Issue 58 Improving access to water supply and sanitation services for the poor
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- In loving memory of Luc Hoang Gia and Zita Lichtenberg.

“Look at almost any poverty issue: You will find water. A lack of safe water and adequate sanitation is the world’s single largest cause of illness, responsible for two million deaths a year. That’s four people every minute – most of them children. The World Bank Group is helping countries balance competing water demands for agriculture, energy, people, and the environment. The enhanced partnership we are launching today with the United States will give a real boost to this work.”

- World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick’s Remarks on World Water Day.

"We know that for hundreds of millions of people today, water represents a deadly threat. And the risks that they face in finding water, hauling it, drinking it, cooking and bathing with it, add up to the defining challenge of their lives. There is nothing more urgent and important than that. So let’s get about the business of working together – creatively, collaboratively, and quickly – to make a difference, to make our contribution to solving the water crisis and to bring greater health and stability to more of the world’s people."

- U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s Remarks on World Water Day

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Haiti’s Rural Water Sector Gets Capacity Boost from Africa
Decentralization in Burkina Faso Expands Water Access to 450,000 People
Niger Municipalities Take on Monitoring of Water and Sanitation Infrastructure
Liberia and Congo Learn from Uganda
Multilateral Partnership to Facilitate Communal Water Management
Community-Led Total Sanitation Lessons Incorporated into Lao Strategy
World Bank, U.S. Reaffirm Commitment to Global Water Issues on World Water Day
New Report Shows Potential of Factoring Political Economy into Sanitation Investments
Pfizer Boosts Peru’s Sanitation Market
Peru Adds Handwashing to School Curriculum for over 6 Million Students Each Year
Water Security: A Not So Distant Dream
Inadequate Sanitation Costs India
US$53.8 Billion
Renewed Commitment of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Urban Sector
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On March 22, 2011, World Water Day, Janie Hayes of PATH joined dozens from WaterAid, USAID, Water for People, Bread for the World, and other organizations for the "Integrating Advocacy to Improve Access to Nutrition, Safe Water, and Health" workshop hosted by the Water and Sanitation Program, a global partnership administered by the World Bank. Participants explored priorities for collaboration, and brainstormed ideas for longer-term opportunities, such as filling gaps in communications and messaging. In this short video clip, Janie discusses where WASH organizations should focus attention in coming months.
PATH's Janie Hayes Discusses WASH & Health Workshop, World Water Day 2011, Washington, DC
To share the adverse impacts of open defecation, WSP engaged Ms. Momtaz Begum, a popular folk singer from Bangladesh to help disseminate key messages on use and maintenance of latrines through a music video.
No Way Out Without a Sanitary Latrine
The BioSand Filter (BSF) is a robust water treatment technology for use in rural Cambodian households. It is capable of effective removal of indicator bacteria, specifically E. coli. This video shows that BSF performance is comparable to other recommended household water treatment interventions.
Use of BioSand Filters in Cambodia
Opportunities on sanitation for small-business retailers, medium wholesalers and large-scale sanitation and construction suppliers, as well as local providers of plumbing and masonry services, communal sales promoters and micro financial institutions are presented in this video, produced for the Creating Sanitation Markets Initiative in Peru.
Sanitation: A Great Deal
A Peruvian family celebrates their new bathroom; the video shows the activities developed and outcomes achieved by the initiative, Creating Sanitation Markets.
Inaugurating a Dream
This video portrays the findings of a sanitation behavioral study from a child’s perspective. The study was conducted as part of research for Creating Sanitation Markets in Peru in 2007, aimed to strengthen public and private partnerships for improving sanitation.
Let’s Change Their Future
New Water Website at the World Bank
