A WASHTech literature review of existing frameworks for technology assessment reveals that there is a gap for a WASH technology assessment tool and a WASH technology uptake tool. The authors of the review, which supports the development of WASHTech’s Technology Applicability Framework (TAF), conclude that a computer tool based on an algorithm is not appropriate because it is too rigid. Choosing a manageable number of appropriate indicators is key for assessing new technologies.
The uptake process, and particularly the tipping point stage between piloting and widespread adoption, is generally done badly and there is little guidance or support to be found in the literature. However, what is clear is that guiding the user through this process requires a lot of emphasis on stakeholder mapping and defining clear goals and responsibilities for all involved.
After an initial analysis of 13 related technology applicability frameworks, the following six were selected for further analysis:
- Compendium of sanitation systems and technologies (SKAT)
- SANEX – A Simple Expert System for Evaluating Sanitation Systems in Developing Countries (no longer available)
- WASHCHOICES (now called Community Choices for Water) (Pacific Institute)
- ASPIRE (A Sustainability Poverty and Infrastructure Routine for Evaluation) (ARUP)
- AGUSAN 2008 report on an Analytical framework for assessing management models (SKAT)
- AGUSAN 2010 report on Large Scaling up (SKAT)
In their analysis of the selected frameworks, the authors examine four key issues:
- technology as part of a system
- scoring procedures
- process of innovation and technology uptake
More detailed lists of indicators used in several of the frameworks are provided in an annex.
Olschewski, A., Danert, K., Furey, S. and Klingel, F., 2011. Review of frameworks for technology assessment . St. Gallen, Switzerland: SKAT (Swiss Centre for Development Cooperation in Technology and Management) and The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. 52 p.; fig., tab.