Thematic Discussion 1 - The Sanitation Ladder: Next Steps

For more information, please visit the discussion on the SuSanA Forum at:

A comprehensive synthesis of the discussion is available here

This first thematic discussion
took place on the SuSanA Forum on February 9-27 2015, and further discussed questions raised with the launch of the paper The Sanitation Ladder – a need for a revamp?  by Kvarnström et al. in 2011, regarding the proposition of a functions-based sanitation ladder, rather than technology-based, to monitor, reflect and assess the achievement and aim of countries towards sanitation goals across the world.

Background information
was provided on February 4th, prior to the discussion, to provide an overview of the current context of the sanitation ladder, including on the JMP (WHO/ UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation) and the transition from the MDGs to the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The document can be opened here or on the forum discussion.

Focal points of the discussions
included further discussing the current and proposed structure and goals of the sanitation ladders, what gaps are still present, and how to move ahead towards improving the monitoring of global sanitation goals as we head into the post-MDG period with the development of the post-2015 SDGs.

The Thematic Leads
included Patrick Bracken, a Water and Sanitation Specialist from AHT Group AG, Elisabeth Kvarnström, a senior consultant with Urban Water Management, Inc., who were also co-authors of the paper "The sanitation ladder – a need for a revamp", and Ricard Gine, from the Universitat Polècnica de Catalunya whose research has focused on monitoring, evaluation and sustainability of WASH interventions.

Follow-up Webinar

On Mar 26, 2015 at 15:00-15:45 CET  SuSanA hosted a follow-up webinar to discuss key questions of the thematic discussion as well as provide an overview of what was discussed.

A summary of the webinar can be found here, and the webinar recording can be viewed on YouTube at:

The audio recording of the webinar is cut into five parts:

1) Roslyn Graham with the opening presentation and a summary (click here for the presentation in .pdf)

2) Thematic lead Ricard Gine with key points

3) Thematic lead Elisabeth Kvarnström with key points and Webinar Question & Answer period 1

4) Webinar Question & Answer period 2

5) Webinar Question & Answer period 3

Interview with the thematic lead Patrick Bracken

As Patrick was not able to attend the webinar, the Roslyn Graham, moderator of the SuSanA thematic discussions and member of the SuSanA secretariat, conducted an interview on his personal thoughts on the discussion.

The interview recording is cut in three parts:

1) Part 1 (9.7 MB)

2) Part 2 (8.7 MB)

3) Part 3 (9 MB)