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.
Community Slum Sanitation in India: A Practitioner’s Guide, 2016. Water and Sanitation Program.
Based on the experience of slum sanitation initiatives implemented in a number of urban centers in India, over the last decades, this Guide draws out the critical drivers that appear to explain some facets of successful community slum sanitation initiatives.
Initiatives from the cities of Ahmedabad, Pune, Mumbai, Bhopal, Trichy, and Kalyani are used as the examples to learn from (based on convenience and easy availability of information).
A set of generic steps are identified and described thereafter for the preparatory, planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation stages of community sanitation initiatives.
Three things that make SaniPath special | Source: SaniPath blog, April 21 2016 |
The SaniPath team has created an exposure assessment tool to be used in urban low-resource areas with poor sanitation. It stands out as a resource for its accessibility, easy to understand results, and potential to influence policy making.
1. THE SANIPATH TOOL IS EASY TO USE AND UNDERSTAND
The tool was designed with the goal that it would be able to be used independently by a variety of organizations interested in improving sanitation. It comes with a detailed manual describing the steps of the data collection and the analyses process than can be understood by anyone with a basic scientific background. Minimum requirements for use of the tool include:
- A funding source (ex: local government or international organization)
- A lab with the ability to detect E. coli and technicians to carry out the procedures in a sterile environment
- A team with experience conducting surveys
- A local group to assist with data collection and distribution
Read the complete article.
Sustainable Solutions for Sanitation Challenges in Informal Settlements of Kigali, Rwanda, 2015. Institute of Policy Analysis and Research – Rwanda.
Dwellers of informal settlements are inclined over time to reject traditional pit latrines for alternative low-cost options that are more sustainable, such as innovative decentralized sanitation and reuse (DeSaR) and water serving sanitation technologies. This is important because these options can play a part in reduction of over exploitation of natural water sources, which continue to be scarce, as a result of population pressure in the country.
DeSaR technologies are also appropriate in informal settlements of Kigali because they occupy less space, do not require emptying by vacuum tankers, pre treatment/composting, provides opportunity for nutrients re-cycling which is environmentally sustainable and, if well maintained, can have minimal harmful effects.
Published on Mar 3, 2016
It’s not just about toilets. If we want to improve the quality of life in India, we’ve got to start paying attention to the sanitation value chain. Dasra.org
Improving health in cities through systems approaches for urban water management. Env Health, Mar. 2016.
Authors: L. C. Rietveld, J. G. Siri, et al.
As human populations become more and more urban, decision-makers at all levels face new challenges related to both the scale of service provision and the increasing complexity of cities and the networks that connect them. These challenges may take on unique aspects in cities with different cultures, political and institutional frameworks, and at different levels of development, but they frequently have in common an origin in the interaction of human and environmental systems and the feedback relationships that govern their dynamic evolution.
Accordingly, systems approaches are becoming recognized as critical to understanding and addressing such complex problems, including those related to human health and wellbeing. Management of water resources in and for cities is one area where such approaches hold real promise.