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.

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.

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

Blog: June 2018 – Achieving national impact through regulatory improvements

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?