Tag Archives: innovation

Meeting the Sanitation Needs of the Poor with Serviced Toilets

Meeting the Sanitation Needs of the Poor with Serviced Toilets, June 2017. Innovation Policy Platform.

  • Waterless and diverting toilets offer improved sanitation options suited for unserved urban slums.
  • Aspirational name, branding, and design help make toilets attractive
    for users.
  • Low costs and innovative payment  models make units affordable.
  • Waste is removed in portable containers and often used to make fertilizer or briquettes.

Letter from India: How Poop is Becoming Big Business for Small Companies

Letter from India: How Poop is Becoming Big Business for Small Companies. by Devyani Singh, The Dialogue, January 27, 2017.

An excerpt: Small businesses can help governments and corporations build reliable value chains and introduce new services into local markets. They create employment in emerging markets, and increase access to goods and services that could potentially improve the lives of the underserved. toilet-696x387.jpg

Business solutions

A fascinating example of a business solution to the sanitation crisis in India is Samagra Sanitation. Founded in 2011 by Swapnil Chaturvedi, famously known as “Poop Guy,” Samagra is a small business working at the intersection of design, technology, and behavioral science, to tackle the issue of open defecation in 140 locations in Pune, India.

Samagra operates in urban slums and has so far built more than 300 toilet seats with more than 150,000 daily users, almost half of which are young girls and women. Samagra designs, manages, and renovates community toilet blocks in partnership with the municipality, which pays for maintenance and utilities like water and electricity. Each block is run by local women who act as Kiosk Managers (or “Loo-Preneurs”) and is regularly cleaned by Samagra’s “Cleaning Force.”

Slum dwellers can use Samagra toilets for free, but those who pay for usage get access to value added services or “LooRewards” such as mobile tops-ups, bill payments, banking, and health services. The cleaning staff also receives 100 percent of the revenue collected. In this way, the impact of Samagra goes beyond better sanitation to give women in these communities a means to earn a stable income.

Changing Perceptions

What is often missing from even the savviest of entrepreneurial efforts is a systematic process for conceptualizing a business model that replicates global best practices. Enviu, a developer of innovative social businesses from the Netherlands, is working to harness the power of business in India by co-creating impact businesses that can drive system-change. By leveraging the experience and knowledge of its network across the globe, Enviu works with local businesses to develop what it calls “bottom-up solutions”.

Read the complete article.

Toilets with plastic bottles? IIT-Madras students show the way

Toilets with plastic bottles? IIT-Madras students show the way. Times of India, January 22, 2017.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The method involves using discarded PET bottles filled with savudu sand (aquifer sand).
  • The students built a bench using PET bottles on the IIT-M campus last month.
  • SYNK, the collective behind the project, intends using it to build toilets in rural areas.

CHENNAI: A group of 13 IIT-Madras students has designed and tested a construction model using PolyEthylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles for bricks and hopes it will revolutionise future government-sponsored sanitation programmes.

SYNK, the collective behind the project, intends using it to build toilets in rural areas. It can help reduce plastic waste, said manager Arpan Paul.

The method involves using discarded PET bottles filled with savudu sand (aquifer sand). “This is not construction grade sand. The type we used for our experiment is what you would find at a landfill,” said W Keerthana, a students. A little water poured into the PET bottle is drained and then filled with sand to make it strong like a brick.

As a test, the students built a bench using PET bottles on the IIT-M campus last month. “We sourced 3500 plastic bottles from nearly 10 restaurants in Velachery and Adyar,” said Paul, adding that the method is cost effective and quick. “It cost us around Rs 4,000 to procure the sand.”

Read the complete article.

Eight ways to make innovation work for water and sanitation

Eight ways to make innovation work for water and sanitation. The Guardian, November 24, 2016.

What are the inventive solutions that will bring access to taps and toilets to millions? Our expert panel share their thoughts 

india

Indian women hold toilets as they participate in the opening ceremony of the three-day International Toilet Festival in New Delhi. Photograph: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

1 | Think beyond waste

Innovation can play a massive role in increasing consumer demand for sanitation systems, but we believe it can go beyond the toilet itself. We are nearing a tipping point between advances in health and technology, and the toilet is an invaluable tool in this. Health sensors, fertilisers, biogas – unlocking these business models can change the face of sanitation and the way we think about “doing our business”. I think we’re about to see what has happened with telephones over the last two decades happen with toilets. Alexandra Knezovich, programme manager, Toilet Board Coalition, @swissmrsk

2 | Induce change through competition

The Sanitation Challenge is a competition for local authorities in Ghana. It was launched in November 2015 and we are in the second stage of the programme. The competition is leading to a shift in the priorities of the government, making sanitation more visible and important. Local authorities are excited about having the opportunity to decide what they think is needed in their area. An innovation prize that can be broadly defined as “a financial incentive that induces change through competition” is bringing changes at political level, as well as incentivising local authorities to identify new service delivery methods. Veronica Di Bella, senior consultant, IMC Worldwide

Read the complete article.

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.