Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

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  • muchie
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Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

Hello Everyone

My research focus is on evaluating sustainability performance of sanitation systems in Zimbabwe. While research of this nature is usually based on assessing indicators either qualitatively and quantitatively or both, I am having challenges to get quantitative data for systems such as VIP and pit latrines. As someone doing research in an engineering faculty, expectations are that I do physical measurements for the indicators. My question is; is there literature out there on technical and environmental performance of dry sanitation systems. Secondly is it enough to use data based on literature findings only without doing any physical tests of parameters like COD, BOD, N&P. Help will be greatly appreciated
muchie
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  • arno
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Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

Muchie
Would be helpful to know at what organisation you are doing this work. From your profile I can see you are in Harare? If you are there I encourage you to contact the world's most accomplished expert on VIPs and dry toilets, Dr. Peter Morgan. It will be useful to read some of the many relevant reports on www.ecosanres.org and www.susana.org . For sustainability indicators you need to go beyond just engineering but to social and cultural parameters too, such as affordability and acceptability. And then there is the systems component of what happens with the contents of the toilet, containment, transport, treatment, reuse, etc.

Best wishes.
Arno Rosemarin PhD
Stockholm Environment Institute
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  • SKATAOL
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Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

Dear Muchie
I want to support Arno's view on having a more holistic look if you want to assess the sustainability of a sanitation system such as VIP. The Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) provides you with a tested tool which includes not only technical but also the "other" sustainability related indicators, including those relevant for the scaling up of a technology. You find relevant documents incl. case studies of TAF application on VIP toilets on www.washtechnologies.net . Recently the TAF was used to improve the technical performance of the Biofil toilet in Ghana. In Ghana TREND and KNUST (Dr. Kwabena Nyarko or Dr. Richard Buamah) were involved in the technical part of the TAF work in Ghana. Maybe you can find more data there. Best regards and success André
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  • muchie
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Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

Dear SKATAOL

Thank you so much for this information. It will really make an impact on my studies

regards
Muchie
muchie
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  • tantinayono
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Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

Dear Muchi,

I did my PhD on sustainability assessment of sanitation systems (see also here on the forum: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/54-wg-...ning-tool-susta#9433 ). For this purpose, I designed a set of indicators to evaluate several technology options, particularly for developing countries. The evaluation is conducted quantitatively and qualitatively, with several dimensions (technical performance, economic, social and environment). The common problem with developing countries is more or less the data availability. Therefore I tried to wrap up several indicators which I think crucial and (should be) operable for regions with lack of data.

You can download the dissertation at:
e-pub.uni-weimar.de/opus4/frontdoor/index/index/docId/2222

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. I would like to learn as well, whether the set of indicators I proposed appropriate for your case.

Regards,
Tanti
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  • muchie
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Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

Dear Tantinayano

thank you so much for your advice. By the way I already had your thesis, I must say its really a piece of good work. As for my research (PhD) its closely related to what you did but i will be looking at the sustainability of JMP improved technologies n Zimbabwe context hoping to draw lessons for SSA. However problem is like I pointed earlier and which you stressed in your dissertation is lack of data. And my department is engineering it is more concerned with measurements but looking at the scope of my work it is nearly impossible to carry out measurements for all the 6 sanitation systems I intend to assess. I understand for ranking of indicators you used stakeholder judgement(many others have used this) but it is not clear which approach you used to rate the technologies. did you use your personal judgement based on results from questionnaires? I noticed in one of your papers you mentioned the 0 alternative (also used by Lenartsson et al), is that what you used in the study?

thank you once again. will definitely keep in touch for more suggestions and advice on my work

regards
Muchie
muchie
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  • tantinayono
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Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

Dear Muchie,

I am very sorry for this late reply. I was away for a survey and just back to my desk last week.

I try to answer your first question:

Regarding indicators ranking: I proposed one set of sustainability-based indicators to assess the technologies. The stakeholder groups then rank the indicators based on their preferences.
The technology options are evaluated based on their degree of fulfillment to this set of indicators. Therefore, I equipped each indicator with a rating scale (1 to 3, with 1 corresponds to the highest fulfillment). Please refer to my dissertation report, Table 9.7, page 111-114.

There are several ways to obtain the threshold values of these 1 to 3- scales/ high- to low fulfillment:
- Referring to national regulation (e.g. indicators “Investment cost” and indicator “BOD removal efficiency”
- Using the data from household questionnaires (e.g. indicators “Water consumption” and “Land required”)
- Based on my personal judgments (e.g. indicators “ Compatibility” and “Health risk”)
However, each project area has different threshold. Therefore I also provide references to modify the threshold values, based on analytical generalization (see Table 9.7, last column).

