Tag Archives: innovation

WASH Innovation Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the inaugural DFAT-sponsored Civil Society Innovation Award 2016, which was announced at the WASH Futures Conference Dinner 2016.  | Source: Civil Society WASH Fund, May 2016 |

First place went to Save the Children – Nudging handwashing among primary school students in BangladeshKamal Hossain from Save the Children Bangladesh was excited to receive the award in person from Anne Joselin, DFAT. Save the Children’s innovation to improve hand-washing in schools uses environmental cues and nudges. handwashing.pngIt is more cost effective than hygiene communication programs and has shown positive results in changing and sustaining behaviour change amongst school children. Watch the winning video here

Second place was awarded to Water for People! in Uganda for their submission, Low cost solutions for Faecal Sludge Management. Water for People! have shown their work innovating at many stages of the sanitation chain, from low cost modular toilet design, pit emptying and faecal sludge treatment and reuse. Their holistic approach to sanitation and faecal sludge management (FSM) are impacting many peoples’ lives, particularly in the slums of Kampala. Watch the video here

Third runner up was Wetlands Work! 
Cambodia for the HandyPod – Sanitation solutions for floating communities in CambodiaThe Handy Pod is a floating toilet design suitable for the communities of the Tonle Sap lake area and uses wetlands treatment technology. Watch the video here.  

Read the complete article.


Unlocking resilience through autonomous innovation

Unlocking resilience through autonomous innovation, 2016. ODI.

Authors: Aditya Bahadur and Julian Doczi

This paper draws on alternative approaches to innovation to present the concept of Autonomous Innovation as an important approach/process for enhancing resilience to range of shocks and stresses, including climate change.

Autonomous innovations have five key characteristics: they are inductive (bottom-up); indigenous and suited to local cultural norms; inexpensive and frugal; developed through subjective processes that rely on the innovator’s intuition; and entail a high degree of iteration through trial and error.

This is in contrast with innovations arising from more structured, expert-led and resource-intensive research and development processes and standardised business procedures.


The amazing power of toilet innovation – Brian Arborgast

Published on Feb 20, 2016

Sometimes things we use every day can seem very unlikely places for innovation. Learn how new and inventive and creative innovations of the toilet can make an important and surprisingly vast difference.

Brian Arbogast is the Gates Foundation’s Director of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Team Global Development Program. He is working on a technology that could lead to the greatest improvements in health and longevity in the developing world. That life-changing technology? The toilet. As part of the Gates Foundation’s efforts to bring groundbreaking innovations in sanitation to the developing world, he’ll share exciting new designs, some already in use, helping to reduce cholera, typhoid, and more. A toilet that needs no water, no plumbing, and creates an end product that can be used in gardens? It is closer to reality than you think.

Toilet tech proves that where there’s muck there’s brass

Toilet tech proves that where there’s muck there’s brass | Source: by Gabriella Mulligan, BBC News, Jan 26 2016.

Nearly a third of the world’s population still has no access to safe, hygienic sanitation. This means they have to go the toilet out in the open – in the bush, fields or forests.

This leads to about 700,000 deaths each year from related diseases, says the World Bank, and stops children getting a proper education.


Sanergy turns human waste into organic fertiliser and sells it to farmers.

“Sanitation lies at the root of many other development challenges, as poor sanitation impacts public health, education, and the environment,” says Jyoti Shukla, senior manager of the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP).

So what are the technology innovations helping to address this issue, and is the private sector better placed than the public sector to implement these solutions?

‘Cool’ toilets

One of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals is to make universal access to safe sanitation and water a reality by 2030.

“The stakes are high: stunting and malnutrition are directly related to poor sanitation; quality of learning and productivity is affected by sanitation; and dignity and empowerment of women and girls is influenced by how we deliver sanitation,” says Ms Shukla.

Read the complete article.

Waste not, want not: 8 surprising uses for your poo

Waste not, want not: 8 surprising uses for your poo. Source: Science Focus, Jan. 29, 2016.

Each day, we could be flushing millions of pounds in poop down our collective loos. Zoe Cormier examines eight ways the world can harness human waste.

Transport fuel

Methane is a simple product that can be created from human faeces. The main ingredient in the natural gas that is tapped from the ground before running throughout the national grid, methane heats our homes and cooks our food.


The gas is stored in the top of the Bio-Bus. Its CO2 emissions are around 20-30 per cent lower 
than those from diesel (© GENeco)

But it can also be produced in anaerobic digesters, in which microbes degrade food scraps and other organic material in the absence of oxygen. Methane can even be made straight from sewage.

To prove that ‘not everything we flush goes to waste’, the FirstGroup transport company is running the first bus in the UK powered by poo. The Bio-Bus – launched in March 2015 – uses biomethane provided from the GENeco waste recycling and renewable energy facility in Avonmouth. The 41-seater bus runs along the aptly named number 2 route that links Cribbs Causeway in north Bristol to the south of the city.

The innovative vehicle can run for up to 300 kilometres on one tank (the equivalent of five people’s annual flushes). If successful, and if riders approve of travelling on human emissions, the company hopes to roll out even more ‘poo buses’.

Read the complete article.

Learning, progress and innovation: Sanitation and hygiene promotion in Madagascar

Learn how the Global Sanitation Fund-supported programme in Madagascar is promoting sustainability and achieving strong sanitation and hygiene results trough a cycle of learning, progress and innovation.

