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How to unlock the incentives to turn political will on sanitation into action

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:11 authored by Nathaniel Mason, Andres Hueso, Mariana Matoso
More and more governments are committing to achieving universal access to sanitation, but rhetoric alone will not be enough. High-level expressions of political will need to be turned into prioritisation of sanitation, across different levels and departments in government, and into course correction systems that can identify and adapt to implementation challenges. Research, carried out by the Overseas Development Institute and commissioned by WaterAid, investigates the underlying incentives that encourage these processes, drawing on case studies in India (Chhattisgarh State), Ethiopia and Indonesia. We find that organisations championing sanitation can tap into personal values as well as career aspirations and ambitions, to get different levels of government to prioritise sanitation. To enable timely course correction, it is important to build a culture of learning and trust, which means investing in reliable verification, enabling informal information sharing, and securing participation of people with power to make and follow up on decisions.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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MASON, N. ... et al, 2017. How to unlock the incentives to turn political will on sanitation into action. IN: Shaw, R.J. (ed). Local action with international cooperation to improve and sustain water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services: Proceedings of the 40th WEDC International Conference, Loughborough, UK, 24-28 July 2017, Paper 2580, 7pp.


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