Author Archives: Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)

SuSanA webinar: The Bill Please: Financing O&M, a Global Perspective on June 7, 2018 (13:00 CEST)


Sanitation for Millions (S4M) programme funded by German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) aims at improving sustainable access to sanitation and the hygiene situation among impoverished and vulnerable populations on a global level. Currently being implemented in Jordan, Pakistan and Uganda, S4M aims at gathering experience and best practices for upscaling und dissemination.

Ensuring sustainable operation and maintenance (O&M) of sanitary facilities in public institutions is one of the core focuses of the S4M programme and poses a serious /difficult challenge until date. For instance increasing vandalism affects the maintenance of sanitary facilities in schools for boys. Sustainable O&M requires planning and budgeting to carry out the necessary tasks. Decisions on who should fund sanitation O&M for public institutions and how, receives far less attention than design and construction activities.

Join us for a webinar on June 7, 2018 at 13:00 hrs (Central European Summer Time/ Berlin Time) with S4M experts in Uganda, Pakistan and Jordan. They will share their experiences with the challenge of sourcing and allocating financial resources to O&M procedures along the whole sanitation chain.

Christian Rieck, GIZ Uganda
Bjoern Lobo Zimprich, GIZ Jordan
Hashim Khan, GIZ Pakistan

Registrations for this webinar is open now.

The webinar will take place on Adobe Connect under the following link: 

What kind of O&M challenges do you face? Do share with us below.

Menstrual Hygiene Webinar Series 2018


There is a growing interest in the development sector on menstrual hygiene (MH), and more organisations are working on this issue. WASH United, Simavi, World Vision and GIZ are launching a webinar series focusing on menstrual hygiene as an activity under the MH Alliance. This five-part, weekly webinar series will launch the week of 28 May (Menstrual Hygiene Day), with a different topic each week. This series aims to touch on many of the complex aspects of MH, including evidence, knowledge, menstrual products, infrastructure and policy. Below is a summary of the objectives, deliverables, outline and topics for these webinars:
Overall objective: To document and promote learning and connection between menstrual hygiene practitioners and interested professionals from different sectors, with a specific aim to refine and advance the global MH agenda. More specifically, we hope to

● Building a global MH movement
● Creating a community of practice on MH
● Providing a platform for sharing and learning on MH
● Giving NGOs in the global south a platform to share and learn

Deliverables: After each webinar, a one-page learning document will be produced noting key points discussed, questions for further discussion, resources highlighted, and action items identified. Learning and exchange will be consolidated and shared, such as in upcoming forums like the High-level Political Forum, as well via MH Day website and newsletter.

Outline: Each 60 minute webinar will follow roughly the same outline:

● Introduction and welcome (5 minutes)
● Thematic presenter (10 minutes)
● Topic presenter 1 (10 minutes)
● Topic presenter 2 (10 minutes)
● Discussant reflections (5 minutes)
● Guided group discussion around core question (20)

The webinar will take place every Thursday starting on 31 May 2018. It is free-of-charge and open to all interested professionals and individuals from all sectors. These webinars will be recorded and posted online for future access. Post-webinar discussion will take place on the SuSanA platform.


● Webinar 1: Menstrual hygiene: the issue, evidence and gaps
● Webinar 2: Solutions to improve knowledge, practices and attitude
● Webinar 3: Creating access to menstrual products
● Webinar 4: Infrastructure solutions for MH
● Webinar 5: Advocating for MH

Register here:

SuSanA India Chapter Meeting in Goa – 20.-21. February 2018

We are happy to announce that the next SuSanA India chapter meeting will take place in Panaji, Goa on Wednesday, 21st of February 2018. The meeting will have sessions on waste to energy, city sanitation plans, WASH In Schools, faecal sludge management, and the way forward for the SuSanA India Chapter.  The meeting will take place immediately after to the 50th annual convention of the Indian Water Works Association. The meeting is organised by Ecosan Services Foundation, the India Sanitation Coalition and the SuSanA Secretariat.

On Tuesday, the 20th of February, India Sanitation Coalition is organising a session of the Insight Series on ‘Sanitation and Tourism’, in partnership with the Ecosan Services Foundation and the SuSanA Secretariat. The session will start at 2 PM and is a moderated discussion.

