Technology Assessment (TAF)

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TAF (Technology Applicability Framework) is a decision support tool on the applicability, scalability and sustainability of a specific WASH technology to provide lasting services in a specific context and on the readiness for its introduction. It is a participatory, facilitating and easy to use tool that triggers sharing of lessons learned between all actors involved, including local and national. As a strategy, it is often combined with Technology Introduction Process (TIP).

The TAF can be used to:

  • start discussion, documentation and sharing experiences about a WASH technology and approaches to scale up this technology
  • assess the potential of a specific technology with respect to applicability, scalability, sustainability and uptake in a specific context,
  • assess readiness of a sector to scale up this technology including identification of potential measures for improving uptake,
  • monitor performance of technology and its introduction process.

The TAF has undergone three rounds of testing in Uganda, Ghana and Burkina Faso and can be used by national governments, local government, donors and NGOs for both water and sanitation technologies. Technologies that are likely to perform well against a range of criteria can be piloted and scaled up using the Technology Introduction Process (TIP) guide that is currently in development.

Here is the official website of the TAF and TIP, which includes four sections: the Challenge, How to use the TAF and TIP, Tools and Sharing.

The WASHTech Project

The WASHTech project (2011-2013) is involving local partners in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda to introduce a robust Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) that will assess the potential of new innovative technologies which may be used at decentralised level.

The TAF will examine key criteria such as:

  • how the technology performs
  • whether buyers and users are interested in the technology (i.e. the market)
  • whether the technology can be applied widely
  • what support is required from government and private sector institutions, and
  • how sustainable the technology is over time.

Direct research outputs will be:

  • a widely applicable Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) and process that will provide a simple system and criteria for evaluating new technologies and their performance, identifying sustainability issues, and analysing approaches to introduction, innovation, diffusion and scaling up, and
  • well established capacities in three countries to apply the TAF and adapt processes to local contexts.

The research will also seek to define strategies for innovation and scaling up, and the time-span and process needed to achieve successful up-take of innovations. These outputs will be of direct use to the sector and an indication of the value and application of the framework.

TAF profile

The TAF is a stepwise process to screen and assess technologies. Data is collected in the field and then verified and interpreted at a multi-stakeholder workshop. All relevant actors including users, producers and regulators participate and bring in their views and perceptions at this workshop.

Based on the results of the workshop, a graphical profile is developed, showing the strengths and weaknesses of the technology, as well as gaps in knowledge. This profile helps to uncover specific interventions or design changes that could improve the technology or the uptake process. For example it may point towards issues concerning subsidies (see indicator 6 in the example below) or capacity gaps of the producer (indicator 14).

The special feature of the TAF is its transparent and participatory process. It is not a magic box piece of computer software that spits out the ‘right’ answer. It brings very different stakeholders together and enables them to listen to each other and learn. The easy-to-understand graphical presentation allows all actors to recognise the key issues and identify who is responsible.

Slideshows about TAF

Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) by WASHTech

Using the TAF to evaluate the Urine Dry Diverting Toilet (UDDT)

TAF documents

Below are TAF documents, including TAF Screen Sheets and a set of TAF Scoring Sheets.