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UNICEF Innovation

Accessible Latrine Slab for Emergencies

© UNICEF/UNI5674/Holt


UNICEF’s strategic priorities include a renewed focus on equity, and ensuring that both regular UNICEF programming and emergency response address the needs of children with disabilities.  Persons with disabilities are considered more vulnerable and at risk of illness, as well economic and social exclusion—challenges which are exacerbated in emergency contexts. 

Challenges to UNICEF's current model  

Current sanitation products (including latrine slabs and super-structures) used in emergencies do not include components for enabling access by elderly or persons living with disabilities (including children). In the field, a small stool is sometimes made and positioned over the slab hole to allow for disabled access. This can work but it is not easily cleaned nor easily aligned over the slab hole, and does not always ensure safety for the users.

Proposed solution

UNICEF is seeking solutions to improve access to latrines in emergency contexts such as refugee camps or settlements. The solution must be able to be easily integrated with the existing self-supporting latrine slab used by UNICEF in emergencies.  

For emergency response, UNICEF currently procures a self-supporting plastic direct-drop squatting plate with foot rests, with an attached, preferably hinged, drophole cover. The squatting plate supports a weight of minimum 150kgs at the centre, with a minimal support structure extending up to a maximum of 10 cm from the edge of the slab. Dimensions are typically as follows: Length 1200 mm, width 800 mm, thickness either 40 or 55 mm.

Project Update

In 2016 UNICEF Supply Division (SD) published a Target Product Profile (TPP) to guide product developers on design and performance requirements for new solutions. 

In April 2017, SD issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) for prototypes of innovative designs that meet the requirements outlined in the TPP that will be field trialled in the UNICEF context. The purpose of this approach is to:

•               Encourage suppliers to consider universal designs to accommodate more users. 

•               Emphasize the importance designing with the users, and gathering feedback from the field.

•               Allowing more innovation through Supplier proposals rather than issuing specifications through an Invitation to Bid (ITB).

For more details on how to submit, please see the Request for Proposal (RFP) page. Response deadline is Monday 3rd of July 2017 at 23:59 hrs (Copenhagen time). Please note that there will be a Q&A session via Skype on 26 April 2017.



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