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Technology Introduction Process

The TIP gives guidance for countries on how to develop country-based technology validation and introduction guidelines and how to apply them so that the sector can learn and develop in terms of innovation.

Why this tool is needed?

WASH practitioners can draw upon a number of different technology options when delivering water supply, sanitation and hygiene services. There are many different types of pumps, different ways of powering pumping, different latrines and different hand-washing facilities. At the same time, there is a serious challenge facing producers, practitioners, communities, governments and development partners whereby the services introduced struggle to remain in operation or perform optimally for sufficient lengths of time to truly meet user needs. Broken down pumps, semi-functional piped schemes and abandoned latrines are all too common.

The WASH sector is currently faced with a situation where lessons learned in pilots are not widely transferred. There is little or no feedback from communities to producers and implementers of some widely used WASH technologies, which means that user difficulties persist for long periods without being resolved. Many countries do not have policies or standards in place for assessment and uptake of new WASH technologies, resulting in arbitrary adoption of options that are not fit for purpose, too expensive for users topay for, not scalable and inadequately supported at local level. Technologies that look like a good idea on paper and in marketing campaigns in developed countries can be promoted for a long time before it becomes clear that they lack relevance or practical application on the ground. The lack of guidance has led to a set of negative consequences which include:

  • introduction of technologies and services that do not meet user needs;
  • introduction of technologies that look like a good idea on paper and in marketing campaigns in developed countries but lack relevance or practical application on the ground;
  • introduction of technologies in an arbitrary way, with poor consideration of criteria likely to impact on success;
  • introduction of technologies that are too expensive for users to pay for;
  • introduction of technologies that cannot be adequately supported in the local context, resulting in breakdown and failure;
  • introduction of technologies that are not scalable because of multiple barriers to their uptake;
  • misdiagnosis of reasons for failure with good technologies dismissed as sub-standard;
  • assumptions being made about certain technologies that are rarely corroborated or that are not true but are perpetuated as myths;
  • aggressive promotion of technologies that are not appropriate;
  • overwhelming of government institutions or support agencies with technologies that are at such a basic stage of development that they are not yet fit for purpose.

What the tool aims to do?

The Technology Introduction Process is a complementary tool to the Technology Applicability Framework, and gives guidance for countries on how to develop country-based technology validation and introduction guidelines and how to apply them so that the sector can learn and develop in terms of innovation.

How does the tool work?

The TIP provides generic information on actors involved in the introduction process and on key tasks in each phase of the introduction process. Based on this, the TIP proposes steps for the development and application of country- specific guidelines, for the institutional set-up and options and for funding of the process and its follow up.