Designing water supply and sanitation projects

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Designing water supply and sanitation projects

    Designing water supply and sanitation projects to meet demand

the engineer’s role

Inception Report

Ian Smout and Paul Deverill

June 2000

    Water, Engineering and Development Centre Loughborough University Leicestershire LE11 3TU UK


    1. Introduction to project 2

    1.1 Description of project outputs 2

    1.2 Structure of Inception Report 2 2. Project activities 4

    2.1 Literature review 4

    2.2 Field research with project collaborators 4

    2.3 Review group 4

    2.4 Research reports 4

    2.5 Guidelines 4

    3. Review of project methodology 6

    3.1 Work to date 6

    3.2 Key changes to project methodology 6

    3.3 Workplan 8

    4. Key issues arising from literature review 9

    4.1 Scope 9

    4.2 Designing for demand: general implications 9

    4.3 Water supply 11

    4.4 Sanitation 12

    4.5 Poverty focus 13

    5. Proposed dissemination strategies 144

    5.1 Expected target audiences 144

    5.2 Dissemination methodologies 14

    Annex A: Updated project proposal A-1 Annex B: Research framework B-1

    Annex C: Literature review C-1

    Annex D: Draft terms of reference D-1 Annex E: Project Flyer E-1

    Designing water supply and sanitation projects to meet demand: inception report: June 2000

    1. Introduction to project

    Designing water supply and sanitation projects to meet demand - the engineer's role' is a Knowledge and Research (KaR) project funded by the Department for International Development (DFID). The project is managed by the Water and Engineering Development Centre (WEDC), and involves input from both inde-pendent consultants and four collaborating organisations: the Mvula Trust (South Africa), Oxfam GB (Tanzania), NEWAH (Nepal) and UNICEF

    (Madhya Pradesh and Orissa in India). The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry of South Africa (DWAF) is also a key stakeholder as a proportion of the research funds are coming from a joint project with DFID (South Africa).

    The purpose of the project, as set out in the project logframe, is to 'produce practical guidelines which will enable watsan staff to offer rural and peri-urban communities, especially the poor, informed choices of upgradable levels of service and technologies'.

    1.1 Description of project outputs

    The project outputs consist of the following:

    ; An in-depth research report reviewing current international practices and promising approaches to designing both water and sanitation projects to meet demand. This work will be informed by detailed case studies and les-sons learnt from around the world and in particular from the project collabo-rators. If required, specific tools and processes identified by the research as potentially useful may be tested and developed by the project collaborators. ; Detailed report concerning the identification and participation of the poor in case study projects. This work is to be focused on Oxfam's current work in Tanzania, but will also be informed by other projects and the experiences of the other collaborators.

    ; A guideline booklet on designing water supply and sanitation projects for demand. This is to be a practical document for engineers involved in im-plementing projects. It will be produced in draft form, and reviewed in a number of workshops with the project collaborators. Collaborators will be encouraged to use and monitor the guidelines.

    ; One or more papers which will be presented at the 26th WEDC conference in Dhaka and other international fora.

    1.2 Structure of Inception Report

    This inception report provides an up to date picture of how the project stands in May 2000. Key changes are reflected in an updated Scope of Work (Section 3 of the KAR contract), which is attached in Annex A.


    Designing water supply and sanitation projects to meet demand: inception report: June 2000

    Section 2 of this Inception Report summarises the project activities and section 3 consists of a review of project methodology. A new project work plan has been included in the updated Scope of Work. The project methodology is based on a detailed research framework that is attached at Annex B.

    Key issues arising from the literature review are developed in Section 4. The literature review itself is attached as Annex C.

    Draft terms of reference with Mvula Trust and Oxfam Tanzania are attached at Annex D, and a flyer produced as part of the project's dissemination strategy is at Annex E.


    Designing water supply and sanitation projects to meet demand: inception report:

    June 2000

    2. Project activities

    The following major activities were identified in the Scope of Work, an up-

    dated version of which has been attached at Annex A.

