Category Archives: Economic Benefits

Plan International – Testing CLTS Approaches for Scalability: Indonesia Learning Brief

Testing CLTS Approaches for Scalability: Indonesia Learning Brief, 2015. Plan International.

Sanitation Marketing Project in Grobogan District, Indonesia. photo credit to Jonny Crocker

Sanitation Marketing Project in Grobogan District, Indonesia. photo credit to Jonny Crocker

Plan International supports Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) implementation in a number of sub-districts in Indonesia.

In this learning brief, we review the roles of local actors in Plan International Indonesia’s program activities and highlight considerations for scalability, planning, implmentation, and evaluation.

Plan International and other sanitation practitioners can support the national government and local actors by placing more responsibility on sub-district staff to lead triggering, enlisting the added support of village facilitators to lead post-triggering, and scaling up village-based financing mechanisms to sustain CLTS outcomes.

Link to project website:

Can we shift waste to value through 3D printing in Tanzania?

Can we shift waste to value through 3D printing in Tanzania? World Bank Blog, Sept 2015. Author: C. Paradi-Guilford.

Plastic waste, in particular PET, which is typically found in soda bottles, is becoming abundant in African cities. In Dar es Salaam, one of the most rapidly urbanizing cities in Africa, BORDA found that about 400 tons of plastic waste per day remains uncollected or unrecycled.  Although about 98 percent of the solid waste generated per day can be recycled or composted, 90 percent is disposed in dumpsites.

A waste collection site in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo: Cecilia Paradi-Guilford

At the same time, the recycling industry has started to grow because of new initiatives, community organizations and private companies. There are a few organizations that repurpose waste into arts and crafts, tools or apply it as a source of energy – such as WasteDar. However, the majority collect or purchase plastic waste from collectors, primarily with a view to export, rather than recycle or reuse locally.

Socially and environmentally, waste management is one of the biggest challenges for an increasingly urbanized world. Waste pickers can earn as little as US$1-2 a day in dangerous conditions with little opportunity for advancement. They make up some of the most disadvantaged communities living in deep poverty.

Through a new market for sorted waste materials, these communities may access higher income generation opportunities in a sustainable manner. This presents an opportunity to explore turning this waste into value more close to home.

At the same time, 3D Printing is expanding
3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that applies layers of materials (typically plastic) to develop an object that is made up of thinly sliced horizontal layers. The design of the object is made in a Computer-Aided Design program using a 3D modeling, then is inputted into the 3D printer. Gaining popularity, 3D scanners are also used to make a digital copy of ab object. 3D printers take an input of filament consisting of varying types of plastic to create the object.

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WASHplus Weekly: Focus on WASH & Financing

Issue 199| July 17, 2015 | Focus on WASH & Financing

Thanks to Jonathan Annis of TetraTech for suggesting this week’s topic. Resources and studies in this issue include 2015 discussion forums and webinars hosted by the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA), a series of WASH financing briefs, and new USAID Urban Pathway manuals.


Urban Sanitation Finance – From Macro to Micro Level, SuSanA Thematic Discussion, June–July 2015. Link
This discussion forum was structured along three themes: Public Finance, Microfinance, andCity Level Sustainable Cost Recovery and was supported by six experts on sanitation finance who provided leadership and addressed questions raised by forum users. Summaries of the discussions are available here.

Webinar about Results-Based Financing (RBF) for Sanitation – April 29, 2015. SuSanA. Link
This webinar was organized under the knowledge management initiative of the Building Demand for Sanitation program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Peter Feldman moderated the webinar with support from Pippa Scott and Pete Cranston of Euforic Services. The Stockholm Environment Institute and the SuSanA Secretariat served as hosts.


Finance Brief 1: Domestic Public Finance for WASH: What, Why, How? 2015. G Norman. Link
This report defines domestic public finance as funds derived from domestic taxes, raised at the national or local level. Domestic public finance is only part of the solution to service delivery in poor communities; user finance and donor finance are also part of the mix. Likewise, domestic public finance forms part of a wider governance puzzle: improving WASH services requires not just more government investment, but also diverse other elements including (for example) clear institutional mandates.

Finance Brief 2: Universal Water and Sanitation: How Did the Rich Countries Do It?2015. Public Finance for WASH. Link
This finance brief briefly summarizes the history of water and sanitation services provision in the U.S., the U.K., and South Korea, and considers whether this historical experience is relevant to low- and middle-income countries today.

