Tag Archives: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

Akvopedia Sustainability Portal launched

Akvopedia Icon

Akvopedia has launched a new water and sanitation portal on sustainability. Developed by Akvo in collaboration with IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, the portal provides simple outlines of sustainability frameworks, such as the IRC’s Triple-S framework, as well as the FIETS approach, which was developed by the Dutch WASH Alliance and takes into account five key areas of sustainability – financial, institutional, environmental, technical and social. These key areas have been chosen as the five pillars of the portal’s main page.

Web sitewww.akvopedia.org/wiki/Sustainability_Portal

Extended call for abstracts: West Africa Workshop “Towards sustainable total sanitation”:

West Africa Learning and Exchange Workshop “Towards sustainable total sanitation”

Cotonou, Benin, 12-14 November 2013

Organised by: IRC, UNICEF, WaterAid and SNV

This workshop targets sanitation practitioners that have hands-on experience with the implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programmes and projects and aims to bring together professionals working on rural sanitation in West Africa, particularly practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and people from government agencies, donors and media.

It will emphasise the role of CLTS, with a geographical focus on West Africa; the roles of hygiene/sanitation behaviour change and the enabling environment around CLTS and other sanitation improvement approaches.

The workshop will build on the sanitation life cycle framework as developed by IRC and also reflect on methodological experience from IRC’s past learning and sharing exchanges and workshops in the field of Sanitation & Hygiene.

The participation fee is free although participants must take care of their own travel and accommodation costs.

Abstract deadline extended to: 27 September 2013

Abstract form can be downloaded here

More information at: www.irc.nl/page/79226

Read the First Announcement and Call for Abstracts

Creative measures improve sanitation programmes in eight African countries

Sapling handwashing, Malawi.

Sapling handwashing, Malawi. Photo: Plan Malawi

Eight African countries are creatively achieving the goals of community led total sanitation programmes (CLTS) including one idea in Malawi where handwashing is monitored according to the health of tree seedlings planted beneath water outlets.

In Zambia several schools have established vegetable gardens to reduce malnutrition and improve school attendance. Some of the harvests have been sold raising funds for school activities.

In Sierra Leone men have traditionally been the community leaders but women are now being encouraged to play a major part in village committees and networks of natural leaders.  To support CLTS women conduct house-to-house monitoring, giving health talks and reporting diseases –- many of them overcoming challenges such as illiteracy to maintain the programme.

Plan International’s five year Pan African CLTS (PAC) programme which ends in December, 2014, is operating in the eight countries of Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Malawi, Ghana and Niger. With the backing of the Dutch government the project was designed to promote and scale up sanitation in communities and schools.

Continue reading

Research call for commercially viable processing of pit latrine contents

IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre announces a research call for: Commercially viable processing of pit latrine contents: using a mix of human faeces, chicken manure and silage material.

This call is part of the BRAC WASH II programme in which EUR 1.5 million will be used for innovative research, tendered to consortia of leading European and Bangladeshi research organisations.

The planned duration of the research project will be 12 months. The anticipated cost of the project is EUR 325,000.

Guidelines for research call

Application form

Send full proposal application forms to bracactionresearch@irc.nl by 30 August 2013

Getting hygiene messages with your tea

Tea stall owner and male visitors

Tea stall owner and male visitors [IRC/Ingeborg Krukkert]


While on a mission in Bangladesh I visited a tea stall where I saw a lot of men getting their daily cup of tea. Tea stalls are a common phenomenon in Bangladesh, it is a place where people gather not just for tea, but to hang out and talk freely about whatever is important to them. Male field workers in the BRAC WASH programme have started visiting these stalls to discuss sanitation and hygiene practices.

Continue reading

How much does it cost to build a traditional latrine?

A new video by IRC’s WASHCost project examines the full costs of building traditional latrines in Mozambique.

Cost data is essential for planning by the governments. In Mozambique, this is done by local authorities. There are many challenges in getting the right data. One of them is getting data on sanitation and the investments made by households themselves, in particular when latrines are constructed with local materials.

WASHCost Mozambique managed to calculate the estimated total costs for building a traditional latrine. The cost data shows that families are massively contributing to improving public health. The data also shows that promotion of hygiene and sanitation is really worth the effort.

When there is promotion, families build latrines and spend money on them.

For more on the life-cycle costs of sanitation and hygiene read:

For more on sanitation in Mozambique read:

Full-chain sanitation services that last

Full-Chain-Sanitation-cover2.6 billion people are waiting for a toilet and the faecal sludge of an additional 1.5 billion people never gets treated.  In the face of these indeed formidable challenges, the sanitation sector seems to have forgotten to celebrate the growing sense that we are getting a grip on how to tackle the problem of non-sewered sanitation.  A new IRC paper [1] is an invitation to everyone to contribute by commenting on the framework and by sharing lessons learnt.

The framework presented for non-sewered sanitation is based on a few key principles:

  • Sanitation is a public good and hence, national and local governments have a key responsibility to ensure that sanitation services that last are provided to all.
  • The parameters for a sustainable sanitation service need to be built around access and use; operation and maintenance and safe faecal sludge management.
  • The framework identifies political and individual commitment as a key condition for sustainable sanitation services.
  • In addition, a sanitation service contains the following components: the enabling environment, the creation of demand, the supply chains, and well aligned financial arrangements and incentives.
  • With increasing sanitation coverage, the focus of a sanitation service needs to shift from increasing access to and use of latrines (getting onto the sanitation ladder) to O&M and the safe disposal or productive uses of faecal sludge.

The framework serves as a starting point for the development of a functioning sanitation service.  However, the main argument of the framework is not towards a certain approach for demand creation or sanitation marketing but towards including and interlinking all four components and to consciously create political support for sanitation – creating a sustainable service that lasts.

We welcome your feedback and comments to further improve the framework and we are especially keen on learning from you how different components of sanitation framework can and are being operationalized and interlinked.

Most of all we want this framework to support the improvement of our collective impact so that the long wait for 1.6 billion can end.

Looking forward to hear from you,

Joep Verhagen

[1] Verhagen, J. and Carrasco, M., 2013. Full-chain sanitation services that last : non-sewered sanitation services. The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. 14 p. : 2 boxes, 1 fig., 2 tab. 13 ref. Available at: <http://www.irc.nl/page/79976>