Category Archives: Resources

Can you spend too much on sanitation?

The decision to divert funding from water to sanitation turned sour when drought struck India.

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Ledger. Uttarakhand, India. Photo: IRC

A budget tracking study in India revealed that the shift of policy focus from water to sanitation has resulted in a cut in government spending on rural water supply. This was a cause of concern because at the time of the study (August-December 2015) six of the seven states reviewed were reeling under severe drought.

A Parliamentary Standing Committee report released on 6 May 2016 stated that the government would be unable to achieve its 2017 target of providing 50% rural households with piped water. The media accused the government of starving the National Rural Drinking Water Programme of funds, while at the same time increasing funding for Prime Minister Modi’s flagship sanitation programme “Swachh Bharat”. The government has even introduced an additional 0.5% “Swachh Bharat” service tax.

The Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) is presenting their budget tracking study on 26 July 2016 in Delhi as part of the WASH Dialogues series of events. WASH Dialogues are an initiative of IRC and TARU Leading Edge. CBGA’s presentation will focus on the institutional and procedural bottlenecks that are constraining public expenditure in the water and sanitation sector.

For more information on the event “Tracking policy and budgetary commitments for drinking water and sanitation in the new fiscal architecture in India” go the IRC Events page.

For more on budget tracking see:

This news item was originally published on the IRC website.

Monitoring Africa’s sanitation commitments

IRC helps AMCOW develop a new process to monitor the N’gor declaration

At the 2016 Africa Water Week, civil society called on the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) to honour the region’s commitments on water, sanitation and hygiene, including those agreed in the 2015 N’gor declaration. The four partner organisations in Watershed – empowering citizens, Akvo, IRC, Simavi and Wetlands International, were among those that endorsed the collective statement submitted to AMCOW by the African Network for Water (ANEW).

Progress especially on sanitation has so far been poor; only 4% between from 2000 to 2015, according to Al-hassan Adam from End Water Poverty. A recent IRC/WSUP finance brief stated that only eight African countries provide data on sanitation expenditure. All of them are falling behind on their N’gor declaration commitment to spend 0.5% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on sanitation. Exerting pressure to speed up progress on sanitation is an obvious task for those civil society organisations (CSOs) that Watershed aims to support.

Next to lobbying AMCOW to honour its sanitation commitments, IRC is also advising the ministerial council on the development of a new process to monitor the N’gor declaration. The aim of the new monitoring process is to create reflective dialogue processes at country and subregional levels and strengthen mechanisms for accountability to citizens and political leaders informed by evidence.

So far a Regional Action Plan has been developed, and indicators and scoring criteria have been reviewed through a series of sub-regional consultations led by AMCOW in Nairobi, Dakar and Johannesburg in May and June 2016. See below an example of an indicator with scoring criteria.

For more information, read the background paper prepared by Alana Potter.

Ngor indicator typology

This news item was originally published on the IRC website.

The Dawn of a Sanitation Revolution in India – World Bank

The sanitation campaign in India is helping Rajasthan become a top performing state in ending open defecation. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan declared sanitation as one of the state’s top development priorities, with a target of eliminating open defecation by 2018.

To bring this vision to fruition, an innovative Community Led Total Sanitation Campaign (CLTS) was launched in many districts with the leadership of district collectors.

The approach focuses on crucial issues: Behavior Change and Demand Creation. From Health Centers, to Schools, to door-to-door visits, the message of sanitation and hygiene was effectively communicated.

Health is blooming, one home at a time. One village at a time. And Rajasthan is on course to becoming open defecation free.

Learning from Sustained Success: How Community-Driven Initiatives to Improve Urban Sanitation Can Meet the Challenges

Learning from Sustained Success: How Community-Driven Initiatives to Improve Urban Sanitation Can Meet the Challenges. World Development, July 2016.

Authors: Gordon McGranahan, Diana Mitlin.

Past research by one of the authors of this paper has identified four key institutional challenges that community-driven initiatives to improve sanitation in deprived urban settlements face: the collective action challenge of improving community sanitation; the coproduction challenge of working with formal service providers to dispose of the sanitary waste safely; the affordability challenge of reconciling the affordable with what is acceptable to both users and local authorities; and the tenure challenge of preventing housing insecurity from undermining residents’ willingness to commit to sanitary improvement.

In this article we examine how two well-documented, relatively successful and longstanding initiatives, the Orangi Pilot Project and an Alliance of Indian partners, met these challenges. They were met through social innovation, but also through the choice and development of sanitation technologies (simplified sewers for OPP and community toilet blocks for the Indian Alliance) that provided traction for the social innovations. We also explore more recent efforts by civil society partnerships in four African cities, demonstrating some of the difficulties they have faced in trying to overcome these challenges. No equivalent models have emerged, though there has been considerable progress against particular challenges in particular places.

