SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Mon, 24 Nov 2014 21:24:16 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: SanMark-CITY: Intelligent Design in Urban Sanitation Marketing- quick glimpse - by: KimAndersson I’m interested to know more about how your project is progressing.
Do you have further results and lessons regarding the piloting of the four technologies? What is the scale of testing (i.e. number of toilets installed)? Are the toilets being installed in different settings, e.g. both on household level and as shared facilities? How do you overcome possible challenges related to operation and maintenance?

You commented that the technologies in terms of costs are fairly high for the Bangladesh context. What are your strategies to achieve affordability and create a business driven development? You talked about using local available materials, therefore I wonder if you are trying to establish local production of the different models, and your experience doing so?

Looking forward to hear more about your project!

Thanks and best wishes,
Enabling environment Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:01:33 +0000
Re: Structuring of the fecal sludge market for the benefit of poor households in Dakar, Senegal (ONAS) - optimising faecal sludge emptying, transportation, processing - by: Onasbv

Thank you to find below the link of the Facebook account in french of the Program of Structuring of Fecal Sludge Market for the Benefit of poor households in Dakar (PSMBV).
You are most welcome in our Facebook account and you can find all the informations and the news about the PSMBV inside.

Good reception.

Aissatou BASSE]]>
Enabling environment Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:17:04 +0000
Re: Performance Assessment Systems (PAS) for Urban Water Supply and Sanitation in India (CEPT University, India) - by: F H Mughal
The PAS system is interesting and is fairly comprehensive. As I understand, the system has its application in all urban local bodies in Gujarat and Maharashtra. What were the results and outcomes, and how the assessment enabled improvement in service delivery?

PAS is for “urban” water supply and sanitation, but some of the components (e.g., septic tanks) shows that it includes “rural” water supply and sanitation, as well.

Please comments on the absence of the following aspects:

Incidence of waterborne diseases – reduction of the diseases can be a good indicator

Hygiene – hygiene is an important adjunct of water and sanitation

Impact on reduction of open defecation (OD) – Reduction of OD cases is a useful indicator

Unit production costs ($/cubic meter of water) – Reduction in unit production costs in water treatment reflects efficiency

Stakeholders’ satisfaction – Increased percentage of stakeholders’ satisfaction, or conversely, increased complaints from the consumers, constitute a useful indicator

Please keep us posted on the milestones achieved in future.

Good luck!


F H Mughal]]>
Enabling environment Sun, 09 Nov 2014 15:32:48 +0000
Re: Performance Assessment Systems (PAS) for Urban Water Supply and Sanitation in India (CEPT University, India) - by: aasimmansuri
We have recently uploaded two presentations on Susana Library for you all to refer and get an update regarding our PAS project activities.

One presentation briefly describes the activities that we have taken up in the PAS project for last 5 years and other presentation briefly describes various urban sanitation activities that have been undertaken by the PAS project.

You will find this presentations on the following link:

Please do let us know if you have any feedback / comments / queries.

Enabling environment Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:09:25 +0000
Re: Software to identify and quantify pathogenic helminth eggs (University Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico) - by: muench
I am learning so much about helminth infections from you in this thread, it is really great. Thank you very much!

I just have a small question about the table that you attached above (I attach a modified version of the table, that you sent me by e-mail, below). Maybe it is a silly question.
But you have listed the infections with various types of intestinal worms (helminths) and then added them up. In sum it came to 3.5 billion people - half the global population!
But could it be that the same person is infected with two more more different helminth species, in which case the sum of people infected should be lower? Or is it the case of "once infected with worm A then worm B takes a different host"?)

By the way for the interest of others: Cati and I are currently looking at how to improve the relevant Wikipedia pages on this complex topic, in particular these ones:

The problem already starts with the naming convention, some people say helminthosis, others say helminthiasis (Cati explained to me that the -osis version would be the preferred one according to some experts who have published about this).

If anyone knows any people who have a special interest in intestinal worms and sanitation, please point them my way (or point them to this thread here) as I need any additional help I can get in getting the information on Wikipedia (which is already very good) in an even better shape (i.e. with more explanations regarding what improved sanitation could do to reduce these infections).

Enabling environment Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:27:18 +0000
Re: Bringing Sanitation Innovations to Market (B-SIM) (WSUP, UK and Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, Bangladesh) - by: tgoodwin
I'll answer on behalf of Andy. Overall, progress has been slower than we expected for several reasons:

First, we're dealing with an experimental technology initiative with a large and diverse set of actors. I’m sure everyone involved in the program feels both how exciting it is to be working with other great pioneers, and also recognizes the difficulty in trying to do so cohesively and effectively. We are in a particularly challenging position to handle this dynamic, as one of the only grantees currently working specifically on 'market activation.'

