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Policy/ strategy review

Published on: 06/08/2012

Not always do national sanitation policies allow or facilitate the development of a service delivery approach.

Policy and strategy reviews reveal the policy environment for developing a sanitation service delivery approach. Examples are the review in Lao PDR in Lao PDR by SNV, IRC and the National Centre for Environmental Health and Water Supply (NAMSAAT) and in West Africa.

Reviews also define elements for policy and strategy strengthening. For example on:

  • Status and priority: Is sanitation improvement politically important? Is non-sewered sanitation seen as the most feasible option to serve all?
  • Technology levels: Are there definitions of what is an acceptable minimum service level for durable and hygienic excreta containment? Standards and criteria for toilets to be rated ‘improved’ or ‘sanitary’?
  • Behavioural goals: Do policy, strategy and programmes go beyond construction to use and hygiene by all?
  • Beyond containment: Are emptying and end disposal considered, e.g. in appreciation of self-composting toilets, environmental risks of septic tanks, and development and regulations for sanitary emptying and end disposal services?

Over the years IRC and partners have produced a number of information sources for policy development:

  • Three Thematic Overview Papers are Sanitation Policies, Enhancing Livelihoods through Sanitation and Sanitation Financing Models for the Urban Poor.
  • Four other IRC information sources are among the 18 references in the book Scaling-up rural sanitation in South Asia – Lessons learned from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, published by Water and Sanitation Program in May 2005.
  • Action research of IRC and seven partners showed the cost-effectiveness of women entrepreneurs in sanitation and contributed to the European Union’s Directing the Flow: A New Approach to Integrated Water Resources Management.
  • IRC and partners’ work is included in WSSCC’s Hygiene and Sanitation Software - an overview of approaches.
  • IRC drew general lessons from sanitation workshops organised by IRC in cooperation with the WSSCC and other partners between 2007 and 2011.

An example of assessing gender aspects for urban sanitation strategy development comes from the Indonesian Sanitation Strategy Development Program (ISSDP). In 2010, this programme was scaled up to all cities and urban districts in the country. An example of a gender-equitable sanitation strategy stems from Clean Kerala, the state sanitation programme in Kerala, India.