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Sites of entitlement: claim, negotiation and struggle in Mumbai. Environment and Urbanization, 2015

2 hours 18 min ago

Sites of entitlement: claim, negotiation and struggle in Mumbai. Environment and Urbanization, 2015.

Authors: Colin McFarlane, Renu Desai

This paper develops a conception of “sites of entitlement” as a basis for better understanding how infrastructure and services are perceived and experienced in informal settlements. While legal and policy frameworks are often viewed as the source of entitlements to infrastructure and services, the complexity of provision, access and negotiation in informal settlements demands a conception of entitlement that exceeds those domains. Based on ethnographic research on sanitation and water in informal settlements in Mumbai, we focus on the ways in which people’s everyday experiences, interactions and practices constitute sites of entitlement.

These sites are unevenly produced, contested, often in flux and ambivalent, sometimes made through collective struggle and at other times through quiet individual practice, and always constituted by social relations. Sites of entitlement emerge in close relation to moral economies, and are characterized by often profound and – for research, policy and practice – challenging levels of spatial and temporal variation. We argue that sites of entitlement are vital for thinking through the possibilities of realizing the universal right to sanitation and water.

Urban health indicators and indices—current status

21 July 2015 11:56 (America/New_York)

Urban health indicators and indices—current statusBMC Public Health (2015) 15:494.

Authors: Richard Rothenberg, Christine Stauber, et al.

Over the past 30 years, facilitated by high speed computing and electronics, considerable investment has been made in the collection and analysis of urban health indicators, environmental indicators, and methods for their amalgamation. Much of this work has been characterized by a perceived need for a standard set of indicators. We used publication databases (e.g. Medline) and web searches to identify compilations of health indicators and health metrics. We found 14 long-term large-area compilations of health indicators and determinants and seven compilations of environmental health indicators, comprising hundreds of metrics. Despite the plethora of indicators, these compilations have striking similarities in the domains from which the indicators are drawn—an unappreciated concordance among the major collections.

Research with these databases and other sources has produced a small number of composite indices, and a number of methods for the amalgamation of indicators and the demonstration of disparities. These indices have been primarily used for large-area (nation, region, state) comparisons, with both developing and developed countries, often for purposes of ranking. Small area indices have been less explored, in part perhaps because of the vagaries of data availability, and because idiosyncratic local conditions require flexible approaches as opposed to a fixed format. One result has been advances in the ability to compare large areas, but with a concomitant deficiency in tools for public health workers to assess the status of local health and health disparities. Large area assessments are important, but the need for small area action requires a greater focus on local information and analysis, emphasizing method over prespecified content.

Developing Microfinance for Sanitation in Tanzania

14 July 2015 12:04 (America/New_York)

Developing Microfinance for Sanitation in Tanzania, 2015.

Authors: Sophie Trémolet, Goufrane Mansour, George Muruka

This report presents the findings of a one-year action-research project on sanitation microfinance in Tanzania funded by SHARE. The project took place between December 2013 and January 2015. The project was the culmination of a broader research initiative which investigated how financing for sanitation can be mobilised via the use of microfinance in order to support sustainable access to improved sanitation facilities and/or services.  This report describes the activities carried out under the action-research and extracts emerging lessons on the potential for developing sanitation microfinance through capacity building and networking.

How does urban health relate to the sustainable development agenda?

29 June 2015 15:02 (America/New_York)

How does urban health relate to the sustainable development agenda? African Population and Health Research Centre blog, June 24, 2015.

The inclusion of Sustainable Development Goal 11 in the post-2015 agenda—to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable—is both a challenge and an opportunity for public health, said a panel of experts at last month’s International Conference on Urban Health in Dhaka. Unabated urbanisation is having a radical effect on urban health, especially because it is widening the divide between the rich and the poor. Among the points that were raised, the panelists emphasised a growing need for multi-sectoral approaches and innovative solutions to delivery of care like public-private partnerships.

Entrepreneurial ecosystems: strengthening the WASH sector in Kenya

29 June 2015 14:45 (America/New_York)

Entrepreneurial ecosystems: strengthening the WASH sector in Kenya, May 2015. WSUP.

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The WASH ecosystem in Kenya is still in its infancy, and remains much less developed than other impact sectors in the country. Nonetheless, there has been significant activity in the sector: over 200 water companies are listed in Kenya’s major business directory (Yellow.co.ke), with services ranging from bottling and supply to provision of water purification and treatment equipment; over 50 sanitation companies offer services ranging from sewerage disposal to provision of sanitary goods (e.g. sanitary pads), wares and fittings (e.g. toilets and sinks). Significantly, the sector is yet to produce success stories of brands built and sold on, and solutions taken to full market penetration.

Managing the Emerging Waste Crisis in Developing Countries’ Large Cities

29 June 2015 14:25 (America/New_York)

Managing the Emerging Waste Crisis in Developing Countries’ Large Cities, 2015. IDS.