Second, as a new business unit within WSUP structuring itself to create startup businesses, and do so in the leanest manner possible, this grant (which is essentially to setup 4 new pilot business) required a lot of internal capacity development for us, with regard not only to new people, but also developing our business creation approach to be faster and more effective than in past cases (where we’ve developed new startup businesses in partnership with the various corporate innovation teams at Unilever — including their new business unit and open innovation department).

We're experimenting with an organizational structure to deliver the grant that aims to exit what we call the 'customer development' phase of commercializing these technologies as cheaply and quickly as possible. It's a delicate balance between hiring for fastest milestone delivery and hiring for the long-term sustainability of a fledgling social business.

To balance this, we work through extremely lean country teams and consultants to supplement these teams in places where there are capacity gaps. Orchestrating these teams in 4 countries at once has been our greatest challenge to date.

To hire our core country teams in Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, and Bangladesh we had to first find what we call 'Enterprise Leads’ --who are each responsible for piloting a business and ideally leading it up until the point it's ready for it's first management team. Finding local manager-level candidates with the level of experience, risk appetite, and vision for what we're trying to achieve -- while also not breaking the bank — is difficult.

In a traditional startup environment, you would find co-founders dedicated to the cause and willing to take reduced pay in return for equity. In this environment of intrapraneurship, you can easily find yourself with an unsustainable payroll structure from the outset if you don't hire skillfully. While working with visionary funders like BMGF helps in that we are able to fund staff more like a project than a sustainable business in these early stages, we are constantly thinking about how to best structure startup teams for both efficiency and a smooth path toward ultimately making each business self-sustaining and investable.

Ultimately, we must balance the cost of hiring for skills in difficult talent markets with the desire for strong team continuity through carrying a business to the point of investability. Since the end-game is investable businesses, if we make a model work but do so with an unsustainable team structure, the process of re-structuring the team for cost later on will pose a major threat to carrying forward any one of our models.

To discuss Bangladesh more directly:

The grant in Bangladesh is to “activate the market for on-site sanitation using new toilet designs in Rangpur, Bangladesh” — ideally by utilizing Gates RTTC designs (but this is not ultimately a constraint if we find other designs more suitable and market ready.

We hired the Bangladesh Enterprise Lead about 6 months ago. He is a young diaspora Bangladeshi from Texas, who moved from a Mongolian VC to work with us. He was the only candidate of such a profile that made it into the hiring funnel, and our fortune to find him was only through personal connection.

Other candidates were all Bangladeshi nationals with a "career-NGO” background. Few had ever worked for private companies — almost all had about 15-20 years of project management experience, with no career progression toward bigger projects or more responsibility. While this would be ok for hiring more of a project administrator for a set initiative, it presents huge challenges for a program that includes designing a business model from scratch and building a responsive team that can iterate and evolve the business.

In 6 months, progress has been steady, but slow. First, we originally intended to launch in Rangpur, a small city in the Northwest. However, after initial visits, we determined it wasn't an appropriate foothold market for RTTC. There were a number of active toilet subsidization programs, and residents were too poor to be in the market for upgrading beyond basic sanitation.

Shifting cities required a fresh evaluation of some of Bangladesh's urban areas, and making inroads with the various local city corporations to get an early indication of how supportive the local government actors would be for a program like this. We found the sanitation-as-a-business approach to be very difficult to grasp for many city leaders here, as the poor are not perceived as willing to pay for it, and Bangladesh has a long history of large NGO subsidization programs for latrines. Subsidization, of course, was a huge step in curbing open defecation here over the last 15 years, but it makes the idea of paid sanitation a tricky one.

Toeing the line of social business here is particularly challenging, because if you want to operate as an NGO, it requires a set of approvals and promises of very specific coverage targets agreed with the bureau. However, if you want to operate as a business, city officials may not see any reason to offer important collaborations, such as land concessions or allocation of engineers. Businesses are stereotyped as cutthroat and necessarily corrupt — the practice of paying to get things done is common and accepted.

We ultimately decided to launch our pilot in Chittagong, Bangladesh's second city. The people here benefit from a higher percentage of formal employment than other areas, due to the RMG and shipping industries located here, and basic community improvements in low-income wards have been made by the excellent work of a 10 year UNDP Urban Partnerships for Poverty Reduction program.

