Enabling environments for inclusive citywide sanitation: a conceptual framework. WSUP Blog, September 2018.
A necessary shift is taking place: away from a narrow focus on building taps and toilets, and towards an understanding of water and sanitation as a service, whose effectiveness depends on the wider enabling environment. In simple terms, universal coverage requires services which are 1) sustainable and 2) delivered at scale – and neither is possible without strong systems.
In Stockholm the increasing momentum towards systems change was evident – my week began with an excellent “morning of systems” convened by Agenda for Change highlighting a number of ongoing initiatives in this area – and served to build on July’s UN High-Level Political Forum and the associated SDG 6 synthesis report, underlining the imperative to strengthen governance, finance and capacity development if we are to achieve universal access.
So how does WSUP work to strengthen systems? From the outset, system-strengthening has been embedded in our Theory of Change: we partner with institutions and the private sector to develop effective service delivery models, and work in parallel to create the conditions for these services to be provided at the city level, including within low-income areas.
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