Rising prosperity around the globe is both welcome and, in many countries, long overdue. However, it brings with it a number of undesirable consequences, such as an increased demand for raw materials, which puts pressure on limited natural resources, and the generation of waste, due to dominant linear economic models of ‘make-use-throw’. The circular economy model proposes a move towards the complete elimination of waste by bringing resources embedded in products back into the production process through repair, re-use and recycling. This Policy Briefing identifies some of the key challenges and opportunities for transitioning waste management into resource management, which engages both the formal and informal sector and provides livelihoods for the urban poor.

Cooking up a storm: Community-led mapping and advocacy with food vendors in Nairobi’s informal settlements

29 June 2015 14:13 (America/New_York)

Cooking up a storm: Community-led mapping and advocacy with food vendors in Nairobi’s informal settlements, June 2015. IIED.

Authors: Sohel Ahmed, Edwin Simiyu, Grace Githiri, Alice Sverdlik, Shadrack Mbaka

Food security is rarely prioritised in African cities, and food vendors are similarly ignored or stigmatised, despite providing a range of affordable, accessible meals. Furthermore, past research and urban policies usually overlook food hawkers selling inside informal settlements. Based on participatory research in Nairobi, this pap

Balloon-mapping and other novel mapping techniques were combined with focus group discussions to explore vendors’ practices, challenges, and opportunities for promoting food safety. Our detailed maps, vivid narratives, and community-led strategies may cook up a storm that can create safer foods and more secure livelihoods, with benefits extending across African informal settlements.

 

Developing Microfinance for Sanitation in Tanzania

29 June 2015 14:06 (America/New_York)

Developing Microfinance for Sanitation in Tanzania, June 2015.

Authors: Sophie Trémolet, Goufrane Mansour, George Muruka

This report presents the findings of a one-year action-research project on sanitation microfinance in Tanzania funded by SHARE. The project took place between December 2013 and January 2015. The project was the culmination of a broader research initiative which investigated how financing for sanitation can be mobilised via the use of microfinance in order to support sustainable access to improved sanitation facilities and/or services.  This report describes the activities carried out under the action-research and extracts emerging lessons on the potential for developing sanitation microfinance through capacity building and networking.

Editorial: Is it possible to reach low-income urban dwellers with good-quality sanitation?

29 May 2015 10:12 (America/New_York)

Editorial: Is it possible to reach low-income urban dwellers with good-quality sanitation? Environment &  Urbanization, April 2015.

Authors: David Satterthwaite, Diana Mitlin, Sheridan Bartlett

All urban dwellers need safe, quick, easy access to clean toilets, day and night – without fear, without a long walk, without a long wait in line, and without the need to plan ahead or to spend more than they can easily afford. They should be able to count on privacy, cleanliness and the means to wash anus and hands quickly and conveniently, which is difficult if there is no water piped on the premises.(1) These toilets need to serve everyone – girls and boys, women and men of all ages and conditions.

Women who are menstruating should have not only a way to wash but a place to put their waste safely and privately. People with impaired mobility should not have to add toilets to the list of challenges they face.(2) Small children should be able to meet their needs without someone having to pick up and dispose of their waste or accompany them to a distant facility. Older children should be able to count on sufficient well-maintained toilets at school. And all toilets need to function so that toilet wastes do not end up contaminating anyone’s food, water or hands.

 

Catastrophic health expenditure and its determinants in Kenya slum communities

26 May 2015 14:29 (America/New_York)

Catastrophic health expenditure and its determinants in Kenya slum communities. Journal for Equity in Health (2015) 14:46.

Authors: Steven Buigut, Remare Ettarh and Djesika D Amendah

Background: In Kenya, where 60 to 80% of the urban residents live in informal settlements (frequently referred to as slums), out-of-pocket (OOP) payments account for more than a third of national health expenditures. However, little is known on the extent to which these OOP payments are associated with personal or household financial catastrophe in the slums. This paper seeks to examine the incidence and determinants of catastrophic health expenditure among urban slum communities in Kenya.

Methods: We use a unique dataset on informal settlement residents in Kenya and various approaches that relate households OOP payments for healthcare to total expenditures adjusted for subsistence, or income. We classified households whose OOP was in excess of a predefined threshold as facing catastrophic health expenditures (CHE), and identified the determinants of CHE using multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Results: The results indicate that the proportion of households facing CHE varies widely between 1.52% and 28.38% depending on the method and the threshold used. A core set of variables were found to be key determinants of CHE. The number of working adults in a household and membership in a social safety net appear to reduce the risk of catastrophic expenditure. Conversely, seeking care in a public or private hospital increases the risk of CHE.