On the 19th, a the Centre for Science and Environment will conduct a full-day training on Shit Flow Diagram (SFD) preparation. SFDs are a visualization tool that summarizes complex information into an easy-to-understand diagram, as it simply shows how excreta is or is not contained along the sanitation value chain. The diagrams are backed by a service delivery context description and information on data sources in the city concerned.

All three events will take place at Clube Tennis de Gaspar Dias, Near Bandodkar Samadhi Marg, Miramar, Goa.

  1. SFD training, held by CSE (19 February, full day)
  2. Insight Series on ‘Tourism and Sanitation’ (20 February 2018, afternoon)
  3. SuSanA India Chapter Meeting (21 February 2018, full day)

Registration is open now and free of charge. Your registration will assist us in the preparation of the meeting, so we require all attendees to register for this reason. We encourage and welcome interested organisations and sanitation enthusiasts from India to get in touch with the SuSanA Secretariat (! The agenda is being prepared and will be circulated in advance of the meeting.

Join the SuSanA India Chapter thematic discussion: From missing market incentives to misaligned incentives. What is choking India’s rural sanitation progress?

You are cordially invited to join the current thematic online discussion “From missing market incentives to misaligned incentives. What is choking India’s rural sanitation progress?” on the SuSanA Discussion Forum:

The discussion is organised by PSI and the India Sanitation Coalition and is running until 15 December.

Aprajita Singh, from PSI, has opened the discussion by pointing out that India launched a reformed national rural sanitation programme, the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) on 2nd October, 2014 with a mandate of reaching over 11 crore (110 million) households with improved toilets by 2019. In the process, this would eliminate open defecation. This is an extremely ambitious target.  SBM was transformational in its design, attempting to learn from past mistakes and intended with the highest possible political and national ownership; it promised to be a game changer for rural sanitation in India.

However, performance of states has differed widely. As of November, 2017, the increase in sanitation coverage was a low 22.87 per cent in poor performers. While a few better performing states like Rajasthan registered an impressive 45.17 percentage increase, states with high rates of open defecation like Bihar and UP, remained laggards with only 14.9 and 12.70 per cent increases, respectively. With 7.9 crore toilets to be constructed till October 2019 in the next 34 months all the states combined will need to construct an average of 23.24 lakh IHHLs per month. This is nearly double the rate at which construction has taken place so far (at 11.42 lakh toilets per month).

Population Services International undertook a policy landscape study that undertook a review of existing literature and conducted key informant interviews with the aim to understand the policy landscape of SBM-G, key functions and the key players (private, public, formal, informal). Additionally, it sought to understand the enablers and barriers in the existing policy in terms of its overall effectiveness, or level of coverage or access. This was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

The insights from the landscape study suggest the following choke points:

  • The incremental increases in SBMG allocations
  • Presence of a fragmented supply chain
  • Missing incentives for market behaviours
  • There is a need for the SBM-G to have a strategic stewardship role to unblock market barriers and stand guarantee for unlocking demand. This could catalyse other forms of capital investments from both private and corporate sectors.

The thematic discussion would like SuSanA members to react to these findings, especially the choke points that the study has identified. Additionally, share ideas on – What are the root causes of these chokepoints and How can these root causes be addressed?

 Please suggest how SBM-G can play a strategic stewardship role to overcoming these problems. Your inputs will inform the policy papers that PSI is working to support the emerging policy advocacy needs.

To contribute to the discussion, please either post directly on the SuSanA Forum or write an Email to

We are looking forward to your contributions!

The “Look it up Club” got me hooked: Sanitation Wikipedia needs you, too.

By Diane Kellogg, Chair Sanitation Wikipedia Project

My father always said:  “Your ticket off the chicken farm is your education.” My parents did their part.  They enrolled us in the “Look it up Club” by buying the World Book Encyclopedia, one book at a time—A through Z.   To any question we asked, our parents’ answer was the same:  “You’re a member of the Look it up Club aren’t you? Look it up.”

Education mattered so much that “I have homework” could get you out of gathering eggs after school.  As a result, all five of “the McKinney Kids” got good grades.   Still, I wanted off that chicken farm badly.  More degrees could get you even farther from the chicken farm, right?

I got so far from my practical roots that I actually ended up warning my students against looking it up.  At least not on Wikipedia.  The “pedia” of today couldn’t possibly be as good as the encyclopedia, right?  Anyone and everyone can add “stuff” to Wikipedia, so how could it be any good?

Was I ever wrong. 

