Hacking Toilets?!!! (sanitation hackathon, sanitation-related Apps for Smartphones)
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TOPIC: Hacking Toilets?!!! (sanitation hackathon, sanitation-related Apps for Smartphones)

Hacking Toilets?!!! (sanitation hackathon, sanitation-related Apps for Smartphones) 26 Sep 2012 13:18 #2325

  • RowanBarber
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This December (2012), a bloke from New York called John Kluge is launching a global Sanitation Hackathon.

His company, Eirene teamed up with the World Bank's Water Practice and ICT unit, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gate's Foundation to run a global hackathon.

For more details see the article in Huffington Post:

www.huffingtonpost.com/john-kluge/hackin...world_b_1909025.html
Rowan Barber
Australian Sustainable Business Group
Engineers Without Borders Australia

Re: Hacking Toilets?!!! 26 Sep 2012 16:37 #2331

  • Carol McCreary
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Thanks, for starting thread, Rowan. Huff Post piece was first I'd heard of Sanitation Hackathon.

I looked at the following links in hopes of finding date. Some say World Toilet Day on 19 Nov others 3 Dec during the World Toilet Summit.

Global Sanitation Hackathon www.opendta.org/Pages/Events/2012-Global...ation-Hackathon.aspx
Give Techies a shot. water.worldbank.org/news/give-techies-sh...evelopment-challenge
Corporate hackathon? www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120912/SMALLBIZ/120919967
Sanitation Hackathon in Bangladesh www.facebook.com/SanitationHackathonBangladesh

Loading events on events doesn't seem like a great idea. But Nov 19th would be a great time to announce purpose and parameters so that teams can form and be ready to roll through 2013. I am eager to see a team form in Portland, Oregon. I'll be looking for appropriate sanitation outsiders who can bring some new ideas to the work that has been going on. Will inquire about details from organizers.
Last Edit: 26 Sep 2012 16:37 by Carol McCreary.
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Re: Hacking Toilets?!!! 27 Sep 2012 09:58 #2336

  • jkeichholz
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Ah, WorldBank. It's strange to see that Hackathons often get that publicity while the action is hidden in the long tail. But still, any action is good action. Maybe also a chance for us to make use of sanimap.com (which I have), e.g. mapping dilapidated public toilets in the first/western world (via Ushahidi/Crowdmap, maybe).
Juergen Eichholz
watsan eng.
water, sanitation, IT & knowledge management
www.saniblog.org
Last Edit: 27 Sep 2012 16:34 by jkeichholz.

Re: Hacking Toilets?!!! 27 Sep 2012 10:36 #2339

  • RowanBarber
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Carol,

Engineers Without Borders have a local Water Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) knowledge hub, based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

We are keen to get together on World Toilet Day to celebrate and plan some sort of "Hack" over the Australian summer. The team may include local water/sewage Utilities, Engineering Consultancies and/or the local Universities.

regards,

Ro
Rowan Barber
Australian Sustainable Business Group
Engineers Without Borders Australia

Re: Hacking Toilets?!!! 27 Sep 2012 14:29 #2343

  • Carol McCreary
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Juergen Eichholz: Can you say more about the SaniMap concept? Everyday strategically placed public toilets are being closed or torn down and not replaced. The ones in the US from the early 20th century were often linked to public transit and not that urban people are giving up cars it's essential to focus attention on them.

You might also be interested in a recent post by Chicago toilet mapper Noah Sager at www.phlush.org/2012/08/26/behind-closed-...lic-restroom-access/ ( Perhaps you'd like to submit a guest post to editing team at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ? )
Last Edit: 27 Sep 2012 14:31 by Carol McCreary.

Re: Hacking Toilets?!!! 27 Sep 2012 16:54 #2344

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Hi Carol,
sanimap.NET was originally rented by me in 2007 because we (the GTZ/GIZ-ecosan team / SuSanA secretariat) had brainstormed about mapping toilets. With the formation of the SuSanA, the Japan Water Forum volunteered to work on a water/sanitation map, so I sold them sanimap.net. The result, however, isn't quite what I expected as the map has some conceptual issues, mainly the programming is too focused on the Japanese market (~ "look, we are mapping something") and also too much about water - whereas most sustainable sanitation approaches imo don't focus on water but on excreta / sludge management and much more. Also, these issues haven't been fixed since the launch, so to me it's just another one of those quick shots without any sustainability.

So when I saw that sanimap.COM is also available, I booked that one and have since routed it to another page due to the lack of time and clear focus on what I really want to map. Functioning toilets? Broken toilets? Open defecation spots? Or all of them?

And then of course I also don't want to reinvent the wheel and have thought about using an existing mapping solution like Ushahidi (or Crowdmap.com, which is the hosted version of Ushahidi). The main reason why I haven't continued working on this project though is that I'd like to see first what we can do with such mapping data and why it could matter. Maybe serve as indicators for devaid agencies, but I also believe that sanitation as such is a global problem and that it shouldn't be limited to developing countries only (even if that's where the money/funding is for such an approach).

