SEI research Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation [SISS] - Sanitation, a catalyst for development

  • KimAndersson
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SEI research Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation [SISS] - Sanitation, a catalyst for development

Dear all,
I’m pleased to introduce SEI’s new research Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation (SISS), which has recently been launched. This sanitation initiative is part of SEI’s Strategy 2015-2019 ( http://www.sei-strategy.org/ ), and is one of eight SEI initiatives on key issues around sustainable development that intend to function as beacons for research. The core funding for the initiative is from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), which will also allow for leveraging external project funding together with partners.

The SEI Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation
  • Name of lead organization: Stockholm Environment Institute ([url=www.sei- international.org]www.sei-international.org[/url])
  • Primary contacts at lead organization: Kim Andersson and Arno Rosemarin
  • Location of lead organization: Stockholm, Sweden and Nairobi, Kenya
  • Developing country where the research is being or will be tested: Various countries in the south, but with a major focus on sub-Saharan Africa
  • Start and end date: Feb 2015 – Dec 2016 (first financial period; initiative horizon is until 2019)
  • Grant type: Part of core SEI funding from Sida
  • Grant size in USD: $565.000
  • Funding for this research currently ongoing (yes/no): Yes

Short description of the project:

The Initiative envisions sanitation as an integral piece of the sustainable development puzzle, highlighting the multiple benefits it can provide in areas from health to food security, resilient livelihoods, business growth, renewable energy, and environmental sustainability. In the search for improved and upscalable implementation models, the Initiative examines not just “hardware” issues but includes enabling institutional conditions and governance frameworks, and ways to change users’ perceptions and practices as well as their demand for improved sanitation. This will be achieved through a combination of new research, knowledge management, capacity development, policy engagement, outreach and on-the-ground action.

More information about the initiative is provided in the initiative brief attached here (or you can download it on sei-international.org/mediamanager/docum...s/sei-siss-intro.pdf ).
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Goal:
To boost sustainable sanitation provision at scale in low- and middle-income countries, through research, knowledge exchange, capacity development and policy dialogue, also with a focus on productive sanitation approaches that yield multiple economic, social and environmental co-benefits.

Objectives:
The Initiative seeks to strengthen knowledge on how sanitation can contribute to the broader sustainable development agenda, and how sustainable sanitation provision can be achieved at scale in low- and middle-income countries.

Specific objectives:
  • To develop supportive planning and monitoring tools and models and practices for sanitation, based on analysis of policy and institutional frameworks, considering multi-level governance as a central mechanism in making sanitation sustainable.
  • To provide evidence of the broader potential sustainability benefits of productive sanitation (in areas as diverse as health, food security, renewable energy, water management, sustainable livelihoods, disaster risk and climate change resilience, gender equality, and environmental sustainability)
  • To develop and test new scalable community intervention models for sustainable sanitation provision.
Research agenda:
The initiative has pre-identified five research areas that will be further developed:
  • Multi-level sanitation governance:
  • Systems approach
  • Intervention methods for sustainable up-scaling
  • Sanitation within the broader sustainable development agenda
  • Disaster-resilient WASH systems
Research or implementation partners: Partners for research implementation will be identified in the first phase of the project.

Links, further readings – results to date: sei-international.org/projects?prid=2084

Current state of affairs:
The SEI Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation is currently in its initial work planning phase. However, it is simultaneously linking to ongoing and recent sanitation research at SEI, e.g.: Multilevel Sanitation Governance ; WASH & RESCUE , and; Enhanced sustainable sanitation in flooded areas of India for policy reform and MDG fulfilment .

Biggest successes so far:
The Initiative builds on a long track record of cutting-edge research and policy engagement on sanitation and sustainable development at SEI. E.g. the SEI administered EcoSanRes Programme, 2000-2011 financed by Sida (see publications and other outputs on www.ecosanres.org ).

Identified challenges:
An identified challenge is whether the new Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goal on sanitation will go beyond the current access targets to improved sanitation, and in fact promote long-term sustainable sanitation development...

Your questions are most welcome.

Best wishes,
Kim

Kim Andersson
Stockholm Environment Institute
Postbox 24218,104 51 Stockholm, Sweden
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  • F H Mughal
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Re: SEI research Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation [SISS] - Sanitation, a catalyst for development

Dear Kim,

This is an interesting initiative. I have one small query. The brochure says:

"Spurred on by the new Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) and the broader post-2015 agenda......"

What were the specific points in SDGs and post-2015 agenda, that prompted and led to the development of this SEI initiative?

Regards,

F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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  • KimAndersson
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Re: SEI research Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation [SISS] - Sanitation, a catalyst for development

Dear Mughal,
Thanks for a very good and relevant question.

