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TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

  • Sowmya
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Re: TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

Some first thoughts.

1. Dimensions covered in the post-2015 targets: Sanitation dimensions have largely focused on health. However, sanitation has (i) the potential to achieve other SDG targets as well and (ii) choice of sanitation technology can impact choice of technologies in other SDG sectors. For instance, sanitation can have significant and measurable impact on agriculture, energy (either by directly producing energy or by saving energy used to produce chemical fertilizers which is also huge considering the quantum of naptha required for urea fertilizer as well as energy required to operate the fertilizer plants) and climate change. It also links with Goal 11.1 (by 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services, and upgrade slums) given that non-sewer based systems can help reduce dependence on capital-intensive sanitation projects before increasing housing supply. Therefore, if the choice of sanitation technologies do not result in realizing the benefits in other sectors, the other sectors have to necessarily choose technologies that are necessarily sub-optimal. How can we cover these aspects in the post-2015 targets?

2. With regard to reflecting human rights in sanitation targets and indicators, (i) are there communities for whom sanitation access should be prioritized (based on demographic, socio-economic or other factors such as proximity of dwelling units to rivers etc)? (ii) if yes, what criteria can be used to define such population? (iii) how can we have a special focus on identifying the most vulnerable and at-risk population and prioritizing reach of interventions to these population first? (iv) how do we ensure the sanitation technologies integrate with the lifestyles of special categories of population, particularly, nomadic tribes who need highly mobile/portable/carryable toilets but may not have any access to cleaning supplies, O&M, etc? (These tribes do not carry luggage like trekking backpacks, so even the design of the toilet has to be specially adapted.) What does sanitation access mean for nomadic tribes?

3. Progressive realization of rights: Rights relating to sanitation has the dimensions of (i) sanitation features which are covered by the first 2 rungs of the sanitation ladder provided disabled-friendly access and child excreta get covered under “facility is adapted to needs of the users of the facility”, (ii) economics – cost borne by the household, financing available and at what cost, realized net increase in income and cash flow, % of HH income required to access a said sanitation facility, purchase decisions, external funding for superstructure when the intent is to transition to a more environment friendly technology, (iii) enabling environment – access to information for decision making and ensuring proper maintenance, ease of completing requisite procedures and (iv) equity viz., access, quantity, quality and affordability.

4. Lifespan of the different technologies – what is the minimum lifespan for a sanitation technology to be considered? Supposing we complete total sanitation (at least basic access) by 2030, would we want to consider another round of development goals relating to sanitation? What is the status of the sanitation facilities covered under the MDGs? Would they require high maintenance expenditure or overhaul during or towards the end of the SDG period?

5. Integrating inequalities in the sanitation ladder: Progressive realization of rights includes the dimensions of economics, enabling environment and equity. Equity (defined to comprise these 3 dimensions) could be added to rungs 1 & 2 viz., excreta containment and safe access and availability.

6. How to measure equity (or the lack thereof): Inequity could be caused by several factors (gender, income, features of geographical location such as remoteness or desert area, caste/community, special situations like those in conflict situations and those who are affected by natural calamities every year, etc). Further, a population group might have two or more features that result in inequity (for instance, women in remote area affected by floods every year). Therefore, one measure is inadequate. While a Lorenz curve or Gini coefficient is the standard statistical measure of equity, equity measurement would require analysis along these aspects (viz., each factor and when multiple factors are present). Sanitation access relates to rungs 1 & 2 the information for which is collected from large population surveys and national censuses. Therefore, disaggregated analysis is required along with ensuring that the survey forms have questions that help collect data (risk factors that result in inequity) to conduct equity analysis.

7. Schools and health centres – adequacy of sanitation ladder to monitor the important dimensions of sanitation access: Schools and health centres are similar to households in the sense of being an entity in which individuals interact for some stated purpose. Be it a community hall, shopping mall, schools or health centres, the underlying concept is the same. Therefore, the concepts defining adequate sanitation access (viz., cleanliness, safety, privacy, 24-hour access, etc.,) covered by rungs 1 & 2 of the sanitation ladder apply to schools and health centers as well. The difference lies in the definition (number of persons using the toilet and/or the users knowing each other) – we need to explore how this affects realization of sanitation goals. For instance, waiting time (ie., queue time), geographical distance (how far from the classroom given the timespan of breaks), risk of infectious diseases spread, “comforting” (do women and girls feel comfortable with the location and superstructure design, water access, do upper caste and lower caste individuals use the same toilet), “facility is adapted to needs of the users of the facility” viz., indicator 2.3 of the sanitation ladder requires special focus as this can include disabled-friendly access, persons with mental health issues, samples for lab testing in case of inpatient/outpatient facilities, patients who have had ambulatory care surgeries in resource scarce settings, etc. Similarly, rungs 3 & 4 are important particularly for health centres (pathogen destruction as well as safe treatment and disposal of excreta and greywater, presence of pharmaceutical drugs in the excreta and greywater). The information is collected from institutional surveys and the incremental cost of collecting additional data might not be high.