Conclusion: This study suggests that a substantial proportion of residents of informal settlements in Kenya face CHE and would likely forgo health care they need but cannot afford. Mechanisms that pool risk and cost (insurance) are needed to protect slum residents from CHE and improve equity in health care access and payment.

USAID – Riding the Growth Bubble in an Increasingly Urban World

26 May 2015 14:23 (America/New_York)

Riding the Growth Bubble in an Increasingly Urban World. USAID Impact Blog, May 2015. by Charles Setchell, Senior Shelter, Settlements, and Hazard Mitigation Advisor with USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.

An excerpt - In the past, most plans to manage urban growth and reduce poverty were aspirational–or even inspirational–but almost never operational in terms of actually helping urban communities affected by disasters and crises. Acknowledging this and looking forward, we must focus on creating resilient living conditions in urban areas that are capable of withstanding the subsequent shocks of a disaster.

Lessons in Urban Community Led Total Sanitation from Nakuru, Kenya

26 May 2015 14:18 (America/New_York)

Lessons in Urban Community Led Total Sanitation from Nakuru, Kenya, 2015.

Authors: Kath Pasteur and Preetha Prabhakaran

Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is an innovative methodology for mobilising communities to completely eliminate open defecation (OD). It has been applied in many rural areas in countries across the developing world. However, experience in urban settings has been limited. Practical Action and Umande Trust have implemented a project Realising Rights to Total Sanitation in two low income settlements in the city of Nakuru, Kenya, adapting the CLTS methodology to meet the challenges of the urban context.

This has involved devising a triggering exercise with landlords as well as tenants and using theatre to attract and sustain interest during community triggering. Working in an urban area has required considerable attention to designing, through a participatory process, low cost toilets that meet urban public health and building regulations.

Beyond One-Size-Fits-All: Lessons Learned from Eight Water Utility Public-Private Partnerships in the Philippines

26 May 2015 14:14 (America/New_York)

Beyond One-Size-Fits-All: Lessons Learned from Eight Water Utility Public-Private Partnerships in the Philippines, May 2015. Water and Sanitation Program.

Key Findings

  • There is no “magic bullet” approachto water utility PPPs in the Philippines. Different arrangements can lead to affordable, reliable, and clean water services, provided there is sufficient market size and willingness to pay.
  • PPPs can thrive in diverse geographies,as long as service is focused on meeting the demand for which consumers are willing to pay.
  • Pro-poor approaches are not yet universal, though successful approaches have been implemented in Manila,Laguna, and Boracay.

The Urban Disadvantage: State of the World’s Mothers

26 May 2015 14:09 (America/New_York)

The Urban Disadvantage: State of the World’s Mothers, 2015. Save the Children.

We know what works to save poor urban children. Save the Children profiles six cities that have made good progress in saving poor children’s lives despite significant population growth. The cities are: Addis Ababa (Ethiopia),Cairo (Egypt), Manila (Philippines), Kampala(Uganda), Guatemala City (Guatemala) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia). These cities have achieved success through a variety of strategies to extend access to high impact services, strengthen health systems, lower costs, increase health awareness and make care more accessible to the poorest urban residents.

The city profiles provide a diverse set of examples, but the most consistently employed success strategies included:

  • Better care for mothers and babies before,during and after childbirth;
  • Increased use ofmodern contraception to prevent or postponepregnancy; and
  • Effective strategies to providefree or subsidized quality health services for thepoor

ICUH – May 24-27, 2015, Bangladesh

26 May 2015 14:02 (America/New_York)

International Conference on Urban Health – May 24-27, 2015, Bangladesh

The overall theme for ICUH 2015 is Urban Health for A Sustainable Future: The Post 2015 Development Agenda.

Key Themes:

  • Urban Health Service Provisions
  • Social Determinants of Urban Health
  • Environmental Determinants of Urban Health
  • Multi-sectoral System Strengthening

 

USAID Sanitation Webinar, April 28, 20

26 May 2015 13:54 (America/New_York)

USAID Sanitation Webinar, April 28, 2015

In this webinar, USAID’s Jesse Shapiro discusses and responds to participant questions about the impacts of sanitation; critical challenges to improving sanitation; the sanitation ladder and service chain; and programmatic interventions to improve sanitation.

 

Redefining shared sanitation

7 May 2015 10:22 (America/New_York)

Redefining shared sanitation. WHO Bulletin, April 2015.

Authors: Thilde Rheinländer, Flemming Konradsen, Bernard Keraita, Patrick Apoya & Margaret Gyapong

Current definitions do not account for the diversity of shared sanitation: all shared toilet facilities are by default classified as unimproved by JMP because of the tendency for shared toilets to be unmanaged and unhygienic. However, we argue that shared sanitation should not be automatically assumed to be unimproved. We also argue that it is necessary to have a new look at how we define shared sanitation and use specific sub-categories including household shared (sharing between a limited number of households who know each other), public toilets (intended for a transient population, but most often the main sanitation facility for poor neighbourhoods) and institutional toilets (workplaces, markets etc.).