  Dive into the new Water Website at the World Bank. Discover a new and improved resource on water with integrated databases on World Bank projects, data and publications, a robust search engine, news stories, events, multimedia and more...
Visit us at
International Finance Corporation (IFC) launches "Handshake,” IFC’s Quarterly Journal on Public-Private Partnerships
  On March 22, World Water Day, IFC launched "Handshake: IFC’s quarterly journal on public-private partnerships", a new peer-reviewed publication from the Advisory Services in Public-Private Partnerships department. Handshake explores pragmatic and innovative solutions that the public and private sectors can create together to address complex development challenges. The debut issue, “Tapped Out,” looks at public-private partnerships in water scarcity and distribution.
  View Publication Here | Subscribe Here
The Political Economy of Sanitation
  Based on an analysis of experiences in Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Senegal, The Political Economy of Sanitation, proposes an approach to address the political economy of sanitation in a given country in order to more effectively advocate with policy makers to invest more and to better target services for poor people.
Download here
Monitoring Systems for Incentive Programs: Learning from Large-scale Rural Sanitation Initiatives in India
  In India, national and state level incentive programs are being used to reward rural communities verified open defecation free. Effective monitoring of these programs is essential - without it, accurate verification is not possible. WSP assessed two monitoring systems, one on the national level and the other at the state level, analyzing the process to identify best practices for scaling up and replication. These systems, together with the participation of local governments, have promoted a significant increase in rural sanitation coverage.
Download here
Contact: Eduardo A. Perez,
New Biosand Filter Study Provides Evidence to Help Scale Up Cleaner Drinking Water in Cambodia
  The BioSand Filter (BSF) is a robust water treatment technology for use in rural Cambodian households. It is capable of effective removal of indicator bacteria, specifically E. coli. Use of BioSand Filters in Cambodia shows that BSF performance is comparable to other recommended household water treatment interventions.
Download here
Gender in Water and Sanitation
  Gender is a concept that refers to socially constructed roles, behavior, activities and attributes that a particular society considers appropriate and ascribes to men and women (WHO, 2009). These distinct roles and the relations between them may give rise to gender inequalities where one group is systematically favored and holds advantages over another. This Working Paper uses case studies from various countries to illustrate how different principles have been applied successfully, and highlights the approaches used to redress gender inequalities in the water and sanitation sector.
Download here
Utilizing Community-Based Registers to Monitor Improved Access to Sanitation and Hygiene in Tanzania
  Efforts to systematically collect data to monitor sanitation and hygiene conditions at the community-level face many challenges. To address some of these challenges in Tanzania, WSP collaborated with local governments and village-level CLTS committees to implement community-based and managed registers. This Learning Note reports on a validation exercise conducted through a random sampling of sub-villages and households to assess the use of the registers, including the accuracy and frequency of data collection.
Download here
The Hard Way to the High Road:Transition of community-based water groups to professional service providers in Indonesia
  As many Indonesian villages are outside the reach of utility service, the country's government is supporting construction of village water infrastructure managed by users through community-based water organizations (CBOs). This Learning Note demonstrates how formalization and improved organizational systems are critical building blocks for the “next generation” of CBOs.
Download here
Contact: Jemima Sy,
The International Benchmarking Network for Water and Sanitation Utilities (IBNET)
  The International Benchmarking Network for Water and Sanitation Utilities (IBNET) of WSP is your direct access to the world largest database for water and sanitation utilities performance data. IBNET supports and promotes good benchmarking practice among water and sanitation services by:

