RWSN Topic

Technologies and Technology Applicability Framework

Within RWSN to date, the main technologies developed and promoted for Self-supply have tapped groundwater (i.e. hand dug wells and boreholes with various pumps). Given the increased recognition that rainwater harvesting also has considerable potential, and success stories (e.g. in Uganda and Thailand) this strategy has a particular focus on rainwater. Over the coming three years, RWSN will build up a community for rainwater harvesting and promote good practices. The emphasis is on domestic use, but includes rainwater harvesting for agriculture. Not all water sources improved incrementally will immediately provide safe water. Thus there is need to consider household water treatment options within Self-supply, key aspects of water safety planning and quality assurance for products and services. Closer collaboration with the household water treatment and safe storage network will be established.

Not all technologies are applicable for every context and even apparently “clever” technologies can fail if they are not appropriate, or are not introduced to the market properly. The Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) is a method for assessing the applicability of technologies for a given context. It was developed and tested by three RWSN partner organisations (IRC, Skat and WaterAid) together with organisations in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda and has subsequently been applied in Tanzania, Nicaragua,  Sierra Leone and the Philippines. Using the TAF at the early stage of product development can help to identify bottlenecks that would hinder the uptake of a technology in a context and identify mitigation measures. For more details see .

Within this strategy, efforts will be undertaken to promote the TAF widely, evaluate it and work towards a formal RWSN endorsement and training.

Topic: Technologies

Expected outcomes (2015-2017):

1.Technology options for Self-supply are selected using an agreed RWSN standard by at least five organisations.

2.Rainwater harvesting techniques are incorporated into government policy and practice in three countries.

3. Improved understanding of RWSN members of household water treatment and safe storage options.

Activities & Publications (2015-2017):

1. Sharing experiences of organisations that are already using the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) for technology assessment and development, supporting others who are interested and promoting it.

2. RWSN Publication: Using the Technology Applicability Framework

3. Building online community of practice and facilitating dialogue and sharing of experiences regarding rainwater harvesting.

4. Joint networking and sharing with the Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage network (hosted by WHO).


Related Resources

The Technology Applicability Framework. A Participatory Tool to Validate Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Technologies for Low-Income Urban Areas

in S. Hostettler et al. (eds.), Technologies for Development,

Decision-makers as well as practitioners in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector are facing serious challenges to keep existing WASH infrastructure in operation or to ensure provision of lasting and adequate WASH services. In many countries there are no tested procedures for assessing sustainability and scalability of new or existing technologies for providing adequate and lasting WASH services in a specific context.

The TAF was field tested on 13 WASH technologies in three countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Uganda. This paper presents the findings from the testing of the TAF and highlights potentials and limits of its applicability
for assessing the sustainable application and scalability of WASH technologies.
Relevant documents on the methodology, the testing as well as case studies and manuals are accessible in the public domain through • read more »

WASH Self-Supply in Sierra Leone

Perspectives and Options

The paper summarizes the findings of an independent evaluation of two DFID-funded projects implemented by Welthungerhilfe and WaterAid to specifically test a market based approach to self-supply in Sierra Leone. The findings presented indicate a good potential for self-supply to complement communal water services where formal service providers attribute lower priority to target smaller remote and inaccessible communities (population of 150 persons and below).

Includes a Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) assessment of the EMAS flexi-pump.

DISCLAIMER: This is a non-RWSN publication and endorsement by RWSN or any of its member organisations should not be inferred. • read more »