2.6 billion people are waiting for a toilet and the faecal sludge of an additional 1.5 billion people never gets treated. In the face of these indeed formidable challenges, the sanitation sector seems to have forgotten to celebrate the growing sense that we are getting a grip on how to tackle the problem of non-sewered sanitation. A new IRC paper  is an invitation to everyone to contribute by commenting on the framework and by sharing lessons learnt.
The framework presented for non-sewered sanitation is based on a few key principles:
- Sanitation is a public good and hence, national and local governments have a key responsibility to ensure that sanitation services that last are provided to all.
- The parameters for a sustainable sanitation service need to be built around access and use; operation and maintenance and safe faecal sludge management.
- The framework identifies political and individual commitment as a key condition for sustainable sanitation services.
- In addition, a sanitation service contains the following components: the enabling environment, the creation of demand, the supply chains, and well aligned financial arrangements and incentives.
- With increasing sanitation coverage, the focus of a sanitation service needs to shift from increasing access to and use of latrines (getting onto the sanitation ladder) to O&M and the safe disposal or productive uses of faecal sludge.
The framework serves as a starting point for the development of a functioning sanitation service. However, the main argument of the framework is not towards a certain approach for demand creation or sanitation marketing but towards including and interlinking all four components and to consciously create political support for sanitation – creating a sustainable service that lasts.
We welcome your feedback and comments to further improve the framework and we are especially keen on learning from you how different components of sanitation framework can and are being operationalized and interlinked.
Most of all we want this framework to support the improvement of our collective impact so that the long wait for 1.6 billion can end.
Looking forward to hear from you,
 Verhagen, J. and Carrasco, M., 2013. Full-chain sanitation services that last : non-sewered sanitation services. The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. 14 p. : 2 boxes, 1 fig., 2 tab. 13 ref. Available at: <http://www.irc.nl/page/79976>