Providing guidance on indicators, definitions and methods of data collection;
Facilitating the establishment of national or regional benchmarking schemes; and
Undertaking peer group performance comparisons.
Download the IBNet Toolkit | Purchase on Amazon
Sustainable Management of Small Water Supply Systems in Africa: Practitioners’ Workshop Report, October 6-8, 2010
  Rural water sector practitioners take stock of twenty years of efforts in Africa to improve the quality of water supply services by delegating the management of small water schemes to private operators or user associations.
Download here (English) | Download here (Portuguese)
Nagari 18: Improving Water and Sanitation Service Delivery in India: Lessons from a National Workshop on Service Level Benchmarking
  Although access to infrastructure in most Indian cities has increased over the last decade, service deficiencies still exist in terms of access, quality, and reliability. As a result of Service Level Benchmarking (SLB), accountability for service delivery levels is now gaining broad-based acceptance at all levels, with implementation of this structured monitoring system led by the Government of India. The SLB has also been endorsed by India’s Finance Commission.
Download here
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South Asia Conference on Sanitation
Colombo, Sri Lanka. April 4 - 8, 2011
Contact: Vandana Mehra,
India Water Forum
India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. April 13-15, 2011
International Summit on Water in Developing Countries 2011
National Press Club, Washington DC, April 15
Contact: DC Rotary Club Prsident, Don Marx,
The Unite For Sight Global Health & Innovation 2011 Conference
Yale University, Connecticut. April 16-17 2011
AusAID WASH Conference
Brisbane, Australia. May 16-20, 2011
Conference on Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS)
Manila, Philippines. May 25-28, 2011
Singapore International Water Week
July 4-8, 2011
ADB Water Event: Water Crisis and choices
July 11-14, 2010
AfricaSan 3 on Sanitation and Hygiene
Kigali, Rwanda - July 19-21, 2011
Contact: Yolande Coombes,
World Water Week 2011
Stockholm, Sweden. August 21-27, 2011
Global PURE Water Expo
Las Vegas, US. September 22-24, 2011
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News from our partners

Partnerships on Water
In mid-January, Global Water Challenge honored a gathering to discuss the critical issue of sustainability at the World Bank in partnership with WSP, Aguaconsult, Water For People and IRC.  Nearly 100 leaders from the donor community, development organizations, and the private sector discussed ways to encourage sustainable WASH programming and to provide practical approaches for sustainability. Participants at the forum began the development of a WASH Sustainability Charter, a sector-wide set of simple voluntary principles that endorsers can follow to achieve lasting solutions. Review the Draft WASH Sustainability Charter Here.

This Charter is meant to be a set of voluntary guidelines that build on the lessons learned from our collective success and failures in the provision of sustainable WASH services. In order to engage the entire water and sanitation supply-chain, the charter is being developed to empower stakeholders, whether they be donors, implementers, academics, or other key actors.

Additionally, Global Water Challenge (GWC) and Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF) convened a broad group of public and private water and development stakeholders on January 25, 2011 at The Case Foundation in Washington, D.C. to discuss the merits and potential design of a new Global Water Solutions Center (GWSC).   Broadly speaking, the purpose of the Center would be to bring existing knowledge, expertise and technologies to bear on critical international water challenges. GWC is facilitating the continued discussion of the Center and will convene a steering committee for further discussion in 2011.  


Announcing Winners of the World Bank’s Water Sector Writing Contest on Wikipedia

In December 2010, the World Bank announced its first Wikipedia Writing Contest on Water in an effort to engage with universities for its Wikipedia Pilot Project (WPP). The competition was open to students currently enrolled at participating universities worldwide. First place contestants were offered invitations for a week-long paid visit to the World Bank Water Week from 31 January – 04 February 2011 in Washington D.C.

Due to a successful first run, a second contest is now being launched as part of the Wikipedia water pilot project to increase participation by university students in creating or maintaining the Wikipedia articles on Water Supply and Sanitation, Water Resource Management, and other water-related topics that have been created so far. Registration runs until May 13, while the deadline for submission is June 17, 2011. Any questions regarding the contest may be sent to

The UNICEF Tap Project - When You Take Water, Give Water 
Through numerous fundraising and volunteer activities, the UNICEF Tap Project celebrates the clean water we enjoy on a daily basis by encouraging celebrity, restaurant, volunteer, corporate, and government supporters to give this vital resource to children in developing countries. The concept is basic and compelling: “When You Take Water, Give Water.”

2011 UNICEF Tap Project Funds will specifically target Togo, the Central African Republic and Vietnam.

Visit Website | Watch Video


Join H2O for Life for a Walk for Water
Presented by Pentair Foundation, H2O for Life in Collaboration with Youth Service America will celebrate Global Youth Service Day on April 16th.

Organize a 5K walk for your school, group or community to raise funds for a partner school in a developing country that desperately needs water! Walking while carrying water is a powerful way to connect all of us with the task that takes place multiple times daily around the developing world. Visit the Walk for Water Website for more information.

