× This area is for The Sanitation Ladder: Next Steps discussion, part of the Thematic Discussion Series (TDS). More information on the organisation of this discussion can be found here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/185-th...on-ladder-next-steps Previous threads relevant to the topic of the Sanitation Ladder have been moved to this category. All new threads for the thematic discussion will say "TDS" before the topic name.

TDS: Background Information for "The Sanitation Ladder: Next Steps" discussion

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TDS: Background Information for "The Sanitation Ladder: Next Steps" discussion


The Sanitation Ladder: Next Steps thematic discussion is the first discussion in SuSanA’s newly launched Thematic Discussion Series!

The discussion will start next week on the SuSanA Forum ( forum.susana.org/forum/categories/185-th...on-ladder-next-steps ) from 9-27 February 2015. Bi-weekly summaries of the discussions will be posted, to help keep you up to date on the discussions.

On Thursday, February 20th, a webinar will be led by the thematic leads to discuss the key issues from the discussion. The exact time of the webinar will be posted next week.

The discussion will be led by three thematic experts, Patrick Bracken, Elisabeth Kvarnström, and Ricard Gine, who will provide sub-topics and leadership for each week of the discussion (3 weeks total). Patrick Bracken will provide a short introduction to the leads and the direction of the discussion at the end of this week.


Background Information
The attached document provides general background information to provide some context for the discussion which will take place starting next week. Even if you are not familiar with the topic of the sanitation ladder, the background document aims to provide a brief overview to help provide context to how the ladders have developed and been used, particularly in the context of the Millennium Development Goals as the transition to the new Sustainable Development Goal continues.

For those who are unable to view the document, the document can also be viewed here: www.susana.org/images/documents/07-cap-d...ackground%20Info.pdf and parts of the background document have been pasted here in this thread.


The discussion will start next week on Monday, February 9th, and of course feedback on the background document so far (other additional points that may also be important to mention etc.) are welcome!

Kind regards,

Roslyn

Roslyn Graham
MSc Global Health
Member of SuSanA www.susana.org
Newfoundland, Canada
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Re: TDS: Background Information for "The Sanitation Ladder: Next Steps" discussion Part 1

The following is an excerpt from the background information for the Sanitation Ladder Thematic Discussion. The full background document can be found here: www.susana.org/images/documents/07-cap-d...-Background-Info.pdf

Introduction

Originally, the sanitation ladder was a tool that sprang from participatory approaches such as Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST). The tool aimed at providing community members with a visual guide to different sanitation options, providing information on a range of factors (e.g. cost, convenience, upgradeability etc.) in order to facilitate household and communal sanitation planning and decision making. These ladders are still in use in some areas. The ladders which developed in this way are centred on particular latrine/ toilet technologies, appropriate to the given context, with advancement up the ladder generally accompanied by a more complex technology, theoretically providing improved service. Generally, a set of agreed criteria are used to identify suitable sanitation options. One of the better-known examples of these types of ladder is the Lao PDR Sanitation Ladder, with its 6 steps.

These are:
1. Improved traditional practice
2. Conventional pit latrine
3. Lid or cover latrine
4. Ventilated Improved Pit Latrine
5. Pour flush latrine
6. Septic Tank Toilet

While serving as a basis for communal decision-making, these ladders also tend to have an aspirational character. It was held that households or communities, once on the ladder, would seek to move up the ladder, according to their means. This remains one of the basic tenets in CLTS, although a recent study on the sustainability of the CLTS approach has called this assumption into question.

While the ladder concept was developed to help communities decide on the sanitation service appropriate to them, it has also been used in the opposite sense, to describe the state of existing sanitation services, and subsequently for monitoring sanitation systems. In 2008, the JMP (WHO/ UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation) adopted a version of the sanitation ladder for monitoring purposes for progress towards the MDGs, based on technological definitions of unimproved, shared and improved sanitation technologies (see below for further details).

