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Published on: 01/04/2013

This keynote paper aims to give an overview of the current thinking and practices around monitoring the full spectrum of elements that make up sanitation and hygiene service delivery and use, including assessments of sustainability, service delivery and the sanitation chain, the enabling environment, equity, and behaviour. Sanitation and hygiene are highly complex and need to be distinguished from water supply. The complexity justifies the need for thorough and sanitation-specific monitoring, to increase our understanding of why and how sanitation and hygiene services and practices increase or improve, and how to ensure sustainable change.

The paper will highlight four main trends in monitoring for sanitation and hygiene:

  1. A shift from monitoring (infrastructure) outputs to (behavioural / quality) outcomes.
  2. A diversification of monitoring aspects and actors, both as subjects and implementers of the monitoring.
  3. A growing focus on monitoring sustainability and equity of outcomes and services.
  4. A move towards systematisation and harmonisation, linking local level monitoring to national level systems.

These trends will become apparent through discussions of what gets monitored, including the sanitation and hygiene service chain, behavioural outcomes and impact, and the enabling environment; and of the process and specifics of monitoring certain aspects of sanitation and hygiene, including markets and technology, total sanitation, hygiene, and equity.

The paper highlights positive developments and progress in terms of the spread and quality of monitoring sanitation and hygiene, but also points out a number of remaining challenges. In general, the key challenges are around further identification, fine-tuning, systematisation and harmonisation of monitoring indicators, methodologies and systems that can be feasibly, affordably, and reliably implemented over time and at scale.

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