116. SPLASH Urban Sanitation Research Programme Briefing Note 1: An Enabling Environment for Urban Sanitation

The European Union Water Initiative Research Area Network supported an initiative to do research on urban sanitation (SPLASH). This research was carried out in urban areas in various West and East African countries. This briefing note is a synthesis output of SPLASH which was managed by the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC). A key research area was related to the enabling environment for effective urban sanitation.The following key findings are presented: a decade after high-level commitments to address the issue were made, poor definition of organizational roles and responsibilities continues to be a central problem to effective program implementation; key challenge in realizing the right to sanitation related to tenure status and illegal occupancy of land; the social enforcement of public cleanliness and “no open defecation” supported by the involvement of local health workers and community leaders is an effective alternative to reliance on heavy-handed regulation, for which there is little willingness or capacity to enforce; availability of finance for households is a key driver in supporting demand creation for latrine ownership; the sanitation service chain lacks investment but given lack of reliable financial flow information, it is unclear how and where available finance is best allocated to ensure that the overall system is functional, and, capacity gaps dominate the entire sanitation service chain. (Link)


Medland, L.; Cotton, A. P.; Scott, R. E. 2015. SPLASH Urban Sanitation Research Programme Briefing Note 1: An Enabling Environment for Urban Sanitation. Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC), Loughborough University. 8 p.

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