The Technology Applicability Framework. A Participatory Tool to Validate Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Technologies for Low-Income Urban Areas
Decision-makers as well as practitioners in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector are facing serious challenges to keep existing WASH infrastructure in operation or to ensure provision of lasting and adequate WASH services. In many countries there are no tested procedures for assessing sustainability and scalability of new or existing technologies for providing adequate and lasting WASH services in a specific context. In the EU-FP7-funded project WASHTech, two tools for technology validation and introduction were developed and tested: the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) and the Technology Introduction Process (TIP). The TAF is a comprehensive decision support tool centered around 18 sustainability indicators. In a participatory process it examines the financial, social, institutional, legal, environmental, technical, and capacity conditions in the given context from three perspectives: (i) users/buyers, (ii) producers/providers, and (iii) regulators/investors/facilitators involving all key stakeholders [e.g., municipality and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)]. Consequently, the TAF determines the match—or mismatch—of the contextual conditions with the technology being considered and the key requirements for successful introduction. The TAF was field tested on 13 WASH technologies in three countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Uganda. This paper presents the findings from the testing of the TAF and highlights potentials and limits of its applicability for assessing the sustainable application and scalability of WASH technologies. Relevant documents on the methodology, the testing as well as case studies and manuals are accessible in the public domain through www.washtechnologies.net.
KeywordsTarget User Field Visit Successful Introduction Technology Introduction Slow Sand Filter
WASHTech was a 3-year action research project funded under the EU FP7 framework and implemented in the period 2011–2013. WASHTech involved all relevant stakeholders at national level in all three African partner countries Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Uganda throughout the project period to ensure strong embedding and realistic results.
The consortium partners included IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, Cranfield University, Skat Foundation, WaterAid (in the United Kingdom and in all partner countries), WSA in Burkina Faso, TREND and KNUST in Ghana, and NETWAS Uganda. We are grateful to all partner organizations that have been involved in the testing of the tool and contributed to the improvement of the tools and their embedding at national and international levels. Particularly, we want to thank Kerstin Danert and Sean Furey for their inspiring inputs and motivating support and Stefan Diener for his great support in reviewing this paper.
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