You can’t get anything past the Wikipedia Warriors out there on the planet.  Yes, anyone can add things, but there will be an army of eyes on your work.  The article on cholera, for example.  A total of 244 people have the cholera article on their “watchlist.”  Many of those have probably asked Wikipedia to notify them by e-mail when “changes were made to an article you’re watching.”   If you make an assertion without referencing credible sources or insert your own opinion, you will hear from someone.  Wikipedia specializes in facts.  Objective facts.  Wikipedia’s standards keep going up.  It’s the best kind of crowd-sourcing:  the best version of the article is what sticks.

What bothers me is that some of the articles on sanitation are so unreadable:  Out of 100 points possible on the Flesch Readability Score, the page on “diarrhea” gets a 38.  And get this:  2700 people click on that article every day.  Multiply that by 365 days in a year, and you’ve got to wonder.  I wonder if those clickers are finding what they’re looking for.  Mothers in Mali with a sick baby want to know how much time they have to get fluids into that little body. Shouldn’t that diarrhea article be more easy to read and understand?

I’ve done penance in various ways.  I’ve assigned a few Wikpedia articles so students will know I am no longer snooty about the quality of what can be found there.  I’ve edited a few Wikipedia articles where I thought the experts were making concepts more obscure and complex than they needed to be.  (Thankfully, the Wikipedia Warriors said “Thank you: that makes the point more clear.”)  I’ve even asked colleagues to assign their students to do original research on WASH topics to see if they could find more recent information to add to articles.

Now I’m chairing a SuSanA drive to improve WASH content on Wikipedia ahead of World Toilet Day on 19 November 2017.

It’s that readability thing that has me so motivated.  Our goal is to raise the average readability of all WASH articles to 60-70.  The average is now 37.    (You can check the readability of your own writing at this link.)  In the spirit of  practice what you preach, I just did that for my blog:  65.

On World Toilet Day, we will award $500 Honorariums to especially dedicated Sanitation Wikipedia volunteers.  Click  on this page to join the team or email to offer a few hours of your time.  We make it fun.



WASH in Schools: What next, after 100% coverage?

On 15th August 2015, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MoHRD), Government of India, announced all schools in the country had toilets. In just a matter of months, nearly half a million toilets were made to reach the magical figure. A year before, the onus of ensuring adequate water and sanitation facilities, and imparting hygiene education, in schools had been shifted completely to MoHRD from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS). This was to streamline WASH in Schools, fix responsibility and ensure resources.

Under the Swacch Vidyalaya (SV) programme, 417,796 toilets were made or fixed in a year

Of this, were new toilets 266,017; the rest were dysfunctional that needed to be fixed. There are a total of 1,448,712 schools in India. Private companies, according to the SV website, built 3416 toilets while public sector companies made 141636. Most work was to be done by the government. However, it seems private sector engagement has been under-reported as a perusal of the websites of companies that have implemented WASH in Schools (WinS) shows much higher figures; some of them do not figure on the SV website.

However, independent verifications of MoHRD’s claims[1] have shown there are still ‘uncovered’ schools. The largest study in 2016 by Pratham, an NGO working on education issues, shows even in 2016 3.5% schools did not have a toilet, and 27.8% were unusable[2]. The blind-spots are handwashing stations, the quality and frequency of hygiene education imparted to children and menstrual hygiene management facilities and education.

Against this background, the India Sanitation Coalition will hold a thematic online discussion about WASH in Schools in India. The discussion will run from 4 September – 23 September 2017 on the SuSanA Discussion Forum.

This discussion seeks your inputs on how to take WinS to an acceptable level where boys and girls have separate and adequate toilets, hand-washing facilities, hygiene is addressed in schools, and adolescent girls have usable menstrual hygiene facilities.

The issues we would seek your inputs on are:

  1. Discussion kick-off featuring two case stories from the Hindi Water Portal: What innovations have you come across in WinS by the government, companies or NGOs that are worth emulating? Mahesh Nathan from World Vision India will lead this topic (4 – 8 September)
  2. How has shifting the responsibility for WinS to MoHRD affected the condition of facilities and hygiene? What challenges remain and how can they be overcome? Arundhati Muralidharan, WaterAid, will lead this topic (9 – 13 September)
  3. How can companies contribute to WinS? What are examples of successful WASH contributions by companies? (14-18 September)
  4. Is the current monitoring system under DISE adequate and how can it be improved and tied to the SDGs? Srinivas Chary from the Administrative Staff College of India will lead this topic (19 – 23 September)

During the discussion, regular summaries of forum entries will be posted to keep you updated on our conversation. Coordination will be done by Nitya Jacob (SuSanA India Chapter Coordinator).

