Design Expo 2014: Online Discussion - Delivering Water and Sanitation

This online panel discussion at 3.30 UK time on Friday 13 June will explore the following questions:

  1. What role can business play in delivering water and sanitation at the BoP?
  2. How can WASH products, services and business models scale rapidly and yet remain appropriate for the local context in multiple countries; are we constantly going to have to 'reinvent the wheel'?
  3. What are the next big challenges facing the WASH sector?

Panelists include: Jason Kass, Toilets for People; Fanny Boullard, Antenna; Tara Lundy, Vestergaard; Conor Riggs, iDE Bangladesh; Martina Nee, Peepoople; Yi Wei, iDE WASH; Rob Whitby, DFID; Ashley Thomas, Evidence Action.

Editor's Note:

This is a text-only, written discussion.  To post comments you will need to sign in / sign up to Business Fights Poverty. A list of recent comments is shown in the right-hand side bar and will refresh every 5 minutes. To refresh more often, please click on the refresh icon in your browser.

This event is part of the Business Fights Poverty Design Expo 2014. Running from 9 to 13 June,  the Design Expo is an online celebration of products, services and business models transforming the lives of poor people.  The Design Expo is a collaboration with iDE UK and is being supported by the UK's Department for International Development.

The Expo will include a vibrant mix of blogs, Google Hangouts, online panel discussions, a Twitter Jam and a virtual exhibition zone. Each day we will focus on a different sector: Energy (9 June), Health (10 June), Communications (11 June), Livelihoods (including enterprise, finance and agriculture) (12 June) and Water & Sanitation (13 June).

From Monday 9 June, you will be able to access all the activities via the Design Expo landing page,  Participation in the Design Expo is free.  You will simply need to sign in (or sign up for free) to Business Fights Poverty.


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Thanks everyone - that brings us to the end of this live session.  We'll leave this discussion open, so please do continue to post your comments.  Thank you to the panel and all of you who joined us today!

Be sure to check out the water and sanitation blogs, products and services in the Design Expo:

And join us live now for a Google Hangout with Mike Roberts, Country Director, Cambodia at iDE, and Jack Sim, Founder of BoP World Convention & Expo and Founder, World Toilet Organisation:

Fully agree with you Tara, business cannot do this alone, it's only one piece of the cake. Public private partnership are one solution.. Maybe The JMP initiative from WHO/UNICEF is providing one part of the question by promoting this idea of measuring the sustainability on the long scale and it might bring a comprehensive methode to guide and harmonises estimates of water and sanitation on the national scale.(

One last challenge is to also bring immediate and continuous improvements whereas many ideas take long time to break through or to be integrated in NGO/government programmes...

A rather long winded answer to this. I'd like to tell one of my favouite stories:

I went to a lecture by the wonderful Robert Chambers. He wheels out a 1990's style projector with handwritten overheads (yes those still exist!!). He, in his wonderfully mumbling voice gives a 30 min lecture on sustainability in the WASH sector. Halfway through the last sentence he throws down his notes and says, "I gave that lecture 10 years ago. It is still relevant. Discuss"   

I think we have enough problems that we haven't solved yet, without discussing the "next big issue"

The vast majority of latrines are built using household resources with no subsidy, and always have been. The main subsidies has been for sewers and treatment plants which generally benefit the richer segment of a city. Hardware subsidies in rural area have had a minimal impact and have generally be used to prop up demand for poorly designed products,. We have to move on fro expecting governments to subsidize.

Subsiding promotion is a different matter 


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