Inclusive Urban Sanitation Champions

Celebrating the pioneers who promote inclusive, resilient and sanitation-secure towns and cities

Download IUS Champions Prospectus

Introducing the IUS Champions programme

The IWA Inclusive Urban Sanitation (IUS) Champions Programme recognises excellence, leadership, and innovation in the sanitation sector. It responds to the need for encouraging and recognising contributions of sector players towards achieving SDG 6.2 in low- and middle-income countries.
The IUS Champions Programme is open to individuals, teams (including communities) and organisations/institutions (IWA members or non-members) active in the sanitation sector. Eligible individuals, teams (including communities) or organisations/institutions can be drawn from practice, academia/science, consultancy, formal and informal private sector service providers, NGOs and civil society, international organisations, or the government. Individuals, teams, and organisations/institutions can be nominated only based on the work they have conducted in low- and middle-income countries.

The IUS Champions programme is a central component of the Inclusive Urban Sanitation initiative and the related dedicated campaign – SanitAction – launched to gather the support and collaborative action needed to secure progress in attaining Sustainable Development Goal 6.2.

The call for applications for the 2023 IUS Champions is now open until 17 September 2023.

The 2023 winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held during the Water and Development Congress & Exhibition, taking place from the 10-14 December 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Photo by: Housing & Urban Development Department, Odisha, India

The wider Inclusive Urban Sanitation initiative aims: (i) to promote and acknowledge global best practices in sanitation; (ii) to engage and expand the IUS community of practice; and (iii) to inspire and encourage progress towards achieving SDG 6.2.

IUS Champions categories

The IUS Champions Programme consists of different categories that recognise excellence and innovation in the sanitation sector, specifically focusing on inclusive and sustainable sanitation service provision in urban areas. At this stage, nominations for the following categories are encouraged:

  • IUS Champion for Service Delivery recognises individuals, teams, and organisations that have promoted equitable and inclusive sanitation services across the entire service chain. Within this category are four sub-categories:
    i) Containment systems
  • IUS Champion for Youth Engagement recognises the contributions of youth (individuals under 35 years), teams, or organisations working with young people to improve and deliver inclusive sanitation services, thereby contributing to the achievement of SDG 6.2.

Photo by: Indah Water Konsortium, Malaysia

The categories for the IUS Champions Programme align with the globally recognised Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) framework, which defines Sanitation Service Outcomes (Equity, Safety, and Sustainability) and Functions (Responsibility, Accountability, and Resource Planning and Management). Additionally, the programme is also aligned with the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework and its five accelerators: Financing, Capacity development, Governance, Data & information, and Innovation.

Nomination and selection process

The IUS Champions nomination and selection process involves some key aspects. Full details are set out in the Prospectus (see download button above).

If you want to nominate an individual, team (including communities) or organisation/institution for the 2023 IUS Champions Programme, please fill in the online form. The extended submission deadline is 17 September 2023, 23:59 BST. All submissions must include:

  • Nominee’s full name, affiliation, country, and email address.
  • An indication of what category you are submitting the nomination in.
  • A detailed description addressing the judging criteria outlined below (maximum 100 words per section).
  • Sources (e.g., project websites, publications, etc.) that serve as a reference for the success of the initiative.

Nominations will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Innovation: Novel and creative approaches to address sanitation challenges.​
  • Sustainability: Sustainable sanitation service provision. Including financial sustainability, scalability and replicability in other contexts or communities. ​
  • Impact: Measurable impact on public health, environmental protection, or the economic development.​
  • Equity and Inclusion: Needs of marginalised or vulnerable populations.​
  • Geographical scope: Focus in a low- and middle-income country (LAMIC).​
  • Integration, Partnership and Collaboration: Cross-sectoral collaboration and coordination in sanitation service provision.

Please note that nominators must be IWA members and self-nominations will not be accepted.

Photo by: Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC)


  • Recognition and visibility: For the winners, IWA can provide recognition and visibility to the individual, team (including community), organisation/institution behind the win. This can help to build credibility and raise awareness about the importance of sanitation. This includes publishing a case study, featuring case study in IWA webinar, press release and promotion through other IWA communication collaterals.
  • IWA membership: For the winners, IWA will cover membership fee up to two years.
  • Capacity building and training: IWA can also offer capacity building and training opportunities to the winners. This may include mentorship, coaching, and training programmes designed to help the winners develop their knowledge in areas such as project management, communication, and technical skills.

Key dates and more information

9 August 2023 – Online submission opens
10 September 2023 – Close of online submission
17 September 2023 – Extended submissions deadline
September 2023 – Shortlisted candidates are notified
October 2023 – Supporting documents submission & judging process
10 – 14 December 2023 – Recognition ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda

Full details of the Inclusive Urban Sanitation Champions Programme, including the Champions categories, nomination requirements and evaluation criteria, are set out in the Prospectus.

Contact information

For any queries or assistance, please contact: