Category Archives: Funding

Latrine lighting in emergencies: innovation challenge

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) has US$ 20,000 on offer for a proposal for an economical, sustainable lighting system for latrines in refugee or displaced persons camps.

Communal latrine facilities in camps are often underutilised at night when it is dark for fear of harassment and attacks especially for women and children. Existing lighting systems tend to be costly as most camps do not have a central electrical system as a power source. Also, battery systems tend to get stolen for valuable parts. This Challenge is to design a lighting system for communal latrine facilities that will promote safety and utilization. The system must be robust, economical and not easily vandalized or stolen.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. Award winners does not need to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the HIF, but instead grant HIF non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.

Deadline: 16 March 2014

For more information and to register for the Challenge, go to:
www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933339

The Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) is managed by ELRHA (Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance) and administered by Save the Children.

The HIF’s  £3.3 million (US$ 5.5 million) WASH Innovation Fund is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and will  initially focus on two challenges:

  • Lighting Latrines (see above)
  • Managing Solid Waste, due to launch later in January 2014, which will award designs for a new incinerator, compactor or recycling method that is rapidly deployable, cost-effective and easy to use.

As well as these two open challenges, the WASH Innovation Fund will also support Accelerated Innovation events for more complex challenges. These will bring together aid agencies, businesses and academics already working in the sector to collaborate and create partnerships that can develop and test new ideas.

For full details go to:
http://www.humanitarianinnovation.org/funding/WASH-Stream

Source: DFID, Could you help save lives in a disaster zone?, GOV.UK, 18 Jan 2014

Microfinance as a potential cataylst for improved sanitation

. Summary of sanitation lending and product delivery models. Water for People

. Summary of sanitation lending and product delivery models. Water for People

Microfinance allows middle- and lower-income households to invest in desirable sanitation products, so that public funding can be freed up to reach the poorest, according to Water for People (WfP). In a new report [1], WfP reviews their experiences in piloting various lending models in seven countries: Bolivia, Guatemala, India, Malawi, Peru, Rwanda and Uganda.

The report provides lessons and recommendations for donors wishing to engage in sanitation microfinancing. The four key recommendations are:

  1. Think like a business
  2. Support lending institutions based on the microfinance climate and capacity needs
  3. Build an autonomous sanitation microfinance market
  4. Track progress and lessons

The report is part of WfP’s Sanitation as a Business (SaaB) program, funded by a Gates Foundation grant.

Read the full report

[1]  Chatterley, C. et al, 2013. Microfinance as a potential catalyst for improved sanitation : a synthesis of Water For People’s sanitation lending experiences in seven countries. Denver, CO,USA: Water For People. Available at: <http://www.waterforpeople.org/assets/files/sanitation-microfinance.pdf>

Source: Christie Chatterley et al., Microfinance as a potential cataylst for improved sanitation, Water for People, 27 Dec 2013

Campaign uses “Slum Britain art” for fundraising

Slums encroach on Buckingham Palace - still from Practical Action video

Slums encroach on Buckingham Palace – still from Practical Action video

A UK charity has set images of iconic landmarks like Buckingham Palace in typical South Asian slums for its latest campaign to tackle urban poverty. Practical Action’s Safer Cities Christmas appeal aims to provide clean water, sanitation and safe housing to over 4,000 poor people in Nepal and Bangladesh. The appeal is backed by the government’s UK Aid Match initiative which matches public donations pound for pound. UK Aid Match will award up to £120 million (US$ 200 million) in grants over 3 years.

Source: Practical Action, 20 Dec 2013 ; The Independent, 22 Dec 2013

India, Bihar: if you want to be elected, get a toilet first

First we had “no toilet, no bride“, now you need a toilet to be elected in India. At least that’s  what chief minister Nitish Kumar is proposing for his state Bihar. He made the announcement on World Toilet Day, 19 November.

Candidates who don’t have a toilet in their home will not be allowed to contest rural (panchayat) and urban local body elections in the state.  The chief minister said he would ensure that relevant legislation (Bihar Panchayati Raj Act) would be amended to make this possible.

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Sanergy from Nairobi wins first Sarphati Sanitation Award

Becky Auerbach (Sanergy)

Becky Auerbach (Sanergy). Photo: Dick de Jong, H2O Communications, 2013

Sanergy won the first Sarphati Santation Award because in the past two years it has built 242 sanitation facilities run by 130 local entrepreneurs from Nairobi’s slums, who earn US$ 2,000 per year in income for their families while providing hygienic sanitation to 10,000+ residents. The Mayor of Amsterdam awarded a cash prize of 50.000 euros (US$  67,000) and a statue by famous artist Marte Röling to the winner, Becky Auerbach from Sanergy during the International Water Week (IWW) in Amsterdam. IDE Cambodia and Mr. Toilet, Jack Sim were the runners up.

The three nominees have in common that they provide remarkable sustainable business solutions “turning shit into gold”. They have shown that it is very well possible to address sanitation and public health issues in developing countries while making profit. Over the past years interest has increased for new ways to address the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for sanitation.

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Big business pledge for access to WASH @ workplace

Investing in employee WASH = healthy and more productive employees.

This simple business logic inspired  WBCSD, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, to  launch a “Pledge for Access to Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at the Workplace”.

Big names like Nestlé, Greif, Borealis AG, EDF, Deloitte LLP, Roche Group, Unilever and the Hindustan Construction Company (HCC)  have already signed up. These companies pledge to provide access to WASH at the workplace for employees in all locations under their control within three years.

The longer term vision is to “go beyond the fence to advocate for access for all employees along the value chain and ultimately employee homes and communities where employees live”.

More information can be found in two documents:

The guiding principles document includes two cost-benefit calculation examples for investments in urban WASH (piped water + septic tanks) and rural WASH (wells + pit latrines).

The WBCSD has been active on water issues for over 15 years. Around 60 companies and 18 regional network partners are members of the WBCSD Water Working Group, of which 28 member companies, representing 11 business sectors, constitute the Water Leadership Group.

Within the WBCSD  Water Working Group, Borealis AG leads the WASH “pathway” group promoting “business action for access to safe water and sanitation at scale”.

Source: WBCSD, 04 Sep 2013

Asian Development Bank and Gates Foundation set up new sanitation trust fund

Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund infographic

Infographic: ADB and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have set up a joint trust fund to expand non-sewered sanitation and septage management solutions across Asia.

The Gates Foundation will invest US$ 15 million into the new Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund, which will leverage more than US$ 28 million in investments from ADB by 2017.

The Trust Fund will pilot innovations in sanitation and septage management, provide grant funds for innovations in ADB’s sanitation projects, and support polices on septage management and sludge treatment for low-income urban communities who lack access to piped networks or safe wastewater disposal systems.

The Trust Fund will be part of ADB’s Water Financing Partnership Facility (WFPF), which has invested US$ 2.5 billion (out of a total of US$ 8.8 billion) in water supply, sanitation, and wastewater management projects since 2006.

So far the Gates Foundation has funded 85 sanitation research & development projects as part of their grant schemes such as the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge” and “Grand Challenges Exploration“. An overview of these projects and background information is available on the SuSanA website.

The BRAC WASH II programme in Bangladesh, which is co-funded by the Gates Foundation, includes a component for innovative action research on sanitation and water supply.

Source: ADB, 02 Sep 2013