The idea of selecting pilot markets is interesting for RTTC, because you’re generally looking for favorable conditions that are still mostly representative of how the market will develop over the long term, rather than looking purely for suitable pilot conditions.

UPPR built roads, water wells, and communal latrines and created a effective community organization structure that we'll be able to build on in marketing sanitation. The prevalence of basic latrine access for most of the population means the low-income market is in prime position to continue moving toward better sanitation as families decide to trade up to more private solutions.

We expect to be able to build on this structure as the UPPR program is retired next year, and believe RTTC toilets could be an appealing offer for this market. In particular, offering toilets with better waste containment and collection service would be invaluable in communities that suffer from heavy monsoon flooding and poor drainage.

Waste treatment is also an attractive path as Chittagong does not feature any functional waste treatment facilities, and 0% of fecal sludge is currently disposed safely. Combined with the fact that many people bathe-in and drink surface water from local ponds, people are very concerned with increasing the overall hygiene and surface water quality of their community.

To date, we have wrapped up a period of intense market research looking across household economics, current sanitation choices, regulatory environment, and reactions to RTTC toilet concepts. We are now conducting design research to build on these market insights and develop technology-independent business concepts. However, several Gates portfolio technologies look attractive as hardware options.

In the coming months, we'll be creating a plan for government capacity development, using a 'collaborative projects' approach we've been developing in Zambia over the last few months. This approach toward identifying areas of alignment between the expected business activities and government stakeholders' priorities will hopefully shift the dynamic between sanitation actors and the government toward a more win-win scenario. From there, our aim is to begin selling new toilets on a free market basis (as the grant describes) in 2015.

Biggest successes so far:
Hiring a solid core team and bringing in the right supplemental expertise to develop and begin testing new approaches to B-SIM.

Main challenges / frustration: Getting up to speed on BMGF project and partnership universe, and making sense of 4 very diverse markets at once.

Links and further readings related to this project: None

To what extent have you achieved the goals already? Market research and consumer insights work either finalized or coming soon in each country. Approach to capacity development defined in Zambia, currently being transferred to other countries. Final pre-pilot business planning and financial modeling underway in Zambia, and coming soon in other countries.

What have been enabling factors? Willingness of people to participate in the research process. In each country, both consumers and stakeholders are eager to be part of developing solutions, and that is critical to designing approaches that work.

When can your technology be brought to scale and under which conditions? N/A

Where do you see its biggest niche or application area? N/A]]>
Enabling environment Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:34:31 +0000
Re: Software to identify and quantify pathogenic helminth eggs (University Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico) - by: BJimenezC
As you can see, the problem of helminthes is not an easy one, and I would add that even though they are killing all their hosts, they still may cause death in severe cases. The Bill and Melinda Gates are aware of the importance of helminthes worldwide and thus they are working hard to implement solutions on different aspects (detection, treatment, control, etc.).
We are not aware of studies that report the effect of helminthes on immunity for other diseases but we suppose that they may increase the risk of infection due to other microorganisms. We also agree that to break the cycle of this type of parasites, sanitation is not sufficient to control them, it should be accompanied by deworming and educations programs that reduce the risk of people exposed to wastewater and sludge.

With respect to Cholera, the agent responsible of this disease is a bacterium that is not as resistant as helminthes to conventional treatment processes, however, if the infection is not treated on time it may cause death. On the other hand, Ebola is a disease that we are not familiar with and thus would not like to emit an uninformed opinion.

Best regards,]]>
Enabling environment Sat, 18 Oct 2014 02:50:08 +0000
Re: Software to identify and quantify pathogenic helminth eggs (University Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico) - by: arno
When it comes to deworming a community, this is much more than a challenge for medical doctors. All the "other" vectors and sources need to be covered including soil surfaces, yards, toilets, septic tanks, sewer pipes, etc. So practices like open defecation, dumping of collected faecal sludge in open areas and ditches and discharge of untreated wastewater, septage and sewerage are all suspected vectors of transmission.

Add pathogens like Cholera to these rather "open" systems and the risk of widespread epidemics can be explained. What then are the risks of Ebola spreading among members of communities knowing how dysfunctional these systems are.]]>
Enabling environment Fri, 17 Oct 2014 07:13:15 +0000
Re: Software to identify and quantify pathogenic helminth eggs (University Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico) - by: BJimenezC
You have reason about the 5 million, this does not correct, the "precise" number is 3,500 million (3.5 billion).

We included a table with information about this number of worldwide´s infections by helminthiases.

In this moment we are working with the validation of the final system.

