WASH practitioners can draw upon a number of different technology options when delivering water supply, sanitation and hygiene services. There are many different types of pumps, different ways of powering pumping, different latrines and different hand-washing facilities. At the same time, there is a serious challenge facing producers, practitioners, communities, governments and development partners whereby the services introduced struggle to remain in operation or perform optimally for sufficient lengths of time to truly meet user needs. Broken down pumps, semi-functional piped schemes and abandoned latrines are all too common.
The WASH sector is currently faced with a situation where lessons learned in pilots are not widely transferred. There is little or no feedback from communities to producers and implementers of some widely used WASH technologies, which means that user difficulties persist for long periods without being resolved. Many countries do not have policies or standards in place for assessment and uptake of new WASH technologies, resulting in arbitrary adoption of options that are not fit for purpose, too expensive for users topay for, not scalable and inadequately supported at local level. Technologies that look like a good idea on paper and in marketing campaigns in developed countries can be promoted for a long time before it becomes clear that they lack relevance or practical application on the ground. The lack of guidance has led to a set of negative consequences which include:
The Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) is a decision support tool on the applicability, scalability and sustainability of a specific WASH technology to provide lasting services in a specific context and
on the readiness for its introduction. The TAF can be used to:
The TAF should be applied when a technology is being piloted. It can also be used to support monitoring and evaluation of progress and performance of technology introduction processes.
The TAF is designed as a participatory tool, through which relevant actors can be involved in the collection of data and in the generation and discussion of results. This allows all actors, including representatives from national and local government and users of the technology such as communities, to bring in their perspectives and views and to hear the opinions of other actors.
It is applied using a four-step procedure:
The TAF is designed as a 4-step process, which includes field work. All four steps should be accomplished. All relevant actors should be involved in the field work and in the scoring workshop. There should be sufficient resources to accomplish all four steps properly. The application of the TAF costs around US$ 3,000 per assessment of one technology per district.