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

Public Funding for Sanitation - The many faces of sanitation subsidies

Evans, B., van der Voorden, C., Peal, A. (2009)

Published in: 2009

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Geneva, Switzerland

Evans, B., van der Voorden, C., Peal, A.

Uploaded by:
SuSanA secretariat

Partner profile:
common upload


Content - Summary

Sanitation is one of the most significant development challenges of our time. Over 700 million Indians are forced to defecate in the open, and in Africa the number of people without sanitation has actually grown in the past decade. There is little doubt that better financing is required, along with better ways of spending the money, addressing what really needs to be done. This distinct lack of funds means a clear understanding of the entire pattern of public financial assistance and subsidies available is crucial.

In a response to requests from our National WASH Coalitions, WSSCC compiled this resource for all those who work in sanitation and seek sustainable and effective strategies for delivering sanitation to those who need it most. Pulling together the latest thinking and knowledge on sanitation financing, this primer aims to clarify the terminology and language used in the debate about public financing of sanitation and subsidies in particular. All the main areas are covered in the following areas:

Part 1, ‘How does Public Funding of Sanitation Work?’, discusses what needs to be financed and the sources of financing for sanitation programmes as a whole, introducing the concepts and principles by which public funds can be allocated.

Part 2, ‘The Debate on Sanitation Subsidies’, summarizes the main arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’ subsidies (particularly hardware subsidies), before offering details on the general principles which can promote good financial design of sanitation programmes.

Part 3, ‘Types of Subsidies’, looks at the financing available for software activities. The ten types of hardware subsidies commonly used and examples of their application are detailed with insights into their advantages and disadvantages.

Part 4, ‘Smart Financing of Sanitation Systems’, takes four generic sanitation systems and their technical options to explore what the real-life options for financing both their capital and operational costs are, considering private, public and blended financing in each case.

These four parts combine to deliver an understanding of the global debate on subsidies and sanitation financing, providing guidance on how to select the most appropriate funding arrangements in different situations.

About the publisher

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a global multi-stakeholder partnership and membership organization that works to save lives and improve livelihoods. It does so by enhancing collaboration among sector agencies and professionals who are working to provide sanitation to the 2.6 billion people without a clean, safe toilet, and the 884 million people without affordable, clean drinking water close at hand. Through its work, WSSCC contributes to the broader goals of poverty eradication, health and environmental improvement, gender equality and long-term social and economic development. It has coalitions in 36 countries, members in more than 160 countries, and a Geneva-based Secretariat which is hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

Bibliographic information

Evans, B., van der Voorden, C., Peal, A. (2009). Public Funding for Sanitation - The many faces of sanitation subsidies. Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Geneva, Switzerland

Filter tags

English Recommended by SuSanA (other than SuSanA publications)


Public Funding for Sanitation

Format: pdf file
Size: 0.52 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?