Published on: 04/03/2013
Governing non-sewered sanitation mostly involves local governments and government services, community or consumer organisations, the local private sector and NGOs.
The private sector plays a role at all points of the service delivery chain: providing software services such as information and marketing, local production and sales of materials and goods, construction, maintenance and repairs, and emptying, transport and end-disposal of waste from full pits and tanks and/or using it productively in agriculture. The private sector can involve formal and informal entrepreneurs and NGOs that work for profit.
IRC cooperated closely with partners in Asia and Latin America to document cooperation between local governments, local sanitation management organisations and the local private sector. The technical paper “From sanitation to development: the Baldia soakpit pilot project” addresses this in a low-income urban section in Karachi, Pakistan. In Kerala, SEUF and the Kerala Water Authority piloted local sanitation governance with financial support from the Danish and Dutch government. Approach and results are documented resulted in the book "Learning from experience: Community-managed sanitation in Kerala". Its cost-effectiveness generated demand from other local governments and the approach eventually became a state-wide programme. In Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam IRC and partners have worked on integrating sanitation marketing into municipal, district and provincial sanitation programmes.
In East Africa IRC and partners have supported sanitation governance in Uganda, development of national and state sanitation policy and strategic plans in Eritrea and Southern Sudan and action research on rural sanitation including training women as latrine masons in Southern Ethiopia (RiPPLE). In Tanzania, partner WASTE assists the municipality of Arusha with improving local governance of sanitation and solid waste. IRC also assisted WaterAid Tanzania to evaluate its urban sanitation support programme.
Work in Southern Africa has been in capacity building of local government institutions on decentralised WASH governance. A five year programme, South African Water and Sanitation Councillor Development Programme (CDP) equips councillors to actively participate in water and sanitation business processes and to make informed decisions affecting water services within the municipalities and communities they serve. A summary overview of the training package tested in 2012 is available addressing the six key elements (policy, planning, finance, infrastructure, institutions and regulations) and ten modules of holistic WASH services delivery programmes by local governments.
Governance support for sanitation in West Africa has concentrated on Burkina Faso. The WASHCost project measured the life-cycle costs of rural sanitation services. The data are now used in the SaniFaso project, a project set up with the aim to eradicate open defecation in 12 partnering communes (lowest government level) in the country.
In Latin America, work has been mostly on analysis of sanitation governance in small cities and towns and in capacity development for sanitation governance. An early case study (1991) reports on the promotion of latrines and strengthening of the local management committees in the town of Choluteca in Honduras.
A 2003 case study looked at the difference made by small scale private enterprise and CBOs. A 2008 paper analyses current governance arrangements in three cities: Belo Horizonte, Cali and Lima. Major challenges are improving management of existing sanitation – mostly treatment of waste water – with expansion of sanitation access to the unserved, often in areas with poor access. Important is also that the authorities responsible for sanitation (often local governments) engage with water resource management institutions which are currently being established in many countries. Moreover they need to apply principles of IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management) more consistently in the sanitation sector.
IRC, WSSCC and WaterAid facilitated presentation and sharing of case studies in South Asia in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Similar case studies were presented in two learning and sharing workshops in East Africa in 2007 and 2011. In total, eight regional workshops were held in 5 world regions. An overall report highlights the commonalities and innovative developments presented in these eight workshops.