Like many others, we see the opportunity to discuss the sustainability issues related to sanitation, in the ongoing process and design of the Post-2015 SDGs. That’s why in our brochure we say:

“Spurred on by the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the broader post-2015 agenda, along with changing national realities, many low- and middle-income countries will need to invest heavily in sanitation in the next decade. The decisions they make and the approaches they take will have far-reaching consequences for sustainability and for the well-being of their citizens.”

At the same time we are concerned to see that the ambitions for sanitation in the SDGs may be kept very low in the end. For example, the recent report from Sustainable Development Solutions Network – SDSN (a UN supported initiative) are arguing for the need of changing to an intermediary indicator going from

“Percentage of population using safely managed sanitation services, by urban/rural”

to

“Percentage of population using basic adequate sanitation”

Which doesn’t really move us beyond the ambitions of the MDGs. I guess the main reason for lowering the ambitions is the huge challenge for sanitation, i.e. the number of people lacking access is still enormous. Unfortunately, the benefits for the society for doing sustainable sanitation (or even productive sanitation with resource recovery) are not taken into account. This could potentially attract more investments since it will give added value for multiple sectors (e.g. health, food, energy, business, and environment).

The decisions on the new SDG targets and indicators will be taken later this year, so we are aware of that the first window of opportunity for impacts is limited, but it is still there. But subsequently there will be an important phase where the countries will be implementing the SDGs, this will create new opportunities for promoting more sustainable alternatives.

Hence, we will continuously look for opportunities to provide arguments for more integrated and sustainable sanitation development in the Post-2015 process. If we are many together working for this (in SuSanA and beyond) we can hopefully have some impact..

Best regards,
Kim

Kim Andersson
Stockholm Environment Institute
Postbox 24218,104 51 Stockholm, Sweden
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Re: SEI research Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation [SISS] - Sanitation, a catalyst for development

Dear Kim,

Thank you for your enlighten response. I appreciate.

The other day, I was trying to find the status of water and sanitation in SDGs, but was not quite successful. Could you kindly link some publications on SDGs that highlight water and sanitation status.

Best regards,
F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
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  • joeturner
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Re: SEI research Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation [SISS] - Sanitation, a catalyst for development

The Water SDGs are being given a lot of air by UN-Water, see here: www.unwater.org/topics/water-in-the-post...velopment-agenda/en/
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  • KimAndersson
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Re: SEI research Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation [SISS] - Sanitation, a catalyst for development

Dear Mughal,
I agree it is not easy to get an overview of the Post-2015 process. There is a lot of initiatives going on under different platforms and networks.

The latest proposal of goals and targets is still the one elaborated in July 2014 by the UN’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. See https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgsproposal . Some overview and background to SDG process related to the water and sanitation goals are a provided in the following report .

Apart from this, the work that the Sustainable Development Solutions Network – SDSN ( unsdsn.org/ ) is doing can be worth following. They have among other things advanced with proposals on indicators (e.g. the recent report I linked to in my last post above).

UN Water, as Joe Turner is referring to, is another platform that has provided suggestions on the water and sanitation goal and targets.

Finally, I can also recommend the Independent Research Forum (IRF2015) website to keep track of progress. IRF is working closely with the UN Open Working Group.

I hope this may be of some help to keep updated.
All the best,
Kim

Kim Andersson
Stockholm Environment Institute
Postbox 24218,104 51 Stockholm, Sweden
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  • SDickin
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Re: SEI research Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation [SISS] - Sanitation, a catalyst for development

hi all,
For anyone interested in an update on the SEI Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation (SISS), here are a few outputs we would like to share:

Open access book:
Sanitation, Wastewater Management and Sustainability: From Waste Disposal to Resource Recovery
This book offers a new conceptual framework for planning and investing in sustainable systems, centering on resource recovery and reuse. It examines the social, governance, economic, health, environmental and technological dimensions of sustainable sanitation and wastewater management and resource recovery. It is rich with ideas, arguments, knowledge and concrete, real-world examples, it is a resource for urban and rural development planners, investors and practitioners, as well as civil engineers and students.