Circle of Blue’s 12 Part Series on China - Confronting Water Scarcity and Energy Demand in the World’s Largest Country
Circle of Blue launched Choke Point: China, an in-depth 12-part series that explores the collision between water and energy in China. It follows the comprehensive report, Choke Point: U.S., and finds three converging trends: Mining, processing, and consuming coal accounts for the largest and increasing share of industrial water use in China; though national conservation policies have helped to limit the increases, water consumption has climbed to record levels; and China’s total water resource, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, has dropped 13 percent since the start of the century. Read the full reports at  
Harvard Students Win Urban Water Design Challenge for Interactive Water Footprint Infographic, the global open data visualization platform created by Seed Media Group and GE, opened its World Water Day data visualization challenge in collaboration with Circle of Blue, the leading news organization reporting on global water challenges. The challenge called on designers, data experts, and visualizers to tap into the world’s stream of water data to create visualizations specifically on the topic of urban water. The international contest offered a $5,000 cash prize to the winner who were announced on March 22, the eighteenth annual World Water Day. The winning graphic, “What is Your Water Footprint?”, submitted by Joseph Bergen and Nicki Huang—students at the Harvard Garduate School of Design, explores water consumption based on location and lifestyle. Read more about the contest at
Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council is pleased to announce The Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene 2011, to be arranged in Mumbai, India, from October 9-14. The event will be a leading platform to discuss and advance sanitation and hygiene issues of importance to billions of people. For more information, please visit  
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Haiti’s Rural Water Sector Gets Capacity Boost from Africa

Haiti is considering longer-term technical assistance for its rural water sector based on lessons, materials, and methodologies from African counterparts facing similar challenges. This follows a mission by WSP staff from Africa and Latin America the Caribbean to provide examples to the Government of Haiti on the construction and rehabilitation of rural water schemes.

The learning exchange by technical staff last October was in response to a request for Haiti’s Rural Water and Sanitation Project, which focuses on capacity-building for rural water supply and sanitation, and improving water supply services, basic sanitation, and hygiene promotion. The US$5.25 million project is mainly funded by the World Bank.

Project team members are working with private water operators to expand service delivery, and invited the WSP team to share experiences on public-private partnerships and community-driven development for water schemes from Honduras, Paraguay, and Rwanda.

Such South-South cooperation and knowledge exchange are becoming more relevant as a means of addressing common development challenges as well as complementing capacity-building efforts. In 2009, WSP organized an exposure visit by a technical team from the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company in Zambia to learn about condominial sewerage systems in Brazil and peri-urban initiatives in Lima. Based on lessons learned from the exposure visit, Lusaka is piloting a condominial system serving 1,700 households.
Contact: Pierre boulenger at

Decentralization in Burkina Faso Expands Water Access to 450,000 People

Emerging evidence from Burkina Faso is demonstrating the positive impacts of long-term decentralization efforts in the rural water sector. According to the World Bank, half of Burkina’s villages have established village committees and 1,700 community wells have been constructed, providing 450,000 people with an average 20 liters of safe water per person per day.

About 80 percent of Burkina’s population resides in rural areas, and the government has been undertaking a long-term decentralization effort that groups rural villages into self-governing communes - a level of representative local government - with the capacity to plan and manage their own development programs and mobilize necessary resources through increased local revenues and government fiscal transfers.

Donor agencies are supporting the decentralization through a basket fund for community-based rural development. Communications training has also been directed at local groups to promote clean water usage and investment in construction of latrines, income-generating activities such as dry-season irrigated agriculture, fish farming, small-scale livestock, and forestry management.

WSP is assisting the Government of Burkina Faso to build local government capacity to plan and implement local development activities in a participatory and sustainable manner, thus further institutionalizing decentralized rural development in the country. A second phase of the Community-Based Rural Development Project – to be funded by the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, or IDA, at a cost of US$1.9 million – aims to strengthen capacity for decentralized rural development.
Contact: Serigne Mbaye Seye at

Niger Municipalities Take on Monitoring of Water and Sanitation Infrastructure

Implementation of an inventory-based monitoring tool in Niger is empowering rural municipalities to better manage water supply services, particularly in the planning and monitoring of water points and sanitation facilities. The monitoring tool is specifically designed for the 266 municipalities in Niger under the Local Water and Sanitation Plan (LWSP), managed by the Ministry of Water.