Download the complete case study or explore the sections below:

The national context

Photo: Members of a local sanitation and hygiene advocacy group in the fokontany of Anjalazala celebrate achieving open defecation free status. Credit: FAA/Nirina Roméo Andriamparany

Photo: Members of a local sanitation and hygiene advocacy group in the fokontany of Anjalazala celebrate achieving open defecation free status. Credit: FAA/Nirina Roméo Andriamparany

The latest report from the Joint Monitoring Programme of the United Nations Children’s Fund and World Health Organization highlights revealing statistics on Madagascar’s sanitation and hygiene situation. Approximately 12 percent of the country’s population have access to improved sanitation, while 18 percent have access to shared sanitation that is unimproved, and 30 percent have access to other types of unimproved sanitation. Furthermore, 40 percent defecate in the open. Ensuring improved sanitation and hygiene for all remains a major challenge in the country, but innovations from local partners supported by the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) are vigorously helping to transform this situation.
Learn more

The CLTS journey

Photo: ‘Triggering’ children in the commune of Mangarano, using the open defecation mapping tool. Credit: FAA/Fano Randriamanantsoa

Photo: ‘Triggering’ children in the commune of Mangarano, using the open defecation mapping tool. Credit: FAA/Fano Randriamanantsoa

In rural Madagascar, CLTS is the preferred approach for eliminating open defecation, and these actions also drive overall improvements in sanitation and hygiene. CLTS was introduced in the country in 2008, following its success in Asia. The crux of the approach lies in creating an enabling environment in which communities become self-reliant and improve their own sanitation and hygiene situation without external help.

Video: CLTS ‘triggering in action

CLTS focuses on igniting change in sanitation and hygiene behavior within whole communities, rather than constructing toilets through subsidies. During this social awakening, or ‘triggering’ process in Madagascar, the community looks for visible faeces in their environment. When people realize they are eating faeces this provokes disgust, shame and impacts on dignity. The community then makes and immediate decision to end open defecation. These steps are highlighted in the above video.
Learn more

Innovations in sanitation and hygiene behaviour change methods
As the first GSF programme, the Fonds d’Appui pour l’Assainissement (FAA) was the testing ground for various approaches based on the essence of CLTS, which helped to drive the programme’s learning and sharing culture. Sub-grantees have utilized a range of approaches within local communities, sharing their challenges and success with the larger FAA team. Through FAA’s strong learning and sharing system, many of these approaches have been evaluated for their potential to be implemented on a larger scale, and some have become best practices, both within and outside of Madagascar. This case study highlights three best practice approaches evaluated and utilized by the FAA programme: Follow-up MANDONA, local and institutional governance and sanitation marketing.

Follow-up MANDONA
Inspired by CLTS triggering approaches, Follow-up MANDONA is aimed at helping communities speed up their achievement of open defecation free status and initiate the development of local governance mechanisms for sustainability.
Learn more

Read the full article on the WSSCC website.

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on WASH & Innovation

Issue 204 | August 28, 2015 | Focus on WASH & Innovation

This issue features some of the many innovative water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs, products, and services that are currently underway. Please contact WASHplus if you have other innovative resources that we can include in a future issue on innovation. Included are resources from WASHplus, the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing, USAID, DFID, and others. Also included are recent videos on sanitation in floating communities, information on Shit Flow Diagrams, the SlingShot water purification system, sanitation innovation through design, and innovative financing methods.


Breaking the Cycle: Small Doable Actions in WASH to Improve Child Health. J Rosenbaum, WASHplus; FHI 360. Video
WASHplus’s Julia Rosenbaum discusses the power of small doable actions in WASH programs. This approach to behavior change encourages households to adopt feasible actions and enabling technologies to move them toward ideal hygiene and sanitation practices.

Handwashing and the Science of Habit Webinar, 2015. Webinar
USAID/WASHplus and the PPPHW co-hosted a webinar with David Neal, Ph.D., from Catalyst Behavior Sciences and the University of Miami. In this webinar, Dr. Neal emphasized ways to apply the basic science of habit and behavior change to real world health interventions and program delivery, with a focus on behavior change for handwashing with soap.

USAID Development Innovation Ventures (DIV). Website | Ensuring Access to Safe Water
DIV is an open competition supporting breakthrough solutions to the world’s most intractable development challenges—interventions that could change millions of lives at a fraction of the usual cost. The Ensuring Access to Safe Water section of the DIV website has summaries of three projects: Bringing Safe Water to Scale, Monitoring Clean Drinking Water through Technology and Open Data, and Making Water Filtration Affordable for Kenyan Households.


Financing for Development: Innovative Financial Mechanisms for the Post-2015 Agenda. World Water Week 2015. Video
This session discusses how to generate an enabling environment and targets questions such as: What innovative financing mechanisms must be developed to achieve the water-related Sustainable Development Goals? What are the existing strategies already addressing this issue? What can we learn from other sectors and regions?

Vote for Your Favorite Water Idea, 2015. Link
As part of World Water Week 2015, people can vote for one of ten innovative ways to conserve and manage water resources.


Can Innovation Prizes Help Address Water and Sanitation Challenges? 2015. S Trémolet. Link
This paper helps identify how innovation prizes can be used to address intractable issues in the WASH sector. It also presents a number of areas where innovation prizes could be used to either trigger genuine innovation or promote scaling up of existing innovations in the WASH sector.

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