    2.1 Literature review

    The literature review draws on published papers, reports and existing project

    documentation, and has identified key areas for research. The literature review

    has been used to develop a detailed research framework and identify key areas

    for further investigation.

    2.2 Field research with project collaborators

    Dialogue has been initiated with the four project partners, with the initial aim

    of agreeing terms of reference for their collaboration. The collaboration is to

    take two forms: a) identifying, investigating and recording case studies and b)

    identifying and testing and monitoring potentially useful approaches. In order

    to ensure an adequate degree of buy in, the specific needs and interests of each

    collaborator are being identified. Dialogue will be maintained with collabora-

    tors throughout the project to exchange ideas and report on progress.

    In Tanzania, a particular focus of the collaboration concerns the identification

    and participation of poor groups in demand responsive projects. Simon Bibby,

    a social development consultant, will be primarily responsible for this aspect of

    the project.

    2.3 Review group

    A project review group is to be established in order to review the outputs pro-

    duced. The group will consist of about eight experts, with a range of experi-

    ence in terms of their interests, sector involvement (i.e. government, NGO,

    international organisation or the private sector) and geographical knowledge.

    2.4 Research reports

    The lessons learnt from the field will be combined with material from other

    key projects and that identified by the literature review to form the basis of the

    two research reports concerning designing for demand and the participation of

    the poor. Both reports are due to be completed by January 2001.

    2.5 Guidelines

    Work will start on preparing draft guidelines once the field visits have been

    completed. Key components of the guidelines will be discussed with project


    Designing water supply and sanitation projects to meet demand: inception report: June 2000

    partners. The draft guidelines are due to be completed by February 2001. Local workshops are being planned with each collaborator to review the completed guidelines. Following this, collaborators will be encouraged to field test the guidelines on particular projects and monitor the results. It is intended to com-plete the final version of the guidelines by August 2001.


    Designing water supply and sanitation projects to meet demand: inception report: June 2000

    3. Review of project methodology

    3.1 Work to date

    Final approval for the project was given by DFID in December 1999. However, with the departure of the principal WEDC Research Associate involved (see below), work was slow in the early months and started in earnest in March 2000. To date the following has been achieved:

    ; A research framework has been developed (Annex B). This document estab-lishes key focus areas for the research, the factors involved, how the re-search is to be conducted and any specific opportunities that have been identified. Some comments on the framework have been received from col-laborators and it has been refined accordingly. Its development has also been guided by the literature review.

    ; The literature review has been completed (Annex C). Key findings are dis-cussed in Section 4. The review has helped identify a number of key pro-jects from which lessons can undoubtedly be learnt. Details of these are now being collated.

    ; Dialogue has been established with the project collaborators, and the re-search framework used to identify key opportunities for their involvement. Terms of reference have been agreed with Mvula Trust and prepared in draft format for Oxfam in Tanzania (Annex D). Terms of reference for the par-ticipation of NEWAH and UNICEF will be prepared in June.

    ; Thought is being given to the dissemination strategy, which is recognised as a key part of the project. A flyer has been produced (Annex E) to publicise the project, and a website will shortly be established. Local and regional dissemination strategies will be discussed with project collaborators during the field research.

    3.2 Key changes to project methodology

    3.2.1 Links with other projects

    The most significant change to the methodology proposed is a plan to make in-creased use of case studies, other than those associated with our collaborators. It is intended to identify and develop links with key projects, with the aim of learning lessons and disseminating ideas. This is to be tied in with the project website. To facilitate dialogue, the former Demand Responsive Approach (DRA) mail list may be re-established.


    Designing water supply and sanitation projects to meet demand: inception report: June 2000

    The project will also benefit by establishing links with related research work currently being undertaken. The following research projects have been identi-fied as being potentially very useful in this respect:

    DFID KaR 'Cost Recovery in Water and Sanitation Projects' managed by Envi-ronmental Resources Management (ERM) Ltd. A meeting has been held with ERM to discuss possible linkages. The need to ensure that guideline outputs are consistent has been recognised. Dominic Waughray of ERM has been iden-tified as a member of the project review team.

