With two presentations and a pre-launch side event, WASHTech was well represented at the IRC Monitoring Sustainable WASH Service Delivery symposium. The symposium and side events took place from 9-12 April 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Introducing the TAF
André Olschewski (Skat) and Benedict Tuffuor (TREND Ghana) gave a general introduction to the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) in a special session on the enabling environment. The session included a presentation on another tool, the Sustainability Monitoring Framework developed by the Dutch WASH Alliance.
Both presentations prompted a discussion about the number and variability of sustainability and how all these tools fit together. The presenters stressed that both tools fit in wider thinking around sustainability in the sector. Even though the tools are being developed in parallel, they both attempt to simplify the analysis of complex, variable data.
Moderator Stef Smits (IRC) mentioned that IRC’s Triple-S programme has started to map sustainability tools to see which already exist and where the gaps are.
Participants pointed out that both tools did not address the ultimate sustainability of interventions in terms of the level of service received by users over time.
Using the TAF to evaluate the the Urine Dry Diverting Toilet (UDDT)
The second WASHTech presentation, by Yacouba Noël Coulibaly (WSA), described how the TAF was used to evaluate the Urine Dry Diverting Toilet (UDDT) in Burkina Faso. A participant mentioned that the TAF looked like a top-down, technology driven approach. The presenter countered that the TAF is about sustainable services, and is not technology driven. Technology is only the entry point. To validate the TAF as a tool, it has been tested in 3 countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Uganda) by evaluating 17 existing technologies.
Pre-launch of the TAF and TIP
A small but enthusiastic audience witnessed the pre-launch of the TAF and Technology Introduction Process (TIP) on 12 April. Jo Smet (IRC) and André Olschewski facilitated this side-event, with the support of Benedict Tuffuor and Yacouba Noël Coulibaly.
The event included a general presentation by Jo Smet on both tools, the above mentioned TAF presentation by André Olschewski and Benedict Tuffuor, the video on Solar Water Pumping in Uganda, and a poster session with three TAF case studies.
The poster session generated most questions. Clarification was given about the different user groups and how some institutes like NGOs and governments could have double roles as both provider and investor/facilitator.
Questions were asked about weighting and if there was a clear go/no go based on the number of “red” traffic lights when interpreting TAF results (see fig. 1). Presenters explained that different options can be discussed, e.g. if a producer asks more than a user can pay – subsidies, lower unit costs or lower service levels can be proposed.
It was stressed that investment models need to be taken into account: are government subsidies available and to what level, or is a market based approach required that relies fully on private financing .
The traffic light scoring results need to be explained well: why has that colour been chosen and what do you need to do? When does a TAF result point to a promising technology, a possibly promising technology or one that should not be considered? Yellow and red scores could turn green and it may be worthwhile to have follow-up actions to make that happen. Therefore follow-on workshops could be arranged to resolve these issues. Raising the technology score or changing the status of a technology to promising, can be implemented for any of the three perspectives: user, manufacturer or government/regulator.
Several options to spread the TAF/TIP process and tools were discussed. The presenters mentioned that WASHTech partner WaterAid is considering to introduce TAF/TIP in Tanzania. A participant from Catholic Relief Services (CRS) said he interested in presenting the TAF at a forthcoming CRS workshop in East Africa. Another participant suggested WASHTech should link up the International Network on Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS).
The final versions of the TAF and TIP will be available as open source tools by the end of 2013.