On Zanzibar, tourism is the largest economic sector and is essential for Zanzibar’s socio-economic stability, accounting for 27% of GDP, 80% of foreign revenue and 72.000 jobs. In order to address the adverse effects caused by rapid expansion and unsustainable hotel operations, the Government of Zanzibar has made sustainable tourism one of its national priorities. However, according to the national research agenda for 2015-2020, there is incomplete understanding of how hotels affect the natural and human environments in Zanzibar and how impacts can be mitigated. 

This new project takes a point of departure in the synergy between sustainable tourism and innovation, and the research generated will inform sustainable development within the hotel sector in tropical and subtropical regions. Thus, it is expected that results from the research will provide researchers, practitioners and decision-makers with a stronger, evidence-based understanding of sustainable management of solid waste and environmental, non-chemical mosquito control at hotels with a view to reduce pollution, nuisance mosquitoes and risk of vector-borne disease transmission. This will ultimately be beneficial to the society at large.

Lead institution:

Global Health Section, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark
Principal Investigator: Peter Furu

Partner institutions:

State University of Zanzibar (SUZA)

Open University Tanzania (OUT)

Zanzibar Ministry of Health - Malaria Elimination Programme (MOH-ZAMEP)

Aalborg University (AAU)

Copenhagen Business School (CBS)

The project aims to contribute to the direct enhancement of practices and will use an action research approach (AR)35,53, where several research components (WPs) follow a circular process of planning (baseline results), action (implementation of pilot studies) and fact finding (evaluation) of results from specific interventions. The specific interventions will focus on the integration of ISWM, NcEC and sustainable practices into current hotel practices. The project partner, ZATI, has 100 member-hotels of which a list of potential partner hotels has been identified on the East coast of Zanzibar. For practical and financial feasibility, four hotels will be identified as case studies. Criteria for hotel selection includes: coastal location, size of property, guest capacity, proximity to local communities, ownership, layout and landscaping. The mix of data collection methods that will be employed in the project is explained in the following text as they relate to the various immediate objectives (IO) of the project:

Baseline evaluations (mapping)

IO-1: An analysis of the existing management of waste generated at hotels will be conducted including a material flow analysis54 and a stakeholder analysis55,56. The material flow analysis highlights the current amounts of waste and where it is transferred to during its life cycle. This information will be used to assess the feasibility of interventions for ISWM. The stakeholder and network analysis identifies relevant actors within ISWM on Zanzibar and how they relate to each other in terms of roles, responsibilities, power and knowledge. Secondary data e.g. hotel purchase records and primary data will be collected through key informant interviews, observations and focus groups with hotel staff, government and local authorities and waste handling companies. IO-2: Existing mosquito control practices will be outlined through a questionnaire-based survey administered to hotel management at each of the four hotels. The questionnaire will include issues such as responsible operators; type of control activities incl. quantity of chemical insecticide used; frequency and cost of activities and; type and regularity of impact assessments. Quarter-annual cross-sectional surveys will be conducted at each hotel and their immediate surroundings to identify the predominant mosquito species57,58, the abundance of larval and adult mosquitoes59, insecticide resistance levels60,61 as well as the characteristics of larval habitats identified. IO-3: One proportional, stratified, random survey will target all of ZATI’s member-hotels representing a sample of various ratings, sizes and ownership (national or international), to identify organizational and institutional factors that shape practices of SWM and mosquito control. Qualitative information collected through key informant interviews, focus groups and participant observations will complement survey results by exploring internal and external concerns of SWM and mosquito control as perceived by hotel managers and owners, tour operators, hotel guests and policy makers. 

Development of intervention plans

IO-3: Factors influencing the adoption and consolidation of novel practices into hotel management processes and procedures will be identified through participatory workshops (1,5 days) at each selected hotel. During workshops, project partners, hotel staff will identify suitable practices for ISWM and NcEC of mosquitos, and will develop implementation plans (pilots). Results from baseline evaluations, secondary data sources, and various company information (costs, staff time, guest preferences, capacities and compliance mechanisms related to ISWM and NcEC) will be inputs for workshops. Desirable workshops outcomes will be specific pilot projects and associated implementation plans for ISWM and NcEC practices at each hotel. IO-1: ISWM activities may vary between the four hotels, but will all include revised value chain models34 to ensure optimal ISWM performance35 that is also acceptable and feasible for the hotels. ISWM actions may include e.g. waste prevention through different purchasing practices; sorting and processing of waste on site at the hotels; changing contractual agreements with waste handling companies; lobbying for changing waste disposal and processing at local authorities; and innovative solutions to waste management inspired by other hotels on Zanzibar. IO-2: NcEC plans may include a range of control activities to reflect diverse habitat preferences across species. The control activities will be carefully integrated with routine management activities at each hotel, but may also include semi and permanent modification of landscape and structures as well as taking into consideration the optimal discontinuation or limitation of existing control practices involving chemical insecticides.

