Category Archives: Progress on Sanitation

A systems approach to sanitation – iDE Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a global success story in sanitation, reducing open defecation from 34% in 1990 to less than 1% today. But despite this initial progress, nearly 40% of the country still lacks access to improved sanitation.

To tackle Bangladesh’s sanitation problem iDE takes a comprehensive systems approach to increase improved sanitation coverage.

iDE’s interventions facilitate different actors in the market system, leveraging existing skills and resources, building connections from the local to the national level, and coordinating across public, private, and development sectors to create a complete ecosystem that enables the sustainable, inclusive delivery of improved sanitation products and services.


Susan Davis – What’s the problem with WASH innovation?

What’s the problem with WASH innovation? Improve International, March 8, 2018.

Susan Davis’s thoughts on water innovations are included in Kelli Roger’s recent article in Devex (you have to be a member to read the full article, but here are some excerpts).

…For years, Susan Davis heard the same reports of failed or broken water systems presented at water and sanitation conferences all over the world. Innovations presented at most gatherings, meanwhile, usually focused on gadgets or “things” — often versions of the latrines, filters or dispensers that were failing elsewhere. 


Low-tech innovation: water service delivery mechanism in Ethiopia (photo by Susan Davis)

…The issue, Davis and other WASH experts tell Devex, is not willingness to solve these problems, but the hyperfocus on gadgets to achieve sustainable results at scale. It’s data, service delivery, and overall process improvement that should more equally or more often claim the spotlight — and the funding.

…It’s “stuff that sounds simple and basic until you realize no one else was doing it” that is really going to change the WASH game, Davis said.

…In the meantime, Improve International’s Davis plans to continue to unearth WASH products and systems innovations that are working — “If you’re not asking the right questions, you’re probably never going to hear about it,” she said — and encouraging the sector to learn from its well intentioned mistakes.

If you’re a Devex member, you can read the full article hereGet in touch if you want to learn more about WASH innovations.



A discussion between WASH funders and grantees

Innovative strategies, new pathways, and more to learn

By iDE

iDE had the opportunity to participate in a conversation amongst various WASH grantees and funders this past fall. From the power of incentives to output based aid, dive into the discussion—the latest innovations in sanitation marketing and questions that still need exploring. Read lessons learned from designing and implementing results-based WASH programs.


Understanding the Indian rural sanitation market

How stakeholders should work together to end open defecation.


Toilet block in Odisha, India. Photo: Andrea van der Kerk/IRC

Solving rural sanitation problems in India requires the involvement of multiple stakeholders. These include government, programme implementers, financing institutions, entrepreneurs and households. Understanding the roles, strengths and weaknesses of each stakeholder, how they interact and complement each other, is key to achieving India’s ambitious goal of ending open defecation by 2019.

As a follow-up to the Sanitation Innovation Accelerator, IRC, Ennovent and Ecociate Consultants commissioned a study to gain insights in the sanitation market in Bihar and Odisha, two states with relatively low levels of sanitation coverage: 29% and 43% respectively. The study was conducted over a period of 3 months (from January to March 2017) in two rural districts: one with a high population density and situated in a heavy clay silt agricultural plain (Samastipur district, Bihar) and the other with a low population density situated in a sandy tropical coast (Ganjam district, Odisha).

Continue reading

SACOSAN 7: registration closes 15 December


South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN),  a government led biennial convention held on a rotational basis in each SAARC country (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), provides a platform for interaction on sanitation.

SACOSAN VII will be held on 13-17 February 2018 in Pakistan, hosted by Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan.

The deadline for registration is 15 December 2017.

Below is an overview of the theme papers and country leads

Theme papers

Lead country

Sanitation as cross cutting (Health and Nutrition)


Climate Change/Environment and Sanitation


Sociology of Sanitation


Operation, Maintenance and Sustainability of WASH


Policy, Strategy and Sector Planning (institutional arrangements)


Human Resource Development for WASH


Accountability and Regulation

Monitoring and Evaluation

Pakistan or Sri Lanka? [conflicting info on website]

WASH Financing

Sri Lanka or Pakistan? [conflicting info on website]

For more information and updates go to:

San-Dem: Formative Research in Zambia: Briefing Note – SHARE

San-Dem: Formative Research in Zambia: Briefing Note. SHARE, November 2017.

Conclusions: Shared sanitation in Bauleni compound and possibly other similar settings present challenges for coordinating, cleaning and ensuring proper use of toilets by plot members. Share_Logo_MAIN_STRAP_RGB

Improvements are dependent on landlords whose primary motives for making these improvements are financial, social, and familial.

Properly designed demand-side interventions may be able to increase peri-urban sanitation quality in a cost-effective way.

Recommendations for the intervention

  • Target landlords as the primary target audience because they are responsible and financially capable of making toilet improvements.
  • Aim towards strengthening social cohesion on plots, as toilets are maintained as a shared resource
  • Primarily use the status and nurture motives, which scored highest, while also emphasizing justice and disgust to promote social cohesion and cleanliness
  • Encourage the use of different financial investment schemes by landlords to encourage savings for deliberate, planned toilet improvements

CSIS – The State of Water and Sanitation in India

India is a water stressed nation. Yet it is India’s states that have ultimate authority over many water related issues. Water is a key pillar in these states’ ambitions to improve the quality of life of their citizens and to drive industrial growth.

These states must form innovative partnerships to meet their needs within the context of growing scarcity, increased pollution, and interstate conflict.

The Wadhwani Chair invites you to the first public segment of the Indian States Engagement Forum series to hear from key U.S. stakeholders on their experience in addressing the water challenge across India’s states.