The municipalities are now responsible for compiling their own inventories of water points, water schemes, and sanitation facilities within their jurisdiction. This process enables the local authorities to compile annual reports of access to water and sanitation, prioritize interventions in the municipal area, and justify budget allocation requests to the Central government – thereby placing the responsibilities of planning and monitoring directly under the municipalities.

WSP contributed to the development of the LWSP by facilitating knowledge exchanges from Senegal, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Rwanda, where similar tools are being applied. The LWSP was later piloted in two municipalities and eventually adopted by the Ministry of Water for scale up to all the municipalities of Niger. During the business plan period, WSP will support the development of 16 new LWSP in the provinces of Dosso and Tillaberi, as well as training of professionals to implement the plans.
Contact: Taibou Maiga at

Liberia and Congo Learn from Uganda

Water sector stakeholders from Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo will participate in a knowledge exchange program to learn from Uganda’s pioneering approach to water supply management in small-towns and rural areas. This follows the selection of this WSP knowledge exchange proposal through a competitive World Bank Institute program to scale up and mainstream south-south knowledge exchanges. A total 88 proposals were considered for funding of which 14 were awarded US$500,000 for South-South activities.

Liberia and the DRC are at a critical juncture: both countries are recovering from conflict and have started a process of reorganizing their water sectors. In the DRC, a new Water Law has been drafted, and the upcoming formulation of a National Water Policy will determine the appropriate institutional arrangements in a new decentralized framework.

Liberia aims to move from a donor-dominated, project-driven, post-conflict approach towards increasing national ownership of service delivery, with additional funding becoming available through the completion of HIPC debt relief in 2010 and the second Poverty Reduction Strategy in 2011.

Analyses of the water sectors in Liberia and the DRC have highlighted the need to strengthen institutional capacities for addressing challenges facing small-towns and rural areas, and sector players in these countries have expressed interest in learning from Uganda’s experience.

Uganda has developed an innovative approach to water supply management and to monitoring and evaluation over the last ten years, in particular with respect to small towns and rural growth centers. This approach is centered on private sector participation within a strong institutional framework, with routine data collection mechanisms, and regular joint sector reviews.
Contact: Dominick de Waal at


Multilateral Partnership to Facilitate Communal Water Management

WSP helped clinch an agreement among stakeholders in Indonesia’s East and West Java provinces to render community-managed water providers more attractive to private investors. The agreement is one of several actions stemming from the WSP Second Generation Project, under which 30 providers in six districts in the two provinces receive technical assistance in order to obtain financing for business development and expansion.

Participants at two workshops in February explored the substance, mechanism, and legal impacts of a possible multi-stakeholder partnership between WSP, the AusAID-funded Indonesia Infrastructure Initiative, government, service providers, and private sector representatives.

They agreed to move forward with an action plan to set up mutually-beneficial partnerships that will carry out activities such as provider assessment by the private sector, financial report preparation by the providers, and finalization of contract documents by a team of consultants. Central and local governments, meanwhile, are expected to provide support in the forms of license issuance and/or provision of legal framework, which would define the legal status of partnerships between providers and local governments, and provide legal certainty of the providers’ operation within an agreed timeframe.
Contact: Deviariandy Setiawan at
Community-Led Total Sanitation Lessons Incorporated into Lao Strategy

The Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) pilot in Lao PDR has enabled organizations to identify and agree on key sanitation issues as a result of lessons learned from CLTS. These issues will feed into the National Strategy for Rural Water Supply and Environmental Health Sector, which is currently under revision and due for submission to the Ministry of Health in March. The incorporation of the issues is expected to help improve the government’s role as coordinator in rural sanitation, explore new options for sanitation financing, and pave the way for the adoption of CLTS approaches for nationwide sanitation promotion.

