Inclusive Urban Sanitation

Reshaping the global agenda on urban sanitation

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IWA’s Inclusive Urban Sanitation initiative aims to reshape the global agenda on urban sanitation over the coming years. It forms part of IWA’s work to promote inclusive, resilient, water-wise and sanitation-secure cities. To further the aims of the initiative, IWA has launched a dedicated campaign – SanitAction – to gather the support and collaborative action needed to secure progress.

Far too many people in towns and cities around the world still lack access to safely managed sanitation. There is a need for an accelerated and inclusive approach to expanding safe service coverage. Importantly, this means looking beyond technology and the usual focus on building infrastructure. Inclusivity requires a holistic approach that tackles wider issues, especially the factors that allow sanitation services of all kinds to be accessed, managed, and delivered sustainably over time.

A central goal of IWA’s initiative will be to engage a wide range of stakeholders, not least the public sector, operators, academics, regulators and other key actors. Supported by this input, the initiative will build on current approaches to progress a widely applicable framework that can support elaboration and exchange on actionable guidance, case studies and peer exchanges and so advance inclusive urban sanitation, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Sanitation project in Warangal City, India, courtesy ASCI

Actions to support development of this framework will involve assessment of existing tools and frameworks, securing worldwide endorsement to advance inclusive urban sanitation, and building awareness and skills, especially in the public sector responsible for creating the enabling environment for sanitation.

An Advisory Board and Task Force will be created to provide guidance, feedback and direction on the initiative’s priorities, activities and performance.

How to get involved

This initiative consists of a project team at the IWA Secretariat as well as both an Advisory Board and Task Force.

In addition, there are also opportunities for IWA members to get involved and help shape the outcomes of this imitative and contribute to its mission of achieving citywide inclusive sanitation. IWA members can do this by doing the following:

-Attend upcoming webinars from this initiative, more information will be posted in due course on the IWA Learn section of the website.

-Join the initiative’s IWA Connect Group where you can share knowledge, lessons learnt and insights on regulating for citywide inclusive sanitation from different contexts

-Get in touch with one of the project team members based within the IWA Secretariat (Suresh Rohilla) if you are working on any similar projects or initiatives that have synergies with this initiative or likewise if you have any relevant case studies you wish to share with us.

-Submit your inclusive sanitation story! 

-Join the discussion online using #SanitAction to promote inclusivity for resilient, water-wise, and sanitation-secure cities!

Inclusive Urban Sanitation Stories

The Inclusive Urban Sanitation stories are documenting some of the policies, practices, and approaches that demonstrate how stakeholders especially those in urban areas (e.g., public sector, operators, academics, regulators, and other key actors) are taking part or contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 6 which require water and sanitation concepts and norms to look beyond technology and the usual focus on building infrastructure. Increased focus is on safety, inclusion, environment, public health, and multiple technology solutions tailored to different geographies and socio-economic contexts for building climate-resilient cities. The stories aim to inspire urban stakeholders to discuss ways for advancing inclusive urban sanitation, especially in low- and middle-income countries

Submit your sanitation story!

To submit a story, kindly send an abstract of not more than 500 words to The abstract should contain the title, name of author(s), location, and subject of the story. As part of the submission, the abstract will undergo a review. The abstract that meets the criteria will be contacted to submit the full story.

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