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New approaches to increasing the spread of new technologies

Published on: 29/10/2013

A workshop, 'New Approaches to Scaling Up WASH Technologies', was organised at this year's UNC's Water and Health conference to introduce novel approaches to scaling up WASH technologies. One of these approaches is the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF).

 TAF

TAF is a decision-support tool that helps to understand if a WASH technology will be sustainable and applicable – or not – in a specific context. The framework also indicates risks and supportive factors that may affect successful adoption and scaling up of the technology. The tool has been developed as part of a 3-year EU funded research project called WASHTech.

The workshop included a presentation from Skat Foundation, in Switzerland which has played a key role in developing the TAF and  the Technology Introduction Process (TIP) guide.  Other presentations were by Water Missions International, Water4, World Vision, Messiah College and Design Outreach. Design Outreach shared an interesting experience of introducing various innovations- solar water pumping, pre-payment for water, water vending, manual drilling, a pvc handpump, improvements to the India Mark II pump and a new heavy-duty handpump for wells down to 150m.

'Context is key for successful technology uptake'

The most important take-away message from the session was:before technologies are introduced context needs to be taken into account and different stakeholder perspectives should be reflected on before deciding on a technology.

The TAF provides a helpful process and framework with questionnaires for different target groups. The framework has undergone testing in Uganda, Ghana and Burkina Faso, with improvements between each round of testing according to feedback.

Building on the learning alliance approach, WASHTech has worked hand in hand with sector stakeholders to test the framework and identify how it can be embedding in sector guidelines and processes.  In each country 'hosts' have been identified who will ensure that the framework is used beyond this 3-year project: Direction des Etudes et de l'Information sur l'Eau in Burkina Faso, the Community Water and Sanitation Agency and Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate in Ghana, and the Appropriate Technology Centre (ATC) under the Ministry of Water & Environment in Uganda.

Discussions continue

There was a lot of enthusiasm for the TAF and the washtechnologies website, which makes all WASHTech tools and documents available to sector actors and provides a platform for sharing experience on using the tools.

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