Category Archives: Economic Benefits

Using microfinance to facilitate household investment in sanitation in rural Cambodia

Using microfinance to facilitate household investment in sanitation in rural CambodiaHealth Policy & Planning, May 2016.

Authors: Kimberley H Geissler, Jeffrey Goldberg and Sheila Leatherman

Improved sanitation access is extremely low in rural Cambodia. Non-governmental organizations have helped build local supply side latrine markets to promote household latrine purchase and use, but households cite inability to pay as a key barrier to purchase.

To examine the extent to which microfinance can be used to facilitate household investment in sanitation, we applied a two-pronged assessment: (1) to address the gap between interest in and use of microfinance, we conducted a pilot study to assess microfinance demand and feasibility of integration with a sanitation marketing program and (2) using a household survey (n = 935) at latrine sales events in two rural provinces, we assessed attitudes about microfinance and financing for sanitation.

We found substantial stated intent to use a microfinance institution (MFI) loan to purchase a latrine (27%). Five percent of current owners used an MFI loan for latrine purchase. Credit officers attended 159 events, with 4761 individuals attending. Actual loan applications were low, with 4% of sales events attendees applying for a loan immediately following the event (mean = 1.7 loans per event). Ongoing coordination was challenging, requiring management commitment from the sanitation marketing program and commitment to social responsibility from the MFI.

Given the importance of improving sanitation coverage and concomitant health impacts, linking functional sanitation markets to already operational finance markets has the potential to give individuals and households more financial flexibility. Further product research and better integration of private vendors and financing modalities are necessary to create a scalable microfinance option for sanitation markets.

 

‘Trash banking’ takes off around the world

‘Trash banking’ takes off around the world | Source: Waste Dive, May 2016 |

Dive Brief:

  • The Mutiara Trash Bank in Makassar, Indonesia is seen as a leading example of the expanding “trash banking” system. The country has 2,800 trash banks in 129 cities which serve 175,000 people. wastedive
  • Residents bring in recyclables that are weighed for value. In exchange they can withdraw or deposit money from bank accounts. Some banks allow residents to pay directly for rice, phone cards or electricity bills. The Makassar government commits to buying the waste at fixed prices and then sells it to waste merchants who ship it to Java.
  • Makassar produces 800 tons of waste per day, much of which ends up in a large landfill. Waste pickers, who are often women and children, work to retrieve valuable materials from the growing pile. According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 70% of the country’s waste goes to landfills.

Read the complete article.

Creating Alliances to Accelerate Commercially Viable Sanitation

Creating Alliances to Accelerate Commercially Viable Sanitation, 2015.

Toilet Board Coalition.

Five lessons on co-creating collaborative, sustainable initiatives
The lessons learned from the TBC co-creating approach will be of interest to sectors beyond sanitation, where investors or development players are facing a similar situation characterised by a lack of sustainable, investable businesses in spite of immense needs.

#1: START BY LEARNING FROM BEST PRACTITIONERS
It is tempting to build models that are tailored to companies’ expertise and resources. Whenever this was done, it did not really work. High potential models started by scanning the world for innovations, taking inspiration from best practices and filling gaps where needed.

#2: INVOLVE PARTNERS IN CO-CREATION EARLY ON
The TBC observed the importance of involving key partners early on in an open and iterative process, ideally with inperson meetings. Also, expectations need to be managed carefully as many endeavours do not actually lead to opportunities immediately so.

#3: DECIDE UPFRONT WHICH PARTNERSHIPS TO SUPPORT
Partnerships can bring a lot of value but building them is a complex and coordination-heavy process. Hence a formal decision is required upfront to invest sufficient resources into a long-term effort, which will not necessarily deliver immediate results.

 

Meet the bin scavengers saving SA R750-million a year

Meet the bin scavengers saving SA R750-million a year | Source: Sunday Times/South Africa, May 8 2016 |

His name is Peter May, and the collars of his dapper blue shirt have been ironed flat.

