Public Policy Advisory
World Water Week 2019: WASH Updates
John Harvey

We're looking forward to our participation in the upcoming World Water Week in Stockholm. In anticipation of the event, we would like to share some of our work with our fellow WASH enthusiasts! Athena Infonomics' experience covers a variety of thematic areas such as urban water management and Faecal Sludge Management (FSM). These thematic areas intersect with our use of technology, decision-making tools and considerations of equity and sustainability in the sector.

Our ongoing study for Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) looks at how gender might impact, shape or shift the definition of sanitation among decision-makers in Kenya. It aims to study the effect of having women decision-makers on policy priorities and intervention approaches in the sanitation sector. We hope to share our findings with the global WASH community in 2020.

With India facing a water crisis, there is an urgent need for more urban water management. Towards this end, Athena is developing a decision support tool and catchment management plan for the city of Vijayawada under a 3-year IRDC funded project. Our baseline of the city's hydrology and climate feeds into our iAdapt tool, serving as a blueprint for other cities.

Our study for the International Growth Centre (IGC) has considered how we can increase water service financial sustainability in Mandalay without compromising on considerations of equity and affordability. The study aims to support the The Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC) improve the city's piped-water supply network and improve its financial viability.

We've also been refining FSM Toolbox—a multi-language open knowledge platform that enables FSM decisions across the value chain. It offers a suite of tools and resources for city planners and sector specialists. This helps them diagnose problems, plan, design, operate and monitor interventions.

Integrating Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation (MLE) into the FSM space, we're also working on a 3 year project to build a monitoring platform for 8 cities globally. The first component of the project aims to create a global monitoring protocol and platform for urban FSM. The second seeks to aggregate and analyze evidence on effective interventions in urban FSM, which will feed into promotion of peer learning and information exchange.

We look forward to engaging with the global WASH community in Stockholm!