8. Schools and health centres – is a separate sanitation ladder necessary: As per JMP definitions, basic sanitation includes shared facilities between not more than 5 households or 30 persons, whichever is lesser. A separate sanitation ladder is necessary only if the above dimensions (eg., waiting time, geographical distance, etc.,) are significantly different from the dimensions required to be considered for shared facilities for households. While reporting might have to be separate (separately for households, schools and health centres), a common integrated sanitation ladder is more appropriate. A common sanitation ladder framework is also useful for explaining the concepts to various stakeholders, harmonization of terms while conducting analysis such as sanitation access across households and schools and health centers in specific locations – disaggregated analysis – or comparative analysis between communities and/or locations.

Warm regards,

Sowmya

Sowmya Rajasekaran
Director
Verity SmartLife Solutions
www.veritysmartlife.com
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  • joeturner
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Re: TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

The post-2015 process has elevated the status of all water issues, from looking at WASH as a target of one goal under the MDGs to several goals in the proposed SDGs.

I am not sure it makes much sense to consider any of goal 6 in isolation. Whilst only two of the targets mention sanitation, clearly all of the targets are going to be impacted upon and by the sanitation systems. And so we are talking about WASH, but also release of chemicals, water use efficiency, protection of aquifers and capacity building.

Also I think it is worth remembering that the actual numbers attached to the targets are still under high level negotiation, and currently appear as x% in the most recent drafts.

The most critical aspect of this, I think, comes back to the Human Right to Water and Sanitation (HRWS), in that this Right specifically talks about provision of safe water and sanitation.

Well, what is safe?

As far as I can see, whether one is using the technological or the proposed 'ladder' model we discussed last week, the first rung on the ladder is going to be inadequate according to the SDGs and the HRWS. In fact, if one is to satisfy all of the proposed goals, the technologies needed would need to be many steps up either of the conceptual ladders. Does the JMP define 'safety' with regard to the water SDGs? I think this topic has been taken 'as red' (without needing further discussion) but I may have missed something.

It seems to me that there is a great danger that sdgs will be agreed which are so far beyond the much more basic (and totally missed) standard for 'improved' sanitation that it will be impossible to achieve.

Finally, I really struggle to see the value of declaring the HRWS without first defining what is an acceptable level of safety to which all persons on the planet should have access. One might as well say 'all persons have a human right to not be drowned at sea'. What does that even mean?
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  • bracken
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Re: TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

Good morning all,
What I think is a clear positive step forward in the ongoing discussions to arrive at the SDGs and appropriate indicators for monitoring, is the move away from the toilet-centric view, to adopting a more systems-wide approach of sanitation. Particularly the five considerations mentioned as being of importance to formulate targets:
  • Including hygiene
  • Addressing sustainability of services
  • Improving service levels
  • Going beyond the household
  • Eliminating inequalities
Of these five points, I think there are already ways of monitoring the first four. For me it is the last point that is and will probably remain somehow tricky, particularly in the framework of the HRWS. I think my major difficulty with this is linked to what Joe was saying with regard to a definition of a bottom line regarding adequate sanitation. What is this? How will it be described and measured? Who will decide what this should be? How can this de defined without falling back on the limited technical prescription of basic sanitation is?

For me, I feel that the first 3 (possibly 4) steps of the proposed functional ladder provide a better description of basic sanitation (excreta containment; safe access and availability; greywater management; pathogen reduction through treatment dependent on context) than the prescribed technologies still used by the JMP.
But the question remains as to how equity could be integrated into some kind of ladder concept for monitoring.
I confess to being slightly at a loss for the moment as to how that might work. Any ideas out there?

Water and Sanitation Specialist
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  • Sowmya
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Re: TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

Integrating Human Rights in the Sanitation Ladder framework:

I think it is important to integrate human rights into the monitoring indicators (human rights should indeed be at the center of the development debate :cheer: ).

