Beyond Construction: Use By All - A Collection of Case Studies From Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Practitioners in South Asia

from IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre
Published on 01 Jul 2008 View Original
Nowhere in the world are there larger numbers of people in need of adequate sanitation and hygiene services than in Asia. In South Asia alone, almost 1 billion people do not have access to safe, improved sanitation. Political awareness of the enormity of the problem is growing, as is the recognition of the direct links between sanitation and hygiene on the one hand, and development and poverty reduction on the other. As a result of this, the amount of funds invested in the sector is slowly rising, new sanitation policies are being developed, and large-scale programmes devised and implemented. South Asia is at the forefront of this, with a number of approaches being pioneered that show great promise for replication, notably the Community Led Total Sanitation approach.

But sanitation is a difficult thing to get right, and this rise in commitment, especially when coupled with a rise in delivery speed, could easily lead to more failure, more unused or unsafe latrines and unsustainable services. The practice of monitoring progress, sharing and learning, and continuously seeking to improve programmes based on lessons learnt, is crucial to ensuring success. Of special importance in this, are the practitioners who stand firmly with their feet on the ground, talk from personal experience, and have a direct stake in improving their programmes. These practitioners were the participants of this workshop. As can be read in this report, many of the issues they raised have far-reaching policy and strategy implications, and will require not only more research but also concerted advocacy efforts to raise their profile.