The book is available for download on SEIs website ( www.sei.org/publications/sanitation-wast...-and-sustainability/ )

Research publications:

Understanding sustained use of ecological sanitation in rural Burkina Faso
Access to safe sanitation services is fundamental for healthy and productive lives, but in rural Burkina Faso only
around 7% of the population uses improved sanitation. Ecological sanitation (ecosan) systems that allowsafe agricultural
reuse of nutrients in human waste have been promoted in these areas, as a way to meet sanitation
needs while contributing to food security. However, little is known about the success of these interventions in
terms of both sustained use of the toilet and safe excreta reuse practices. We assessed the use of ecosan systems
in 44 rural communities where such interventions had taken place. Structured interviews and observations conducted
at 520 randomly selected concessions (residential properties), suggested a large-scale shift fromopen defecation
to ecosan toilet use. However, only 58% of surveyed concessions reported ever emptying the ecosan toilet
vault, which is required for optimal long-term functioning. Concessions that received ecosan training
programmes with a greater emphasis on agricultural reuse were more strongly associated with toilet use and
emptying than those thatwhose training focusedmore on sanitation access and health benefits. The findings suggest
that the safe agricultural reuse of nutrients can provide a strong motivation for long-term adoption of improved
sanitation among rural smallholders.
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969717322659 (open access)
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Sanitation and the commons: The role of collective action in sanitation use
A lack of safe sanitation threatens human wellbeing and has overlooked implications for environmental sustainability.
There is a growing need to understand community-level drivers of sanitation use, as poor sanitation
in a few households can create risks for neighboring households and contaminate the surrounding environment.
This paper considers sanitation in the context of common-pool resources, focusing on processes of collective
action and sustainable sanitation use, and draws on a case study conducted in Koassanga, Plateau-Central,
Burkina Faso, where an ecological sanitation system intervention was implemented. Using a qualitative study
design, 26 semi-structured interviews were conducted with residents using a social capital framework for water,
sanitation and hygiene. Data were thematically analyzed to understand how collective action played a role in
sustaining use of the sanitation system. The case study findings indicated that social capital characterized by
membership in local groups and associations may have contributed to successful implementation of the intervention
and ending open defecation, through normalization and monitoring of the use of ecological sanitation
systems. In addition, community leaders played prominent roles in ensuring that collective management of the
sanitation systems was sustained. These findings highlight potential for further examination of sanitation systems
from a common pool resources perspective to identify other factors that contribute to long-term sustainability.
With growing interest in community-led sanitation approaches, this understanding can inform more
effective strategies for governments and NGOs to promote the health of entire communities to achieve SDG
targets for universal coverage.
www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016718517302683 (contact me for a copy if you do not have access)
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Clean and Green: a new implementation framework for rural sustainable sanitation
This brief introduces the essentials of the Clean and Green framework being developed at SEI. Ongoing research looks at tools to assess health risks and waste flows in an integrated way, with the aim of informing future piloting of the Clean and Green approach in Burkina Faso.
www.sei.org/publications/clean-green-a-i...tainable-sanitation/

Some ongoing work linked to this Initiative:
Urban Circle: turning urban waste into circular economy benefits
In 2018, SEI’s UrbanCircle project will be working with stakeholders in the Kenyan city of Naivasha to explore how to reshape organic waste management in order to boost economic, social and environmental sustainability, as well as public health and food and water security.
This dialogue will be supported by REVAMP, a tool developed by the SEI Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation that quantifies what resources are available in a city’s waste streams, and what value different reuse scenarios could bring.
www.sei.org/publications/urbancircle-naivasha-brief/
Other case studies will be conducted in Chía, Colombia and Stockholm, Sweden.

PEGaSus – Phosphorus management in pigs and poultry in the EU
Phosphorus (P) is an irreplaceable component of life yet it is not efficiently used/reused in agriculture, leading to grave concerns for soil and water ecosystems. PEGaSus, a project within the European Research Area NETwork on Sustainable Animal Production (ERA-NET SusAn), aims at providing solutions to balance the P cycle in pig and poultry farming, hence contributing to P-resilient livestock production that is resource-efficient and economically competitive.
www.sei.org/projects-and-tools/projects/...horus-management-eu/

World Water Week 2018 - The contribution of sanitation to the Paris Agreement – What is stopping us?
In this session we SEI and partners will look at the role of sanitation in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and examine why it has been left out of a major policy initiatives such as the Paris Agreement.

Dr. Sarah Dickin,
Research Fellow
Stockholm Environment Institute
Stockholm, Sweden
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  • F H Mughal
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Re: SEI research Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation [SISS] - Sanitation, a catalyst for development

Dear Dr Sarah,

First off, congratulations to you and your colleagues for fantastic work done by SEI. I'm happy to note that.

Yes, I need the paper: Sanitation and the commons: The role of collective action in sanitation use
Kindly send it to me.

Regards,

F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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  • SDickin
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Re: SEI research Initiative on Sustainable Sanitation [SISS] - Sanitation, a catalyst for development

hi,
I have included the research papers as attachments for anyone interested.
best regards,
Sarah

Dr. Sarah Dickin,
Research Fellow
Stockholm Environment Institute
Stockholm, Sweden
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