What enables a decentralised sanitation system to be operationally sustainable whilst others fall into disrepair?

  • jonpar
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  • As part of the Engineering team, my role at IMC is to lead on the delivery of projects requiring specific expertise on urban sanitation (including excreta/waste/wastewater/stormwater management) focusing on technical, institutional and financial aspects in project design and implementation.
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What enables a decentralised sanitation system to be operationally sustainable whilst others fall into disrepair?

What enables a decentralised sanitation system to be operationally sustainable whilst others fall into disrepair?
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We are requesting members of IWA, SuSanA and partner organisations to submit relevant documentation that you may have access to that helps to improve the knowledge base in the area of operation and maintenance of decentralised sanitation systems. All contributions utilised in the Global Practice Scan will be appropriately attributed/acknowledged.

As part of new research project funded by the AusAID Australian Development Research Awards Scheme (ADRAS) entitled “Effective governance for the successful operation of decentralised sanitation systems”, IWA and other project partners, BORDA and ODI, are supporting the Institute of Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney to fill a critical gap in sectoral knowledge on how to ensure effective governance arrangements for decentralised sanitation service delivery. See attached flyer for more information.

The study will use case-studies that bring multiple disciplinary perspectives together to answer the following research questions :

*What is needed in terms of operational responsibilities (day-to-day activities) to ensure sustainable decentralised sanitation service delivery?
*What is required to deliver those operational responsibilities?
*What is the current situation in terms of local institutional arrangements (formal and informal)?
*What is feasible and desirable in terms of local institutional arrangements that better enable the operational responsibilities?
*How to create the shift toward the necessary supportive institutional arrangements?

In response to these questions, the research aims to develop a process for enabling effective and equitable distribution of operational responsibilities and supportive institutional arrangements. Based on detailed investigative fieldwork in Indonesia, the Consortium will produce recommended guidelines to instigate and provide on-going support for this process, which are to be tested in Vietnam.

Prior to the initiation of the case-study fieldwork, the researchers are undertaking a global scan of relevant practices, experiences and lessons about effective operational responsibilities under different institutional arrangements from developed and developing countries. It is intended to seed ideas to stretch the imaginations of the project team, research participants, and broader audiences about innovative management arrangements to ensure sustainability of decentralized sanitation systems.

We recognise that members of IWA and partner organisations hold a wealth of knowledge and experience on matters such as the challenges in managing decentralised systems; multiple models for managing decentralized systems (from entirely public to entirely private with many options in-between etc.); issues related to availability of recurrent budgets…and so on. The research team also recognises the value of learning from failure as well as successes and is seeking information of both types.

We very much look forward to hearing from you.

best regards,

Jonathan Parkinson
Programme Co-ordinator
Urban Sanitation Initiative
International Water Association

email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Jonathan Parkinson
Principal Consultant – Water and Sanitation
IMC Worldwide Ltd, Redhill, United Kingdom
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Skype : jonathanparkinson1

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  • AquaVerde
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Re: What enables a decentralised sanitation system to be operationally sustainable whilst others fall into disrepair?

Dear Jonathan,

Without going too much in very scientific research, organizational and HR details.

In my educated guessing, it is very simple: If O&M staff is very direct connected/benefiting from the results of their daily work, you can skip many capacity building projects, quality control measurements, management information systems and scientific researches to keep decentralized or centralized systems running. In comparison, even with a good and permanent monthly salary you can neglect what ever wwtp and biogas system, in north or south does not matter.

Example from Indonesia: small entrepreneurial use of produced DEWATS-biogas by O&M staff to sale cooked noodles to by passers.

All the Best
Detlef

www.aqua-verde.de
Sanitation-Solutions without external energy
Low-Tech Solutions with High-Tech Effects
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