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Announcement of the SPLASH Research Call on Sustainable Sanitation Service Chains

The SPLASH research call on sustainable sanitation service chains is now open. The overall call budget is approx. 1.9 Mio Euro. The call is funded by the following donors:

  • Austria Development Cooperation (ADC), Austria
  • Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom
  • Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Européenes (MAEE), France
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Sweden
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Switzerland

The deadline for submitting concept notes is April 23, 13:00 (CET).

1. Topics of the call

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the rates of urbanization have generally exceeded the capacities of national and local governments to plan and manage sanitation systems in an efficient, equitable and sustainable way. Improving sanitation services to the urban poor is an urgent priority that will have major positive impacts on human health and dignity, economic productivity and the environment. Research is required to support these efforts.

The major objective of the SPLASH research call is to contribute to the understanding and implementation at scale of sustainable sanitation service chains in low-income urban areas in Sub-Saharan Africa.

2. Expected projects and expected results

Proposals to be submitted under the SPLASH call should focus on investigation of the sanitation service systems in low-income urban areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. They may consider both working and dysfunctional systems, by investigating and evaluating key factors for success or failure of a system. In particular, proposals should address three main issues:

  • The role of service providers, to better understand the nature of the public and private market and its mechanisms in urban sanitation systems.
  • The urban sanitation market, to understand and quantify the financial flows in urban sanitation systems, to investigate how the urban poor can participate in the urban sanitation market and to design pro-poor sanitation financing mechanisms.
  • The role of policies and regulatory frameworks in shaping sustainable urban sanitation service chains, to understand the key factors of an enabling environment for pro-poor urban sanitation.

Project results should contribute to:

  • understand sustainable sanitation service chains in urban areas from a financial, social, institutional and technical point of view;
  • determine good practice, innovative models, key success factors and barriers for the implementation of sanitation service chains for the urban poor;
  • formulate evidence-based policy recommendations and institutional arrangements that further large-scale implementation of sustainable sanitation service chains in poor urban areas.

3. Eligibility criteria

Each research consortium must be transnational and consist of a minimum of 3 independent legal entities. At least 2 consortium partners must be from one or more African countries and at least 1 consortium partner must be from an European country.

The research projects commissioned by the SPLASH call on sanitation service chains will be limited to 36 month in duration. Each research consortia can apply for a total SPLASH research contribution in the range of 250'000 – 500'000 Euro.

Eligible participants entitled to funding are legal entities like research institutes, universities, private companies including SMEs, public administrations, civil society organisations, and non-governmental organisations from countries of Africa and from European countries.

4. Application procedure and evaluation

The SPLASH research call will employ a two stage application process: in a first step, consortia are invited to submit concept notes. Subsequently, shortlisted consortia will be invited to submit full proposals.

The evaluation process consists of three steps: In step 1 and 2, concept notes and full proposals will be evaluated in a peer-review process; in step 3, the projects to be funded will be selected by an international panel of science and development experts.

5. Applicant's Guide and form for submitting concept notes

A detailed SPLASH call applicant's guide and the application form for concept notes can be downloaded here:

The application form is to be used for drafting project concept notes. The application form has to be submitted electronically by email to the SPLASH call secretariat before April 23, 2010, 13:00 (CET) to the following address:

SPLASH Call Secretariat