Pilot projects

The ISWM and NcEC plans will be implemented through pilot projects at each selected hotel. IO-1: Hotel specific ISWM pilot projects will follow the Living Labs62 methodology where solutions are implemented, monitored, assessed and re-designed in a cyclical process throughout the study period. The first run will be in collaboration between North and South partners including the hotels. The second run of the process is completed in close collaboration with local stakeholders. The monitoring and assessment are made in collaboration with WP3. IO-2: The efficacy of hotel specific NcEC solutions in reducing mosquito infestations will be tested against the baseline data for mosquito larval habitats and the abundance of larval and adult mosquitoes. The effect on use of chemical insecticide (quantity and type) will also be compared to baseline. All relevant parameters will be measured during quarter-annual cross-sectional studies for a period of one year. In addition, insecticide resistance levels will be assessed at the pilot study end-point. IO-3: The implementation of ISWM and NcEC pilots in each hotel will be documented through interviews, participant observations (when appropriate) and personal notes by staff, to illustrate how individuals or groups interpret, adjust and accept organizational changes proposed for ISWM and NcEC.
Assessment of pilots and results 
IO-3: Experiences from the implementation of pilots, reflections on synergies or barriers (personal or organizational) that may have influenced outcomes and the adoption of practices will be shared during a second participatory workshop at each hotel including management, operational staff and relevant project partners. Subsequent negotiation and discussion of experiences will be analyzed to understand how companies cope with discontinuities triggered by innovation and subsequent organizational changes. Knowledge from the workshops and data generated during the pilots’ implementation will also be used to analyze the feasibility of converting hotels to new practices for ISWM and NcEC, including a full cost accounting63 that will demonstrate their business value for hotels on Zanzibar. Discussions during the workshops will be recorded together with participant observations and follow-up interviews. The analysis of the entire process of development, implementation and assessment of pilots in each selected hotel, together with knowledge of organizational and institutional factors will be used to extract managerial and policy recommendations for the uptake of ISWM and NcEC practices across the hotel sector of Zanzibar. The impacts of the pilots will be assessed in sustainability terms related to the economic, social and environmental dimension, known as the triple bottom line (profit, people and planet)64. Mechanisms of wider (national and international) adaptation of the generated guidelines such as policy change and requirements for international certification of sustainability will be assessed and standard descriptions provided for monitoring and reporting of implemented ISWM and NcEC solutions. 

Building Research Capacity

IO-4: All major research capacity needs will be addressed using a systemic approach to capacity development65. Inbuilt elements of each WP targeting research capacity strengthening of South partners will be coordinated at all levels including personal, supervisory and facility capacity. Targeted training will be provided for enrolled PhD and Master students with respect to research management incl. proposal development, monitoring and evaluation, data collection methods and analysis, research dissemination as well as development, implementation and coordination of all generic and specialized training, communication and dissemination activities.

Ethics and permissions

All involved project partners will conform to current legislation and regulations in the respective countries and adhere to international ethical standards at all times during this project. Ethical clearance will be sought from the Research Ethics Committee of the Ministry of Health on Zanzibar, while each PhD project will require separate approval from the research and ethics review committee of their respective university of enrolment. Following ethical clearance, a national research permit will be sought from the Zanzibar Research Council in the Second Vice President’s Office, while local research permissions will be requested from the Sheha (head of village/community) of each project area.

Principle Investigator

Peter Furu
Associate Professor

Email: furu@sund.ku.dk
Phone: +45 35 32 67 86
Mobile: +45 61 77 37 73

<p 0px="" 12px="" 18px="" 2="" 20px="20px" 400="" arial="" none="" normal="" open="open" sans="" sans-serif="" style="background-color: transparent;" align="left"> <p 0px="" 12px="" 18px="" 2="" 20px="20px" 400="" arial="" none="" normal="" open="open" sans="" sans-serif="" style="background-color: transparent;" align="left">The project runs from 2018 to 2023 and  is funded by Danida, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and administered by Danida Fellowship Centre.