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Working in a teaching environment over many years I introduced students to the 'goals' of water and sanitation management using the 'EEVERT' acronym - suggesting that services needed to be:


Effective – is it working/delivering?

Equitable – can all benefit, particularly the poorest?

Viable –will it continue to deliver?

Efficient –achieved with optimum use of resources?

Replicable – can it be repeated, can it be ‘scaled up’?

Transparent –is it apparent/understandable to all how it works?


Suggesting that the order of those requirements is important - the system has to be working before it can deliver to everyone and then viable if it is to be sustainable; and yes, it would be helpful if it were efficient but that is not nearly as important as being effective and equitable. Replicable next as too many project-based approaches achieve the first four goals only for the lifetime, and a bit more, of a project being undertaken which then cannot be replicated to further locations in the absence of all the special project software and capacity-building. Finally to transparency, a particular goal of service management in both public and private utilities but also in community managed services as well.


So, if those are the goals, we are also aware of the different dimensions or characteristics which are the context in which the goals can be achieved. Hence I got to 'SHTEFIE' many years ago, a good colleague came up with 'FIST and HAND' and some good students came up with some fairly obvious (in retrospect!) variations ....  but I still use SHTEFIE because I believe again in the priority of those headings - people first, the resulting health benefits and public health protection for people next, then the technology, conventional and appropriate and sometimes transitional, followed by the economic and financial aspects (who is going to pay for the CapEx, who for the OpEx and CapManEx and Cost of Capital?) to what benefit to who? Which entity is going to manage this service, public, private, community or household (and within what overall governance and legal setting) and finally how is the environment going to be protected in both our abstraction and wastewater recycling?

Conventionally we have the 'triple bottom line' which businesses learnt to work through: social, environmental (or ecological) and financial. SHTEFIE is a 'septuple bottom line' .... needed because all those dimensions are so critical.


EEVERT's goals and SHTEFIE dimensions being shown in the diagram above. But I also liked to remind students that there is an overarching dimension that must never be forgotten - what we call 'The Big P of Politics'  - the priority social aspect made manifest at societal level through society's chosen representatives .... at least on a good day.


Using this approach in practice, the diagram or mind map below shows how it can be helpful, this in the context of urban water and sanitation, to note the different elements of what is required for a utility service provider to start to address all that is required to get improved, sustainable, water and sanitation to all - particularly low-income consumers in peri-urban settlements ....


To back up this approach, you can see aspects of EEVERT coming out clearly in the JMP survey, image below

JMP Service Criteria.PNG

And a recent version of SHTEFIE called FIETS from the Dutch WASH Alliance 



But for those of us of a certain age (and all credit to those two wonderful players, I was able to use this slide for a surprisingly long time, which is also a reminder that all lecturers reach their 'sell by' date) I found their names a useful way of helping an earlier generation of students to remember EEVERT and SHTEFIE .....

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