What is your definition of Sanitation Success?

  • Improvedavis
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What is your definition of Sanitation Success?

In our latest blog, we share some of the definitions of sanitation success that we came across while seeking evidence of sanitation success over time. What is sanitation success?

Let us know what your organization's definition is, please.

Susan Davis
Executive Director
Improve International
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  • campbelldb
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  • Dan Campbell, USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project
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Re: What is your definition of Sanitation Success?

Thanks Susan, a very helpful article and I also put a link to it on Sanitation Updates .

Dan

Dan Campbell
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Re: FW: [SuSanA forum] What is your definition of Sanitation Success? (New publications (books, articles, partner newsletters, journals, blogs, websites, videos))

Dan, thanks for your kind comment and for sharing the blog.

Susan

Susan Davis
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Improve International
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Re: FW: [SuSanA forum] What is your definition of Sanitation Success? (New publications (books, articles, partner newsletters, journals, blogs, websites, videos))

Turning the waste into money is a minimum requirement. This is my point of view.

Chen Xiang Yang, an apple dealer,is growing apples and cherries with the human waste collected from 31 school UDDTs donated by SOHO China Foundation, based in Tianshui City, Gansu Province , China. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., tel:0086 151 9380 3972
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  • F H Mughal
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Re: What is sanitation success?

What is sanitation success?

A recent (11 April 2016) blog of Susan Davis, Executive Director of Improve International on “What is Sanitation Success?” available at improveinternational.wordpress.com/2016/...-sanitation-success/ , makes an interesting reading. Susan seems to have worked hard in getting the perspectives on sanitation success, from a range of organizations and institutions, including Susana.

Susan says that there is no one widely accepted definition of sanitation success, even for broadly used approaches. She is right – there may not be a standard definition for sanitation success. I would go one step further by saying that there is not even a generally-accepted definition for “sanitation,” let alone the sanitation success; or for sanitation failures.

According to Susan, the viewpoint of Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) goes like this:

The GSF works towards attainment of universal access to improved sanitation, which they measure using these indicators: number of people with access to improved sanitation, number of people living in open-defecation free environments, and the existence, and evidence of use, of a dedicated place for handwashing and availability of soap or ash (as a proxy for people washing their hands at critical times). The GSF includes in its description access to improved sanitation by all members of a community and proper handling, storage and treatment of human waste, but these are not included in their results.

The Government of India’s outlook is:

ODF is the termination of fecal-oral transmission, defined by a) no visible faces found in the environment/village; and b) every household as well as public/community institutions using a safe technology option for disposal of faces. A safe technology option means no contamination of surface soil, ground water or surface water; excreta inaccessible to flies or animals; no handling of fresh excreta; and freedom from odor and unsightly condition.

IRC Water and Sanitation Centre’s perception is:

The sanitation service level framework evaluates the services provided by the delivery of safe latrines using four indicators:type and accessibility of latrines to households (in line with national norms); use of sanitation facilities by members of the household;cleanliness, maintenance and pit emptying of the facilities; and environmental safety of fecal waste.

Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)’s point of view is:

The main objective of a sanitation system is to protect and promote human health by providing a clean environment and breaking the cycle of disease. In order to be sustainable a sanitation system has to (1) promote health and hygiene effectively, (2) be financially and economically viable, (3) socially acceptable and institutionally appropriate, (4) technically appropriate including operation and maintenance (O&M), and (5) protect the environment and natural resources.

- - - - fairly comprehensive!

While the perspective of other organization is also given, the standpoint of WSP (World Bank Water and Sanitation Program) is eye-catching, and goes like this:

WSP used the following performance indicators to rate relative success of sanitation case studies:

1. Prevalence of open defecation
2. Hygiene behavior
3. Access to sanitation by the poor
4. Environmental sanitation improvements
5. Extent of self-financing
6. Program cost per household
7. Range of toilet components and designs utilized
8. Local availability of sanitation wares and services
9. Regular support and monitoring
10. Implementation at scale

The definition of what constitute sanitation success, varies from country to country; and in one country, from urban areas to rural areas. Definition will also vary from one organization to another, for example, a financial institution would lay more stress on financial side.

In Pakistan, having a network of sewerage system, connected to a municipal wastewater treatment plant with sustainable operation, in urban areas will constitute a sanitation success (in a simplified form); and just having a clean toilet in rural areas, where rural population practices handwashing, would constitute a major sanitation success.

Susan Davis needs a pat on her back for her hard work is getting viewpoints from various sources.

F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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  • markanday
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Re: What is your definition of Sanitation Success?

Sanitation- Definition : A process which ensures we and our future generation remain safeguarded from water borne diseases in harmony with clean and green environment"
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  • Improvedavis
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Re: What is sanitation success?

Dear FH Mughal & Markanday - thanks for your comments. I guess the good news is that several smart organizations are thinking about this previously less "popular" issue.

Improve International has a more comprehensive report that I'm hoping we'll be able to make public soon that indeed touches on the fact that there are many different definitions of sanitation as well as sanitation success. Is it a problem? Maybe not, unless (like we did) you want to compare results across approaches / countries / time to see what's working better, so that we could learn from each other.

Susan Davis
Executive Director
Improve International
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