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Adapting life-cycle thinking tools to evaluate project sustainability in international water and sanitation development work
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sustainable Futures Institute, Michigan Technological University.
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sustainable Futures Institute, Michigan Technological University.
2007 (English)In: Environmental Engineering Science, ISSN 1092-8758, E-ISSN 1557-9018, Vol. 24, no 7, 937-948 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals have called issues of water and sanitation to the forefront of international development efforts. Engineers and other development workers are answering this call in increasing numbers. In order to achieve these goals it is necessary to overcome the historically low sustainability rates of development projects. This paper presents a logical framework for identifying and analyzing the factors that affect sustainable development of water and sanitation projects. It identifies five sustainability factors that are common in development literature and the policies of international aid organizations: (1) sociocultural respect, (2) community participation, (3) political cohesion, (4) economic sustainability, and (5) environmental sustainability. A life-cycle thinking approach is used to assess how project sustainability can be improved throughout the project life. Five life stages are identified to represent the life of a development project: (1) needs assessment, (2) conceptual designs and feasibility, (3) design and action planning, (4) implementation, and (5) operation and maintenance. Using the defined sustainability factors and life-cycle stages, an assessment matrix is developed. A series of guidelines for each matrix element are given for scoring the sustainability of a project. The guidelines are derived from best practice approaches to effective international development. The proposed sustainability matrix can be used as a guide for project planning or as an evaluation system to identify strengths and weaknesses in project approaches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 24, no 7, 937-948 p.
Keyword [en]
life-cycle thinking, sustainability, water, sanitation, development projects
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26156DOI: 10.1089/ees.2006.0225ISI: 000249777400008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-26156DiVA: diva2:370910
Note
QC 20101118Available from: 2010-11-18 Created: 2010-11-18 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Assessing sustainable approaches to sanitation planning and implementation in West Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing sustainable approaches to sanitation planning and implementation in West Africa
2008 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The challenge of achieving global sanitation targets is that it requires application of both technology that is appropriate and a supporting organizational structure. The interactions between the two begin during the planning/decision-making process and continue throughout the system lifetime. During the last decade, strategic planning frameworks have emerged in the water and sanitation sector that reflect a shift from traditional, top-down planning to a more participatory, bottom-up approach. Despite this shift and in light of the continuing challenge of achieving widespread sanitation in the world, it is necessary to question if a knowledge gap exists between the global sanitation frameworks and local stakeholder priorities. This licentiate thesis presents the first phase of a research project whose objective is to study the global models and compare them with existing local planning and decision-making conditions. It focuses on establishing the global context with regard to strategic planning tools and perspectives on sustainable sanitation. In general, there is close agreement on methodology and processes recommended by international planning frameworks; however the use of the term “sustainable sanitation” is highly variable. In general, the findings of this thesis show that improving sanitation conditions requires tools based on participation, social marketing, and process approaches for planning, capacity development, and feedback. Continuation of this research will investigate the local context regarding current planning practices and perspectives on sustainable sanitation in order to assess potential differences between the global and local context and make recommendations for improving adaptation of planning strategies for bringing sanitation to scale.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. viii, 24 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. LIC, ISSN 1650-8629 ; 2043
Keyword
Decision-Making, Implementation, Planning, Sanitation, Sustainable
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4767 (URN)978-91-7415-022-3 (ISBN)
Presentation
2008-06-09, V3, Teknikringen 72, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101118Available from: 2008-06-03 Created: 2008-06-03 Last updated: 2010-11-18Bibliographically approved

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