So a Sanitation Hackathon would be interesting if it could also target the US or Europe where sludge management are still open questions. I am open to anything though and would love to find a way of combining my two favorite subjects sanitation and mobile apps.

Good part about Ushahidi is that there's an existing app for it on Android and iOS, so it's not like FLOW or so. But I am also open to more software solutions if there's a ready made solution that just needs to be adjusted.

(there also is a @sanimap account

EDIT:
Here's a reply I've meanwhile received from the fine folks at the WorldBank:
"To learn about the hackathon just follow #sanhack or #toilethacker. There will soon be a website as well. You might also want to subscribe to blogs.worldbank.org/water."

Great!
Juergen Eichholz
watsan eng.
water, sanitation, IT & knowledge management
www.saniblog.org
Last Edit: 27 Sep 2012 17:57 by jkeichholz.
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Re: Hacking Toilets?!!! 20 Oct 2012 10:01 #2492

  • RowanBarber
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The following came through my twitter feed this week:

"Want to help 2.5 billion people get access to #toilets? Become a #toilethacker and join the #sanhack! www.toilethackers.org?lrRef=aUStAtoileth...g/?lrRef=aUStA"
Rowan Barber
Australian Sustainable Business Group
Engineers Without Borders Australia

Re: Hacking Toilets?!!! 20 Oct 2012 11:42 #2493

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Hi RowanBarber,

This is good news to us here in East Africa, Our organisation CAGIEA, this year produced and published the first East Africa Public Toilets Guide,at the moment we a planning to make this to be web based resource and make it available on mobile phones (after mapping all the public toilets in East Africa,so we hope you will give us a chance to share with you in trying to make this project a success.

The guide is free and helps to the user in the following way; to locate a public toilet toilet near him/her, get to know of new sanitation hardware, get general sanitation and hygiene news like alerts on hard washing, it is also serves a forum where users and service providers can have their concerns published. For the purpose of sustaining the project this guide have advertising space for commercial adverts which will be generating income for the project.

Mastulah
Director Publicity
CAGIEA
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Re: Hacking Toilets?!!! 20 Oct 2012 11:49 #2494

  • jkeichholz
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Yes, I also signed up. Curious as to a) how mobiles will help in this cause and b) how sustainable this really is.

Trevor (of GIZ) and Jonathan (of IWA) had a Skype call last week on what we could do with Sanimap.com. I'll post an update to this in the coming weeks, once there is anything more concrete to publish. The aim is to create a sanitation related map that also includes conventional waste water treatment to include as many contributors as possible and also to get a better picture of what the situation is out there.

As for the Hackathon: is there any IT project you can imagine that would be good to have to improve the sanitary situation?
Juergen Eichholz
watsan eng.
water, sanitation, IT & knowledge management
www.saniblog.org

Re: Hacking Toilets?!!! 23 Oct 2012 22:49 #2517

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Dear All,

Thanks for sharing the excitement around the Sanitation Hackathon! Note, the hackathon isn't meant to solve the sanitation crisis. It's only trying to see whether there are ANY aspects of the sanitation challenge, or any link in the service delivery chain, that could be somehow improved because of mobile phones' ubiquity. For example, some of the apps from the Water Hackathon (on which this builds) are being adopted by governments/utilities. One winning app is helping the Botswana utility better manage customer service (and improve collections) through a simple app that allows people with a basic mobile phone to access their bill information without having to walk far/wait in long lines, find the service center closed at odd hours (after walking a long way), or constantly battle a busy signal when trying to call. This is just one example but there are many others. In Peru, the government opened its data on water quality for the first time because of the Hackathon. This type of data can be used by any civil society or other organization.

The Sanitation Hackathon will take place Dec. 1-2, 2012. For more, please visit www.sanitationhackathon.org or follow #sanhack or #toilethacker for more.

Thanks,
Christopher Walsh
Senior Communications Officer
wsp.org, worldbank.org/water

Re: Hacking Toilets?!!! 23 Oct 2012 22:51 #2518

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I almost forgot this example from the Water Hackathon: "Map the Crap" www.rhok.org/node/8958

Re: Hacking Toilets?!!! 24 Oct 2012 13:31 #2524

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@Christopher: the map the crap idea by David where sludge removal gets more coordinated is smart indeed. Thx for sharing this!

Is there any chance of adding another location to www.sanitationhackathon.org/event ? e.g. Frankfurt, Germany? And where - online - can those contribute that can't make it due a location? (also asking for those who have never been part of a hackathon, thx)
Juergen Eichholz
watsan eng.
water, sanitation, IT & knowledge management
www.saniblog.org
Last Edit: 24 Oct 2012 14:17 by jkeichholz.
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