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TitleSanitation and hygiene in South Asia : progress and challenges : summary paper
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsSijbesma, C
Date Published01-2008

In January 2008, sanitation and hygiene improvement practitioners in South Asia got together in Rajendrapur, Bangladesh to discuss progress in improving sanitation and hygiene. This summary paper focuses on household sanitation. School sanitation has been purposely left out as an area deserving systematic review on its own. The paper gives an overview of what has been achieved in South Asia and what has not, or insufficiently, been addressed. It also identifies four suggested areas for regional cooperation. The overall aim is not only achieving the MDG target of halving the number of people without a sanitary toilet, but also to achieve universal use and basic hygiene, and well-sustained facilities and programmes. Fulfilling these aims requires Abstract large-scale, cost-effective approaches and validated outcomes.

Considerable progress has been made in ten subject areas, although there is room for more: policy development, low-cost solutions, user choice, decentralisation, mapping poverty areas, funding of demand creation, motivating users, local production and supply, phasing out ineffective subsidies, and going beyond numbers to healthy practices. Ten other subject areas are still overlooked or under-developed: diversification between and within households, cost-effective promotion, targeting remaining subsidies with equity, upgrading toilets over time, environmental safety, scope for dry toilets, sanitation in urban slums, short-term versus long-term programmes, sustainability of facilities and programmes, and organisational and human capacities - especially at the crucial intermediate level.

To move forward, participants proposed to cooperate as a Community of Practice in advocacy and in four areas of action research: assessing and enhancing cost-effective promotion and delivery, common indicators to validate successes, safer management of the sanitation chain in urban areas and action research on citizen's voices, stakeholders' responsiveness and funds accountability. Surprisingly, enlarging human and institutional capacities for effective large programmes did not emerge as a priority subject.




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