27 April 2018

Applicability Filter Criteria

Author/Compiled by
seecon international gmbh

1) General Information on the Applicability Filter

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1.1) What is the filter? 

The filter helps you to get an overview of those measures, tools, approaches or instruments that are most adapted to your specific situation. The filter is not a magic machine that will tell you exactly which measure you need to adopt to solve your entire water and sanitation problems. What it can do is limit the number of measures that you can see on the screen by taking away those who are not useful for you (e.g. measures that require lot of water in water scarce areas, or approaches that are highly complex to understand if you are working with children).

1.2) How can I use the filter? 

You can use the filter by clicking on the respective check box. If you want to see options for both rural and urban areas or both complex and simple measures, you can simply highlight both boxes (or none). By default, the filter is not activated, thus all options are visible to you.

1.3) How were the definitions of the filter criteria created? 

Rather than being scientifically precise, the below definitions are working definitions that fit those measures, tools, approaches or instruments described here best and in the simplest way. They should help you to understand how the criteria have been defined for the SSWM Toolbox.


As difficult as it is to define criteria that fit such a wide range of measures, tools, approaches or instruments that presented here, as difficult is it to actually apply them. In case of doubt, a measure is shown, so that is not excluded from the selection. Measures where the filter criteria do not apply are visible in any case.


2) Filter Criteria

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2.1) Where has the tool mainly been applied successfully in the past?

Urban areasRural areas
  • Urban areas are areas with a high population density, vast human features and a low percentage of undeveloped areas (cities, towns, conurbations).
  • Rural areas are areas that are not densely populated and have a high percentage of undeveloped area (villages, hamlets, agricultural areas).


Water scarce areas (dry)Water rich areas (wet)
An area is water scarce if the availability of (fresh)water is significantly inhibited throughout the whole year or during parts of the year. Water scarcity usually goes along with low levels of humidity in the air and low annual amounts of rainfall.An area is water rich if freshwater is available naturally throughout the year. Yet, this does not mean that water supply is guaranteed for all parts of population and all uses. Water rich areas usually have high levels of humidity and high annual amounts of rainfall


On household levelOn community/city level
  • Household level means that the tool can be implemented and/or used and/or maintained in a single household.
  • Community/city level means that the tool is usually not implemented and/or used and/or maintained by a single household, but by a whole community or town/city.


2.2) How complex is it to implement the measure/tool/approach/instrument?

Complex, high-techSimple, low-tech

Software, Planning & Process Tools

  • Requires change in legal framework or policies
  • Requires intensive training and capacity building
  • Requires extensive monitoring and follow-up
  • Requires enforcement capacity & executive power
  • Requires the constitution of new organisations


Hardware Tools

  • Requires expert design or construction
  • Requires skilled staff for construction maintenance or operation
  • Requires high-tech appliances for monitoring, operation or maintenance
  • Requires external energy

Software, Planning & Process Tools

  • Does not require significant changes in legal frameworks or policies
  • Target populations understand the measure almost intuitively, thus no need for intensive training
  • Executive power is not necessary


Hardware Tools

  • No expert design or construction required
  • No skilled staff required for construction, maintenance or operation
  • Community/households can contribute in construction
  • Can be constructed with locally available material
  • No high-tech appliances for monitoring, operation, or maintenance required.
  • No external energy required


2.3) What degree of social change is necessary to introduce the measure?

Large changeLittle change
  • The target populations or individual users need to change their habits and usual practices significantly.
  • The target populations or individual users may also have to adapt attitudes, norms or perceptions.
  • The target population or individual users can continue with their current habits and practices as usual, or only with minor changes.
  • The target populations or individual users do not have to adapt attitudes, norms or perceptions significantly.

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