To join the discussion, follow:

And to read the first contribution by Mahesh Nathan, click on:

Copy of Addressing infrastructural barriers to MHM in schools to support inclusive and quality learning for all

[1] Studies by various development agencies and newspaper reports on status of WiNS that have indicated a large percentage of the surveyed toilets are dysfunctional even though most schools have toilets. Handwashing facilities are largely absent

[2] Annual State of Education Report, 2016. ASER Centre, Pratham, New Delhi.

Call for Projects – SuSanA Regional Chapter MENA

Announcement of the competition

(للغة العربية انظر إلى الأسفل)

The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) is inviting applications for the Sustainable Sanitation Project Prize for the MENA region.

In order to engage, support and promote actors who are successfully working in the field of sustainable sanitation, the Regional Chapter MENA of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance is looking for sanitation project examples that can serve as important learning cases and upscaling models throughout the region. Those will be presented on the Webportal of the worldwide active SuSanA network, enabling promoting and networking – within the MENA region and beyond.

Applicants shall be willing to share information about their project and be motivated to get engaged in the SuSanA community, it’s activities and a joint promotion of sustainable sanitation in the MENA region. The Sustainable Sanitation Project Prize will be awarded to two winners, who will be funded to present their project idea in context of the Stockholm World Water Week 2017 in August in Sweden.

The competition begins at June 1, 2017. The deadline for applications is July 2, 2017, 11.59pm UTC. To download the application form and the terms and conditions of the competition please follow this link: 

Complete application forms shall be send to

Post your comments and questions here

And join our discussion about sanitation systems and technologies in the MENA region here


يدعوكم ائتلاف الصرف الصحي المستدام SuSanA إلى التقدم للحصول على “جائزة مشروع الصرف الصحي المستدام بمنطة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا


من أجل دعم وتعزيز الأشخاص الفاعلين الذين يعملون بنجاح في مجال الصرف الصحي المستدام، فإن ائتلاف الصرف الصحي المستدام فرع الشرق الأوسط يبحث عن نماذج مشروعات الصرف الصحي التي تعرض نماذج ناجحة للتعلم والتي لها قابلية للتعميم في المنطقة. وسوف يتم عرض هذه النماذج على شبكة الائتلاف العالمية، وذلك لتعزيز التواصل والتسويق في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا وغيرها.


يجب على المتقدمين أن يشاركوا معلومات عن مشروعاتهم وأن يكونوا مستعدين للمشاركة بفاعلية في ائتلاف الصرف الصحي المستدام SuSanA، وأنشتطته، وأن يدعموا التسويق لمبدأ الصرف الصحي المستدام بمنطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا. جائزة مشروع الصرف الصحي المستدام سوف تُمنح لشخصين، وذلك لتمثيل فكرة مشروعهما في أسبوع المياه العالمي باستوكهولم 2017 في شهر أغسطس/آب بالسويد.


تبدأ المسابقة في 1 يونيو/حزيران 2017، وآخر موعد للتقديم هو 2 يوليو/تموز 2017 في تمام الساعة 11:59 مساءًا حسب التوقيت العالمي Universal Time Coordinated. لتحميل استمارة التقديم وشروط المسابقة من فضلك قم بزيارة هذا الرابط:


طلبات التقديم لابد ان ترسل إلى

Join now – SuSanA online discussion “Applications of Sanitation Systems and Technologies in MENA”

We are excited to announce the first thematic discussion of the SuSanA Regional Chapter MENA on the topic of


“Applications of Sanitation Systems and Technologies in MENA”

The MENA region, in its diversity of countries and contexts, presents a great variety of sanitation challenges: increasing water consumption, sanitation lagging behind, water scarcity, weak institutional coordination, rapid population growth, rural areas left out, armed conflicts, refugee crisis…

Despite massive investments made in conventional sewered systems, large portions of the region’s population will remain unconnected for the next decades. Many utilities are struggling to operate and maintain properly the existing wastewater treatment infrastructure, and the responsibility for non-sewered areas, relying on onsite systems, is often not clearly or not at all allocated. For the sanitation coverage to become more inclusive, sustainable and reach the low- and middle-income areas, especially the rural areas, new alternatives must be considered.

