Many African countries are NOT going to meet the MDGs on water and sanitation. Too often, the water supply systems break down and do not get repaired, as the technologies used are not sound for the local context, too expensive to repair or spare parts are unavailable. How were these technologies selected in the first place?
In most countries there is no formal system for technology assessment. As a result, various African governments have delayed the decision as to whether or not rope pumps can be considered an acceptable level of supply for households and communities. The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Technologies (WASHTech) research project aims to bring innovative technologies to help Africa meet the Millennium Development Goals.
The WASHTech project (2011-2013) is involving local partners in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda to introduce a robust Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) that will assess the potential of new innovative technologies which may be used at decentralised level. The TAF will examine key criteria such as: how the technology performs, whether buyers and users are interested in the technology (i.e. the market), whether the technology can be applied widely, what support is required from government and private sector institutions how sustainable the technology is over time.
Direct research outputs will be: a) a widely applicable Technology Assessment Framework (TAF) and process that will provide a simple system and criteria for evaluating new technologies and their performance, identifying sustainability issues, and analysing approaches to introduction, innovation, diffusion and scaling up and b) well established capacities in three countries to apply the TAF and adapt processes to local contexts.
The research will also seek to define strategies for innovation and scaling up, and the time-span and process needed to achieve successful up-take of innovations. These outputs will be of direct use to the sector and an indication of the value and application of the framework.
The partners involved in WASHTech are:
- Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA) (formerly known as CREPA) in Burkina Faso
- Network for Water and Sanitation (NETWAS), Uganda
- Training, Research and Networking for Development (TREND), Ghana
- Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana
- WaterAid in Ghana, Uganda and Burkina Faso.
European partners include IRC in The Netherlands (coordinating the project), SKAT Foundation in Switzerland, Cranfield University and WaterAid in the United Kingdom.
The WASHTech project is co-funded under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission’s Africa research programme
For more information about WASHTech please contact Jo Smet (email@example.com).