Some thoughts regarding this point that Joe had raised:

Finally, I really struggle to see the value of declaring the HRWS without first defining what is an acceptable level of safety to which all persons on the planet should have access. One might as well say 'all persons have a human right to not be drowned at sea'. What does that even mean?


Declaring Human Right to Water and Sanitation before defining what is "acceptable level of safety" with respect to water and sanitation has the following implications:

a. Rights to refugees, illegal immigrants, stateless persons and other categories of persons who do not have full civilian rights:

Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty."

Interpretation: "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction" and this includes "national or social origin … or other status." When sanitation is considered a human right, it is equivalent to being part of the rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (unless the wording in the sanitation related UN Resolution expressly states otherwise - or, am I stretching interpretation of statutes?). Therefore, provision of sanitation is a legally claimable right (given the expectation that the human rights agreements should be given full effect in national legislation).

It then follows that illegal immigrants, refugees, stateless persons, and similar categories of persons who are resident in a country but are denied civilian rights have claimable legal rights (I am not sure about the legal implications vis-a-vis extant law). Similarly, dignified sanitation access in prisons, facilities for prisoners of war (POWs), persons held for interrogation but not yet presented in court to establish free movement status (in police stations or other areas) is a legally claimable right for both citizens and non-citizens.

When the term "safe sanitation access" is used, it includes the element of safety from physical harm or mental trauma, the facility is dignified (at least a screen for privacy if the closet is part of the prison cell), 24x7 access, clean facility (or at least provision of cleaning supplies in case of separate toilets / toilets in the cell), clean and adequate water for toilet use, etc.

Some questions in this regard are:
(i) If these rights are violated, what redressal mechanism does an individual have (depending upon the country, prisoners may not have free access to seek redressal for violation of human rights)?
(ii) balance between human rights and pragmatism that needs to be maintained - for example, 24x7 access to persons held in prison as threat to public safety and
(iii) how certain rights would operationalize - for example, while illegal immigrants might receive legal right to sanitation, are they likely to exercise such right given the risk of deportation if found to be an illegal immigrant?

Human rights standards stipulate that governments have an obligation to collect data to the extent they are able to do so. Therefore, safe access to sanitation also becomes a right for which the government is accountable to collect data and take action.

Progressive realization of sanitation as a human right means all of the above.

b. From "greatest common good" to "no one left behind" concept in decision making:

In decision making and priority setting, a key rule is to prioritize based on "greatest common good" and this rule can (depending upon context) work against minority / marginalized population. By declaring sanitation as a human right, emphasis is brought to "no one left behind". Further, the marginalized and disadvantaged groups do not face non-discrimination in benefiting from policies formulated as well as projects implemented.

Excerpts from the Report of the First Consultation on Post-2015 Monitoring of Drinking Water and Sanitation :
There are compelling reasons to believe that the better-off are unlikely to be left behind. The converse is not true - i.e. trickle down has failed, and gains tend to be captured by the better-off (as demonstrated by UNICEF’s poverty quintile work).
 
c. When sanitation access is a legally claimable right:

Declaring sanitation as a human right upholds provision of sanitation as a right (in the sense of an "entitlement" rather than charity) and a legally claimable right (given the expectation that human rights should be incorporated in national legislation at the earliest). While progressive realization of human rights is acknowledged, the inviolable right by birth as a human is recognized.

d. Protection from community denying access or equality in accessing WASH:

For instance, in case an individual or member of the household went against village panchayat diktat, inter-caste / inter-religion marriage not accepted in the community or religious affiliation, the punishment that local panchayat / religious leader can impose even for proven crimes cannot involve deprivation of access to WASH and/or forced into inhuman/undignified act as punishment (for example, forcing an upper caste individual to clean toilets as punishment - while cleaning a toilet is not undignified, the important point is that it is not usual for the individual to do it, the individual does not want to do it, there is direct/indirect pressure to do it) --> these become unacceptable violation of human rights eligible for protection under law of the land and prosecution against violators.

The above are simply some thoughts on why there is significant value in declaring sanitation as a human right even before defining what is acceptable levels of sanitation. Can all the above fit into JMP monitoring indicators, it is probably not feasible right now. What we can see, however, is how the human rights aspects can be fit into the functional sanitation ladder.

