System mapping

The journey for the ‘Non-sewage portable toilet’ is a part of the larger sanitation domain. The target group may be selected as seasonal agricultural workers, most of whom are displaced people under temporary protection in Turkey. First the Systems Lab conducts a system mapping exercise:

  • Desktop research on sanitation factors such as: clean water, hand wash, personal hygiene, wash and education, sanitation without sewage, sanitation without water, sanitation for seasonal workers, sickness related to sanitation …
  • Interviews at refugee camps with users, service providers, municipality, and health personnel will be conducted to understand the full aspect of the issue.
  • Mapping of direct influencers and interdependencies. Figure 3 shows some of the players associated with the corresponding problem, here are some examples:

› Local policy maker – business owners who employ seasonal agricultural workers need to legally provide proper sanitation. Due to the fact that it is not followed up by the local policy maker, despite the availability of the latest technologies, no major change has been observed in the current situation.

› Disposal/Trash – often left behind disposals and trash creates a larger problem due to the fact that large concentration

of the non-ecological disposals. Full product/service life cycle need to be considered.

› Education – different cultures have different habits on the WC usage, each and every solution need to be explained

and users need to be trained.

Each of the below mentioned areas need to be considered in detail how they relate each other and how they affect each other.

Stakeholders for ‘Non-sewage portable toilet’

Big question:

After a system mapping exercise, the Acceleration process starts with a big question:

How might we provide hygienic toilet solutions in remote places or in moving camps (for refugee and/or seasonal agriculture/ construction workers) with low resources and skills?

Establishing the cohort:

The Systems Lab will recruit the enablers of the cohort, including:

  • Technology providers (including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)
  • Manufacturer of toilets (for example Eczacibasi Holding)
  • Corporates that conduct contracted farming with seasonal workers
  • Farmers’ associations
  • Ministry of Labor
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Interior
  • International organizations working in this field (such as FAO)
  • Hospital and Medical Labs
  • Soap and cleansing/hygiene material manufacturer
  • Municipalities

The Systems Lab will recruit the supporters of the cohort, including:

  • Academics who work on seasonal agricultural workers
  • Humanitarian aid workers for refugees for mentoring (such as UNHCR or NGOs)
  • Sociologists & Anthropologists
  • Gender specialists

The challenge may be owned by the technology providers and manufacturers. In this case, they will license their technologies and/or provide funding to the challenge.


Calls for solvers

First the Accelerator management will select the jury:

  • the Accelerator CEO
  • the Accelerator Manager,
  • a representative of the challenge owner
  • 2 independent members

Call will be announced for solvers to implement sanitation solutions in the field. Calls will invite and selectively target new players like startups, SMEs, NGOs, Corporations.

First Convention

The jury will discuss and select the applied ‘solvers’. The interrelation map developed by the Systems Lab will be used as the reference map. The applied solutions need to fit the reference map or enhance it.

The ‘solutions’ will be selected at this stage.

The common purpose and the critical success factors of the whole system will be explained to the participants (solvers, enabler, supporters).

Solvers will be matched with enablers and supporters via mentorship model.

Field travel (all over the process)

  • Cohort will travel to problem area, and will conduct interviews and workshops with local users to gain deeper understanding of the issues.
  • Seminars will be run by local experts and sociologist/anthropologist to understand the local issues and social aspects.
  • Pilot areas are selected with early adopters to test the interrelated projects.
  • Necessary pilot infrastructure is built with local partners.

Second Convention

After completion of the field boot camp, cohort will return to the co-working space and collaboratively work on the problems.

  • Reconsider the problem statement and redefine the problem
  • Develop multi-dimensional hypothesis for the solution with the Cohort
  • Shuffle the companies to the new projects

Developing the product (all over the process)

1) Project teams may need labs and production facilities to develop the solutions. They will use the challenge owner’s sanitation labs and production facilities.

2) Develop the solutions and discuss it with other groups

3) Evaluating successful and failed projects in the past

4) Lean startup methodology taught to the project teams.

5) Mentoring will be given by the Enabler and Support Cohort

6) MVPs created at the labs of the Cohort’s companies

7) Any solution will require some sort of education by the users/beneficiaries. Therefore, an educational program will be developed.

Pilot Test on the Field:

  • MVPs executed on the field by the start-ups.
  • Parallel to that, in the field, social and capability aspects need to be prepared. Trainings on the solutions and problem awareness trainings will be implemented.


1) Necessary changes on the MVPs will be designed

2) For the missing parts new calls can be set in progress. This needs to be accelerated and implemented into the system rather rapidly.

3) Large scale deployment plans will be made, if relevant, with the assistance of outcome partners.

Demo Day

  • The solvers will present the corresponding projects and outcome of the pilot tests.
  • The Impact Fund and a network of co-investors will make investment decisions.
  • The Systems Lab will acknowledge how the solution fits into the systems map of the grand challenge.

Source: Doğan Taşkent (2018). Contribution to the UNDP SDG Impact Accelerator report.

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