Upraise My Loo | Sanitation Hackathon

Upraise My Loo

Short Description 

A reporting tool on sanitation facilities and associated financial expenditures to build, operate and maintain these facilities.

Project Description 


Why is it needed? The rationale behind the development of this tool is that data on households’ investment and recurrent expenditure on latrines is currently missing, despite the fact that it often represents a major proportion of total investment in the sanitation sector, and can be higher than government and donor expenditure combined in countries where on-site sanitation predominates (such as in large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa). This information is highly needed by sanitation practitioners, donors, NGOs and policy makers to understand how the sector is currently financed and to inform the development of programs aimed at supporting low-income households in building their own latrines and their related financing strategies. At present, most of the efforts are not coordinated and information is not shared, particularly with respect to cost information. A coordinated mapping effort would help government agencies and NGOs in prioritizing their effort and help bringing about the required impact.


How did the idea originate? The “UpraiseMyLoo” project originated at the London Sanitation Hackathon from the combination of ideas and tools developed by three sets of partners: the “Latrine Investment Tracker” was initially submitted by London-based Trémolet Consulting, with the main purpose of tracking the investments made by households in their own latrines. The “Sh!tMap” idea of Siraj Tahir from Arup consisted of mapping existing public and private sanitation facilities, based on Taarifa Platform developed originally from the 2011 Water Hackathon. The idea was awarded first prize from the London panel of judges, comprising of Alex Kay (venture capitalist, qismat fund) and Andrew Stott (World Bank).


How will it work? The mobile application will be used to report data on sanitation investment via a simple form. Data to be collected will include the type of latrine, the number of users, the name of the owner, its components and the cost of each component (including the pit, the sitting/ squatting device and the superstructure), the primary building materials and the nature of the suppliers, the anticipated emptying frequency and associated expenses. If smartphones are used, a photograph of the latrine and of the house it is attached to could be included and geo-tagged for tracking locations of these sanitation facilities. It would function like the application FLOW which is a visual open-source data monitoring database that maps water sources and their characteristics based on data crowdsourced via Android smartphones. However, it would be used to gather expenditure data. This data would then be reported on a map via the Taarifa Platform and key indicators aggregating expenditure data would be presented in an associated dashboard. A simple version for non-smart/ feature phones could also be developed.


Data for this mobile application could be uploaded by implementers of a sanitation programme (be then local government, NGO or INGO staff) or by the households themselves, who would self-report their expenditure on building but also subsequently on emptying latrines (and associated expenses). They could also use this app to report on subsequent events related to that particular facility (e.g. pit collapse, or emptying, or upgrading of the latrine) as each household/latrine would receive a specific identification number. To provide this type of information, they could be incentivised to report with a coupon for free latrine emptying services or mobile airtime.


Who are potential users of the app? The data generated by this application could be used in many different ways:

·         At central government level, to help track sanitation coverage and estimate the total amounts of investment made by households and local governments in sanitation facilities. This information could be used in evaluating the effectiveness of alternative sanitation programmes and their associated financial strategies. If a sufficient number of central governments start using this app and collecting this data comprehensively, this could enable international comparisons (particularly via the UN Water GLAAS TrackFin initiative);

·         At programme level, in the context of programmes that reward service providers for delivering sanitation promotion and sanitation marketing strategies that aim to increase households’ investment in sanitation. The mapping data could also be used to overlay with other type of data (such as information on diseases) to identify disease hotspots that may be related to certain types of latrines (for example, where latrines are not improved);

·         By sanitation service providers, such as latrine builders or latrine emptiers, for them to understand the size of the market and potential needs. In the same vein, this information could be useful to government agencies that define boundaries of licensed service areas for pit latrine emptiers for example.


Associated Problem Statements 


By |2022-07-06T12:09:34+00:00July 6, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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