Cookie tracking notice
Are we allowed to crumble with cookies and anonymous tracking?

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site (so called session cookies), while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). We use the application Matomo and the external service etracker to analyze your behavior on our website anonymously. Because we value your privacy, we are here with asking your permission to use the following technologies. You can change your settings any time via this link or the menu item in footer menu. For more information visit our Data Policy

Targeting the Urban Poor and Improving Services in Small Towns: Poor-Inclusive Urban Sanitation: An Overview

Hawkins, P., Blackett, I., Heymans, C. (2013)

Published in: 2013

World Bank Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), Washington, USA

Hawkins, P., Blackett, I., Heymans, C.

Uploaded by:
SuSanA secretariat

Partner profile:
common upload


Content - Summary

Delivering poor-inclusive urban sanitation requires improved service delivery, rather than a focus on infrastructure. This is the core finding of this global review on challenges, trends, and approaches at the global, national and city levels to achieve viable poor-inclusive urban sanitation at scale. After presenting population density as a defining challenge for urban sanitation, the authors analyse the practice of urban sanitation, its technical challenges and the way forward for poor-inclusive service delivery.

The paper highlights key observations and lessons from the original study report: “Delivering Sanitation to the Urban Poor: A Scoping Study (2012; unpublished).

Although this overview of urban sanitation has shown that
the current situation is far from ideal, and that widespread
improvements will not occur at the present rate of progress,
it also identifies initiatives that have potential for wider
replication. There is no “silver bullet” that will deliver improved
sanitation to the developing world’s burgeoning cities,
and some key technical issues remain to be resolved, but
much can be achieved by applying what is already known
and proven in practice.

Delivery of effective sanitation to all urban dwellers requires
the whole chain of services, supported by a combination of
domestic, decentralized, or fully networked infrastructure.
This, in turn, requires an appropriate enabling environment
that can engage the many stakeholders involved, from
communities to national governments, to drive change and
secure sustainable financing for services provided through
both the market and the public sector, reinforced by clearly
defined accountability mechanisms.

Massive investments in infrastructure to address urban
sanitation in developing countries have often resulted in
patchy and unreliable coverage, mostly for richer users, and
frequently leaving poorer communities to fend for themselves.
If urban sanitation is to deliver its full potential public
health, economic, social, and environmental benefits to
urban dwellers, it must reach all communities, as poor excreta
management in one area results in contamination that
can affect all citizens in densely populated urban spaces.
Even where interventions prioritize and target poor neighborhoods,
they should be delivered within a citywide inclusive

By applying these lessons learned and addressing the technical
issues yet to be resolved, significant progress can be
made over the medium term, in consonance with the post-
2015 agenda of sanitation services for all.

Bibliographic information

Hawkins, P., Blackett, I., Heymans, C. (2013). Targeting the Urban Poor and Improving Services in Small Towns: Poor-Inclusive Urban Sanitation: An Overview. World Bank Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), Washington, USA

Filter tags

English Faecal sludge treatment processes Urban (entire city)


Poor-Inclusive Urban Sanitation: An Overview

Format: pdf file
Size: 2.08 MB

Share this page on    

Follow us on    

SuSanA Partners  currently 400 partners

Networks Circle


Latest SuSanA Blog Articles

SuSanA Blog »

SuSanA newsletter

Stay informed about the activities of SuSanA and its partners. The SuSanA newsletter is sent out around four times per year. It contains information about news, events, new partners, projects, discussions and publications of the SuSanA network.

Subscribe to newsletter »




Resources and publications

Our library has more than 3,000 publications, factsheets, presentations, drawings etc. from many different organisations. It continues to grow thanks to the contributions from our partners.

Add item to library »

The three links below take you to special groups of items in the library for more convenient access:


The project database contains nearly 400 sanitation projects of many different organizations dealing with research, implementation, advocacy, capacity development etc. Advanced filtering functions and a global map are also available. Information on how and why this database was created is here.

People working for SuSanA partners can add their own projects through their partner profile page. You might need your SuSanA login upgraded for this purpose. Please contact us if you would like to add a project.

Trainings, conference and events materials

Missed important conferences or courses? Catch up by using their materials for self study. These materials have been kindly provided by SuSanA partners.

Shit flow diagrams, excreta flow diagrams (309 SFDs worldwide)

Shit flow diagrams (SFDs) help to visualize excreta management in urban settings. Access SFDs and more through the SFD Portal.

Emersan eCompendium

Humanitarian Sanitation Hub

Sanitation Workers Knowledge and Learning Hub




Discussion forum

Share knowledge, exchange experiences, discuss challenges, make announcements, ask questions and more. Hint: Your discussion forum login is the same as your SuSanA login. More about the forum's philosophy »

Integrated content

We are hosting content from some other communities of practice and information-sharing portals. This section also provides a link to SuSanA's Sanitation Wikipedia initiative.

Suggest content to add »

SuSanA partners

Not yet a SuSanA partner? Show your organisation's support to SuSanA's vision and engage in  knowledge sharing by becoming partners.

Apply to become a partner »

Individual membership

Register as an individual member of SuSanA free of charge. As a member you can interact with thousands of sanitation enthusiasts on the discussion forum.  You can also get engaged in one of our 13 working groups and our regional chapters. Our FAQs explain the benefits further.

By getting a SuSanA login you can fully participate in the SuSanA community!

Register as a member


Forgot your password?
Forgot your username?