How were community members engaged in the piloting of the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) for the rope pump in Ghana? This was one of the questions asked during the Webinar “Investing in effective technologies with the Technology Applicability Framework”, which was attended by 25 participants on 3 June 2013.
Benedict Tuffuor of TREND, who presented the rope pump case study, gave the following answer:
The community members were consulted in a participatory way during data collection, and some were involved in the local level validation workshop. User groups were involved in the data collection to understand their feedback on the use of the Rope Pump. May be not so much the processes but the opportunity to express their experiences with the technology, and hope that their concerns will be addressed.
The webinar was introduced and facilitated by IRC’s Jo Smet. André Olschewski of the Skat Foundation presented the TAF and the Technology Introduction Process (TIP), followed by Benedict Tuffuor’s rope pump case study and a discussion.
André got some interesting questions about operation & maintenance (O&M) costs and the scoring system. One participant wanted to know how the TAF could help local government make informed decisions about O&M. André replied:
In the TAF several indicators deal with the topic of Operation and Maintenance (O&M). This is due to the fact that also different actors should be involved in O&M. The costs for minor O&M are explicitly discussed in the financial dimension. To support the user of the TAF, WASHTech partners have developed a simple EXCEL based tool to calculate the O&M costs (OpEx) based on historical values. These OpEx costs will be compared with the effective amount paid for O&M and the affordability expressed by the user group. This should give the TAF user, e.g. the local government, the basis to decide if the expected O&M costs can be really covered by the users and if they are sufficient to support the ongoing operation.
If there are no historical data available, benchmark cost, e.g. from other national sources or from the WASHCost project can be used.
Another participant asked if the TAF can be used to decide if a technology should be accepted or rejected? André answered:
The profile generated based on the scoring workshop allows you to identify the bottlenecks of the technology or of the set up chosen of the introduction and the positive aspects already in place. The TAF profile itself does not provide you with a no “YES” or “NO” answer directly.
The profile provides the basis for the sector to decide who will take on the role to overcome the bottlenecks and how to do it. It could be that there is no one in the sector to take the lead, then the decision might be a “no” or an “on hold”.
However if in the screening the result is a “no”, because there is no need or the technology is not applicable for practical reasons, then there is a ”NO”.
See the full list of questions and answers.