 Dhaka Financial AnalysisReliably assessing the cost of different sanitation solutions is a key urban planning challenge. This Practice Note from WSUP describes an Excel-based financial analysis tool which generates reliable costings of different options for achieving 100% sanitation access across low-income and non-low-income areas.

For a more in-depth look at the development of the prototype tool, how it works, its practical application in two wards of Dhaka and the results it produced, see our accompanying Topic Brief ‘Financial analysis for sanitation planning’. The Brief also addresses ways in which the tool could be improved and a discussion of the tool’s potential wider applications.

Hybrid management models: blending community and private management

A clear distinction is generally made between community and private management of water and sanitation services. This distinction reflects the different motivations, values, attitudes and approaches generally associated with each type of provider.

In WSUP programmes, the local context is often suited to community or to private management models. But in practice, WSUP often seeks to go beyond this “community” versus “private” dichotomy, to try to get “the best of both worlds”. For instance, CBO operators are often encouraged to adopt commercial practices and achieve business efficiency. Similarly, entrepreneurs are encouraged to be more supportive of the needs of the community, and more responsive to poverty and gender issues.

In this Topic Brief, the approaches used by WSUP in Nairobi, Kumasi and Antananarivo under the African Cities for the Future (ACF) programme are examined from this perspective of blending community and private management models. The Topic Brief concludes with practical guidance on this issue for programme managers. Click on the image below to download the Topic Brief.

TB009 Hybrid Management Models

Designing effective contracts for small-scale service providers in urban water and sanitation

Extending water and sanitation services to the urban poor will often involve contractual relationships between small-scale entrepreneurs and municipalities or utilities. The expectation is that poor communities are more likely to receive improved services when delivery is formalised under contractual agreements that provide clarity to all parties, as well as systems for enforcement of contractual obligations.

Contract Design

This Topic Brief draws on WSUP’s experience in the six-city African Cities for the Future (ACF) programme to illustrate ways of dealing with the challenges that arise when developing contracts between large and small service providers in the urban setting. The Topic Brief gives practical guidance for programme managers on how to make contracts of this type more effective and more enforceable.

Getting communities engaged in water and sanitation projects: participatory design and consumer feedback

Community engagement in water and sanitation service delivery is key for ensuring project sustainability and accountability.

This Topic Brief looks at community engagement approaches used by WSUP in three cities within the African Cities for the Future (ACF) programme: Antananarivo (Madagascar), Kumasi (Ghana) and Maputo (Mozambique).

Community EngagementClick on the image above to download the Topic Brief

The specific focus is on ways to encourage community involvement in the design of water supply and sanitation projects, and ways in which service providers can elicit input and feedback from people living in low-income communities.

The Topic Brief discusses several cases in which community engagement has positively contributed to the development of WASH services. It highlights some of the key challenges currently faced by WSUP and other sector organisations, and ends with practical recommendations for programme managers about how to engage low-income communities.

Dealing with land tenure and tenancy challenges in water and sanitation services delivery

Providing water and sanitation services to the urban poor often takes place in contexts with complex formal and informal land ownership arrangements. Firstly, the people in most need of improved water and sanitation are often tenants, and this raises diverse challenges: for example, landlords may be unwilling to invest in better toilets. Secondly, improving water and sanitation services often requires land for construction of communal or public facilities, and land tenure again raises diverse problems here.

How can these challenges be overcome? Drawing on WSUP’s experience in the African Cities for the Future (ACF) programme, this Topic Brief gives an overview of this area, and discusses possible solutions. The Topic Brief also offers practical guidance for programme managers.

Download Topic Brief

This Topic Brief is the first in a series of four, documenting learning from the ACF programme. Watch out for the following titles, which will be released over the coming weeks:

  • Getting communities engaged in water and sanitation projects:
    participatory design and consumer feedback
  • Designing effective contracts for small-scale service providers in urban water and sanitation
  • Hybrid management models: blending community and private management

To view all WSUP’s publications, visit www.wsup.com/sharing.

Sanitation surcharges collected through water bills: a way forward for financing pro-poor sanitation?

Market-driven models for sanitation in low-income areas are of unquestionable importance, but there is broad consensus that the market needs to be supported by some sort of public revenue stream. One approach to revenue generation is to include a sanitation surcharge within water bills.

This Discussion Paper is a situation review of sanitation surcharge systems in African cities, focusing on systems designed to raise revenues for improving sanitation in low-income districts. The review considers existing pro-poor surcharge systems in Lusaka and Ouagadougou; systems that cannot currently be considered pro-poor, in Dakar, Beira and Antananarivo; and the special case of Maputo, where there is ongoing debate about how a surcharge might be introduced. Lusaka’s model is of particular interest: could it be applied more widely to raise finance for pro-poor sanitation?

For more publications in this series, visit www.wsup.com/sharing

Recognising and dealing with informal influences in water and sanitation services delivery

Donor-funded water and sanitation improvement programmes tend to focus on and operate within the formal frameworks put in place by municipal or national governments. These frameworks broadly comprise the rules, laws and official policies that govern water and sanitation services delivery. However, in order to plan and implement programmes effectively, it is essential that implementers also recognise and take into account the influence of more subtle informal factors, such as conventions, norms of behaviour, and unwritten cultural codes of conduct.

This Topic Brief draws on WSUP’s experience in the 6-city African Cities for the Future (ACF) programme, to illustrate how both formal and informal factors can influence local service provider and low-income consumer behaviours. The Topic Brief also provides practical guidance aimed at sector programme managers to help explore and respond to some of the issues raised here, with a view to achieving greater project sustainability.

For more resources like this, visit www.wsup.com/sharing

Delegated management of water and sanitation services in urban areas: experiences from Kumasi, Ghana

Historically, water and sanitation service providers in low-income countries have struggled to accommodate rapid urban expansion, and particularly to serve the poor in peri-urban areas. One way to approach these challenges is to develop alternative approaches to service delivery, incorporating innovative institutional and contractual arrangements, and involving partnerships between communities, utilities, the private sector and regulators.

This Topic Brief focuses on a delegated management model developed in Kumasi (Ghana), where a WSUP-facilitated partnership between the water utility, the Metropolitan Assembly and a community management committee is starting to play a key role in expanding the provision of clean, affordable water and improved public toilet facilities in the low-income district of Kotei. The Brief explores the nature of the model, the contractual arrangements, and the central role of the community management committee. It also examines the potential for scale-up and replication.

For more resources like this, visit www.wsup.com/sharing