The aforesaid First Consultation Report on monitoring WATSAN states the following: Human rights principles also define the criteria against which enjoyment of the right can be assessed viz., availability, safety, acceptability, accessibility, affordability, participation, non-discrimination, accountability. The human rights framework requires all groups to have access, over time, within the maximum extent of available resources. However, human rights do not mean (i) service must be free, (ii) prohibits private sector participation and (iii) right to sanitation does not mean "everyone is entitled to a tap and flush toilet tomorrow".

We could probably incorporate the above in the sanitation ladder. Will post more thoughts on this later.

Warm regards,

Sowmya

Sowmya Rajasekaran
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Verity SmartLife Solutions
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

bracken wrote: But the question remains as to how equity could be integrated into some kind of ladder concept for monitoring.
I confess to being slightly at a loss for the moment as to how that might work. Any ideas out there?


In urban planning there are certainly technical means to target vulnerable populations first, but that probably falls short of the universal attitude of the equity goal. Further more, due to longer planning cycles there will always be the "new arrivals" slums that seemingly get shunned on service provision.

I am also not quite sure how equity could be monitored and to be frank, I am also not sure if this lofty theoretical concept can in many practical cases be adhered to.
What I fear however is that in practical terms it ends up being just another term for "pro-poor", a concept that has often (in my opinion) rather consolidated the poverty at a slightly more bareable level (interesting opinion piece on that: boringdevelopment.com/2014/08/21/shouldn...e-class-be-synonyms/ ).

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  • ricardgine
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Re: TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

Many thanks Sowmya for your nice summary about the legal implications of the human right to sanitation from a legal perspective. As you point out at the end of your today’s post, key issue is how to put these implications into a functional framework. In this regard, and in more practical terms, the JMP provides a definition of the different concepts included in target 6.2, which could be employed as starting point for further discussion:

Target 6.2 – By 2030, achieve adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations
  • access (for all) - Implies facilities close to home that can be easily reached and used when needed
  • to adequate - Implies a system which hygienically separates excreta from human contact as well as safe disposal of excreta in situ, or transport to a treatment plant
  • and equitable - Implies progressive reduction and elimination of inequalities between population sub-groups
  • sanitation - Sanitation is the provision of facilities and services for safe management and disposal of human urine and faeces
  • and hygiene - Hygiene is the conditions and practices that help maintain health and prevent spread of disease including hand washing, menstrual hygiene management and food hygiene
  • for all - Suitable for use by men, women, girls and boys of all ages including people living with disabilities
  • end open defecation - Excreta of adults or children are: deposited (directly or after being covered by a layer of earth) in the bush, a field, a beach, or other open area; discharged directly into a drainage channel, river, sea, or other water body; or are wrapped in temporary material and discarded
  • paying special attention to the needs of women and girls - Implies reducing the burden of water collection and enabling women and girls to manage sanitation and hygiene needs with dignity. Special attention should be given to the needs of women and girls in ‘high use’ settings such as schools and workplaces, and ‘high risk’ settings such as health care facilities and detention centres.
  • and those in vulnerable situations - Implies attention to specific WASH needs found in ‘special cases’ including refugee camps, detention centres, mass gatherings and pilgrimages.


Based on previous definitions, it is clear that there is a clear trend to move from technology-based approaches to functional-based approaches. I agree with Patrick that an elusive issue is how to monitor and address inequality issues. Current JMP reports already attempts to report on wealth-based differences (based on a wealth index assessed at the household) and rural / urban disparities. This may be a relevant example.

My feeling, however, is that in relation to the issue of progressive realisation, a fundamental concept to human rights, we need to measure “rate of change” and not “level of achievement”. There is a nice paper that extensively describes and validates this approach:

- Luh, J., Baum, R., & Bartram, J. (2013). Equity in water and sanitation: developing an index to measure progressive realization of the human right. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 216(6), 662–671.

It is clear that it poses a challenge since you need a baseline value or a benchmark rate, but it allows you evaluate a country based on the efforts it makes and improvements it achieves.

In terms of reporting inequalities, I would opt for providing information separately, i.e. with separate values for adequate sanitation, open defecation and hygiene. The aggregated value would probably mask very relevant information for decicion-makers …
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  • elkv
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Re: TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

Dear all,
the below is an excerpt of notes from the webinar WSSCC held yesterday and it kind of feeds into our discussion on some levels. The full notes and the presentations are appended to the message:


- There is confirmation that there is little appetite to reopen negotiations around goals and targets. Indeed, there are risks – we might lose more than we gain

- Attention has now shifted to discussion of indicators and means of implementation (partnerships, financing…).

