Policy and advocacy for sanitation

A dirty secret

Almost two-and-a-half billion people lack access to an adequate toilet, and around one billion have no sanitation facilities whatsoever. Poor sanitation kills a child under five every 100 seconds. In this BBC audio documentary, anthropologist and broadcaster Mary-Ann Ochota visits Bangladesh and India to understand the challenges involved in achieving sanitation for all.

Sanitation for all: Scaling up is hard to do

On World Water Day 2016, Jan Willem Rosenboom reflects on the challenges and opportunities for meeting the SDGs for sanitation:

"The Sustainable Development Goals give us a second chance to get it right, but they seriously up the ante. Instead of “merely” providing half of the unserved population with access to improved sanitation, as the MDGs required, the SDGs tell us we can only declare success once every person, every school and every health facility has — and uses — safely managed sanitation facilities.

CLTS and the Right to Sanitation

Lack of sanitation impacts on the rights to life and health, the right to education (through loss in school days, particularly for girls), and the right to dignity. The purpose of this issue of Frontiers of CLTS is to examine Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in light of human rights: Do the principles and practices of CLTS reflect and promote a rights-based approach to sanitation? In what specific areas do they do so? What areas of CLTS practice raise concerns about actual or potential incompatibility with human rights? Through this issue we hope to give a fuller understanding of human rights for CLTS practitioners to help improve practice.
Date: 17 March 2016

Bangladesh’s sanitation achievements and the second generation challenges

Toilets and related sanitation systems can prevent the spread of diarrhoeal diseases and faecally-transmitted infections threatening young children’s lives. Bangladesh increased sanitation coverage remarkably rapidly due to several factors, including a vigorous national campaign from 2003 to 2006. Now in its ‘second generation’ of sanitation development, Bangladesh faces new challenges.

Date: 23 February 2016

The Costs of Meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal Targets on Drinking Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

A dedicated goal for water has recently been endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly as part of the sustainable development goal (SDG) framework. This study provides an assessment of the global costs of meeting the WASH-related targets of Goal #6. The targets assessed include achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all (target 6.1), achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and ending open defecation (target 6.2).

Date: 16 February 2016

Multisectoral Approaches to Improving Nutrition: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Emerging evidence in the WASH sector suggests the linkages between WASH and nutrition may be stronger than previously understood. This has generated a great deal of momentum in both the WASH and nutrition sectors about how the two can work more closely to achieve better outcomes. This paper addresses this objective from both the WASH perspective, on how nutrition-specific programs (as well as nutrition-sensitive social protection, livelihoods, and community-driven development programs) can provide an alternative platform to deliver services at scale and more cost-effectively; and the nutrition perspective, on how WASH interventions can be adapted to include nutritional considerations, making them more nutrition-sensitive, and more impactful on nutrition.
Date: 11 February 2016

Bum deal: is access to a toilet a human right or a privilege?

Adequate sanitation is a human right, recognised by the UN. But for the 2.4 billion people with nowhere to go safely, how does that right become a reality? Kenya and Uganda have different approaches yet, despite political commitment in both countries, they are some way off the goal of ensuring sanitation for all.

Why we should not set 'targets' for ODF

The Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is a revamped programme on sanitation launched by the H’ble Prime Minister, with a clear focus on outcomes. The programme was drafted carefully, looking at learnings from past sanitation programmes in the rural sector. Despite many programmes, the rural sanitation coverage rate did not get much success, for varied reasons. The primary reason was inability to implement programme in a pure ‘demand driven’ way, and lack of capacities to trigger behavioural change, required for this demand generation.

The Dhaka Declaration

From the 11th to 13th January 2016, the 6th SACOSAN COnference took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Under the banner ‘Better Sanitation, Better Life’ the three-day conference focused on how to accelerate progress on sanitation and hygiene promotion in South Asia, and thus enhance the quality of people’s lives. It resulted in the Dhaka Declaration, signed by representatives of the 8 member states, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Date: 19 January 2016


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