SFD Promotion Initative: Canton of Alajuela, Costa Rica

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Madrigal Barquero, Diana;
Apr 2021
Schöbitz, Lars
The Shit Flow Diagram (SFD) graphic is an advocacy tool that aims to assist technical and non-technical stakeholders to implement plans and programs related to urban sanitation. The SFD methodology is increasingly being used to analyze the extent of safely managed sanitation in urban areas, providing users and stakeholders with a valuable picture of the prevailing sanitation condition, from containment to disposal. As such, it is a widely recognized advocacy and decision support tool that aims to understand, communicate, and visualize how wastewater and fecal sludge move within a city or town. As stated on the SuSanA website, the SFD methodology offers “a new and innovative way to engage sanitation experts, political leaders, and civil society in coordinated discussions about excreta management in their city.”
The production and publication of an SFD report for Alajuela (Costa Rica) would help to visualize the current sanitation situation in the city, resulting in a potential to shift current activities and efforts towards more efficient investments in the places of the sanitation chain that need more attention, thereby improving the urban sanitation situation and the surrounding environment of the city.
The structure of this SFD report consists of an executive summary and the SFD report. The latter includes: i) general city information describing its main characteristics; ii) sanitation service outcomes, with a thorough explanation of the SFD graphic outcome and the assumptions made; iii) the service delivery context analysis, which contains information on the regulatory framework of water and sanitation at country and city levels, also describing the city plans, budget and future projects to improve the sanitation situation; and iv) a detailed description of the surveys, Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) conducted, as well as the key stakeholders involved, field visits carried out and references used to develop this SFD report.