Organized by the National Center for Environmental Health and Water Supply (Nam Saat) with support from WSP, a workshop on January 28 brought together stakeholders that included representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, international organizations, and civil society. Main issues agreed at the workshop included the potential of sanitation marketing involving the private sector, the use of different CLTS approaches for remote areas, and the ruling-out of upfront hardware subsidies for sanitation scaling-up. The discussions led to agreement among stakeholders that private sector participation will lead to innovative latrine designs and lower costs. The lessons learned also showed that several elements in the CLTS approach - such as the naming of open defecators -could be adjusted to fit with the cultural aspects of villagers living in remote areas.

Following a CLTS piloting in six villages, the first ever declaration of an open defecation-free village in Lao took place in May 2010, marking the implementation of CLTS in the country. The pilot project was led by Nam Saat with technical support from WSP.
Contact: Viengsamay Vongkhamsao at


World Bank, U.S. Reaffirm Commitment to Global Water Issues on World Water Day

In 1993, the United Nations designated March 22 World Water Day to help focus attention on delivering better service to the billions of people who still don’t have access to a toilet or safe drinking water.

This year, to mark World Water Day, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed an agreement making it easier for the U.S. Government and World Bank to work together to address global water challenges.

While the Bank and the U.S. have partnered before on water issues, this will provide the World Bank access to experts in 17 U.S. government agencies and departments to address issues such as lack of safe drinking water and sanitation, diminishing aquifers, drought, flooding, and climate change impacts.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick sign the Memorandum of Understanding on March 22, 2011
- Photo credit World Bank

The signing, before which both Mr. Zoellick and Secretary Clinton made remarks, took place at 2 pm at the World Bank on March 22, 2010. It was preceded by a program featuring Steve Hilton of the Conrad Hilton Foundation, who announced a major pledge for water, US CSO leaders, and — via videolink from Cape Town, South Africa — His Royal Highness Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange.

The Bank Group is the largest single external source of financing and technical assistance to governments for water and sanitation. In 2010, it provided US$5.7 billion in water financing, $40.8 million in knowledge and technical assistance through the Water and Sanitation Program, and $754 million in guarantees for water investments through the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The International Finance Corporation has provided $1.4 billion in water financing to private corporations since 2003, and also provided advisory services on public-private partnerships for bulk water, distribution, wastewater management and irrigation.

Others marked Water Day in remarkable ways. Dutch cyclists Joost Notenboom and Michiel Roodenburg are riding their bikes from Alaska, U.S. to Ushuaia, Argentina to raise awareness of the need for action on the global water crisis.

The two cyclists are halfway through their 18-month journey, and their goal of raising awareness of the water and sanitation crises is bearing fruit. They stopped in Nicaragua this month to visit World Bank-financed projects. In Managua, a crowd turned out to greet them as they learned from residents how the project will bring clean water and sanitation services to the city’s low-income barrios.

New Report Shows Potential of Factoring Political Economy into Sanitation Investments

A better understanding of a county’s political and social processes and entities that determine the extent and nature of investments in sanitation could catalyze a sharp increase in numbers of people with access, especially for the poor, according to a new report released by the World Bank and the Water and Sanitation Program.

According to the UN Joint Monitoring Program, 2.6 billion people - about half of the world’s population - lack access to basic sanitation. There is ongoing concern that governments, at many levels, are not devoting enough attention and resources to sanitation services, particularly when compared to spending on water supply and other infrastructure services.  Additionally, existing sanitation investments and service provision rarely place sufficient stress upon the distinct and urgent needs of the poor.  Recent World Bank research shows that this limited focus on sanitation is driven largely by political motivation in the context of competing demands for resources, and to a lesser extent by technical or economic considerations.

Based on an analysis of experiences in Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Senegal, The Political Economy of Sanitation, proposes an approach to address the political economy of sanitation in a given country in order to more effectively advocate with policy makers to invest more and to better target services for poor people.

