Report: Communities Need Better Decision-making Tools

In a new report, scientists and development experts evaluate decision-making tools for practitioners in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector. "The good news is there already are many workable solutions that can improve the water and sanitation issues people are struggling with. Unfortunately, it can be a tremendous challenge for communities to figure out which strategy fits their situation best, and to maintain these technologies over time," said Meena Palaniappan, who co-authored the report with Micah Lang and Peter H. Gleick.

Directed by Peter H. Gleick at the Pacific Institute and by Geoffrey D. Dabelko at the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program, A Review of Decision-Making Support Tools in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector recommends the development of a comprehensive decision-making tool that would allow users to compare the construction, operation, and management requirements; costs; financing options; scalability; and institutional needs of WASH technologies and approaches. This tool would also address the needs of different geographic locations, evaluate opportunities for community involvement, and use case studies to demonstrate technologies in action.

The report can be downloaded from http://www.wilsoncenter.org/ecsp.

The Pacific Institute works to find real-world solutions to problems like water shortages, habitat destruction, global warming, and environmental injustice. A nonpartisan organization based in Oakland, Calif., it conducts research, publishes reports, recommends solutions, and works with decision-makers, advocacy groups, and the public to change policy. 

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