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Getting to scale in urban sanitation

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Josephine Tucker, Nathaniel Mason

This briefing offers lessons for scale-up deriving from Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor's (WSUP) 2008-2012 programme in Maputo (Mozambique) and Antananarivo (Madagascar).

Scale-up of urban sanitation remains an elusive goal in most low-income cities. Donor interventions are often macro-investments without adequate attention to low-income communities, or small pilots that do not address the challenges of scale.

The WSUP experience from Maputo and Antananarivo (2008-2012) suggests that useful strategies include the following:

  • support established small enterprises to develop
  • engage with relevant stakeholders and key leaders to mobilise resources and address systematic constrains
  • support realistic sanitation planning by demonstrating workable solutions, and providing usable technical and financial plans;
  • enhance investment and financial viability through novel approaches such as sanitation surcharges; and
  • adopt a realistic and incremental approach to achieving full sanitation services at scale
Josephine Tucker and Nathaniel Mason