Over 750 million and 1 billion people lack access to improved water sources and adequate sanitation, respectively. There have been numerous efforts to reduce this number by scaling up WaSH technologies; however, these scale-up approaches have not always been successful. It is critical that new approaches to scaling up WaSH technologies are explored and the applicability of a given technology in a specific context is systematically reviewed.
A workshop “New Approaches to Scaling Up WaSH Technologies” was organised at this year’s University of North Carolina’s Water and Health conference to introduce novel approaches to scaling up WaSH technologies. One of these approaches is the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF).
41 delegates attended the workshop, which included presentations from Skat Foundation about the TAF and TIP (Technology Introduction Process), Water Missions international, Water4, World Vision, Messiah College and Design Outreach on their experiences of introducing solar water pumping, prepayment water vending, manual drilling, a pvc handpump, improvements to the India Mark II and a new heavy duty handpump for very deep wells (down to 150m).
‘Context is key’
The most important takeaway messages from the session were: before technologies are introduced context needs to be taken into account and different stakeholder perspectives should be reflected on before deciding on a technology.
There was a lot of enthusiasm for the TAF and the washtechnologies.net website, which makes all WASHTech tools and documents available to sector actors and provides a platform for sharing experience on using the tools.
On Tuesday 22nd October, an explanation of TAF featured heavily in a lunchtime presentation, organised by WASH Advocates in Washington DC, given to a group of 19 professionals from a wide range of organisations, including USAID, Plan International, the Millennium Water Alliance, Rotary WASRAG, Johns Hopkins University and World Vision. The TAF was also discussed in other bi-lateral meetings with Water Missions International, Charity:Water and Unicef.