- The MS instruction to the UN Statistical Commission: there are many targets so we need only one indicator for each. Indicators must be measurable and robust.

- Note that we (WASH sector) are currently recommending 3 core indicators for two targets – one indicator on drinking water for 6.1, one each on hygiene and sanitation for 6.2.

- Participants asked for clarification and JMP confirmed that the concepts of “basic” water and sanitation are included in the level of “safely managed” i.e. you cannot achieve safely managed without having achieved the basic level.

- JMP also confirmed the following:
o Basic water = improved water (under JMP) but within 30 minutes
o Basic sanitation = improved sanitation (under JMP).
- Thus by aiming for “safely managed” as the core indicator, we are aiming for something more ambitious.

- JMP notes that it will monitor and report on all levels of the ladder – e.g. will continue to monitor open defecation and basic levels, even if only a subset of core indicators are used in the overall SDG reporting.

- It was acknowledged that getting a baseline for “safely managed” sanitation will be challenging.
 Indicators will be disaggregated by several stratifiers of inequality. And JMP reports will highlight basic services strongly, especially in early years when we have relatively less data on safely managed.

- The issue of hygiene came up, and it was noted that the issue of food hygiene is not showing up in current indicators. It was noted that this would be hard to measure.

- It was seen as a good thing that handwashing was listed, so the question was raised as to how to get menstrual hygiene included too.

- Léo Heller, the new UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to water and sanitation, welcomed the commitment to monitor some of the human rights elements in the SDGs framework. He also suggested the following:
o SR is willing to contribute to the development of an indicator (or cross-cutting monitoring) of progress in eliminating inequalities;
o For SR, the development of a specific project on affordability monitoring should be a top priority as the target explicitly requires access to affordable water.

- The issue of measuring affordability generated discussion.
o JMP noted that they are keen to monitor affordability, but propose keeping it separate from the ladder concept.
o There are affordability benchmarks used already by some countries (e.g. UK) to indicate financial hardship when paying more than x% for domestic water supply. It was suggested that it would be informative to collect info on that.
o However, it was noted that if there is no indicator measured at global level, it would not be possible to know when you have reached a basic level.
o It was also noted that Guy Hutton did a report on affordability for the equity working group with that information.
o There were differing views concerning the difficulty of disaggregating affordability between water and sanitation. For example, it was noted that, for on-site sanitation, a USD 100 latrine is not affordable for families earning less than USD1.25/day
o Concerning measurement, it was noted that poor households can usually recall exactly how much they spend. Rich households have no idea because water and sanitation tariffs are typically rolled together.
o Clearly this issue warrants ongoing discussion.

- Similarly, the issue of wastewater management was discussed, and seen as an essential component of “safely managed” sanitation.
o The shit flow diagram makes it clear that access alone is insufficient. UNC is developing (with input of others, including JMP) a methodology to meaningfully report "safely managed" at country level. 5 country baselines should be available by March. (5 country baseline as a Proof of Concept for the methodology and data behind it).
o Like affordability, further discussions are needed and some participants agreed to continue the dialogue offline.

- It was noted that sector professionals acknowledge that "safely managed "sanitation for all is not going to happen by 2030. That is why the sanitation working group called for basic access
for all with a 50% improvement on safely managed by 2030. This has implications for our advocacy and messaging.

- It was suggested that, while it is important to be speaking with “one voice”, there is nonetheless the potential for different partners to call for slightly different aspects, or add pressure in different ways. (e.g. NGOs might be able to make calls that those within the UN system cannot). This is part of the broader political advocacy approach – and ongoing discussion for the Advocacy and Comms working group.

- It was seen as really important to encourage those who are involved in the political negotiations on behalf of MS to communicate with the statistical experts who are involved in the indicator discussions.

- It was noted that, within the UN system, UN-Water is coordinating input to the Technical Support Team which is responding to Member States’ requests for information. JMP are coordinating closely on this, and basing the WASH input on the recommendations that arose from the broad technical consultations that have occurred over the last 2.5 years.


I never managed to get the sound to work yesterday, so I missed a lot of this discussion myself, so I am happy to see the notes from the meeting. :). Some quick comments. (i) The group yesterday is clearly also struggling with the "safely managed" which clearly goes beyond hh containment only.Some group called UNC is apparently doing some baseline work on how to measure "safely managed", which I am very keen on accessing! (ii) it seems like JMP will monitor with more indicators than the sub-set reported to the SDGs, which is interesting. (iii) there is high interest in equity issues, and there seems to be a willingness to monitor equity in relation to these goals outside the SDG indicators, which is also of interest.