Regards and thanks for your note.

WTR Team]]>
Enabling environment Fri, 17 Oct 2014 00:25:19 +0000
Re: Software to identify and quantify pathogenic helminth eggs (University Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico) - by: arno Thanks for the news on automated image analysis of Helminth eggs and the Perez Sanchez thesis. Is this method now being used routinely in Mexico?

I noticed in your article from 2009 "Helminth ova control in wastewater and sludge for advanced and conventional sanitation" ( you write that there are some 5 million people with Helminth infections. How does this compare with the estimated number by WHO which is so much higher at 2 billion. Could be you were referring to Ascaris only?

My thesis is that hygiene and treatment of faeces remain so poor across the developing world that this monster has just kept growing for the past 50 years even with some concerted deworming programmes. This is by far the single most widespread public health problem dwarfing all others.

Easier and automated monitoring may help lead to more measurements to better determine risk. Hopefully this will motivate communities to push for more stringent sanitation and hygiene.]]>
Enabling environment Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:09:14 +0000
Re: Performance Assessment Systems (PAS) for Urban Water Supply and Sanitation in India (CEPT University, India) - by: aasimmansuri
Thank you for your interest in PAS project of CEPT University.

The indicators that we have been using in our work are mentioned in this link (go in framework section of performance assessment tab). More recently, we are developing indicators for onsite sanitation assessment and we will be sharing this soon. We will be happy to receive your comments. Hopefully, the post-2015 sanitation monitoring can use some of these indicators.

Regarding shared toilets, we are trying out this idea in a few small and medium towns in Maharashtra, India. We strongly believe that shared sanitation facilities provided by public agencies are not viable. Its life cycle cost is much higher and it is not safe. Instead, we promote one family- one toilet concept. However, in dense communities, where there is no space in the house for a toilet, we advocate provision of a toilet for 2-3 families, which is collectively owned and maintained by them. In the towns, where we are working, we have designed an incentive subsidy scheme, where a family without a toilet is given a small grant by the local government. So if more households are willing to share the toilet the subsidy amount per toilet will increase.

Enabling environment Mon, 13 Oct 2014 13:09:33 +0000
Re: Evidence-based sanitation advocacy in India to promote latrine use - by: neilpw
Thank you for this comment. I would be interested to hear what works (and what doesn't) with regards to IEC*. Below are some possible methods, but I am not sure where and how they have been tried, and with what results:
- Community Health Workers (or ASHAs in India) explain importance of sanitation as part of routing health education (one-to-one, or in groups)
- Health education / sanitation posters (at health facilities and/or in public places)
- Health education / sanitation leaflets (at health facilities and/or in public places)
- SMS text messaging (health education "behavior change" messages)
- short videos on feature phones (basic mobile phones with SD cards)

Women's learning groups have been successful in reducing maternal and child mortality in many countries, through learning and preparedness for childbirth and child diseases. I am sure they have an important potential role in sanitation also.

Best wishes,
Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA moderator (

* IEC stands for Information, Education, Communication (note added by moderator)]]>
Enabling environment Thu, 09 Oct 2014 13:39:10 +0000
Structuring of the fecal sludge market for the benefit of poor households in Dakar, Senegal (ONAS) - optimising faecal sludge emptying, transportation, processing - by: mbaye
Sorry for the delay in responding. Here are my answers to your questions from your post on 14 July:

You wrote:
I am very interested to learn note about the call centre works that you refer. As well increasing competition and lowering prices for the customer, this may also help with monitoring and regulation. So, as you say, this is a novel idea that can have various benefits.

I would be very interested to hear more about how this is structured according to different customer groups

Is this the same for all types of customer? Are there service levels that are specified that the operator needs to adhere to/achieve?

Is this only for small businesses for trucks? Presumably, the operators have to be registered to receive the request for pit emptying - do they also need to be members of the association of pit emptiers?

Thank you for your interest about the call center. This tool is designed for the emptying of household's pit but it can be used by any entity that needs an desludging service.
It applies to all emptying companies, the smallest to the largest. All these companies are identified, their trucks geolocalized and therefore present in the database of the call center. The auctions do not apply to companies but to individual trucks. You do not need to be a member of the Association of emptiers for your participation in the auction.

You wrote:
I understand that the bargaining is based on one submission from the desludging company. What happens if the job turns out to be much more difficult than they expected due to local situation? The benefit of negotiation on the ground is that the desludger can assess more easily the scale/nature of the job and adjust the charge accordingly. If this is done remotely, then this is difficult. I suppose the desludger can visit the site, but I am not sure that this is realistic. So, there is possibility that the householder ends up paying more than they were quoted for, or the operator takes a loss or does the job poorly to cut costs.... what happens in this case ?

