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Posts Tagged ‘waste management’
GIM delivers a keynote speech at the Sixth World Water Forum: Testing solutions for water products at the BOP must take a multi-product approach, instead of a single product-driven approach

GIM delivers a keynote speech at the Sixth World Water Forum: Testing solutions for water products at the BOP must take a multi-product approach, instead of a single product-driven approach

In a keynote presentation at the Japan Water Forum Side Event at the Sixth World Water Forum, Marseille, 14 March 2012, Sahba Sobhani (Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative, UNDP), reflected on the challenge of growing inclusive markets for water products in low income communities, where the challenge is to find strategies that are replicable and scaleable. The session focused on business-based pro-poor approaches on water and sanitation for better sustainability.

Mr. Sobhani said, “research and pilot testing is essential to take into consideration the cultural characteristics and ease of use in water sector products. Awareness building and community mobilization are also necessary cost factors.  He noted that a sector approach testing multiple products can be more beneficial compared to the standard ‘product’ based approach pursued by most companies when entering the BoP market. Sectoral approaches enable comparative benchmark analysis of pro poor impact, demand for the products and business cases. The presentation included findings from a recent UNDP multi product testing undertaken with two Japanese water purification products as part of a Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs funded initiative -perhaps one of the first multi-product feasibility studies of its kind.

The BoP business model can apply not only to point of use systems, but also to support the construction of water supply systems for the unserved, in order to sustainably improve public hygiene with safe water supply. The JICA experience with the BoP business experience has so far demonstrated that these businesses are more difficult than other ordinary private water projects because they are small, target low income groups, and are high risk. Therefore, private finance is very limited. Osamu Murata (JICA), explained that this is why JICA is supporting the costs of feasibility studies by private companies that are willing to invest in the BoP business model. JICA will continue to welcome collaborations with other donors, NGOs and private companies.

The session concluded that the BoP business model can be successful in meeting the needs of poor people for improved water service provision at an affordable cost. It can also open up significant new markets for businesses and enable them to make a profit. And finally, the BoP model provides a long term contribution to sustainable poverty reduction by using more energy and resource-efficient technologies, increasing economic activity and creating opportunities. Unserved communities, private companies, and the international development community can all achieve their objectives by working together using the BoP business approach. Work by the Japan Water Forum, JICA and colleagues on the BoP solutions will build on the suggestions made during the Side Event in preparation for further presentation and discussion on this topic during the 7th World Water Forum in Korea.

 
Q&A with Habibur Rahman, author of Waste Concern case study in Bangladesh

M. Habibur Rahman was born in Rajshahi in Bangladesh. He obtained his BA (honors) and MA degrees in economics at Rajshahi University in 1985 and 1986 respectively. He was conferred PhD degree for his research in the area of international economics at the Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh in 2003. During the last 18 years he has undertaken a number of qualitative and quantitative studies in a wide range of areas that include, among others, private sector development, trade, poverty, education. He has worked as a consultant for the major development partners of Bangladesh such as UNDP, ADB, and JICA. Recently he has undertaken a UNDP sponsored study entitled “MDG (Education) Needs Assessment and Costing”. He is now involved in one IFC sponsored project in the area of private sector development as a monitoring and evaluation consultant. He also worked for the country’s leading civil society think tank ‘Centre for Policy Dialogue’ as a Research Fellow in 2007. Rahman has participated in a number of policy dialogues, seminars, consultative meetings and workshops across the country. Rahman is now working as an Associate Professor of economics at the Jagannath University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Waste Concern operates a decentralized community-private-public partnership model for waste recycling to transform the solid waste into organic compost using a low cost, low-tech and labour-intensive method.

To download the Waste Concern case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is the basic value proposition of Waste Concern and what makes its financial model sustainable?

The fundamental objective of Waste Concern is to achieve a common vision to contribute to waste recycling, environmental improvement, renewable energy, employment generation for the urban poor and sustainable development. Since its inception in 2001 until 2006, they had been able to reduce 17,000 tons of Green House Gas emissions, generate employment for 986 urban poor, and saved a landfill area of 33.12 acres with a depth of 1 meter. During the same period they processed 124,400 tons of organic waste and produced 31,100 tons of compost. Their composting activities benefited 60,000 people in Dhaka and an additional 434,290 people from its replication in other parts of the country.

