“SENSE” (Social Evaluation of New Sanitation Experiments) is a collaborative EU-research project regarding the large-scale introduction of New Sanitary systems and Water Wise Neighbourhoods in Europe. SENSE focuses on the social and societal factors surrounding this subject, the focus being public perception, acceptance and the role of communication and participation interventions. Previous research established these factors as hurdles in implementing environmentally sustainable water technology in property development and therefore important considerations in the success of decentralised water demonstration projects.
Seven demonstration sites across Europe – in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden – were selected for research inclusion, with variety in socio-economic context, technological configuration and scales. Selected demonstration project adhered to the criteria of large scale residential construction with inclusion of separated waste water streams, the use of vacuum toilets and digestion technologies.
Further information regarding the aforementioned demonstration sites is available under the the ‘Projects’ section
Round one of research has been conducted in all projects across Europe. So far the results look promising, showing that end-users are positive towards new sanitation technologies and choose these above standard technologies. So far a literature review is available online as well as site specific information. In 2022 round two of the surveys will be conducted. Therefore we will share more information about the results during 2022.
In order to provide a basis for replication projects which facilitate data comparison, the SENSE project makes its protocols available to the wider scientific en professional community. This approach provides insights and therefore enables easier setup of follow-up projects, while reducing research costs.
Three types of protocols have been developed: (1) Explorative interview guides; (2) Large scale surveys and; (3) Follow-up interview guide or workshop. The protocols have been tested and used in several projects. The online surveys are available in English, Dutch, German, and Swedish on request.
For the explorative interviews a standard (semi-)structured interview format was developed for usage by multiple interviewers.
For stakeholders in demonstration projects, these interviews provide a basic insight into responses to- and interaction of end-users with various forms of (more) sustainable water technologies.
Furthermore, the more qualitative and open setup of interviewing has positive effects on the validity of the research, as bias is mitigated through an interviewee-centred frame of reference approach.
The developed survey protocol can be adjusted based on the explorative interview results. The survey is available in different languages (English, Dutch, German, and Swedish).
The survey can be used online (Survey Monkey) or offline. Filling in the survey takes between 10 an 20 minutes dependent on the total of new sanitation tehcnologies applied.
After analysing the data of surveys it is relevant to follow-up on the responses of end-users. Firstly, to better understand what their answers (for instance from outliers) mean. Secondly, to provide feedback to residents that posed questions.
Based on these three steps a thourough analysis can be drawn.
The SENSE project is an international collaboration between water utilities, housing corporations and research insitutes. It is funded by all partners and by the Water in the Circular Economy (WiCE) programme of the Dutch Drinking Water Sector.
Do you have specific questions about this collaborative research?
Are you developing a similar neighbourhood and interested in applying the protocols?
Please contact us