The development of WASH use case studies to simulate in the model – GTG Webinar – September 10th 2015

IMG_3610_reducedThe prototype development of the decision support tool resilience.io1 is on track for demonstration in early 2016 with the third meeting held between the GAMA Technical Group and UK technical team on the 10th September 2015.

This meeting introduced the concept of use case studies to  simulate the capabilities of the model. These will be co-developed with input from GTG members on the critical issues in the WASH sector in GAMA, to ascertain where the model (under development) can provide useful information and knowledge. The meaured use of will enable stakeholders to explore priorities in WASH, sets of technology and policy options to address these, anticipated population, economic development and precipitation scenarios and their impacts within WASH.

An illustrative example of a use case was presented by Rembrandt Koppelaar of the Institute of Integrated Economics Research (IIER) to start the conversation. Over the next 3 months, the GTG have been asked to collaboratively develop use cases of particular relevance and usefulness to their work.

Illustrative example use case

IMG_3153_reducedAn MMA officer wishes to examine planning and infrastructure with respect to public toilet provision to prevent open defaecation. She uses the model to simulate the liquid waste flows from human excreta in the district based on the number of people, and where it ends up given current infrastructure, including private and public toilets and their types. As model inputs they adjust assumptions on the cause of defecation practices such as public toilet waiting times, influence of unclean/clean public toilets, and affordability constraints.

They obtain information from the model on the amount of liquid waste ending up directly in the environment due to open defecation, as well as the use and collection in public and private toilet systems. Then they set a model constraint to find the amount of necessary infrastructure required to end open defecation in a five year timeframe.

They run additional simulations that calculate the amount of necessary infrastructure by ‘forcing’ this goal, including finding the most affordable cost option. The model subsequently calculates the number of public and private toilets that would be required to solve the challenge, and the cost of infrastructure investment and operational use of toilets to maintain the new infrastructure.

Use case development process

Based on the inputs received at the webinar, a number of possible use cases to demonstrate functionality of the prototype will be sketched in the next weeks. We will be in touch shortly with details of the process but any inputs that you would like to share in the meantime is appreciated. The aim is to provide a summary report on the first complete outline of these potential use cases at the next webinar. The final selection of use cases is to take place in January 2016.

The prototype development process is designed to be collaborative with GTG members, in order to ensure that a functional prototype is produced that matches with local WASH sector needs. Podcast recordings and the slide deck for this meeting can be found on the website.

Discussion points

The GTG raised that local cultural influences on behaviour in use of sanitation infrastructure, the influence of  water rationing on availability and water demands, hygiene issues, such as cholera outbreaks due to recent flooding, and affordability for low income communities, would be important factors to include in the model. In terms of policies testing, a scenario where public toilet use is phased out was proposed. Also water quality and its implications for health, and the need for adequate engagement of potential users was raised. The GTG’s view was that one of the primary users for such a model could be local government at the district assemblies. It was raised that use case studies might be informed by the Rapid City Resilience Assessments (RCRAs) undertaken within the Future Cities Africa (FCA) project. For answers to specific questions raised, please visit the forum.

WaterPower project

IMG_3646_reducedWe were pleased to welcome Rosella Alba and Lara Bartels Humboldt University to present the 4-year WaterPower project, being progressed in partnership with the University of Ghana, to examine  freshwater security in the context of climate change, urbanisation and resource allocation.

The work includes an examination of socio-technical, economic and political processes that shape the actors in water supply provisioning and their actions, and to derive from this the implications in terms of water governance and planning in urban and peri-urban Accra. Another focus is on access to water and land in the peri-urban space where heterogeneous urban dwellers are settling with different perspectives on land, water and natural resources. More details can be found on the WaterPower website.

Contact us

We welcome your input, questions, comments or feedback on data, prototype development, or any aspect of the programme. 

[1] is being developed by the partners mentioned throughout this report as part of the DFID funded, Cities Alliance managed Future Cities Africa programme.


Webinar slides download – PDF



Webinar audio download – MP3

N.B. add 6 to Rembrandt’s references to the below slides in the audio (we put some extra ones in the beginning)