Working with Tremolet Consulting and the SHARE research consortium, Akvo has helped develop the Sanitation Investment Tracker (SIT), a mobile phone app that is competing in the in the Sanitation App Challenge. SIT can be used to track investment and associated expenditure in sanitation at household level. It can be used by a variety of organisations (including governments, NGOs, private operators of sanitation services) to help them understand the on-site sanitation market, by knowing who has invested and how much in on-site sanitation. This information is critical for designing, financing and monitoring sanitation programmes as well as providing services to households which have on-site sanitation. 
The Sanitation App Challenge is open to public vote until 12 March, 2013. You can VOTE HERE for SIT or tweet using hashtags #SIT and #SanHack
Powered by Akvo FLOW, SIT customises the existing FLOW tool to capture financial information in a way that is relevant for the design of sanitation programmes.
The Sanitation Investment Tracker was tested by the Akvo team in Monrovia.
Data reporting and mapping tools such as Akvo FLOW already exist however, for the first time in the water and sanitation sector, the SIT tool will focus on collecting the associated expenses involved in building, maintaining and running facilities, rather than just the functional status of the facilities. This is essential in order to track financing to the sector and support policy development and budgeting. Building on ideas that were submitted at the first ever Global Sanitation Hackathon, the Sanitation App Challenge is an online competition of apps that were developed to help solve the biggest problems facing the water and sanitation sector. The Sanitation App Challenge is open to public vote until 12 March, 2013. Nine jury-selected winners, plus the winner of the public vote, will go on to be finalists in the AppCircus digital awards event in March 2013. More information on SIT is available here. You can VOTE HERE for SIT. You can also vote by tweeting your support – Twitter votes must include hashtags #SIT and #SanHack. Emily Armanetti is communications manager at Akvo, based in New York City.