Kind regards

Elisabeth

Elisabeth Kvarnström

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  • bracken
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Re: TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

Many thanks for this update Elisabeth!
I think it provides a good insight into just how tricky the whole process is to reach such a broad agreement on what should be monitored and how.
If I understand this then it means that JMP will still be using their technical definitions of improved sanitation and expanding upon this by looking at if its "safely managed"?

Although I don't find the technical definition ideal, I do think this represents a marked improvement and does bring the functionality of the whole sanitation system into monitoring focus. Of course this will depend on where the boundary for "safe management" is drawn, but if SFDs are being considered, then this certainly casts the net at city / town / settlement level which really does seem appropriate and very encouraging.
This implies (at least to me) that, if we consider the functional ladder, we have moved the minimum target from improved sanitation (which would be the first rung of the functional ladder), to safely managed improved sanitation, which would be perhaps rungs 1 to 4 (Elisabeth - was there any talk of greywater in the webinar?). That in itself illustrates that the functional ladder is a better monitoring tool than the old ladder the JMP used.

(For information, the first 4 rungs of the functional ladder are:
1. Excreta containment - (i) clean facility in obvious use, (ii) no flies or other vectors, (iii) no fecal matter lingering in or around latrine, (iv) hand-washing facility in obvious use with soap, (v) lid, (vi) odor-free facility
2. Safe access and availability - (i) 24-hr access to facility year-round, (ii) facility offering privacy, personal safety and shelter, (iii) facility is adapted to needs of the users of the facility.
3 - Greywater management - (i) no stagnant water in the compound, (ii) no stagnant water in the street, (iii) no mosquitoes or other vectors
4 - Pathogen reduction in treatment - indicators will differ and depend on flow stream from the sanitation system (urine, feces, greywater, fecal sludge, wastewater) and also whether the flowstream will be used productively afterwards or not (which for me corresponds with safe management as the treatment will be carried out appropriate to the end use / destination of the excreta, urine and greywater)


I think, from the report of the webinar and from our discussion here, that the general discourse is much broader than it has previously been, but identifying appropriate indicators for hygiene and equity are sticking points. Directly monitoring hygiene won't be feasible and identifying suitable proxies will be very, very hard. Good to hear though that the UN SR will be supporting the development of monitoring of equity. On the other hand, I have to wonder what the one indicator will be that can satisfactorily be used to monitor "6.2 by 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations"

Water and Sanitation Specialist
AHT GROUP AG
Management & Engineering
D-45128 Essen, Huyssenallee 66-68
Germany
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  • Marijn Zandee
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Re: TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

Dear all,

At the risk of derailing a very structured discussion.

Both during last and this week's discussion, I have wondered whether we should not include the "enabling environment" in any sanitation agenda/monitoring system/promotion tool. Be it a ladder or a scoring card system.

I mean, how can rural sanitation ever achieve scale if there is no supply chain of sanitation solution providers? How can urban sanitation be really successful without policies and taxes?

It seems to me that scoring the progress on the "ladder" of groups and communities without looking at this enabling environment is somewhat unfair, if not moderately pointless.

Regards

Marijn

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  • elkv
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  • I have been working with sanitation, in different ways and through different vehicles both in Sweden where I am from as well as internationally, since 1994 when I finished my MSc degree in Environmental Engineering. Currently I am working as a consultant
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Re: TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

Hi Patrick,
no, there was no talk about greywater in the seminar, as far as I am aware (had no sound :)). I had posted a pre-question on greywater since I think it is so important, but I don't think it was dealt with, given the message about how there is an unwillingness to open up the debate on goals and targets again, and that there is a need to focus on indicators for the set targets. I think we can forget getting greywater on to the agenda unfortunately, unless through the "safely managed sanitation" formulation.

There is a ladder for the new sanitation target, which is in the presentation I had attached yesterday, and also in the document that was sent out before the webinar. I am trying to post some of the columns from the document I had attached last week in the end of this post. Now when I am writing this post it looks like a hot mess, but maybe it will show up as a nice table once I post... If not, check the attachment to this msg, where the document is re-attached again and look at the table describing the new ladder for sanitation. It is the old JMP ladder but with the significant change that the top is "safely managed sanitation" with a specific mentioning of services. The tech only has been changed to services also for basic sanitation and for shared sanitation as well as for the ones added in the bottom, which are services for schools and health centers. The only steps in the ladder which seems to be totally the same as before are the ones for unimproved and open defecation (which is fair enough, no point in assessing a service level for unimproved systems and for open defecation!).

