Tag Archives: Improve International

Susan Davis – What’s the problem with WASH innovation?

What’s the problem with WASH innovation? Improve International, March 8, 2018.

Susan Davis’s thoughts on water innovations are included in Kelli Roger’s recent article in Devex (you have to be a member to read the full article, but here are some excerpts).

…For years, Susan Davis heard the same reports of failed or broken water systems presented at water and sanitation conferences all over the world. Innovations presented at most gatherings, meanwhile, usually focused on gadgets or “things” — often versions of the latrines, filters or dispensers that were failing elsewhere. 

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Low-tech innovation: water service delivery mechanism in Ethiopia (photo by Susan Davis)

…The issue, Davis and other WASH experts tell Devex, is not willingness to solve these problems, but the hyperfocus on gadgets to achieve sustainable results at scale. It’s data, service delivery, and overall process improvement that should more equally or more often claim the spotlight — and the funding.

…It’s “stuff that sounds simple and basic until you realize no one else was doing it” that is really going to change the WASH game, Davis said.

…In the meantime, Improve International’s Davis plans to continue to unearth WASH products and systems innovations that are working — “If you’re not asking the right questions, you’re probably never going to hear about it,” she said — and encouraging the sector to learn from its well intentioned mistakes.


If you’re a Devex member, you can read the full article hereGet in touch if you want to learn more about WASH innovations.

 

 

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Seeking Sanitation Success – Improve International

Seeking Sanitation Success | Source: Improve International, May 2 2016 |

The sanitation sector has evolved over decades.  Yet, in 2015, the target year for the Millennium Development Goals, much remains to be done: 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation and almost 1 billion people practice open defecation, nine out of ten in rural areas (WHO/UNICEF, 2015). seeking-sanitation-success-fact-sheet-p1

While some attempts to determine what works over time have been made, comparable information is scarce.  This is an important gap to overcome, and to overcome quickly, because Sustainable Development Goal 6 (UN) aims “to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” in just 14 years.

The purpose of this meta-evaluation was to attempt to identify which sanitation approaches in developing countries have been effective and sustainable, so that sector actors can position themselves for achieving universal sanitation services.

This work is divided into two phases: the desk review and expert consultation (Phase I) and in-depth country case studies (Phase II). The Seeking Sanitation Successes Fact Sheet  summarizes the output of Phase I, which recommended countries for Phase II. Please get in touch if you are interested in collaborating on the Phase II research.

Read the complete article.

What is Sanitation Success?

What is Sanitation Success? | Source: Susan Davis, Improve International, April 11 2016 |

During a recent desk review, we found there is no one widely accepted definition of sanitation success, even for broadly used approaches like community-led total sanitation.

Some consider long-term success to be the movement of households up the “sanitation ladder,” the idea of incremental progression between service levels of different quality. improve

Success for sanitation marketing efforts can include an increase in local businesses who are investing in sanitation to expand their business, sales to target households, and number of households who are investing their own money into a toilet sold by these partner businesses.

We realize we haven’t captured all possible definitions of sanitation success, but wanted to share what we found.

Read the complete article.