Tag Archives: sanitation service chains

Towards total sanitation workshop report – key findings

Cotonu Workshop Key Findings report

How can Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and other programmatic approaches be  integrated into a service-led rural sanitation delivery? This was the topic that attracted  around 70 practitioners from 16 different countries  to Cotonu, Benin in November 2013 for a Learning and Exchange workshop  “Towards sustainable total sanitation”. The workshop was organised  by IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre in partnership with WaterAid, SNV and UNICEF.

The key findings of the workshop a presented in a new report, which is divided into four categories, covering the four conditions to trigger a service:

  • strengthening the enabling environment
  • demand creation and advocacy to change behaviour
  • strengthening the supply chain, and
  • appropriate incentives and financial arrangements.

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>

SPLASH Sanitation Research Programme approves 5 projects

In November 2010, SPLASH, the European Union Water Initiative Research Area Network (EUWI ERA-net), selected the following 5 projects to be funded under the € 2.2 million SPLASH Sanitation Research Programme:

1. Catalysing self-­‐sustaining sanitation chains in informal settlements
Coordinated by the University of Surrey, the Robens Centre for Public and Environmental Health, United Kingdom, and including partners from France, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda

2. Economic constraints and demand-led solutions for sustainable sanitation services in poor urban settlements
Coordinated by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, the Centre for Development and Cooperation, Switzerland, and including partners from Uganda and Switzerland

3. FaME (Faecal Management Enterprise): Providing sanitation solutions through value chain management of faecal sludge
Coordinated by the Swiss Aquatic Research Institute, the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (SANDEC), Switzerland, and including partners from Austria, Ghana, Senegal, and Uganda

4. Maîtrise de la filière assainissement dans un écosystème côtier à Douala et les quartier populaires de Yaoundé au Cameroun
Coordinated by the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Polytechnique de Yaoundé, Cameroon, and including partners from Cameroon and France.

5. Sustainable and resilient sanitation service chains in Maputo province, Mozambique – action research and piloting for benefit of the urban poor
Coordinated by the International Water Association (IWA), the Netherlands, and including partners from France, Mozambique and the United Kingdom.

To see the full information on the composition of the selected consortia go to:

The Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC), Loughborough University, UK, has been selected to manage the SPLASH Sanitation Research Programme.

Source: SPLASH newletter, no. 12, Dec 2011