In 2011, the paper The Sanitation Ladder – a need for a revamp? by Kvarnström et al raised questions regarding the use of a technocentric sanitation ladder for monitoring or promoting sanitation systems in order to achieve global sanitation targets. Kvarnström’s paper criticized the focus on a technology-based sanitation ladder, and proposed the use of a “functions-based” sanitation ladder. This call has to date been taken up by various organisations, however operationalization remains problematic.

The thematic discussion will further discuss this functional sanitation ladder, the goals behind it, what gaps are still present, and how to move ahead towards improving the monitoring of global sanitation goals. This document provides background information on the context to facilitate the ease of discussion.

Roslyn Graham
MSc Global Health
Member of SuSanA www.susana.org
Newfoundland, Canada
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Re: TDS: Background Information for "The Sanitation Ladder: Next Steps" discussion Part 2

The following is an excerpt from the background information for the Sanitation Ladder Thematic Discussion. The full background document can be found here: www.susana.org/images/documents/07-cap-d...-Background-Info.pdf

Relevant Forum Discussions

There have been a number of discussions on the Forum which have approached the topic of the sanitation ladder and context. The following list is of the most relevant discussions related to the topic:

1. The Sanitation Ladder - developments
Discusses a summary of the history of the sanitation ladder as well as other sanitation ladders which exist, including the WASHCost Sanitation Ladder and LAO PDR Sanitation Ladder.

2. Proposed indicators for post-2015 global sanitation monitoring?
Discussion of the possible indicators which could be used post-MDGs, as well as inputs from some of those involved in the working group processes.

3. Join Huffington Post blog discussion; We Need to Rethink How We Measure 'Improved Sanitation'
A link is provided to the Huffington post article discussing the use of the term “improved sanitation”. One question, currently unanswered, is, in the relation to the revamped ladder, how to “qualify steps 1 to 4 and then steps 5 to 7”.

4. Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - Water and sanitation proposed as SDGs
Discussion of recent reports and dialogues on the SDG process in relation to water and sanitation, and discussion of the proposed sanitation and water targets, including a post mentioning some points not mentioned in the targets.

5. New UN Report Dec 4 on the SDGs. Missing the central role of sanitation in development
Mention of recent report (Dec. 2014) on the SDGs and sustainable development theme which was released by the UN entitled “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet” and criticized for limited mention of sanitation.

6. Review of Sanitation Estimates of JMP
Discussion of criticisms on the accuracy of JMP numbers, and what different estimates consider as “improved” sanitation, and where to find official definitions of improved sanitation, and how to get involved in the post-2015 SDG process.

7. Sanitation – The Numbers’ Game (when JMP figures are different from what exist on the ground)
Discussion of the accuracy of the data used for the JMP in the monitoring of sanitation.

8. The draft SuSanA joint roadmap is now out for discussion!
Mention of the functional sanitation ladder as a strategic topic/ opportunity areas for the upcoming SuSanA roadmap 2014-2018.

9. Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, sdgs
Discussion of the inclusion of the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation in the new SDGs, and the language currently being used for the goals, particularly goal 6.

10. Should shared sanitation services be considered 'improved' sanitation? (and MDG implications)
Discussion of whether to include shared sanitation services as improved sanitation in global sanitation monitoring indicators.

11. Sanitation Sustainability Indicators
Discussion of PhD research on the sustainability performance of sanitation systems and JMP improved technologies in Zimbabwe and challenges of quantitative data. Sanitation technology decision tools mentioned include: Sustainability-based Sanitation Planning Tool (SusTA) a tool designed to select the most sustainable system or the context; Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) not only technical but also other sustainability related indicators. And in another related thread on the forum, see also the Sanitation Decision Support Tool.

12. Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after Madagascar book launch
Discussion (within the discussion of CLTS) of whether unsustainable pit latrines are an improvement and whether all non-OD options can be considered a move up the ladder. Discussion of involvement by communities and what is understood by the users themselves and the options and technologies.

The Forum search tool: www.forum.susana.org/gsearch can be used for searching key words related to this topic to find other related discussions. There may also be relevant discussions in the category Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), global sanitation indicators .

Roslyn Graham
MSc Global Health
Member of SuSanA www.susana.org
Newfoundland, Canada
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