By establishing a Regional Chapter MENA, SuSanA opens its knowledge pool and makes content relevant and adapted to the MENA context accessible for the Arabic and French speaking communities, for both professionals and students looking to advance sustainable sanitation in the Region.

In this thematic discussion – the first discussion to be held under the umbrella of the SuSanA Regional Chapter MENA –  we will share our knowledge for tackling sanitation challenges in MENA, and discussing the best practices and applications of sanitation systems and technologies in the region.


Running for four weeks from Tuesday May 16 to Tuesday June 13 on the SuSanA online discussion forum, the discussion will look at the following areas:

Topic 1: Sanitation Systems Challenges in the MENA region

To join please visit: (

Topic 2: How would we tackle Sanitation Challenges in MENA?

To join please visit: (

Topic 3: What are the key resources in Arabic in the field of Sanitation?

To join please visit: (

Topic 4: What are the best sanitation practices and local solutions in MENA?

To join please visit: (

During the discussion, regular summaries of forum entries will be posted to keep you updated on our conversation.

Coordination on behalf of the SuSanA Regional Chapter MENA for this thematic discussion is carried out by Kareem Hassan  (Benaa Foundation). For any questions, please post on the forum or contact us directly at

Kindly visit to join our discussion. Everybody can view the discussion, but in order to make a post you have to be a registered SuSanA member. Register here (for free):

We look forward to your contributions and an enriching discussion on applications of sanitation systems and technologies in MENA

12th SuSanA Thematic Discussion: “Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Schools – A neglected issue”

While nowadays the topic of MHM is gaining more and more attention, it has widely been neglected in the past. SDG4 (education), SDG5 (gender equality) and SDG6 (water and sanitation) require female friendly sanitation facilities and available informational materials at schools around the globe.

Taking into account the magnitude of the population affected by issues around MHM, schools provide an ideal environment to reach girls as well as young women and to address taboos and misconceptions in a culturally sensitive manner.

The question, however, is how to approach the topic in a culturally sensitive manner?

Running for two weeks from today (March 27 until April 09) the discussion on the SuSanA forum will look at two areas:

Week 1: Breaking the taboo around MHM                                           Thematic Lead: Dr. Marni Sommer (Associate Professor, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health)

 Week 2: Infrastructural barriers and how to monitor MHM            Thematic Lead: Thérèse Mahon (Regional Programme Manager South Asia, WaterAid)

During the discussion, regular summaries of forum entries will be posted to keep you updated on our conversation.

Coordination on behalf of the SuSanA secretariat for this thematic discussion will be carried out by Dr. Bella Monse, Jan Schlenk and Mintje Büürma. For any questions, you can post on the forum or contact us directly at

To join the discussion, follow:

And to read the first contribution by Marni Sommer, click on:

SuSanA is turning 10 – Celebrate with us on 17 January 2017

SuSanA was born in January 2007 when a range of sanitation enthusiasts from various organisations met in Eschborn to coordinate their activities for the International Year of Sanitation. That’s almost 10 years ago and we cordially invite you to celebrate SuSanA’s anniversary with us!

Together with the SuSanA Core Group, key donors and partners, we will be looking back at SuSanA’s achievements and impact during the last 10 years and we will be reflecting on the way forward to discuss SuSanA’s contribution to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

The Celebration Ceremony will be livestreamed and we cordially invite you to join us online!

The theme of the anniversary is: “10 years SuSanA: How the changed sanitation paradigm contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals”

With the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda, many of SuSanA’s positions are now on the highest political agenda; nonetheless the challenges ahead are huge.

During the celebration, the final draft of the updated SuSanA Vision Document “Contribution of Sustainable Sanitation to the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development” will be presented.

We invite you to watch the celebration online and to share your ideas, thoughts and comments on how SuSanA can positively contribute to the challenges ahead via the SuSanA Forum.

When: Tuesday, 17th January 2017, from 10:00 – 12:00 CET and 13:00-14:00 CET

Where: Via Skype for Business or via Skype Web App 

For more Information please visit the SuSanA Forum:–celebrate-with-us-on-17-january-2017
We look forward to meeting you online.

SuSanA Secretariat (Arne Panesar, Cecilia Rodrigues, Doreen Mbalo, Annkathrin Tempel, Antonio Seoane, Manuel Greulich and Martin Puszies)