I agree with Patrick, the first four steps in the functional ladder would be "safely managed sanitation". Question is how we go on from here. It was said in the meeting that it is good to speak with one voice, but it could also be good if organizations in the WASH group could give input to the SDG process from different angles. If we had a way into the SDG open working group...

Kind regards

Elisabeth

Below should be a table from the attached document. If it is just gibberish, just open the document attached instead!

Sanitation service ladder Proposed indicator
Definition

Safely managed sanitation Percentage of population using safely managed sanitation services

(Core) Population using a basic sanitation facility2 which is not shared with other households and where excreta is safely disposed in situ or transported to a designated place for safe disposal or treatment.
Basic sanitation Percentage of population using a basic sanitation service Percentage of population using a basic sanitation facility not shared with other households
Shared sanitation Percentage of population using a shared sanitation service Percentage of population using a basic sanitation facility shared with other households
Unimproved sanitation Percentage of population using an unimproved sanitation facility Percentage of population using unimproved sanitation facilities , with or without sharing with other households
Open defecation Percentage of population practicing open defecation Percentage of the population practicing open defecation (defecating in bushes, fields, open water bodies or other open spaces)

Basic sanitation in schools Percentage of pupils enrolled in schools that provide basic sanitation services Percentage of pupils enrolled in primary and secondary schools with functional basic separated sanitation facilities for males and females on or near premises
Basic sanitation in health care facilities Percentage of beneficiaries using health care facilities providing basic sanitation services Percentage of beneficiaries using health care facilities with functional basic separated sanitation facilities for males and females on or near premises .

Elisabeth Kvarnström

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  • bracken
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  • Working throughout Africa since 1996 in development cooperation. Involved with sustainable sanitation systems since 2002. Currently working for the AHT GROUP AG (a private consultancy office in Germany).
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Re: TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

Hi Marijn,
Having thought about your post I'm really not sure that is something we could or should even try with the ladder, and I don't think its pointless to establish the functional state of sanitation systems as they are. The functional ladder, as it is (or even the "traditional" ladder) is a descriptive tool that can be applied to a concrete situation (either to say how things are or to set a target to aim for).

Whilst I absolutely believe that an appropriate enabling environment is critical, I don't see how that would fit directly into hygiene and sanitation monitoring - it is, for me, rather a critical framework condition made up of many individual and important elements (ranging from individual and household capacity and willingness to engage and finance to national level legislation and reglementation).
Here I think a scorecard system to assess the enabling environment could be useful in order to provide an overview of which support and activities could best serve the sanitation and hygiene sector (some kind of enabling environment mapping tool) but I don't think that that would belong in a system to monitor progress on access to sanitation and hygiene. It is however, an important part of an overall monitoring of the "health" of the sanitation and hygiene sector in a country.

Water and Sanitation Specialist
AHT GROUP AG
Management & Engineering
D-45128 Essen, Huyssenallee 66-68
Germany
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  • ricardgine
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  • Researcher at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
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Re: TDS: Week 2 Theme - The post-2015 agenda and emerging monitoring challenges in the sanitation sector

Hi Patrick and Marijn,

I agree with Marijn that monitoring the “environment” where services are delivered is crucial. However, this is not – in my opinion – the main function of a ladder. As Patrick suggests, the “environment” – policies, supply chain, institutional framework, etc. - and the “infrastructure” should be monitored separately. The sanitation ladder seems to be a good tool to monitor the “infrastructure”, i.e. number of facilities, hygienic condition of the facility, management of the facility …

At international level, for instance, one can distinguish between the:

- UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) report, produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) on behalf of UN-Water. It provides a global update on the policy frameworks, institutional arrangements, human resource base, and international and national finance streams in support of sanitation and drinking-water; and the

- WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply And Sanitation (JMP), in charge of presenting the results of the global monitoring of progress towards MDG 7 target C: to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation

At the local level, there are various attempts to monitor the infrastructure - facility, as the functional-based ladder. In contrast, I am not aware of any good tool - simple and easy-to-use -to monitor the “environment”, as suggested by Marijn …
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