The next step is to assess the technology options: how well does each technology meet the indicators’ fulfillment? For this assessment, I refer to literature and also use my personal judgments. Please refer to Appendix 3 and Appendix 4 of the dissertation report. To support the personal judgment, one should have the knowledge on the technologies, the context where the technologies will be applied and how they will interact.

The final selection of the most sustainable technology can be conducted in several ways, as long as the transparency provided:
1. based on the indicators’ ranking that have been defined by stakeholders.
2. based on single important issue, e.g. economic (indicators “Investment cost” or “Operational and maintenance cost”)
3. based on the frequency of a technology meeting the indicators’ best thresholds (scale 1).
4. aggregating the scores.


Concerning your second question: I am not sure, which of my paper you refer. Could you clarify this first?

Best regards,
Tanti
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  • muandac
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Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

Dear

This is a very interesting discussion, I would like to get your article.
Where can we found your paper or dissertation?
If have a copy can you send it to me please
My address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Many thanks
Christophe Muanda
Researcher & Lecturer
Centre for Water and Sanitation Research
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Cape Town, South Africa
Telephone: +27219596813
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

Dear Muchie,

Tanti gave this link to her PhD thesis in her post on 3 Oct. (please scrol up):

e-pub.uni-weimar.de/opus4/frontdoor/index/index/docId/2222

Hope this help,
Elisabeth
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(with financial support from WSSCC, now SHF)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
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  • F H Mughal
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Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

Dear Tanti,

With reference to the JMP’s sanitation ladder (Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation – Special Focus on Sanitation, UNICEF/WHO, 2008, pp 6), I believe, the Sustainability-based Sanitation Planning Tool (SusTA), that you have developed, would apply to the “improved sanitation facilities.” My question is: Does the tool also apply to the “shared sanitation facilities,” and “unimproved sanitation facilities?”

In addition, does your tool consider gender aspect? In rural areas of Pakistan, women look after the sanitation facilities. Please have a look at: Expert’s Take: Gender perspectives on sanitation for sustainable development; An op-ed by Begoña Lasagabaster, Acting Head of UN Women’s Policy Division, to mark World Toilet Day ( www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/11/...tainable-development ), disseminated by Cor Dietvorst (E-Source Sanitation News, 23 Nov 2014).

Regards,

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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  • tantinayono
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Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

Dear Mughal,

Basically the tool (SusTA) is applicable for both shared- and unimproved sanitation facilities. The set of indicators (Table 9.7) provides universal principles to assess sanitation technologies in developing countries’ context.

Regarding shared facilities:
The quantitative assessments such as: cost, energy, water and land requirements are calculated based on the amount of consumption or expenditure in household’s level. Therefore, these indicators are applicable for both private and shared facilities. The other indicators such as: "social acceptance" and "technical skill required" have been designed to accommodate shared facilities as well. I provided several assessment matrices in Appendix 3 of the dissertation to demonstrate how we can use the same set of indicators to analyze both private and shared facilities.

Regarding unimproved facilities:
We can still use the same indicators to assess unimproved sanitation facilities. Obviously there will be several ‘low fulfillment’ scores, such as ‘BOD removal’ and ‘Health risks caused by the system’.

Regarding gender aspect:
I did not specifically address gender issue, but there are several indicators in the tool that address societal issues in general. I expressed these issues within indicators’ fulfillment conditions (Table 9.7, column 4,5,6). For example:
• “social acceptance” discusses whether a technology is in accordance with society’s principles and norms. This can be used to assess which technology (in user interface part) is less or more vulnerable to violence. The result might differ from one society to another. I was in the village where all shared facilities have no doors. Because the society takes care of each other, women feel saver to be in a toilet or bathroom without doors.
• “technical skill required” analyses whether a technology is suitable for the intended operators (including women as caretakers). Or it can be used to assess: which level of skill is needed to run this technology.
• “health risks caused by the system” evaluates which technology minimizes the contact between users/operators to wastewater. We can still use this principle in analyzing a technology, using women as our main users.

I find the idea of specifically including gender aspect in the tool is important. I am still improving the tool- particularly in the fulfillment conditions’ parts.

Regards,
Tanti
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  • Hussain
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Re: Sanitation Sustainability Indicators

Hi All,

My name is Hussain...working on my PhD. I am planning to use SuSanA Sustainability Criteria for my research and want to use matrix frame work for my case study analysis. All local indicators for above-mentioned criteria would be determined by myself through site visits, interview...but I need to know is there any set of global indicators developed by SuSanA itself for its criteria?

Also can you suggest me another tool except matrix to use for sustainability analysis?

Thanks,
Hussain
Hussain Etemadi,
PhD Student: HafenCity University, Hamburg (HCU)
Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology
skype: hussain.etemadi
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