Category Archives: Economic Benefits

The ‘S word:’ Is it time for the sanitation sector to reconsider subsidies?

The ‘S word:’ Is it time for the sanitation sector to reconsider subsidies? Devex, September 2017.

STOCKHOLM — After nearly three decades of broad agreement that hardware subsidies alone do not work in the rural sanitation sector, the practice of using financial incentives to encourage people to build latrines appears to be making a comeback — causing old arguments to flare up again.

The debate over whether or not to use subsidies for sanitation has resurfaced in recent years as governments — as well as water, sanitation, and hygiene experts — grapple with how to deal with the world’s looming sanitation crisis.

Recent statistics reveal that 2.3 billion people do not have access to a decent toilet and many still defecate in the open. Furthermore, in some countries, levels of sanitation access are declining — and this trend is likely to continue as growing populations and increasing urbanization put new strain on the sector’s limited budget.

Experts agree that a radical rethink of how sanitation programs are financed and implemented is needed if the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals — which call for universal access to basic sanitation by 2030 — are to be met.

Read the complete article.

The new economy of excrement. Nature, September 13, 2017

The new economy of excrement. Nature, September 13, 2017

Entrepreneurs are finding profits turning human waste into fertiliser, fuel and even food.

On the outskirts of Kigali, Rwanda, septic trucks full of human excrement bump and slosh their way up orange dirt roads to their final destination: the Nduba landfill. Until recently, the trucks would spill their contents into giant open pits.

Will Swanson for Nature Semi-dried sludge on its way to becoming fuel at the Pivot plant in Rwanda

Will Swanson for Nature. Semi-dried sludge on its way to becoming fuel at the Pivot plant in Rwanda.

But since 2015, workers in green jumpsuits have greeted them outside a row of sheds and plastic-roofed greenhouses, ready to process the faecal sludge into a dry, powdery fuel.

The facility is called Pivot, and its founder is Ashley Muspratt, a sanitation engineer who lived in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda for more than seven years before moving back to the United States last year. Muspratt insists that Pivot is not a treatment plant.

It’s a business. Its product powers local industries such as cement and brick plants. “I describe us as dual sanitation and renewable-fuel company,” Muspratt says. “Our model really is to build factories.”

Muspratt is part of a growing band of entrepreneurs trying to address one of the biggest challenges in public health — poor sanitation — and to turn a profit doing it. According to a report published by the World Health Organization and United Nations children’s charity Unicef in July, 2.8 billion people — 38% of the world’s population — have no access to sewers and deposit their waste in tanks and pit latrines (see ‘Sanitation across nations’).

Read the complete article.

How business can help end the global water and sanitation crisis.

How business can help end the global water and sanitation crisis. WaterAid, August 2017.

Our new report shows that collaboration between business and the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector could drive substantial progress towards reaching everyone, everywhere with taps and toilets by 2030. Ruth Romer, Private Sector Advisor at WaterAid, introduces the potential it found.

Elizabeth, 54, with two of her grandsons, Papua New Guinea.

Elizabeth, 54, with two of her grandsons, Papua New Guinea.

No one need explain the true value of water to 54-year-old Elizabeth and her family in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. She spends more than half her meagre salary on buying drinking water from a local water vendor, as she knows the water from the nearby lake could make her unwell, unproductive and unable to provide for her family.

Read the complete article.

Why WASH organizations need to hire and grow business-savvy leaders

Ghana_Sama Sama Launch_IMG_3045 (1)

Valerie Labi, iDE WASH Director in Ghana, speaks at the launch of Sama Sama, a sanitation social enterprise in northern Ghana.

By Yi Wei, iDE Global WASH Director

Every organization knows the pain and disruption caused by bad hiring decisions, or waiting for an employee to develop the necessary skills to excel in a position he or she is not a fit for. I work for iDE, a nonprofit organization that has been implementing market-based development programs for over 30 years. When it comes to successfully managing a sanitation marketing program, hiring business-savvy program leadership is critical.

If we truly want to drive progress towards the U.N.’s goal to “ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all,” I believe these four things should be considered by any organization working in WASH:

  1. Invest in recruiting talent with business acumen.
  2. Identify and develop business leadership skills.
  3. Incentivize potential leaders competitively, taking into account the opportunity cost candidates face forgoing potentially lucrative private sector positions, and not just the prevailing wages of the nonprofit labor market.
  4. Incubate and foster an organizational focus on training and knowledge sharing.

Dive deeper into the four strategies for building a business-savvy team. 

WASH & Finance – Water Currents, June 27, 2017

WASH & Finance – Water Currents, June 27, 2017.

This issue focuses on finance in the WASH sector and contains recent reports and publications from SHARE, UN Water, The World Bank, and others. Included are studies on microfinance, a podcast and reports on financing the WASH sector, and case studies on financing options from Tanzania and other relevant countries.

We would like to thank USAID-funded WASH-FIN Project staff for contributing to this issue. watercurrents

WASH Sector Financing 
Financing WASH: How to Increase Funds for the Sector While Reducing Inequalities. IRC; Water.org, April 2017. This position paper for the Sanitation and Water for All Finance Ministers Meeting in 2017 addresses three key issues that are receiving limited attention in the WASH sector discussions on finance: 1) the lack of finance for strengthening the enabling environment; 2) the untapped use of microfinance; and 3) blended finance and inequities in the allocation of finance in the sector.

UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2017 Report: Financing Universal Water, Sanitation and Hygiene under the Sustainable Development Goals. WHO; UN Water, June 2017. This report presents an analysis of the most reliable and up-to-date data from 75 countries on issues related to WASH financing and other elements of the enabling environment, including plans, targets, data availability, and measures to reach vulnerable populations.

Read the complete issue.

#Sanitation events at 2017 Stockholm #WWWeek

Sanitation-at-WWWeek-2017

From 27 August – 1 September, 2017 there will be nearly 50 sanitation events to choose from at World Water Week in Stockholm.

You can learn about everything from Sanitary Safety Plans to the Second Sanitary Revolution, from sanitation in small towns to wastewater management for indigenous peoples, and from inclusive sanitation to sludge based solid fuel .

View the full list at:
programme.worldwaterweek.org/events/all/all/all/sanitation/www2017

How can a program design rural sanitation financial support to reach the most disadvantaged? (Webinar)

How can a program design rural sanitation financial support to reach the most disadvantaged? (Webinar)

Hosted by the Cambodian Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Sub-Group (RuSH), this interactive webinar will discuss how different programs have tried to design rural sanitation subsidies to reach the poorest.

Examples will be shared from India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia. Rapid presentations will be followed by discussion questions and polls for participants to share their rural sanitation knowledge with others.

The World Bank, USAID, UNICEF and SuSanA are hosting this webinar to present and discuss an emerging rural sanitation challenge. The main audience for the webinar is government staff and others working in countries with high rates of open defecation and unhygienic sanitation who want to learn more about how to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

June 29th 2017 –  8pm Manila | 3pm Nairobi | 1pm Lagos & London | 8am NYC | 7am Lima

Register for this free webinar