    DFID KaR 'Price and service differentiation of utility watsan for the urban poor' managed by WEDC. There is a clear need to link with this project, which explores how urban water utilities can assess demand and market water supply options to low income communities as part of a strategic marketing approach.

    DFID KaR 'Guidelines for sustainable handpump projects in Africa' managed by WEDC is just starting. Although focused on one technology in one region, there are many issues of joint concern including the establishment of full life costs for a number of handpumps.

    UNDP/IRC Research 'Participation, Gender and Demand Responsiveness: Making the links with impact and sustainability of WSS investments'. This re-search is being undertaken as part of a five year global initiative on participa-tory learning and action (PLA) by UNDP-World Bank. Common areas of interest in this work concern the participation of the poor, participative demand assessment techniques and the cross cutting issue of gender awareness in water and sanitation projects.

    3.2.2 Change of personnel

    Sarah Parry-Jones, originally the principal WEDC research associate with re-sponsibilities for the project, has now been replaced by Paul Deverill. This con-tributed to the slow project start. Paul has experience of working with Mvula Trust in South Africa and also has experience of working in Orissa. The Scope of Work has been amended accordingly.

The team is otherwise unchanged:

; Ian Smout (project manager)

    ; Paul Deverill (water supply and sanitation engineer)

    ; Kevin Sansom (institutional specialist)

    ; Sue Coates (hygiene promotion and human resource development specialist) ; Simon Bibby (social development specialist)

    ; Alison Poole (environmental economist).


    Designing water supply and sanitation projects to meet demand: inception report: June 2000

    3.3 Workplan

    An updated workplan has included as part of the revised Scope of Work (An-nex A). This reflects the delayed start date. It is still planned to complete the project by August 2001.

    The field research is a key element of the work plan. The following dates have been planned:

South Africa 8 31 May 2000 Paul Deverill

    8 24 May 2000 Alison Wedgwood

    Tanzania 15 Jul - 3 Aug 2000 Paul Deverill

    17 - 28 Jul 2000 Simon Bibby

    Nepal Paul Deverill 14 Aug - 4 Sep


    India 18 Sep - 6 Oct Paul Deverill


Designing water supply and sanitation projects to meet demand: inception report:

    June 2000

    4. Key issues arising from literature


    4.1 Scope

    The scope of this section is to extract and develop key issues identified by the literature review (Annex C), rather than to repeat its conclusions.

    4.2 Designing for demand: general implications

    The literature supports the fact that responding to demand improves both the use and the sustainability of water and sanitation projects. It is household de-mand, rather than the demand of a representative body such as a village com-mittee, which needs to be responded to. The research shows that household demand, expressed as willingness to pay (WTP), may vary considerably within a community (Sara, 1998)

    Demand needs to be informed before it can be expressed. This applies not only to level of service, expressed in terms of characteristics based on household perceptions and values, but also how that service is delivered. It also applies to every phase in the planning cycle: selection of options, planning, construction, operation and maintenance. The benefits and costs (the latter including finan-cial and non-financial inputs such as labour, time and materials) of each option must be presented clearly, accurately and honestly. Of crucial importance is the associated financial system for paying contributions, upgrading charges and tariffs. If in overall terms the costs outweigh the perceived benefits, it is unlikely that households will change from their current system.

    Sanitation is fundamentally different to water supply because in most cases the cost exceeds people's (unmodified) perceptions of benefits. In this case, de-mand has to be created rather than informed. Demand creation is achieved through actively identifying, promoting and marketing positive perceptions of sanitation, such as privacy and status, to a clearly defined 'target audience'. In-formation regarding options form part of that process.

    In the broadest terms, the role of engineers in designing for demand is thus twofold, based on the need to:

    a) inform demand and work with other disciplines as necessary to create de-

    mand, and

    b) respond to demand and come up with options that are either based on or cap-ture WTP.


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