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TitleFull-chain sanitation services that last: non-sewered sanitation services
Publication TypeProgress Report
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsVerhagen, J, Carrasco, M
Pagination14 p. : boxes, 1 fig., 2 tab.
Date Published2013-07-01
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Keywordsbehaviour, faecal sludge management [FSM], latrines, models, on-site disposal, planning, policies, sanitation services, sustainability

This paper sets out a framework for the delivery of non-sewered sanitation services that last, are accessible to all and are at scale. The framework is based on IRC International Water and Sanitation’s (IRC) experience and lessons learnt from its engagement in non-sewered sanitation service at scale. 

For IRC, sanitation is a public good. Hence, national and local governments have a key responsibility to ensure that sanitation services last for all. Any sanitation service model needs to address the full sanitation chain, which includes safe and hygienic collection, storage, and safe and final disposal or the productive uses of faecal sludge. 

The framework identifies four key parameters for sustainable sanitation services: 

  1. easy and safe access to a sanitary latrine that offers user privacy, and operates throughout the year;
  2. hygienic use of the latrine by all, when in and around the house, and equipped with an accessible handwashing facility;
  3. adequate operation and maintenance (O&M), and repair and replacement to ensure that the latrine is usable; and
  4. safe and final disposal of faecal sludge to ensure environmental protection.

Four components underpin the four key parameters above, which help to ensure the continuous use of a sanitation service by all members of a community:

  1. the creation of demand to use the facility and continuous advocacy to change the sanitation-related behaviours of community members;
  2. the strengthening of an enabling environment to support the delivery of sanitation services to all;
  3. the strengthening of the supply chain; and
  4. well-aligned financial arrangements and well-directed incentives that support efficient service delivery and promote the use of latrines by all.

Sanitation services need to include all four key components noted above in order to provide a sustainable service. In addition, all the components need to be interlinked: with increasing sanitation coverage, the focus of a sanitation service needs to shift from increasing access to and use of latrines (getting onto the sanitation ladder) to O&M and the safe disposal or productive uses of faecal sludge. This assumes that the four components will evolve over time.


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