Category Archives: Policy

Online Course “Governance in Urban Sanitation”

The Local Development Programme of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)  announces the next session of the e-learning course Governance in Urban Sanitation, to be conducted from 23 September to 29 November 2013.

The course aims to enhance the capacity of local decision-makers and sanitation professionals to make the most enlightened decisions and investments in the area of urban sanitation. Furthermore, it provides analytical tools to understand the financial and institutional framework of the sanitation sector, taking into account the needs of urban poor communities.

The course is composed of four modules:
Module 1: Introduction to Sanitation
Module 2: Economics, Pricing and Financing of the Sanitation Sector
Module 3: Institutional Aspects of the Sanitation Sector
Module 4: Sanitation and Poverty

This online course has been awarded with the International ECBCheck Quality Label for e-learning.

The course fee is USD 600 and UNITAR stresses that it does not provide any financial assistance.

Full information about the course is available at:
www.unitar.org/event/urbansanitation2013

Full-chain sanitation services that last

Full-Chain-Sanitation-cover2.6 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 [1] 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,

Joep Verhagen

[1] 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>

Latin American and Caribbean countries agree on joint sanitation monitoring

Sanitation in Guatemala. Photo: LatinoSan 2013

Delegates attending LatinoSan 2013 have agreed to set up a Latin-American and Caribbean Observatory on Sanitation. The observatory will monitor progress on sanitation in those countries that have signed up to the LatinoSan initiative. Sub-regional and national sanitation scorecards are already available online.

There will also be a Regional Meeting of Ministries of Sanitation every 2 years.

LatinoSan3-Declaration

These are two of  the commitments written up in the Panama Declaration at the conclusion of  the 3rd Latin American and Caribbean Sanitation Conference, LatinoSan 2013. The conference took place in Panama City from 29 to 31 May 2013.

Continue reading

Sri Lanka: new partnership tackles fecal sludge management

Septage disposal. Sri Lanka/Nuwara Eliya sanitation project, 2008, Photo: Flickr/USAID.

An international research institute is helping the government of Sri Lanka to improve septage management in the country.

On 8 May 2013, the Colombo-based International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provides a collaborative framework for sustainable septage management in Sri Lanka.

IWMI will contribute research data for the drafting of a septage management component of the national sanitation policy. The Ministry will lead implementation of the policy through an advisory committee headed by Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

Only about 3% of Sri Lankans have a sewerage connection while the rest rely on latrines and septic tanks for sanitation. Safe disposal of septage (fecal sludge) is a problem because of a lack of treatment facilities in large parts of the country.

IWMI is studying a new approach in cities around the world, which treats the sludge so that it can be safely reused as agricultural fertiliser. With the rising costs of imported fertiliser, such an approach would not only benefit farmers but also allow better sanitation and environmental protection for all.

Related news:

  • The business of the honey-suckers in Bengaluru (India), E-Source, 27 Sep 2012
  • WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Fecal Sludge Management, Sanitation Updates, 30 Nov 2012

Related web sites:

 Source: IWMI, 8 May 2013

Latinosan Panamá 2013 – 3rd Latin American Sanitation Conference, 29-31 May 2013

The Republic of Panama is organizing the Third Latin American Sanitation Conference on 29-31 May 2013. The theme is:  “Universal Sanitation: New Challenges, New Opportunities”.

Latinosan is held every three years.

Latinosan 2013 consists of two events: a technical conference and a meeting of senior officials that will result in the Declaration of Panama.

Main topics:

  • the status of sanitation at regional and country levels
  • institutions and public policy
  • human rights and sustainable development
  • post-2015 goals: regional and global

For more information visit the conference website: latinosanpanama2013.com (Spanish only)

Sustaining sanitation – Pan European Networks interviews Joep Verhagen

Joep-Verhagen-PEN-interviewIn an interview with Pan European Networks, IRC Senior Sanitation Specialist Joep Verhagen explains how sanitation efforts need to begin to increase their focus on sustainability.

EU aid for water and sanitation hit a record €1.6bn in 2009, but in March 2012 the EU announced plans to redirect development to ‘the world’s neediest nations’ with fears that this could harm sanitation efforts in Latin America, Asia and possibly some sub-Saharan African countries. Joep Verhagen shares his thoughts on the EU plans and on how knowledge-sharing partnerships and research are helping to provide sustainable solutions to existing rural and urban sanitation problems.

Read the full interview

SACOSAN-V – South Asian Conference on Sanitation, 11-13 November 2013, Kathmandu, Nepal

sacosanV-logoHeads of delegation from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will join other delegates from government, UN agencies, civil society and private sector to once again discuss the “biggest sanitation challenge in the world”.

There are around 700 million South Asians who still defecate in the open. At SACOSAN-IV held in April 2011 in Sri Lanka, South Asian ministers promised to set up a national body in each country to “coordinate sanitation and hygiene, involving all stakeholders”.

SACOSAN-V is being organised by the Nepal Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Department of Water Supply and Sewerage (DWSS).

The SACOSAN-V theme is: “Sanitation for All : All for Sanitation”.

Programme outline: Public Opening (10 November), Meeting of Ministers, Technical focus sessions, Plenaries, Public sessions, Panel discussions, Declarations, Exhibitions, Field visits (14 November).

Session topics (Download Concept Paper):

Topic Lead Country Partner involved
Sanitation and Health Afghanistan UNICEF
Community Wide Sanitation and Sustainability Bangladesh WSP
School Sanitation Bhutan WHO
Reaching the Unreached India FANSA
Sanitation Technology and Marketing Maldives WHO
Media Advocacy and Sanitation Nepal WaterAid
Urban Sanitation Pakistan WaterAid
Knowledge Management and Networking Sri Lanka UNICEF

For more information go to: www.sacosanv.gov.np