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OCTOPUS was developed by the French NGO Solidarités International, following research by its partner BORDA. Our aim is to understand why there is a knowledge gap in the sanitation chain, particularly regarding sludge treatment.

Despite there being a lot of documentation on this topic, this does not always translate into quality interventions in practice. The main problem remains that faecal sludge management is implemented randomly in humanitarian contexts. Practitioners must choose the most appropriate technique for the context from many existing techniques and consider all parameters. Making this choice in the middle of an emergency situation is very complex.

OCTOPUS intends to help this decision-making process. It will enable the comparison of faecal sludge treatment solutions based on a common set of indicators and data. These indicators were developed with practitioners to reflect the type of information that is most useful and relevant for them. This is so that they feel able to make quick technological and strategic choices for faecal sludge disposal and treatment. OCTOPUS is also designed to collect lessons learned at both technology and crisis levels.

Our platform was first piloted in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where a series of solutions are currently being tested and lessons are being drawn. The case studies are being gathered by the Sanitation Technical Working Group.

The second phase of the project, still supported by Elrha’s HIF, will enable Solidarités International, in partnership with the Global WASH Cluster and Oxfam, to improve the platform according to users’ feedback. Our aim will be to make it as practical and user-friendly as possible. It will enable sanitation practitioners to make decisions rapidly, and provide a platform for those interested to learn more about what is being done in major sanitation crises around the world.

Solidarités International hope to deploy OCTOPUS elsewhere for further testing and to generate further knowledge and lessons learned.

For a preview of the pilot platform, click here! If you have any feedback that can help us improve the tool, do not hesitate to contact us at

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