The Waste Concern developed composting plants are all simple, low cost and labour intensive and are suitable to the socio-economic and climatic condition of Bangladesh. The modest sales revenue and low pay-back period makes their model financially attractive.

To what extent was proper research and piloting a key factor in Waste Concern’s success?

Before going into actual implementation Waste Concern conducted in-depth research because they didn’t have any idea about the content of the urban waste. This is important to know for recycling organic waste into organic compost, which has a great market potential in the country. Piloting of the model was equally important to promote the concept of ‘4 Rs’ – reduce, reuse, recycle and recover waste. Their in-depth research and successful piloting resulted in several replications of their model across the country. Their model has also been replicated in Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

What are the benefits of a decentralized vs. centralized composting system?

It has been observed that centralized composting plants involve high operational, transport and maintenance cost, and often fails to reach target in the developing countries. As opposed to that, a decentralized system has several advantages in the context of Bangladesh as it is labour intensive, less costly, and suited for the waste stream. It also improves community participation in source separation and reduces costs incurred for collection, transportation and disposal of waste by municipal authority.

What is the role played by Bangladeshi government entities and UN agencies (UNDP, UNICEF) in this model?

Waste Concern received lot of support from the government entities and the UN agencies operating in the country. The government-owned research organizations, namely Bangladesh’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, provided them with laboratory testing facilities free of charge. Dhaka City Corporation and the Public Works Department provided public land for community composting. Two UN agencies in Bangladesh namely the UNDP and the UNICEF, provided financial support for implementation of their model in the country.

Based on Waste Concern’s experience, what are the promises of the Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in contributing to environment sustainability in Bangladesh?

The CDM of the Kyoto Protocol has created opportunities for generating huge amount of economic and environmental benefits for Bangladesh. Under this initiative the world’s first carbon trading based composting project is being implemented with a capacity of composting 700 tons of waste per day along with a landfill gas extraction and utilization through its 3 planned recycling plants with a daily recycling capacity of 130 tons each. This initiative will also reduce 15,600 tons of CO2 e/year and save 52,195 m3/year area of landfill.

What has been your personal experience going through the GIM case research process?

The GIM case research initiative is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the success stories of the real development players in a country. I feel proud to be a part of this initiative. A group of able and wonderful personalities involved in the research process at the UNDP has clearly demonstrated their commitment to the success of this initiative throughout the entire period of the study by providing timely support and necessary guidance. Thanks to UNDP for sponsoring such an initiative which can make a significant contribution to creating a hunger and pollution free global environment.

 
Q&A with Michael Goldman, author of case study: Tedcor (South Africa)

Michael Goldman is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg, South Africa. He lectures, researches and consults in the area of Marketing, including topics such as Marketing Strategy & Management, Base of the Pyramid business strategies, Customer Centricity and Strategy, and Sports Marketing and Sponsorship. He is an active member of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded BoP South African Learning Lab. Michael studied for his B.PrimEd degree from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth before completing the Programme for Management Development and his MBA from GIBS. He is currently completing a doctorate through GIBS in the area of marketing.

Tedcor started its community-based waste removal system in 1992. Today, using Tedcor’s model, over 80 trained entrepreneurs operate their own small businesses in 16 local authorities. They provide employment to more than 1,000 historically disadvantaged people and supply waste removal services to around 400,000 households.

To download the Tedcor case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is Tedcor’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

The Tedcor model works because of the strong business and financial capabilities supporting the contractors (entrepreneurs), ensuring quality delivery of the service to communities and local government, and financially engineering the working capital and cash flow arrangements.

What have been the biggest challenges hindering Tedcor’s development and growth?

The Tedcor model works because of capacity constraints and service delivery failures within local government structures.  Equally, the expansion and uptake of the Tedcor model faces delays and hurdles due to the capacity constraints and service delivery failures within local government structures.

What is the importance of effective waste management for a country like South Africa, and how the poor can benefit from such services?

Waste management is a basic public service that is taken for granted in most of the developed world.  It can be regarded as a human right as part of living in a clean and healthy community.  The failure by governments to provide this basic service has a significantly negative impact on the health and wellbeing of poorer communities, as well as encouraging pollution and environmental degradation.  The Tedcor model not only efficiently and effectively addresses this basic need, but does it profitably by employing significant numbers of community members, who gain skills, employment and in some cases financial capital.