Session Date: April 23, 2021
Session Description: Poorly managed human waste in urban areas is a leading cause of both pathogenic outbreaks and chronic exposure to pathogens. Planning and managing complex sanitation systems is critical to improving urban health but is vastly underfunded and much of it remains part of the informal sector. Robust decision support tools can assist urban utilities and regulators in 1) managing coverage across both sewered and non-sewered systems, 2) tracking finances, 3) professionalizing the sanitation sector, and 4) improving urban health. CWIS SAP enables users to model and compare how various possible interventions affect key indicators of equity, safety, and sustainability at the city level. The tool has been piloted in Zambia, Kenya, and Bangladesh and is being rolled out in Uganda and Tanzania. Results suggest that even though the availability and quality of data has been a significant challenge, opportunities exist to build more knowledge-based decision-making processes. As public utilities’ mandates expand to include non-sewered sanitation as well as sewered services, their data systems need to expand as well. CWIS SAP offers an exciting opportunity to lower barriers to decision-making, increase incentives for formalizing the sanitation sector, and identify practical strategies that support evidence-driven approaches to sanitation.