Author Archives: WSUP

THE URBAN PROGRAMMING GUIDE: How to design and implement a pro-poor urban WASH programme

Improving water, sanitation and hygiene services to low-income urban areas is a highly challenging and complex task. Traditional approaches have often failed to work. We need new approaches and fresh thinking. We need governments, donors and sector professionals genuinely committed to improving services in slum settlements. It’s challenging but it can be done! This guide offers some solutions based around WSUP’s experience: all you have to do is put them into practice!

The guide provides an introduction to urban WASH programming: how to design and implement a pro-poor urban water, sanitation and hygiene programme.

Urban Programming Guide
Who is this guide for?
This guide is primarily designed for WASH professionals working in governments, development agencies, funding agencies or civil society organisations. It will also be useful for professionals working for service providers including water utilities, local authorities and in the private sector.

How to use this guide
The guide provides an overview of some key strategies and service delivery models. It’s not intended to be encyclopaedic: it’s a rapid-reference document with the following intended uses:

  • To aid the planning, design and implementation of urban WASH programmes.
  • To assist with investment planning by service providers.
  • To point the reader towards further sources of information and guidance.

The guide is free to download from WSUP’s website: http://www.wsup.com/resource/the-urban-programming-guide

A gender-inclusive approach in practice: communal sanitation

WSUP believes that the issue of gender inclusion is fundamental to effective WASH service provision. To mark International Women’s Day and to recognise the importance of this issue, we have produced a new Practice Note which provides a contextual background on gender issues in WASH, before illustrating what a gender-inclusive approach looks like in practice. This Practice Note is based on direct experience of communal sanitation in Maputo (Mozambique) and Naivasha (Kenya), and demonstrates how the concerns of women and girls can be addressed at every step of programme planning and implementation.

Gender Inclusive Sanitation

This is a free resource and is available for download by clicking on the image above or visiting our online resource library.

Achieving sustainability: encouraging local government investment

Substantial local government investment is essential for sustainable services, but difficult to achieve. Barriers include institutional lack of clarity over responsibilities (particularly in sanitation provision), weak capacity to collect and manage revenues, unpredictable transfers from national to local government, and a lack of data on past spending and its effectiveness. This Practice Note looks at some ways in which WSUP and Water For People are working to strengthen this link in the investment chain.

PN013_Encouraging local government investment-1

Achieving sustainability: guiding entrepreneurs to independence

Supporting entrepreneurs to start up viable sanitation businesses can be relatively straightforward. However, challenges typically arise in the transition from donor-supported start-up to true independence. This Practice Note looks at the obstacles that need to be overcome in growing start-up businesses to become fully self-sustaining, and discusses how progress can be made.

PN012_Guiding entrepreneurs to independence-1

This Practice Note is the first in a two-part series on Achieving Sustainability, drawing on programme experience from WSUP and Water for People.

WSUP Call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs)

Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) seeks a world-class research team to design and implement a research project around triggering increased city-level public finance for pro-poor sanitation improvements. This will likely be located in 3 WSUP programme cities, and the selected research team will likely include specialists in political influencing and in municipal finance in developing contexts.

Call published: Friday 13 September 2013
Deadline for EOI submission: Friday 4 October 2013
Budget: GBP 180,000
Implementation period: January 2014 – December 2015

The Call is available for download from the WSUP website.

Call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs)

Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) seeks a world-class research team to design and implement a research project in Dhaka (Bangladesh) around the effectiveness of large-scale sanitation promotion strategies to improve usage and maintenance of existing communal toilet facilities in low-income urban communities.

Call published: Tuesday 16 July 2013
Deadline for EOI submission: Tuesday 6 August 2013
Budget: GBP 220,000
Implementation period: Late 2013 – end 2015.

The Call is available for download from the WSUP website.

Get to scale in urban sanitation!

Scale-up of urban sanitation remains an elusive goal in most low-income cities. Donor interventions are often macro-investments without adequate attention to low-income communities, or small pilots that do not address the challenges of scale.

Taking urban sanitation to scale requires ‘scaling out’ models that work for poorer communities, and at the same time ‘scaling up’ sustainable management processes.

This Practice Note reports scale-out and scale-up experience from WSUP‘s programmes in Maputo and Antananarivo.

Get to scale in urban sanitation

For a more in-depth look at lessons for scale-up deriving from these programmes, see our accompanying Topic Brief on Getting to scale in urban sanitation.

100% access by design: a financial tool for urban sanitation

PN009 Dhaka Financial AnalysisReliably assessing the cost of different sanitation solutions is a key urban planning challenge. This Practice Note from WSUP describes an Excel-based financial analysis tool which generates reliable costings of different options for achieving 100% sanitation access across low-income and non-low-income areas.

For a more in-depth look at the development of the prototype tool, how it works, its practical application in two wards of Dhaka and the results it produced, see our accompanying Topic Brief ‘Financial analysis for sanitation planning’. The Brief also addresses ways in which the tool could be improved and a discussion of the tool’s potential wider applications.

Hybrid management models: blending community and private management

A clear distinction is generally made between community and private management of water and sanitation services. This distinction reflects the different motivations, values, attitudes and approaches generally associated with each type of provider.

In WSUP programmes, the local context is often suited to community or to private management models. But in practice, WSUP often seeks to go beyond this “community” versus “private” dichotomy, to try to get “the best of both worlds”. For instance, CBO operators are often encouraged to adopt commercial practices and achieve business efficiency. Similarly, entrepreneurs are encouraged to be more supportive of the needs of the community, and more responsive to poverty and gender issues.

In this Topic Brief, the approaches used by WSUP in Nairobi, Kumasi and Antananarivo under the African Cities for the Future (ACF) programme are examined from this perspective of blending community and private management models. The Topic Brief concludes with practical guidance on this issue for programme managers. Click on the image below to download the Topic Brief.

TB009 Hybrid Management Models

Designing effective contracts for small-scale service providers in urban water and sanitation

Extending water and sanitation services to the urban poor will often involve contractual relationships between small-scale entrepreneurs and municipalities or utilities. The expectation is that poor communities are more likely to receive improved services when delivery is formalised under contractual agreements that provide clarity to all parties, as well as systems for enforcement of contractual obligations.

Contract Design

This Topic Brief draws on WSUP’s experience in the six-city African Cities for the Future (ACF) programme to illustrate ways of dealing with the challenges that arise when developing contracts between large and small service providers in the urban setting. The Topic Brief gives practical guidance for programme managers on how to make contracts of this type more effective and more enforceable.