Innovations and Private Sector: Can They Solve the Sanitation Problem?

  • DianeKellogg
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Re: Innovations and Private Sector: Can They Solve the Sanitation Problem?

My working hypothesis is that we need both the government and the private sector, as you point out. Yet there seems to be plenty of reason to be concerned about how effective either can be on their own. AND concern about how effective partnerships can be. The general sentiment among SMEs is that if you can get along without any entanglements with governments, you'll be better off. They want to sell to customers. Government officials seem generally suspicious about the profit-motive in the private sector. I see examples of endless negotiations to "get the price down" with the guiding principle being......."you shouldn't be making much of a profit off of serving the public good."

That creates a stalemate. NGOs seem to be in the middle trying to work with both, but then you have the problem of directing resources to yet another industry (the NGO industry) without guaranteeing that the money really reaches the poor.

To All.....I'm taking in everything that's offered on this thread. Keep it coming.
Diane

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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Innovations and Private Sector: Can They Solve the Sanitation Problem?

DianeKellogg wrote: I see examples of endless negotiations to "get the price down" with the guiding principle being......."you shouldn't be making much of a profit off of serving the public good."


I have not really come across that argument much unless the service was actually subsidized with government funds (directly or indirectly) and then it makes a certain sense although the real argument is rather "you shouldn't be making much of a profit off government funds".

More often the argument is that private sector is unwilling to embrace economies of scale that would allow serving many more people at a lower price-point while still making more profit overall.
The problem here seems to be that such a scale up needs additional capital (for trucks etc.) that can not be borrowed for a reasonable interest rate in many countries and in the rare cases that it is available there are usually other even more profitable sectors to invest it into.

Krischan Makowka
Microbiologist & emergency WASH specialist
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  • goeco
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Re: Innovations and Private Sector: Can They Solve the Sanitation Problem?

Open source innovations encourage competition. Public-good or philanthropic grant funding (or government funding) that results in one enterprise holding commercial advantage will not bring price down, but only increases profit for that one enterprise. Grantors need to recognise this and only give grantees money for developing or testing innovations that do not give commercial advantage to them alone. This tests the "altrusim" of the applicant, their genuine motives. Once proven and accepted, an innovative product or service just needs the numbers to be crunched to invite private sector investment. The risk is around competitive edge and alternative innovations always threaten this. If price to the consumer comes down and the venture is profitable then the innovation is a game-changer. With open sourcing, the resulting competition invites competitive tendering for provision of the product or service.

cheers
Dean

Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Go-Eco Sustainable Solutions
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  • F H Mughal
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Re: Innovations and Private Sector: Can They Solve the Sanitation Problem?

Dear Diane M. Kellogg,

I'm attaching some publications that will keep you busy during the weekend :)

Due to my slow internet, I'm attaching 3 per email.

Enjoy!
F H Mughal

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Re: Innovations and Private Sector: Can They Solve the Sanitation Problem?

More....

F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan

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Re: Innovations and Private Sector: Can They Solve the Sanitation Problem?

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Re: Innovations and Private Sector: Can They Solve the Sanitation Problem?

Last - enough to spoil your weekend!! :)
F H Mughal

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  • DianeKellogg
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Re: Innovations and Private Sector: Can They Solve the Sanitation Problem?

Or.....give me plenty of reading for a long airplane ride tomorrow. I've downloaded this bonanza of information to my drive, and you have my thanks for all the time you invested.

Diane M. Kellogg
Bentley University Management Department
Partner, Kellogg Consultants
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  • CompostEra
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Re: Innovations and Private Sector: Can They Solve the Sanitation Problem?

The technicality has been solved, even solved easily when you know how, see www.smarttoilet.se ... the problem is this: what will it take to overcome the HABIT of putting the ICONIC WC on top. It got to be something that users experience as better and tell others.

Enclosed Long-Term Composting Toilets and Greywater treatment ( www.greywater.com )
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Re: Innovations and Private Sector: Can They Solve the Sanitation Problem?

Diane, try this www.smarttoilet.se for an entirely new strategy to solve the problems created by human waste without creating waste ...

Enclosed Long-Term Composting Toilets and Greywater treatment ( www.greywater.com )
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  • CompostEra
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Re: Innovations and Private Sector: Can They Solve the Sanitation Problem?

I agree with staying clear of government interaction ... better to offer something that works equally good for the user and the environment so users want it for them ... their preference ... not someone else's

Enclosed Long-Term Composting Toilets and Greywater treatment ( www.greywater.com )
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