“I have the same name as an English cricketer,” he says, pulling a trolley that bulges with rubbish bags.

petermay

Peter May knows his bins Image: Ruvan Boshoff

But he is not a cricketer, and for him the waste inside the bags is not garbage. It is his livelihood: bundles of white paper, cardboard, newspaper and light steel sifted from bins and landfill sites across Cape Town.

May is one of the country’s 60 000 to 90 000 waste pickers who, in a recent surprise finding, save our municipalities up to R750-million a year.

They divert recyclables away from the landfills at no, or little cost. Now their fate hangs in the balance as the waste economy sets off on a new path.

According to a report by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the waste and recycling sector “is on the brink of change” thanks to mandatory extended producer responsibility, which means producers will be responsible for the waste they generate. This often takes the form of a reuse, buy-back or recycling programme.

The CSIR has done research to see if waste pickers can be incorporated into the formal economy, and Professor Linda Godfrey, who led the study, said: “The most surprising finding for me was when we started to attach financial values to the savings by municipalities as a result of informal waste pickers.”

Read the complete article.

Introducing the new USAID Global Waters

After a brief hiatus, USAID’s “Global Waters” magazine is back to bring you water-related stories from around the world! globalwaters

The magazine continues to provide a visually captivating look at the experiences and views of top development professionals and beneficiaries through a new and improved online format. We hope you enjoy the latest articles. – The Water Team.

Features/articles in this issue include:

  • Global Waters Radio: Chris Holmes on Water, Jobs, and Gender Equity
  • Making Sanitation Services Affordable in Indonesia’s Cities
  • Celebrating Water Heroes
  • Breaking the Taboo: How School WASH Impacts Girls’ Education
  • Putting Local Wealth to Work for Safe Water Access
  • Changing the Landscape for Africa’s Urban Water Services
  • Incubating Innovation: Solutions for a Parched Earth

Financial indicators for water and sanitation at national level: what do we really need to know and early warning system

Financial indicators for water and sanitation at national level: what do we really need to know and early warning system | Source: Catarina Fonseca, IRC Blog, April 18 2016 |

This blog is meant to support those efforts by answering the question: What indicators can be used as a diagnostic tool for the adequacy of budgets and financial flows for water and sanitation?

The current proposed SDG indicator framework will mainly track outcomes: the number of people with access to water and sanitation services. That is what ultimately matters but it is also an indicator that only gives off a ‘late’ alarm. If a country is not showing much progress on access to services yet, it will take several years to address the root causes of the problem. See the blog 15 years to make history, 5 years to make change.

This is the reason why it is also important to track inputs into the sector, particularly money, which can give off an ‘early’ alarm. If for example, analyses show that the funds available for water and sanitation are too little to address financial gaps, it can be addressed much earlier, before it translates into stagnating or lower coverage figures (see for instance Uganda and Tanzania as examples).

Tracking financial indicators does not require sophisticated monitoring systems

The key question is then which financial indicators to track and what level of detail and break-down is needed. This is what was discussed at a recent sector meeting organised by UNICEF and where the inspiration to write this blog comes from.

Tracking financial indicators does not require a sophisticated monitoring system. In my experience, it is perfectly possible to collect this information from secondary sources if there is some openness in sharing government financial flows on water and sanitation. However, it does require a system that is tracking government expenditure at different levels. This is already the case in most public administrations in lower income countries.

The problems emerge in the reconciliation of accounts, the level of disaggregation of data and most important for the water sector: linking the money flowing into the sector with the number of people accessing a decent service. See some examples in the testing phase of the WHO TrackFin methodology in three countries in this flyer.

Read the complete article.

African Government investment in sanitation: 2016 state of play

African Government investment in sanitation: 2016 state of play: Finance Brief 9, 2016.  Public Finance for WASH. logo

In May 2015, African leaders committed to budget allocations amounting to 0.5% of their countries’ respective Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to sanitation and hygiene by 2020.

Specifically, this commitment was part of the Ngor Declaration adopted at the fourth African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan) by ministers responsible for sanitation and hygiene.

This brief explores the context of this commitment: how much are governments currently investing in sanitation? How can this investment be increased?