UNC Water and Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy, 2019

Join us at the 2019 Water and Health Conference to discuss how to assess WaSH services citywide, what role shared sanitation could have in bringing safely managed sanitation to all, and our experience supporting the development of inclusive sanitation markets. Findings from several Urban Sanitation Research Initiative projects will also be presented by our research […]


Call that a septic tank?

In a previous blog post back in January, we described the start of a research project which is aiming to assess and  model how faecal pathogens move through the environment in a low-income urban community in Dhaka in Bangladesh. By Guy Norman, WSUP’s Director of Research and Evaluation It’s one of our three biggest projects […]


Is slum sanitation likely to require major subsidy?

Improving sanitation in slum communities is a complex challenge. Particularly challenging is working out how it can be financed. By Guy Norman, WSUP’s Director of Research and Evaluation Now if you believe that subsidy is a Bad Thing or just ain’t ever gonna happen, you might approach slum sanitation by first assessing what slumdwellers are […]


Gasia_Poa_pit-emptying_business_Kisumu

What is the market like for pro-poor, safe emptying services in Kisumu, Kenya?

In Kisumu, Kenya, the majority of households rely on pit latrines but most pit emptiers do not work safely – which is bad for the customer, the neighbourhood, and the emptiers themselves. This lack of adequate services is an opportunity for those who can deliver safely managed sanitation services to customers, including those in low-income […]


Experience from SHARE, REACH and the Urban Sanitation Research Initiative

Delivering high-quality research can be challenging. But achieving research uptake – impact on policy or other aspects of the “real world” – is enormously challenging. In low-income contexts the barriers to achieving change can seem profound, in view of economic and capacity limitations. In fact, achieving policy change may not necessarily be more difficult in low-income contexts than in wealthier contexts (for example, Rwanda and Kenya outlawed plastic bags almost overnight, whereas even the most ambitious EU countries set targets 3-5 years into the future). Nonetheless, it’s clear that using research to drive meaningful change is far from straightforward.

This Discussion Paper considers the experience of three ongoing research-into-use programmes: we identify the major challenges we have faced in achieving research uptake, and discuss strategies we are using (or that we might use in future) to overcome those challenges.

All three programmes are core-funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Lead author: Aquaya Institute.

In Kisumu, Kenya, the majority of households rely on pit latrines, though the servicing of these latrines is largely unsafe. This Brief assesses the market potential to expand safe fecal waste emptying services to low-income areas in Kisumu.

Price is the largest barrier for this population to access safe emptying services, which are more than double the cost of existing practices.

Future interventions need to address the price barrier between formal (safe) and informal (unsafe) faecal sludge emptying. The Aquaya Institute are currently conducting a randomised, real-money demand trial in Kisumu to quantify the gap between existing prices and consumer willingness-to-pay for safe pit emptying services.

Ghana’s 254 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) are legally mandated to provide social services, including sanitation infrastructure and services, to their residents.

MMDAs have full discretion over how they spend internally generated funds. However, of Ghana’s total spending on sanitation, only 2% is raised through domestic public finance.

GWMA introduced a financial mechanism to increase its internal funds for sanitation, one of the few MMDAs to do so. The sanitation surcharge was approved in October 2016, came into effect in January 2017 and consists of a 10% surcharge applied to the property tax. Revenue raised through the surcharge is to be ring-fenced for sanitation improvement in Ga West. This research analysed the effectiveness of the surcharge in terms of amount collected, ring-fenced and disbursed to date, as well as its support among the taxpayers and policy-makers of GWMA.

Ghana’s 254 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) are legally mandated to provide social services, including sanitation infrastructure and services, to their residents.

MMDAs have full discretion over how they spend internally generated funds. However, of Ghana’s total spending on sanitation, only 2% is raised through domestic public finance.

ANMA is one of the few MMDAs to have introduced a mechanism specifically for the purpose of raising the municipality’s internal funds for sanitation. A flat rate of GHS 5 added to the property tax, this sanitation surcharge has been in effect since 2013. This project analysed the effectiveness of the surcharge in terms of amount collected and disbursed to date, as well as its level of support from the taxpayers and policy-makers of ANMA.

Aims

This project will deliver an analysis of the barriers that prevent women in Kenya taking leadership roles in sanitation (particularly urban), and aim to identify ways in which those barriers might be overcome. This project aims to assess 1) the gender balance in decision-making/technical roles in Kenya’s sanitation-relevant public institutions, 2) the barriers to female participation in those roles, 3) how attitudes to urban sanitation vary between male and female decision-makers, and 4) how existing barriers might be overcome.

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Clean Team waste collector

Aims

This project will deliver an evaluation of the user experience outcomes of being a customer of Clean Team Ghana. Clean Team Ghana is a social enterprise providing container-based toilets for a monthly fee covering toilet rental and the container replacement service. Clean Team Ghana currently operates in the city of Kumasi.

This research will aim to generate evidence that is a) of wide value in Ghana and internationally for understanding the user experience impacts of container-based sanitation service models of this type, and b) of specific value to Clean Team Ghana in further improving their business model. The research should focus on user experience including i) satisfaction with aspects including for example smell and container replacement service, and ii) subjective wellbeing across a range of dimensions including dignity and security.

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