“We need innovators and creative thinkers to solve the sanitation challenge. And technology is one part of the puzzle. In addition to improving technology, we need to reflect on what we know already, understand what sanitation options people want and strengthen the enabling environment for sanitation services that last. This means investing in formative research and behaviour change, strengthening governance and accountability, working on better supply chains as well as in technology that is not only innovative, but also appropriate.”
Read more to find out how this links to the invitation of the Gates Foundation to ‘reinvent the toilet’ and the technology assessment framework of the WASHTech project in the Learning for Change Blog by Carmen da Silva Wells.
In March 2012, Water for People (USA) and Akvo (Netherlands) entered an agreement to further develop FLOW, a field-level monitoring tool.
Akvo will lead on product development and support while Water For People will lead in product field-testing and monitoring functionality. The product has been rebranded as Akvo FLOW. The software code supporting Akvo FLOW will be published under an open source AGPL3 license.
FLOW – Field level Operations Watch, brings together handheld data collection with Android mobile phone technology, a web-based dashboard and visual mapping using Google Maps and Google Earth software.
Posted in Africa, Monitoring & evaluation, Sanitation, Sustainable services, Water supply
Tagged Akvo, Akvo FLOW, Ghana, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, Liberia, source_publish, Water and Sanitation Program, Water for People
The WASHTech project has published a literature review  focusing on 14 technologies used in Africa in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector.
Descriptions for each technology include a selection of interesting case studies, and an explanation as to whether the technology meets technical, financial, social and institutional success criteria.
Only two technologies met all four success criteria: hand dug wells and the India Mark II pump, and the latter only with the caveat that there was a functional maintenance system.
The least successful technology was the Playpump. Pending further research, jerry cans and the gulper were only found to meet one success criteria (technical success). Except for bio-additives to pit latrines and Playpumps, all other technologies were technically successful. The other success criteria were met by roughly half of the technologies.
Core issues that WASHTech plans to take up further include the appeal of inappropriate technologies like Playpumps and Lifestraws to naive donors, and ways to get government approval for low-cost, locally managed technologies like rope pumps, biosand filters, constructed rainwater harvesting jars, water jetting and tippy taps.
 Parker, A. et al., 2011. Africa wide water, sanitation and hygiene technology review. (WASHTech Deliverable 2.1). The Hague: WASHTech c/o IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre and Cranfield: Cranfield University. 93 p. : 1 box, 9 fig., 1 tab. Includes references.
Available at: http://wp.me/a1szDW-1o
The aim of the WASHTech project (2011-2013) is to introduce a robust Technology Assessment Framework (TAF), with local partners in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda, that will assess the potential of new innovative WASH technologies. WASHTech is co-funded under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission’s Africa research programme. To learn more go to washtechafrica.wordpress.com
Posted in Africa, drilled wells, Ecosan, Filtration, hand dug wells, Hand pumps, Latrines, Rope pumps, Water storage
Tagged bio-additives to pit latrines, bio-sand filters, Burkina Faso, constructed rainwater harvesting jars, Cranfield University, Ghana, India Mark II pumps, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, jerry cans, LifeStraw, Playpumps, source_publish, Uganda, urine diverting dry toilets, ventilated improved pit latrines, water jetting
The University of South Florida’s (USF) Patel School of Global Sustainability through its Center for Global Solutions launched the first Patel Grand Challenge at the International Water Association’s Development Congress in Malaysia on 21 November 2011. The challenge invites inventors in developing nations to create a low-cost and easy-to-use water purification device that could save millions from the perils of contaminated drinking water.
The challenge was issued by Dr. Kiran C. Patel during the congress’ opening ceremony to over 600 delegates from around the globe. (To access more details, conference photos, and press coverage go here)
The challenge welcomes pre-proposal submissions through March 2012. Five applicants will be shortlisted and awarded up to US$ 8,000. The five finalists will be invited to prepare full proposals that will be reviewed by an international panel of experts at a major event. The winning proposal will receive up to US$ 100,000.
More on the Patel Grand Challenge and the Patel School of Global Sustainability can be found at www.psgs.usf.edu
Full details of the 2011 Patel Grand Challenge will be made available on 15 December 2011 at: