In cities sustainable scalable improvements are only possible if the urban environment, including policies, systems and procedures, are improved.

This means tackling a wide range of issues, such as:

  • Which organisations are accountable for providing services?
  • How can the private sector be encouraged to participate?
  • Is there effective regulation, to ensure service providers are doing their jobs?
  • Is the government prioritising water and sanitation services, and backing up commitments by putting money into the sector?

Acting within the wider urban water and sanitation system is one of the most effective ways to create sustainable, scalable improvements for vulnerable urban residents.

Accelerating access to basic sanitation for all

A suitable enabling environment provides a solid foundation for inclusive sanitation planning, investment, and management. The development and roll-out of African Sanitation Policy Guidelines is envisaged to resolve multiple, systemic institutional and market barriers, whose removal will accelerate provision of safely managed sanitation and hygiene services in Africa and help meet SDG 6.2 global targets.

Blog: July 2021 – Can new pan-African policy guidelines help bring about national sanitation programmes?

Citywide inclusive sanitation

Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) is a must for any city tackling a sanitation crisis. To ensure safe, equitable and sustained sanitation services for all residents in a city, CWIS is fundamentally dependent on three things: responsibility, accountability, and resource planning and management.

Blog: July 2021 – New video shows how a citywide plan aims to tackle Malindi’s dirty secret: sanitation

Blog: May 2021 – The building blocks for successful citywide sanitation systems

Chittagong citywide inclusive sanitation photoshoot

The role of stronger regulators

Stronger regulators can play an important role in improving sanitation for under-served urban residents. We have identified key areas where regulators are driving change for the poorest.

Blog: May 2021 – ESAWAS and WSUP renew partnership to strengthen regulation in Africa

Report: June 2020 – Referee! Responsibilities, regulations and regulating for urban sanitation

Accessing water in Korogocho, Nairobi, Kenya

Lessons on systems change from Lusaka and Maputo

WSUP’s report, Systems Reboot, examines how cities can address major barriers to delivering citywide sanitation services. The report bases its findings on experiences from two cities where WSUP has worked for over 10 years.

Report: November 2019 – Systems Reboot: Sanitation sector change in Maputo and Lusaka

Maputo urban city landscape

WSUP’s framework for urban WASH functionality

WSUP’s Sector Framework Functionality is our model for understanding what change needs to happen in the urban water and sanitation sector and is aimed to help guide policymakers, investors and practitioners – as well as informing WSUP’s own work.

Report: October 2018 – An evaluative framework for urban WASH sector functionality

Blog: September 2018 – Enabling environments for inclusive citywide sanitation: a conceptual framework

Increasing investment for sanitation through surcharges on water bills

WSUP improved domestic financing for sanitation in low-income communities, often through the introduction of a tariff on water bills. In Kenya, we are working with the regulator WASREB on a Sanitation Development Fee, which would raise money for utilities to improve sanitation in lower-income areas.

Blog: March 2018 – Could a new Sanitation Development Fee improve sanitation for low-income urban Kenyans?