“This study provides practical advice to sanitation practitioners to help them better manage stakeholder relations and effectively maneuver within the complex institutional relationships of the sanitation sector,” said WSP Program Manager Jae So. “If practitioners are better equipped to do this effectively, it will enhance the design, implementation, and effectiveness of pro-poor sanitation investments and services, with the ultimate goal of improving health and hygiene outcomes.”

Combining an understanding of the political economy risks and opportunities in the sanitation sector with evidence marshaled on the economic, political, and social impacts of investment choices can promote greater accountability, partnership, and communication, the report says.

Some key lessons from the report for sanitation practitioners:

  • The case studies show that understanding the political economy of sanitation investment provides the basis for adequate timing, tailoring, and location of investment and operations.
  • Donors and international institutions have successfully used their comparative advantage in providing timely and rigorous analysis to inform pro-poor sanitation investments.
  • Strengthening accountability in the delivery and accessibility of sanitation services is a vital element in the successful management of the political economy of sanitation investments.
  • Wider participation and clear communication of key issues are two important tools to address the power of vested interests that neglect the needs of the poor in sanitation investment and services provision.

Watch a recording of the session, Levers of Change in Sanitation from World Bank Water Days which discusses the report with a view to increasing sanitation investments in general, and services for the poor in particular. Panelists, including WSP’s Eddy Perez, Almud Weitz, and Dominick de Waal, discussed persistent concerns that governments are not devoting enough attention and resources to sanitation services, particularly when compared to spending on water supply and other infrastructure services. A key lesson shared during the session was that understanding the risks and opportunities associated with stakeholders and institutions in the sanitation sector can support more pro-poor sanitation investment.

Separately, during a recent book launch of Impact Evaluation in Practice, WSP’s Bertha Briceno shared lessons from WSP’s rigorous impact evaluation of the Global Scaling Up Handwashing and Global Scaling Up Rural Sanitation projects. The IE aims to generate robust evidence on a cross country basis, understanding how effects vary according to each country’s programmatic and geographic contexts.

Download PDF: India | Indonesia | Vietnam

Contact: Christopher Walsh at


Pfizer Boosts Peru’s Sanitation Market

Nearly 5,150 families in Peru’s peri-urban district of Pachacutec have invested a total of almost US$714,000 in better household sanitation services since the 2007 launch of an initiative that provides business advice to sanitation micro-entrepreneur associations there. As part of Pfizer’s corporate social responsibility program, a team of high level managers from four of the pharmaceutical company’s country offices in Latin America, volunteered to participate in the ‘Creating Sanitation Markets’ Initiative in Pachacutec, where only 15% of its 130,000 residents have access to safe sanitation facilities.

As the market for sanitation products and services has grown, micro-entrepreneur associations have found it a challenge to keep up with demand. Pfizer’s team provided the associations with business advice in this context through learning-by-doing training, and jointly developed a one-year business plan.

As a result, it is expected that micro-entrepreneur associations will, in the short to medium-term, improve business performance - developing a better commissions system based on sales, integrated services with hardware stores, strategic alliances with suppliers, and of course, increased annual sales and earnings. WSP initiated the contact with Pfizer for this project.
Contact: Malva Baskovich at
Peru Adds Handwashing to School Curriculum for over 6 Million Students Each Year

More than six million students from national schools will learn the importance of handwashing with soap, thanks to the inclusion of a hygiene component in the national learning curriculum, a joint effort of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Environment. The hygiene component was included in the National Guidelines for Environmental Education, a joint production of the Ministries of Education and of Environment. WSP played a key role, with its methodology (Handwashing Behavioral Change) providing the foundation for the development of the component in the document.

Concerning the curricula, the Ministry of Education has identified different measures for specific grade levels. As part of early education, kids will be taught about personal hygiene routines they should follow and practice, the proper method for washing and drying their hands, as well as the critical times to do it. They will also learn to be environmentally friendly by using water efficiently. In elementary school (ages 6-12 years old), students will learn how to avoid common diseases with good hygiene practices, which are introduced in art, environment, physical education, and science lessons. In junior high and high school (ages 12-17), students will learn about healthy lifestyles in a more holistic way.