This sub-classification will identify those depending on household shared sanitation, which we consider to be only a small step away from achieving access to private and improved sanitation. This sub-category of shared sanitation is, therefore, worth discussing in greater detail. Experiences from Ghana and other sub-Saharan African countries illustrate how household shared sanitation may well fit with culturally acceptable sanitation choices and not necessarily be unhygienic. Indeed, household shared sanitation may be the only realistic option that brings people the important first step up the sanitation ladder from open defecation to a basic level of sanitation.

 

 

 

The Relationship between Inadequate Sanitation Facilities and the Economic Well-Being of Women in India

7 May 2015 10:17 (America/New_York)

The Relationship between Inadequate Sanitation Facilities and the Economic Well-Being of Women in India. Journal of Economics and Development Studies, March 2015.

Authors: Mark Gius & Ramesh Subramanian

The present study attempts to ascertain the relationship between inadequate sanitation facilities and two key measures of the economic well-being of women in India: literacy rates and labor force participation rates. A two-stage regression model and correlation analysis are employed. All data is district-level for the year 2011. Results from a simple correlation analysis suggest that there is a positive correlation between latrine availability and female literacy rate but a negative correlation between latrines and the female labor force participation rate.

Results from a two stage analysis, however, indicates that latrine availability is positively related to both female labor force participation and female literacy rates. These results suggest that the availability of latrines positively impacts the economic well-being of women. This is one of the first studies that examines the relationships between latrine availability and female labor force participation and literacy rates in India, and this is one of the few studies on this topic to use district-level data. Hence, these results are significant and suggest that the government of India should invest more in proper sanitation facilities for all of its citizens. These types of investments would greatly improve the economic lives of India’s women.

Urban Sanitation Research Programme: Consolidated findings

7 May 2015 10:12 (America/New_York)

Urban Sanitation Research Programme: Consolidated findings, 2015. WEDC.

Authors: Louise Medland, Andrew Cotton and Rebecca Scott

This report aims to present the synthesised findings of the SPLASH Urban Sanitation research Programme. This comprised five projects which conducted research in eight urban centres of seven countries of sub-Saharan Africa between 2011 and 2014. The research aimed to improve understanding and thus delivery of sanitation service provision in urban areas which include informal settlements.

Knowledge gaps highlighted through the research

  • Transport and Treatment: Very little is known about the transport and treatment stages of the urban sanitation service chain and these gaps in knowledge make effective city wide planning challenging.
  • Private sector capacities: More work should be conducted to understand the capacities of thetanker operators and their staff. Given that the private sector is likely to fill the gaps in serviceprovision that cannot be covered by public operators, it is useful to understand what capacities tanker owners and operators have to take on larger responsibilities for service provision and what is stopping them from doing it now.
  • Treatment of faecal sludge for end-use options: There is relatively little information about the treatment of faecal sludge for end-use options that can be scaled up. Potential industrial users need to see more evidence of the technology used to produce solid fuel from faecal sludge working at scale. Treatment technologies and decision support tools need to be developed foreach faecal sludge end product (e.g. solid fuel, biogas, protein).
  • Market conditions for treated faecal sludge end products: The market conditions for end products are also largely unknown. The starting point is a better understanding of the market potential for each end product, for example: what factors, such as price, quality or quantity, do the products have to compete on? What other similar products/sources do they compete against? What are the circumstances under which preference and use for each end product can increase?
  • Financing of both the capital infrastructure and recurrent operation and maintenance costs: Financing for faecal sludge management (FSM) remains a challenge for city wide planning. The research findings from FaME in particular provide a starting point for developing afunding plan for faecal sludge management (FSM), including capital and operational expenditure and income but much more information on the reliable financial flows within the sanitation service chain is needed.

Sharing reflections on inclusive sanitation

28 April 2015 13:09 (America/New_York)

Sharing reflections on inclusive sanitation. Environment & Urbanization, April 2015.

Authors: Barbara Evans, Patrick Chikoti, et al.

This paper draws on sanitation innovations in  Blantyre (Malawi), Chinhoyi (Zimbabwe), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Kitwe (Zambia) driven by slum(1)/shack dweller federations to consider what an inclusive approach to sanitation would involve. This includes what is possible for low-income households when there is little or no external support, no piped water supply and no city sewers to connect to.

The paper discusses low-income households’ choices in situations where households can only afford US$ 3–4 per month for sanitation (for instance between communal, shared and household provision). It also considers the routes to both spatial and social inclusion (including the role of loan finance in the four cities) and its political underpinnings. In each of the four cities, the community engagement in sanitation intended from the outset to get the engagement and support of local authorities for city-wide sanitation provision.

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