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What drives political leaders to improve urban sanitation?

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:11 by Clare Cummings, Ian Langdown, Tom Hart, Mariana Matoso
This report analyses the political challenge of improving access to sanitation in rapidly growing and developing secondary cities. We look at examples throughout history and across the world, and argue that while sanitation problems may appear to be technical in nature, without political incentives to solve them, progress cannot be made. Drawing on lessons from historical progress, we formulate a framework for understanding how improvements in urban sanitation take place. We then apply these principles to current sanitation challenges in two secondary Tanzanian cities, Mwanza and Arusha, to assess what could drive improvements there, and potentially elsewhere.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


CUMMINGS, C. ... et al, 2017. What drives political leaders to improve urban sanitation?. 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 2635, 7pp.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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