The publication was presented in January 2011 and has been distributed to 44,000 public schools, where the academic year begins in March.
Contact: Rocio Florez at

Water Security: A Not So Distant Dream

India’s Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) intends a paradigm shift in delivering safe drinking water towards ensuring that every person in rural areas has access to the minimum requirement of safe drinking water close to their homes throughout the year.
In order to demonstrate this concept in varying circumstances, the DDWS, in collaboration with several State governments, has initiated a national drinking water security pilot. WSP is providing technical assistance to this pilot which is spread across 14 districts in 10 states districts of the country. WSP has designed  the methodology to implement the pilots and will provide  technical assistance in water budgeting, service improvement planning, water safety planning and documentation of the lessons. WSP will also coordinate between the states and Government of India.

The pilots will likely demonstrate:

  • ways to empower communities to calculate water budgets and make decisions on water use
  • ways to develop village or village cluster water security plans
  • Institutional arrangements to design and implement participatory water security plans in different contexts, and
  • lessons for scaling up drinking water security across rural India
The water security planning pilot phase is expected to be implemented over the next 12-18 months, including capacity building of communities.
Contact: C. Ajith Kumar at
Inadequate Sanitation Costs India US$53.8 Billion (Rs. 2.4 Trillion)

The Economic Impacts of Inadequate Sanitation in India, a new report from WSP released in Dec 2010. The study analyzed the evidence on the adverse economic impacts of inadequate sanitation, which include costs associated with death and disease, accessing and treating water, and losses in education, productivity, time, and tourism. The findings are based on 2006 figures, although a similar magnitude of losses is likely in later years.

The report indicates that premature mortality and other health-related impacts of inadequate sanitation, were the most costly at US$38.5 billion (Rs.1.75 trillion, 71.6 percent of total impact), followed by productive time lost to access sanitation facilities or sites for defecation at US$10.7 billion (Rs. 487 billion, 20 percent), and drinking water-related costs at US$4.2 billion (Rs. 191 billion, 7.8 percent).

The full report, due out later this year, follows a WSP study released in 2007 on the economic impacts of sanitation in Southeast Asia, a part of the Global Economics of Sanitation Initiative.
Contact: Vandana Bhatnagar at

Renewed Commitment of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Urban Sector

WSP has extended technical assistance to the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (or KP) for establishing an Urban Water and Sanitation utility in the provincial capital of Peshawar and an Urban Sector Policy & Management Unit. The City of Peshawar is being served by 6 small and medium size municipal institutions under various governance arrangements; this not only generates coordination issues but diffuses accountability for poor service. There is no dedicated department or agency in the province that can act as a “think tank” and provide backup technical support to line departments and cities on urban policy, legislations, institutional reforms, research, and capacity development particularly in urban development. Hence, the government constituted a committee which was tasked to hold wide ranging consultations and present recommendations on various aspects of a new utility for Peshawar and an urban development framework for the growing towns of the province.

In January, 2011 the committee, of which WSP is a key member and the lead knowledge provider, presented its recommendations to government officials. Based on these recommendations, the KP government has agreed to establish an Urban Unit, duplicating the model of the Urban Unit in Punjab and Sindh. The government requested WSP to facilitate a meeting of senior KP officials with the Urban Unit in Lahore Punjab to study its functions, institutional interface, working and performance, lessons and challenges. WSP facilitated an exposure visit of three provincial secretaries from KP to Lahore in January 2011. The delegation submitted an official summary to Additional Chief Secretary of KP who approved the plan to establish an Urban Unit in the Planning and Development sector of the KP provincial government.

As next steps WSP will be finalizing the modalities of WSP’s continued support to government of KP and on designing strategic aspects of the proposed urban unit which will include the institutional structure, scope and mandate, interface with line departments and cities, sustainability, HR etc.

The Chief Secretary for the province has also approved the recommendations of the committee on urban utility. These recommendations will be presented to the Chief Minister of KP to affirm political commitment. Once approved, WSP- South Asia will undertake a detailed review of the committee recommendations.

Contact: Masroor Ahmad at
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