Sustainable Development Goal 6 for water and sanitation calls for the realization of safely managed services (SMSS) for everyone by 2030. While there has been significant research and implementation to improve the sanitation service chain in urban settings, little guidance is available on how to achieve and sustain SMSS in rural contexts.
In 2019, WSSCC commissioned this study conducted by Andy Robinson and Andy Peal to examine to what extent Global Sanitation Fund (GSF)-supported programmes enabled SMSS in rural areas with collective behaviour change approaches like CLTS.
This study includes: – A summary of SMSS concepts and issues in rural areas – SMSS findings from GSF-supported programmes in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia – Good practices for monitoring SMSS in rural areas – Recommendations for rural programming
Authors: WSSCC; Publication date: October 2020; Publisher: WSSCC; No. of pages: 155
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.
Organised by the Municipal Services Project, the conference brings together researchers, activists, labour representatives, development practitioners and policy makers from around the world working to promote progressive public services, including water and sanitation.
The following presentations focus specifically on sanitation:
Dieter Wartchow (Brazil) – National sanitation laws in Brazil: An opportunity lost?
Melanie Samson (South Africa) – Including the informal, transforming the public: Insights from innovations in the waste sector
Federico Parra (Colombia) – Recognition of the ‘recicladores’ as public managers of waste in Colombia
Poornima Chikarmane (India) – Of users, providers and the state: Solid waste management in Pune, India
Mary Galvin (South Africa) – Dealing with shit in sub-Sahara Africa: The impact of “new” approaches to sanitation on human rights
Julieta del Valle (Argentina) – Guaranteeing access to public water and sanitation: ‘Acompañamiento social’ in Buenos Aires
Photo: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre
Sanitation experts at IRC have compiled the first version of a reference guide on low-cost sanitation for non-sewered service models, SanPack for short. Dr Christine Sijbesma and Joep Verhagen have collected materials that cover services for all stages of the sanitation life cycle, from preparation activities to the emptying, recycling and productive use of toilet contents. Per stage you can find a short intro text and links that lead you to relevant documents on a specific topic.
2.6 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  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.
 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>
Providing water and sanitation services to the urban poor often takes place in contexts with complex formal and informal land ownership arrangements. Firstly, the people in most need of improved water and sanitation are often tenants, and this raises diverse challenges: for example, landlords may be unwilling to invest in better toilets. Secondly, improving water and sanitation services often requires land for construction of communal or public facilities, and land tenure again raises diverse problems here.
How can these challenges be overcome? Drawing on WSUP’s experience in the African Cities for the Future (ACF) programme, this Topic Brief gives an overview of this area, and discusses possible solutions. The Topic Brief also offers practical guidance for programme managers.
This Topic Brief is the first in a series of four, documenting learning from the ACF programme. Watch out for the following titles, which will be released over the coming weeks:
Getting communities engaged in water and sanitation projects:
participatory design and consumer feedback
Designing effective contracts for small-scale service providers in urban water and sanitation
Hybrid management models: blending community and private management
“We’re kind of like the invisible people. He doesn’t realize, you know, the service we provide,” says sanitation worker Richard Hayes, who has picked up the trash at Mitt Romney’s Californian house.
Hayes and fellow sanitation worker Joan Raymond appear in an online ad campaign by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The campaign suggests that Republican presidential candidate Romney is benefiting from government services while threatening to cut them back. Representing 1.6 million public service workers, AFSCME is supporting President Barack Obama in the 2012 US election.
Results-Based Financing (RBF), which offers incentives for behavior change based on results, has achieved practical success in both the health and education sectors. To date, however, applications of RBF in the sanitation sector have been limited.