These findings confirm the importance of the challenges, and indicate that these are not just challenges for social organization, but also for technology design and choice. For example, the problem with household pit latrines is not that they cannot physically be improved to sufficiently, but that they are not well-suited to the social, economic and political challenges of sanitary improvement at scale. The findings also indicate that a low economic status and a tendency to treat sanitation as a private good not suitable for public support also makes the sanitation challenges difficult to overcome.

Links to selected 2015 WEDC conference papers on sanitation

Links to selected 2015 WEDC conference papers on sanitation

  1. A mobile based system for monitoring usage of household latrines and hygiene practices in Madhya Pradesh, India * (2015)
  2. Nayak, V.
  3. Acceptability of urban water, sanitation, electricity and transport servicesÊ * (2015)
    Smout, I.
  4. Access to emergency sanitation for Pakistani women: a case study in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan * (2015)
    Ahmed, W.
  5. Accessibility audit for mainstreaming the rights of the persons with disabilities in Bangladesh * (2015)
    Ahmed, S.
  6. Achieving sustainable operation and maintenance of water and sanitation facilities: findings from selected primary schools in northern Uganda * (2015)
    Namata, T.
  7. Alternatives in ecological sanitation: a comparison of systems in Uganda * (2015)
    Kamuteera, E.
  8. An update of themes and trends in urban community-led total sanitation projects * (2015)
    Myers, J.
  9. Attitudes and practises with regard to emptying of onsite systems in Maputo, Mozambique * (2015)
    BŠuerl, M.
  10. Barriers to access water and sanitation services by the urban poor in larger towns of Madhya Pradesh, India: an assessment of citizens’ perception * (2015)
    Kumar, C
  11. Behaviour change determinants: the key to successful WASH strategies * (2015)
    Egreteau, D.

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Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern: UNEP Frontiers 2016 Report

Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern: UNEP Frontiers 2016 Report, 2016. UNEP.

The UNEP Frontiers 2016 edition presents six emerging issues. It highlights, for example, that the global significance of the financial sector should not confine itself only to enhancing global economic growth, but also to advancing environmental sustainability. The financial sector has a crucial role to play in investing in new low-carbon, resource efficient and environmentally sound assets, and shifting capital away from traditional assets that have high impacts on the environment. The report presents a number of emerging financial initiatives led by the financial sector as innovative solutions to sustainability challenges.

There is a worldwide increase in disease emergence and epidemics particularly from zoonoses – diseases that can be passed on between animals and humans. The report illustrates how the emergence and re-emergence of zoonotic diseases are closely interlinked with the health of ecosystems. The risk of disease emergence and amplification increases with the intensification of human activities surrounding and encroaching into natural habitats, enabling pathogens in wildlife reservoirs to spill over to livestock and humans.

The recent years have seen a growing presence of plastic pollution in the aquatic environment, particularly in form of microplastics. While stakeholders are increasing their efforts to reduce the use of microplastics through innovative approaches and policy change, the scientific community is racing to understand the level of exposure and physiological impacts of microplastic contaminants on various organisms, as well as the risk to human health through consumption of contaminated food.

The UNEP Frontiers report also highlights two critical issues associated with climate change. The issue of loss and damage to ecosystems due to changing climate has risen to global attention in recent years, and has led to the establishment of the Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts. The report introduces a number of case studies on recent sudden- and slow-onset events that have caused losses and damages to ecosystems and human systems, and presents a range of risk management tools needed to avoid harm.

 

 

iDE Shares Lessons Learned in Building Markets for Sanitation

iDE is proud to announce a new microsite: sanitationmarkets.ideglobal.org. This site outlines the evolution of iDE’s sanitation program in Cambodia, from preliminary market studies to the largest program of its kind in the world.

Sanitationmarkets.ideglobal.org

We made this site because we hope that our experiences will inform the design, implementation, and cost-effectiveness of future sanitation marketing projects.

Here are a few featured posts on the site:

Are We Moving the Needle on Latrine Coverage? Sanitation coverage increased from 29% to 45%in the seven project provinces, a jump of 16% in just over just 2.5 years.

Latrine Sales Exceed “Excellent” Target The project surpassed the topline “excellent” target of latrines sold through project-connected businesses. Update in May 2016: 228,151 latrines have been sold through project-connected business, with average monthly sales at around 5,000.

Reaching the Poor with Sanitation Overall, there has been a doubling (12% increase) in sanitation coverage among the poor since the baseline in early 2012.

Professionalized Sales Drive Latrine Uptake Achieving the public health goal of rapid latrine uptake necessitated an active role by the project in managing latrine sales activities. Professionalization of sales is a crucial investment for sanitation market development efforts to ensure that the critical activity of selling is deliberate and based on industry best practices. With the support of Whitten & Roy Partnership, the project developed a sales training approach that included systematic sales training and sales management processes and a package of supporting tools, which were developed in collaboration with 17 Triggers.

Driving Latrine Affordability With Access to Finance In partnership with IDinsight, we learned that under certain conditions, financing has the potential to increase latrine uptake fourfold at a $50 market price and decrease operating costs by 70%.

To contact iDE about a potential partnership, send an email to: WASH@ideglobal.org