December 2019

Hello!

Happy Holidays! As the year comes to a close, we’ve been reflecting on what we’ve accomplished in 2019. To say the least, it was immensely gratifying for us as a team to contribute to several exciting development programs globally. Our projects ranged from developing new technology tools for waste water management to rethinking strategies for child friendly cities. We’ve also forged new partnerships, engaged with development champions and presented our work in global forums.

Knowledge Sharing at UNC’s Water and Health Conference



Knowledge Sharing at UNC’s Water and Health Conference

Our senior economist Zachary Burt delivered 3 presentations at UNC’s Water and Health Conference. He presented the latest findings from our ongoing WSUP-funded project on Gender Inequality and Attitudinal Differences Across Genders Among Decision-Makers in Kenya’s Sanitation Sector. The other presentations focused on his personal work: ‘Valuing Conservation – An Innovative Market Structure for Marrakesh, Morocco’ and ‘Household Demand and Willingness to Pay For Formalized Pit Latrine Services in Kigali, Rwanda’.

Water Management in India: Knowledge Sharing and Scale Up



Water Management in India: Knowledge Sharing and Scale Up

At the Madras Chamber’s Urban Thinkers’ Campus, we presented our comprehensive climate-adaptive blue-print for water management – IAdapt. Applying the learnings from our IDRC-funded work in Vijayawada to Chennai, our associate consultant Anupama VS said: “Water transcends administrative boundaries and hence it is necessary to look from a catchment perspective and shift towards resource based water management.”

We also conducted an international conference on the project along with ICLEI, who are working on the Solapur component of the project. As part of the conference, we announced the institutionalization of our bottom-up stakeholder driven RURBAN platform. The conference hosted representatives present from across the water ecosystem in India. In attendance, Mr. Rajiv Ranjan Mishra (Director General, Namami Gange) complimented all the partners who worked collaboratively on the ‘common sense’ IAdapt tool. He also highlighted the importance of integration and synergies across interdisciplinary areas.

The IAdapt tool takes a holistic approach to water management from a catchment perspective and is replicable in a variety of urban contexts, considering the cumulative impacts of urbanization and climate change factors. It is an ecosystem to empower the project cities to transition away from traditional approaches of water management, which operate in silos. Institutionalization of such a platform will be the first of its kind replicable and scalable model in India.

Sanitation Stakeholder Engagement in Zambia and Kenya



Sanitation Stakeholder Engagement in Zambia and Kenya

We presented the preliminary version of our tool to assess urban sanitations market across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to stakeholders in Zambia and Kenya. The sessions allowed us to engage with utilities, regulators and other key actors in the sanitation sector to understand how the tool can inform decisions ranging from investment planning to tariff setting. The participants also discussed potential scope for improvement of the tool.

Following the sessions, the team worked closely with the utilities and regulators to collect data and produce results, which were presented at the IWA Water and Development Congress in Colombo, Sri Lanka. We are supporting BMGF to develop the tool in collaboration with Aguaconsult and the East and Southern Africa Water and Sanitation Regulators Association (ESAWAS).

The tool seeks to help sanitation authorities make better informed decisions about service provision. It illustrates how equitable, safe, and financially sustainable different sanitation service options are using interactive illustrations drawn from city-level data. It also allows decision-makers to compare the impact of scenarios that represent different combinations of investments, pricing models and service delivery models, including both the public and private sectors. By systematically comparing scenarios and visualizing the trade-offs, the tool aims to support sanitation authorities to most efficiently use scarce resources to deliver safe, inclusive sanitation for all.

Improving Water Supply in Mandalay: Our Findings



Improving Water Supply in Mandalay: Our Findings

Working to improve water supply in Mandalay, Myanmar, our IGC-funded project culminated with a final report detailing the project’s findings. The findings will help the Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC) expand city’s piped-water supply network and improve its financial viability. The report is available on our website, here.

Joining SID-W’s Global Town Square



Joining SID-W’s Global Town Square

We became a member of the Society for International Development, Washington Chapter (SID-W). SID-W is a membership-driven knowledge organization bringing together people from diverse organizations, disciplines, and career stages in a neutral, independent forum. Their ‘global town square’ will give us the opportunity to learn, grow and forge new exciting partnerships. SID-W’s unique space cuts across all sectors of development covering humanitarian, stabilization, transition and long-term development.

Toilet Construction and Usage in Ghana: Increasing Accessibility



Toilet Construction and Usage in Ghana: Increasing Accessibility

World Toilet Day this year coincided with the release of a practice note covering our work on toilet usage and construction in Ghana. Supporting Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and the World Bank, our research established the key features needed to increase toilet loan uptake. It also determined the key challenges facing MSMEs involved in toilet construction. The practice note offers a range of suggestions to improve the toilet construction ecosystem – with a view to improving the lives of the 23% of Ghanians who do not have access to any sanitation facility.

Festive Spirit Unleashed



Festive Spirit Unleashed

The team took the opportunity to unwind over Thanksgiving and Diwali – India’s festival of lights – across our offices. Our colleagues exchanged local sweets and gifts and dressed up in traditional attire. We also bonded over a team meal.

Looking for an Exciting New Opportunity in 2020?



Looking for an Exciting New Opportunity in 2020?

Imagine starting the new year providing data-driven solutions to solve some of the most pressing and complex global development challenges. A career at Athena Infonomics gives you the opportunity to work across a variety of sectors across the global south. Visit our website to see our latest open positions.

Athena Infonomics is a data-driven global consultancy. We drive innovative thinking in program strategy and design, project implementation and impact assessment across the full spectrum of economic growth and development challenges. To support our clients, we focus on extraction and use of high quality data, social science research methods and new age technology.

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