Finance Brief 3: Municipal Finance for Sanitation in Three African Cities, 2015. B Edwards. Link (Download free but registration required)
This discussion paper reports data on municipal public finance for sanitation in three African cities, based on in-country examination of available budget records: Ga West Municipality, part of the Greater Accra conglomeration in Ghana; Maputo, capital of Mozambique; and Nakuru County in Kenya, including the city of Nakuru.

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WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Waste Pickers

Issue 198| July 10, 2015 | Focus on Waste Pickers

This issue contains recent policy briefs, manuals, videos, and country studies on environmental health conditions and other issues faced by waste pickers. According to Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), recognition is growing that waste pickers contribute to the local economy, to public health and safety, and to environmental sustainability. However, they often face low social status, deplorable living and working conditions, and little support from local governments. washplus-weekly


Managing the Emerging Waste Crisis in Developing Countries’ Large Cities, 2015. Institute of Development Studies. Link
This policy briefing identifies some of the key challenges and opportunities for transitioning waste management into resource management, which engages both the formal and informal sector and provides livelihoods for the urban poor. Mainstreaming the informal sector is both economically efficient and financially beneficial for local governments as it reduces the costs of waste management as well as the need for large-scale investments in infrastructure.

Forging a New Conceptualization of “The Public” in Waste Management, 2015. M Samson. Link
This paper critically analyzes innovative approaches to including informal waste pickers in service delivery in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Pune, India, and Bogota, Colombia and argues that by mobilizing collectively to demand formal incorporation into municipal waste management systems waste pickers are expanding both the public sector and the public sphere; transforming relations among the state, formal economy, informal economy, and residents; and contributing to the forging of a more inclusive, participatory, and democratic state.

Solid Waste Management and Social Inclusion of Waste Pickers: Opportunities and Challenges, 2014. M Marello. Link
Authors explore the opportunities and challenges inherent in the model of cooperation between municipal solid waste systems and waste picker cooperatives. Enthusiasm is growing about waste picker inclusion, often as part of “integrated solid waste management.” The World Bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank, for example, have both funded projects to support waste picker integration into formal sector recycling.

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USAID Sanitation Webinar

USAID Sanitation Webinar, April 28, 2015

More than 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation worldwide. In this webinar, USAID’s Jesse Shapiro discusses and responds to participant questions about the impacts of sanitation; critical challenges to improving sanitation; the sanitation ladder and service chain; and programmatic interventions to improve sanitation.

Encouraging sanitation investment in the developing world: A cluster-randomized trial

Encouraging sanitation investment in the developing world: A cluster-randomized trial. Science, April 2015, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa0491

Authors:  Raymond Guiteras1, James Levinsohn2, Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak2,*
+ Author Affiliations
1Deptartment of Economics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.

2School of Management, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
↵*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Poor sanitation contributes to morbidity and mortality in the developing world, but there is disagreement on what policies can increase sanitation coverage. To measure the effects of alternative policies on investment in hygienic latrines, we assigned 380 communities in rural Bangladesh to different marketing treatments—community motivation and information; subsidies; a supply-side market access intervention; and a control—in a cluster-randomized trial.

Community motivation alone did not increase hygienic latrine ownership (+1.6 percentage points, p=0.43), nor did the supply-side intervention (+0.3 percentage points, p=.90). Subsidies to the majority of the landless poor increased ownership among subsidized households (+22.0 percentage points, p<.001) and their unsubsidized neighbors (+8.5 percentage points, p=.001), which suggests investment decisions are interlinked across neighbors. Subsidies also reduced open defecation by 14 percentage points (p<.001).

Trémolet Consulting – Toilets on Credit, 2015 (video)

Published on Feb 3, 2015

Can microfinance help increase access to sanitation? Today, 2.5 billion people do not use proper sanitation facilities. Essential services for maintaining latrines and treating faecal sludge are also underdeveloped. In many places, toilets can cost up to one year of income for poor households. Private operators of sanitation services do not have enough capital to acquire more equipment and respond to growing demand.

Since 2010, Trémolet Consulting and research partners based in Kenya MicroSave have been exploring the potential of microfinance for helping sanitation markets to develop. The research, funded by SHARE/DFID, culminated with an action-research in Tanzania in which financial institutions were trained to provide financial services for sanitation. This film explains why microfinance should be explored further, and potentially, included in sanitation programmes.

The film also presents what has been done in Tanzania under the action-research and takes the views of households, sanitation entrepreneurs, microfinance institutions and researchers.