Kiosk operator serves a customer in Madagascar

‘Leaky bucket marketing’: the importance of balancing acquisition with retention

By Annie Hall, Marketing Specialist Over the past year, I have been working alongside WSUP’s country teams to support utilities in extending their reach to more people, in the most deprived areas of a city. Projects usually feature an infrastructure-led programme to extend the network, supported by some form of community sensitisation campaign to drive […]


Combining toilets and mobile tech

We’ve all heard it before – more people in Africa have mobile phones than have access to sewerage (according to the 2017 Afrobarometer survey, at least). It’s not that useful a comparison when you think about the difference in cost, installation and infrastructure requirements of a toilet compared to a mobile phone, but it’s still […]


This Topic Brief presents WSUP’s experience supporting sanitation businesses oriented towards low-income customers in five cities. Each case study highlights changes to the business model or enabling environment with the potential to trigger business growth.

In WSUP’s experience, the success of sanitation businesses depends on factors internal to the business as well as those external, and out of the control of, the business. We have seen that where businesses and development actors are able to identify and push these trigger points, rapid progress can be made in business growth.

Service providers involved in faecal sludge management are held back by a lack of current data on their customer base, operating standards and levels of service. Pula, a mobile app, was developed to address this data gap.

This publication shares the learning from a 3-year process of developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for the Pula app. We outline how the MVP was designed and developed, supported by reflections from the app development team about the technology and user requirements.

The publication concludes with three key recommendations identified by the app development team:

  • Focus on one core feature and ensure this is fit for purpose;
  • Establish a relationship with one target customer, allowing the product to be tested over longer periods; and
  • Focus on developing a product tailored to a single market, which can then be adapted for new markets as required.

See also: Design, Prototype, Test: using Design Sprints to develop an app for sanitation service providers

This Practice Note describes the design process behind development of a mobile app, Pula, inspired by GV’s Design Sprint method. Pula aims to support vacuum tankers with their business while providing urban planners with data about sanitation in the city.

See also: Integrating mobile tech into sanitation services: insights from Pula