Volume 8, Issue 10 (October 2016)
Adopters and Non-Adopters of Low-Cost Household Latrines: A Study of Corbelled Pit Latrines in 15 Districts of Malawi
by Rochelle Holm, Mavuto Tembo, Dalo Njera, Victor Kasulo, Mphatso Malota, Willy Chipeta, Wales Singini and Joshua Mchenga
Published: 27 September 2016
The Sustainable Development Goals will challenge low- and middle-income settings to look at new approaches for rural sanitation. In 2013, Mzuzu University, in partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Malawi, started a low-cost latrine program in rural areas using the corbelled latrine design supported by locally owned sustainable businesses. The objective of this work was to trace customers (early household adopters) and non-customers through field observations and interviews in 15 districts of Malawi. The research team spent 193 personnel work days in data collection and found 21 households as adopters in 7 districts. Most respondents had a preference with regard to the design of the sanitation facility they would like to use. Although sharing of sanitation facilities was common, the corbelled latrine is promoted as a single household pit latrine design. Unfortunately, 8% (23/304) of non-adopters responded they practiced open defecation. Households were satisfied with the corbelled latrine design, and no latrine was found to have collapsed during field visits. To promote the corbelled latrine in Malawi, the following are recommended: (1) education of frontline government extension workers towards non-subsidized household latrines; (2) identification of rural low-income households as the best target for potential adopters; and (3) linkage of low-cost sanitation technologies to community mobilization campaigns led by the government, such as Community Led Total Sanitation.
How Frugal Innovation Promotes Social Sustainability
by Rakhshanda Khan
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1034; doi:10.3390/su8101034
Received: 27 June 2016 / Revised: 5 October 2016 / Accepted: 11 October 2016 / Published: 15 October 2016
There is a need to develop an understanding of how frugal innovation promotes social sustainability. The objective of this paper is to find the connections between the two concepts of social sustainability and frugal innovation, by reviewing the existing literature concerning both fields. This paper presents a framework that identifies essential themes of social sustainability and explores them through frugal innovation. The framework builds on the important themes of social sustainability and shows their relevance in practice through frugal innovation. The notion of frugal innovation can be viewed as an approach towards realizing social sustainability and fulfilling the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Critical Review of the Millennium Project in Nepal
by Ashma Vaidya and Audrey L. Mayer
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1043; doi:10.3390/su8101043
Published: 18 October 2016
“Our Common Future” harmonized development policies around a new sustainable development (SD) paradigm, and experts also emphasize the importance of a democratic and equitable approach to define and achieve sustainable development. However, SD targets and indicators are often defined by a suite of experts or a few stakeholder groups, far removed from on-the-ground conditions. The most common expert-led development framework, the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), promoted one set of targets and indicators for all developing countries. While progress towards these targets was routinely reported at the national scale, these targets may not reflect context-specific sustainable development. We evaluated the relevance and comprehensiveness of MDG 7 (environmental sustainability) for Nepal. Although Nepal has met most of the MDG 7 (e.g., forest cover, protected areas coverage, water and sanitation), on closer inspection these indicators do not provide adequate context for ensuring that these targets provide the intended levels of development. Simple forest cover and protected area indicators belie the dearth of ecological conservation on the ground, and water and sanitation indicators do not reflect the inequality of access based on poverty and regions. While the Millennium Development Goals align with broad sustainability concerns in Nepal, these indicators do not reveal its true development conditions.
The Impact of Conditional Cash Transfer on Toilet Use in eThekwini, South Africa
by Elizabeth Tilley and Isabel Günther
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1070; doi:10.3390/su8101070
Published: 22 October 2016
In the developing world, having access to a toilet does not necessarily imply use: infrequent or non-use limits the desired health outcomes of improved sanitation. We examine the sanitation situation in a rural part of South Africa where recipients of novel, waterless “urine-diverting dry toilets” are not regularly using them. In order to determine if small, conditional cash transfers (CCT) could motivate families to use their toilets more, we paid for urine via different incentive-based interventions: two were based on volumetric pricing and the third was a flat-rate payment (irrespective of volume). A flat-rate payment (approx. €1) resulted in the highest rates of regular (weekly) participation at 59%. The low volumetric payment (approx. €0.05/L) led to regular participation rates of only 12% and no increase in toilet use. The high volumetric payment (approx. €0.1/L) resulted in lower rates of regular participation (35%), but increased the average urine production per household per day by 74%. As a first example of conditional cash transfers being used in the sanitation sector, we show that they are an accepted and effective tool for increasing toilet use, while putting small cash payments in the hands of poor, largely unemployed populations in rural South Africa.