Quick financial sustainability check | Sanitation Hackathon

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Quick financial sustainability check

Short Description 
Project Description 

Since costs of services over time are not understood by sanitation projects and programmes, there is a major risk to sustainability. Unrealistic and unknown expectations are set during project preparation and no actions are taken to ensure that households can cover sanitation-related expenditures in the medium to long term. The described tool will provide a quick and easy way for practitioners to check the chances of sustainability of their programmes by comparing life-cycle costs with desired service levels. It will be useful for planning, assessing sustainability from a cost perspective and for monitoring value for money. Target users are practitioners and planners that seek to improve the sustainability of new and existing sanitation services.



Submitted by hackteam on

Defined the problem
Defined the solution
Defined the primary app/website user
Wireframed an input page

In progress:
Wireframing an output page
Defining gamification elements
Building an online form

Additional tasks:
Front end design
Back end creation

Beta stage – future developments:
Interactive data
Gamification – groups, badges
Knowledge point
Donor features – overview of grants
Interactive Q&A section/forum – build a community

dickinson's picture

See my @waternote on twitter and get more updates during the event and follow our other team members. Follow #SanHack for the full event worldwide. @DuncanMacWeb @harryoosterveen @heathachisholm @watupwade @LondonSanHack

At the London Westminster Hub, we’ve had help from James Tilbury, an engineer studying in Oxford. From Cranfield University, we had students Uta Zetek, Az Honi, and Mathew Flew. We discussed who the users are (project managers/planners) of this version of the app. An extension of it will be more interesting for governments and donors.

The core team of technologists that are staying on Sunday to help get this done are Heather Chisholm (UX), Wade Rimbach (UX), and Duncan Mackenzie (Web developer). Joining us from the Netherlands is Harry Oosterveen (Web developer) from IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. I’m Nick Dickinson from IRC. 

Thanks everyone!

Most of the team is introduced in this video (sorry to miss you Heather in this one): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI5SdOa-K5Y&feature=plcp

See the problem page for the research and resources from WASHCost and IRC we are working with: /quick-financial-sustainability-check

dickinson's picture

Team Fresh Sh!t won 2nd place at the London Sanitation Hackathon with our Sanitation Sanity Check app that refuses the insanity of just latrines without thinking about access, use, reliability and environmental protection. By using our tool, project managers and planners will be able to check their assumptions on sanitation service levels against the initial and long-term expenditure they think will be made to maintain those services. The app stimulates long-term thinking and better results. The judges were Andrew Stott (http://www.twitter.com/DirDirEng) from the World Bank and Alex Kay. They chose UpRaise My Loo as the winner, a mapping and household data collection tool looking at investments in latrines. Just like many projects developed during the #SanHack, it seems like our tools are complementary

I believe that our Sanity Check will have use as people want the benchmarks we provide. It will have impact as it focuses on changing mindsets. In the medium term (next year) we also need tools to actually make data collection and analysis of expenditures easier. Perhaps it will be other SanHack teams that help make this happen!

Our team, Fresh Sh!t managed to get the overall user interface elements finished and start programming (coding) the different parts of the app. I’m convinced that we can finish this in early December. In addition, we have won some space in the Tech Hub for the team. Only a few of our members are permanently in London and I suspect they will enjoy this immensely.

At the start of the first day, we had the problem owner (me), our two product designers (Wade Rimbach and Heather Chisholm), and a number of budding sanitation experts following their studies at Cranfield and Oxford Universities. However, by the end of the day, we had bolstered our team with coders in the form of Duncan Mackenzie (web developer, Well tempered web), Russ Klein (developer, Hack the Hackathon), and Harry Oosterveen (web developer, IRC). In addition, I was also able to hack the spreadsheet a bit to make it work on Google Spreadsheets and do some coding for our Google script to add some of the logic from the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet was originally developed by Peter Burr in the WASHCost project.

On the second day, we started coding in earnest. Duncan worked on the front end. Russ worked on turning the data from the user and spreadsheet into nice charts using Google Charts and tackled which graphs we should use, how to modify them appropriately and code it. We decided that the closest chart we could find to show the cost ranges was speed dials for now and it has a nice visual flair. Harry Oosterveen worked on the form that the user would fill in and the engine behind it to populate a spreadsheet full of results. I worked on taking the logic from the spreadsheet and providing Harry with scripts that would allow us to embed the logic into form results.

All in all, we managed to code 90% and the last 10% is the glue between the pieces. In the evening, Harry managed to finish adding the logic and improving my code. Now we need to connect the results from the forms with the output page where the graphs will live. That is relatively trivial in comparison with the testing that we’ll need to do afterwards but all very doable.

While the coders were losing track of time in the zone, Heather and Wade, prepared the presentation that would capture the 2nd prize.

During the WASHCost Calculator project, which is starting now, IRC will work towards developing a number of tools that make it easy for practitioners to analyse and collect data on life-cycle costs.

Team Fresh Sh!t has started us on collaborative app development journey and it does not stop here. We’ll need to continue to work together and engage with other teams and organisations to achieve scale and ensure that we achieve impact: improved sanitation services that last.

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By |2022-07-06T12:09:35+00:00July 6, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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