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close this bookA Guide to the Development of on-site Sanitation (WHO; 1992; 246 pages)
View the documentPreface
open this folder and view contentsPart I. Foundations of sanitary practice
open this folder and view contentsPart II. Detailed design, construction, operation and maintenance
close this folderPart III. Planning and development of on-site sanitation projects
open this folder and view contentsChapter 9. Planning
open this folder and view contentsChapter 10. Institutional, economic and financial factors
close this folderChapter 11. Development
View the documentImplementation
View the documentOperation and maintenance
View the documentEvaluation
View the documentReferences
View the documentSelected further reading
View the documentGlossary of terms used in this book
View the documentAnnex 1. Reuse of excreta
View the documentAnnex 2. Sullage
View the documentAnnex 3. Reviewers
View the documentSelected WHO publications of related interest
View the documentBack Cover
 

Evaluation

As a sanitation project nears the end of the implementation phase, it is helpful to carry out an evaluation or review of what has occurred. Evaluation, by personnel who have not been directly involved with the project, is only of relevance to the community if the agency is prepared to correct any mistakes identified, particularly those of a technical nature that may lead to difficulties with operation or maintenance in later years. Evaluation is important for the agency, as it gives staff a better understanding of what has been effective and why, and at the same time pinpoints any failures that could be avoided in future programmes.

In the sense that evaluation is an ongoing management tool to ensure effective use of resources, it is sometimes considered necessary to engage in constant evaluation of all stages of a programme. Regular monitoring should be carried out as routine by the management of any agency involved. Constant evaluation is normally only justified in large programmes. Evaluation carried out during or at the end of the project should be done by people who are familiar with the project or other similar projects but who have not been closely associated with the planning and implementation. This is to avoid the natural tendency for people to make allowances for shortcomings and weaknesses in any scheme with which they have been involved.

Because of the pressures on project budgets and professional staff time, the evaluation has to give the required information at minimum cost. Occasionally it may be of interest to carry out a number of evaluations over a period of years subsequent to completion of the project. However, the results rarely justify the costs involved.

The World Health Organization has developed a minimum evaluation procedure (MEP) for water supply and sanitation projects (WHO, 1983). In this, evaluation is defined as "a systematic way of learning from experience and of using the lessons learned both to improve the planning of future projects and also to take corrective action to improve the functioning, utilization and impact of existing projects." Using the MEP, the first consideration is how effectively the facilities are working or functioning. This is followed by an investigation as to how well the sanitation system is being used and maintained by the people; and finally the impact on the health and welfare of the community is considered. A protocol for inspection of latrines, included in the MEP, is shown in Fig. 11.2.

Fig. 11.2. Protocol for the inspection of latrines

_____________________________________________________________________

   

Programme: ______________________

Province: __________________________

 

District: ___________________________

 

Village: ____________________________

 

Inspected by: _______________________

 

Date: _____________________________

       

1. Household identification

_________________

 
       

2. Superstructure, type

_________________

 
       
 

Yes

No

 

Functioning

_______

_______

 

Gives privacy

_______

_______

 

Gives protection from rain

_______

_______

 
       

3. Fixtures, type

_________________

 
       
 

Yes

No

 

Water in water seal

_______

_______

 

Lid

_______

_______

 

Suitable

_______

_______

 

If not suitable specify problem

_________________

 
       

4. Pit lined

Yes

No

 

Free depth _______ metres

_______

_______

 
       
 

Yes

No

 

5. Cleaning material available

_______

_______

 
     

6. Water for handwashing available at what distance? ___________ metres

   

7. General condition

 
 

Good

Acceptable

Bad

Very bad

Smell

____

__________

____

________

Flies

____

__________

____

________

Mosquitos

____

__________

____

________

Fouling

____

__________

____

________

   

8. Other comments

 

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

 

WHO 91501

Evaluation normally leads to recommendations for further action to improve the effectiveness of sanitary facilities. There should be a readiness within the programme institutions to make the recommended alterations if the time and expense of carrying out the evaluation are to be justified.

Functioning

Evaluation of functioning, that is, determination of how well the different systems are working, can be considered in terms of the proportion of households in the target area who have constructed a sanitation system, and the reliability of the facilities (Fig. 11.3). Failure to reach at least 80% of the target population may be because the facilities are unaffordable or are not considered of immediate priority by the community in terms of expected benefits.


Fig. 11.3. Evaluation of sanitation facilities

 

WHO 91373

Technical confusion over the design, use of inappropriate materials, a high groundwater table and hard rock all lead to a lower than anticipated response. Where the facilities are unhygienic (for example, because of constant fouling, flooding or fly nuisance), reasons for this failure should be investigated. Reliability should be considered in terms of operation and maintenance, rate of filling of pits, convenience of superstructures, and functioning of items such as water seals and vent pipes.

Utilization

In recording the proportion of people using the systems, particular attention should be paid to the different categories in the community, such as women, men, children and old people. However, such information is often difficult to collect, as people may give replies they think the evaluator requires. Watching who uses a latrine may be considered an invasion of privacy. A careful combination of interviewing and observation is needed. Low rates of use may be due to technical inadequacies, sociological issues, lack of health education, or a general uncertainty regarding the system. It is important to distinguish between these different factors.

Health impact

Evaluation of health impact is only worth while when the factors hindering functioning and utilization have been overcome. The aim is to determine whether there has been any improvement in health and well-being as a result of the sanitation programme. Such studies tend to be expensive and normally require specially trained personnel such as medical officers and epidemiologists. Briscoe et al. (1986) gave detailed information on the complexities of measuring health impact. In particular, the authors looked at the conditions under which health impact evaluations should be carried out, the preferred indicators for measuring impact on health, appropriate methods for study, and means of interpreting the results. They concluded that such detailed evaluations are justified where further large investments are contemplated and economic criteria are not sufficient to decide between alternative options, where systems are functioning and being utilized, and where sufficient resources (including scientific personnel) are available.

The ultimate evaluation is that of the householders themselves. A project can be considered successful where householders, by their own choice, have invested a significant amount of time and money in the implementation of their own sanitation systems, and demonstrate their satisfaction by their continued willingness to use, operate and maintain their latrines.

 

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