Dirty water_ John Laing

Stronger regulators crucial to improving sanitation services for the poorest, report finds

A new report published by Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and the Eastern and Southern Africa Water and Sanitation (ESAWAS) Regulators Association identifies how stronger regulators can play an important role in improving sanitation for under-served urban residents. The report, entitled Referee! Responsibilities, regulations and regulating for urban sanitation, has four key […]

Clean Team waste collector


This project will deliver an evaluation of the user experience outcomes of being a customer of Clean Team Ghana. Clean Team Ghana is a social enterprise providing container-based toilets for a monthly fee covering toilet rental and the container replacement service. Clean Team Ghana currently operates in the city of Kumasi.

This research will aim to generate evidence that is a) of wide value in Ghana and internationally for understanding the user experience impacts of container-based sanitation service models of this type, and b) of specific value to Clean Team Ghana in further improving their business model. The research should focus on user experience including i) satisfaction with aspects including for example smell and container replacement service, and ii) subjective wellbeing across a range of dimensions including dignity and security.

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This publication presents the results of baseline urban WASH sector functionality assessments in WSUP’s six programme countries. We begin by outlining the rationale and process for creating a framework, the methodology and results from the baseline assessments, and concluding it by exploring potential applications of the framework.

WSUP’s decision to develop a Sector Functionality Framework occurred in parallel with a wider shift towards system strengthening in the global WASH sector: away from a narrow focus on building taps and toilets, and towards an understanding of water and sanitation as a service, whose effectiveness depends on the wider enabling environment.

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Dhaka survey results now online

In many cities, there is a lack of good-quality data on WASH coverage levels in low-income communities. And that’s a problem if you’re trying to improve slum WASH in that city! So over the period 2017-2018, WSUP is carrying out citywide WASH surveys in at least one city in each country in which we have […]

For any donor, international agency or WASH-implementing organisation, the question of where—in what country, city or community—to focus resource is central to fulfilling their mandate. Organisations dedicated to poverty alleviation and the provision of basic services are likely to focus on what are judged to be the poorest urban and rural areas, choosing to invest their time and resources in low-income communities regarded as having a high incidence of poverty. But how are these judgements made? How is poverty defined and measured, and what other factors must be considered before deciding where to intervene? This Discussion Paper, authored by Partnerships in Practice, explores the many factors involved in determining where WASH organisations focus their interventions. It outlines how such decisions will inevitably be influenced by the organisation’s understanding of poverty, their overarching mandate and the priorities of their local partners. The Paper begins with a theoretical analysis of the definition of urban poverty, before detailing poverty assessment tools and the various ways in which poverty is currently measured. The Paper then examines how organisations such as WSUP choose specific low-income communities in which to work, and how that process could be improved.

Implementing agencies like WSUP, Water For People and IRC are of course accountable to their funders, including major bilaterals and foundations and naturally, these funders must track the effectiveness of their spending. However, short budget cycles and the need to demonstrate “value for money” can often encourage over-simplistic measurement of success in terms of short-term outputs, rather than genuinely sustainable services. This note proposes some ways forward!

This paper puts forward the case for more widespread evaluation of the health impacts of WASH interventions. It argues that more frequent evaluation would encourage investors and implementers to focus on impacts rather than outputs, and would enable more objective comparative assessment of the value-for-money of different types of urban WASH intervention. Importantly the paper notes that health impact evaluation need not be as costly as is widely thought, and proposes that the before-after concurrent control (BAC) design may be the most appropriate method in urban WASH evaluation contexts.