Under these conditions, it is possible that some emptiers, once on the ground, face difficulties in accessing or the customer requires several rotations. In this case, they do not empty the pit and inform the center.
It must be said that the desludgers are very familiar with the neighborhoods in which they operate. The location is listed in the auction and in this case, they adjust their prices accordingly. In a case where an emptier win the market and made a bad quality work, the customer shall inform the Centre during the call quality control (which is done after every emptying activity) and then the desludger is sanctioned. Example of penalty: at its upcoming participation in an auction, the system automatically puts 2,000 FCFA more on his offer; which will make him less competitive.

I remain at your disposal for any other questions.

Enabling environment Tue, 07 Oct 2014 11:52:24 +0000
Re: Software to identify and quantify pathogenic helminth eggs (University Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico) - by: BJimenezC
The Global Development Phase II, sponsored by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is focused on the elaboration of an automatic image analysis software that performs the identification and quantification of helminth eggs of a processed sample of wastewater, sludge or excreta. Alongside our investigation, we work to train people through our academic programs such as social services and undergraduate, MSc and PhD.

An example of this is the MSc thesis developed in Phase I and for which the degree examination was done at the beginning of 2014:

Pérez Sánchez, J. D. (2013). Identificación y cuantificación automática de huevos de helmintos en muestras de agua residual (in Spanish) - Automatic identification and quantification of helminth eggs in wastewater samples. MSc thesis, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico.

For those of you who are interested in our software to quantify helminth eggs in wastewater samples, you might find this MSc thesis useful. It is in Spanish, but there is an English summary. You can find the full text on the link below:;type=2&id=2052

Here is a section of the English summary:

Given the complexity of biological automatic image analysis, we performed a comparative study of protocols for image processing techniques applicable for this study. The development of automatic identification technique used 360 images of different species (Ascaris lumbricoides (fertile and infertile), Hymenolepis nana, H. diminuta, Schistosoma mansoni, Taenia sp., Toxocara canis and Trichuris trichiura), which allowed the training of the system and establishment of a range of values for each property classification.

System validation is always performed with residual water samples, we commonly classified it in three different qualities based on the total suspended solids (TSS). Class I was water with 150 mg / L (TSS), typical of untreated wastewater. This allowed us to validate the results according to the amount of solids present in water. For Class I and Class II, results were obtained identifying specificity 0.99 and 0.98, respectively, indicating that the system is able to distinguish between significant accuracy helminth egg and different objects. For the same quality of water, yielded a sensitivity of 0.83 and 0.80, respectively, indicating the system's ability to identify a species among other exceeds 80%. The Class III identification efficiency was considerably lower (15%) than samples I or II. So in the current conditions of the system, must be carried out a prior dilution of the samples before identification and quantification through software.

The advantages of the developed system versus the traditional technique are: a) No specific skills required for the recognition of the species. b) Samples with different amount of total suspended solids can be identified in approximately 10 minutes against three hours or more of the traditional technique. c) The initial cost of the software is 30,000 compared to 20,000 dls of the traditional technique, but the operating cost per sample is less in the case of software with 2 dlls per sample versus 10 - 35 dlls for traditional technique. Regarding the specificity and sensitivity of the developed software, both features exceed 80%, while the traditional technique depends on previously acquired human skills.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.


Water Treated and Reuse Team (WTR Team)


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Enabling environment Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:18:50 +0000
Re: Performance Assessment Systems (PAS) for Urban Water Supply and Sanitation in India (CEPT University, India) - by: KimAndersson Thanks for introducing your project, which is an exciting long-term and large-scale effort. Would be interesting to hear about some of the insights you have gained so far. Hence, here’s a set of questions that I hope you can comment on.

Regarding the performance monitoring, what are the indicators you have applied to follow-up sanitation? What are your strategies for collecting data? Have you implemented any innovating ways of monitoring? This is a most relevant international matter today, since the Post-2015 process is ongoing with new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) coming up soon. There is a need to develop indicators that actually measure the sustainability of sanitation systems and allow for feasible monitoring mechanisms.

I’m also interested to know more about your 2-3 family-shared toilets. What is your learning from this approach? For example, how do you group families? Or do you only involve relatives? How do they manage ownership and O&M? What type of sanitation systems are you implementing/considering?

Best regards,
Enabling environment Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:03:44 +0000