Contest for innovative ideas in sanitation.

The FINISH programme is of the opinion that there is a lack of innovations in low cost toilets and sanitations solutions. Under the FINISH programme it was demonstrated that this problem can be tackled by initiating innovation contests with cash prizes.


The contest was on World Toilet Day - 19th Nov 2010 and the award winners were announced in March 2011.

The following prizes were given out:

  • 1st prize in systems : Combined shower, urine diversion, dry latrine and drip irrigation system to Benjamin Clouet from France 6000 Euros 

  • 1st Prize in superstructures: Cook & SOAPI integrated system with rainwater collection, separation of urine / faeces, and production of biogas to JELMER trainees from Netherlands 1750 Euros
  • Second prize systems: Easy (to buy, build and use) latrine to Yi Wei from Cambodia 750 Euros
  • Second prize collection systems: Plastic liner to Dylan Marriner from USA 750 Euros
  • Second prize superstructures: Dry composting toilet building for schools or other public facilities to Henry Hill Pierce from USA 750 Euros
  • Implementation award: SCOPE UDDT or ECOSAN model to M. Subburaman, email:
  • No cash prize but funds will be raised to implement the winning models in the town of Musuri where Mr. Subburaman operates SCOPE.

Experience in the field has confirmed that complete and safe sanitation coverage can only with a sound identification of appropriate toilet technologies. There is a huge potential for improving the designs of existing toilet systems. And also there are ample opportunities for introducing new functionalities for water harvesting, treating wastewater along with the structure of a toilet.

However, new designs of low cost toilets are few, perhaps because such innovations unlikely to be patentable or have great commercial value.

FINISH rose to this challenge by launching the ‘FINISH sanitation innovation contest’ to generate innovations in terms of a novel design and/or novel choice of materials used and/or a new process and/or any other component of rural low-cost toilets. NGO partners of FINISH - WASTE (Netherlands) and Friend in Need (India) joined hands with Ethos (India) that holds innovation contests for budding architects and ideaken (India) a collaborative innovation platform provider to design and launch the contest. A total reward of Rs. 620,000 (or € 10,000 (Euros) was offered by FINISH. An international multi-disciplinary jury was formed.