Department Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development

4S: Small-Scale Sanitation Scaling-Up

Developing evidence-based policy recommendations based on the assessment of more than 400 sanitation units

Eawag/Sandec is partnering with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, and BORDA, Germany to carry out the 4S project (Small-Scale Sanitation Scaling-Up), the first systematic assessment of small-scale sanitation systems in South Asia. 4S is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its main goal is to develop evidence-based policy recommendations for improved sanitation system design, implementation, and operation and maintenance (O&M). This will allow decision-makers to make informed strategic decisions about sanitation systems and to accelerate the provision of collection and treatment services for used water and faecal sludge in South Asia. The 21 month research project will have three key outcomes:

  • A landscaping study of existing small-scale sanitation systems in India and Nepal.
  • A detailed socio-economic and technical evaluation of approximately 400 units, including an institutional analysis, an in-depth investigation of some of the systems selected, performance monitoring through sampling and a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
  • Policy recommendations for the improvement of the regulatory framework, sanitation system design and O&M guidelines based on the evaluation findings.

The project seeks to provide sound empirical evidence for future small-scale sanitation sector investments in South Asia.

Project timeline: October 2015 – June 2017