Integrating basic urban services for better sanitation outcomes
journal contributionposted on 28.11.2019, 13:45 by Rebecca ScottRebecca Scott, Pippa Scott, Peter Hawkins, Isabel Blackett, Andrew Cotton, Alix Lerebours
Rapid urbanization in developing countries demands better integration of planning and delivery of basic services if cities are to be sustainable, healthy and safe. Sanitation improvements are commonly overlooked as investments go towards more visible services such as water supplies and drainage networks. The Sustainable Development Goal for sanitation and hygiene currently remains severely off-track. This paper presents the findings of a Delphi method survey to identify expert consensus on both why and how to integrate sanitation, by which we mean both sewered and non-sewered sanitation services, into other basic urban services (including water supply, drainage, energy and roads) to achieve better sanitation and broader development outcomes, notably for poor citizens. Consensus on why integration is important highlights the physical interdependence of services, where neglect of one service can compromise gains from another investment or service. Consensus on how includes actions to address political priorities and leadership; governance and capacity constraints; clearer planning, procurement and financing mechanisms; and adopting incremental approaches matched to wider urban strategies. It was suggested that achieving these actions would improve accountability, monitoring and service level audits. Experience from previous integrated urban programmes should be incorporated into formulating new sanitation service agreements across all service types. Supported by better-informed dialogue and decision-making between those responsible for urban sanitation and for associated basic services, we suggest integrated and incremental approaches will enable more sustainable urban services planning to achieve ‘quality of life’ outcomes for poor urban residents.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering