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Thematic Discussion 5 - Sustainable urban sanitation - moving forward

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

Sustainable urban sanitation- moving forward

Photos: UN 2010; SuSanA Secretariat 2010; Asian Development Bank 2010

1. Introduction

The overall theme of this thematic discussion is how to move towards more sustainable urban sanitation. The idea is to initiate a discussion from the perspective of the whole sanitation chain and also the role (or lack of role) which local government has as leaders for change in sanitation. The discussion would focus on case study examples which have worked but also those that have not worked and how these could have been improved given the chance with a focus on the whole sanitation chain. Guiding questions by the thematic experts will help to structure the discussion throughout this e-debate.

Theme 1: Lack of attention to the whole sanitation chain: Why is there a lack of attention to the whole sanitation chain? Given that sanitation is more than building a toilet and includes changed hygienic behaviours, maintenance, emptying, treatment and disposal or reuse of accumulated faecal matter, why are so many programmes and project still only looking at one possible two sides of this multi-sided chain? (Erick Baetings & Marielle Snel)

Please consult this background document for more information

Theme 2: Lack of leadership for change around sanitation: Sanitation improvements are not the sole responsibility of one entity but is shared between households, private service providers (latrine builders, emptying companies) and/or various line ministries (Min. of Health, Education, Infrastructure, Environment). How can we create a sanitation sector that is more coordinated and aligned with the many players as well providing a supportive and regulatory function? The latter is typically the responsibility of national and local governments. However, in many countries, either there is not a unique institution with the overall responsibility for sanitation, or this designated institution is weak and is not able to lead the sector towards change. Is there a means of creating more substantive governmental leadership in this area for better coordination and harmonisation in the sanitation sector? (Marielle Snel and Cor Dietvorst)

Please consult this background document for more information

2. Thematic Timeline

  • Theme I: October 13-19: Lack of attention to the whole sanitation chain
    with Erick Baetings & Marielle Snel
  • Theme II: October 20-23: Lack of leadership for change around sanitation
    with Marielle Snel & Cor Dietvorst

3. Experts

  • Erick Baetings (Senior sanitation expert, IRC)
  • Marielle Snel (Senior expert, IRC)
  • Cor Dietvorst (Programme officer, IRC)

4. Background Readings

Theme I: Why is there a lack of attention to the whole sanitation chain?

Theme II: Why is there a lack of leadership for change around sanitation? 

1. Background information & statistics reflecting the lack of leadership for change around sanitation: 

2. Blog: Facing the sanitation challenges together: Snel, M. 2015. http://www.ircwash.org/blog/let%E2%80%99s-face-sanitation-chain-challenges-together

3. Sanitation in India- The final frontier. The economist. July, 2014. www.economist.com/news/asia/21607837-fix...tories-also-changing

 

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The 32nd virtual SuSanA Meeting took place Monday, 22nd of August (9:00 - 17:00 CEST), right before the Stockholm World Water Week. It was organised by the Secretariat with support and contributions from SuSanA Partners, Members, Working Groups, Regional Chapters and many more. 

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