Agencies, donors and NGOs alike need to regard sustainability as a critical mission and to re-think fundamentally their role in the sector, conclude the organisers of the WASH Conference 2011. The conference, which was held in Brisbane, Australia, from 16-20 May 2011, attracted 237 people from 40 countries.
The recently published WASH 2011 synthesis report provides an overview of the key messages on: functional and environmental sustainability; institutional sustainability; behavioural change and social sustainability; and financial sustainability.
The first key message, brought in by the IRC-led Triples-S (Sustainable Services at Scale) initiative, was that the focus on ‘coverage’ should be reduced in favour of a move to a service delivery approach. Related to this was the need to move gradually from community management to professionalised service delivery (the community management PLUS model) and to move from counting infrastructure to monitoring services.
Partnering with the private sector can play an important role in scaling-up sanitation as well as behaviour change. Enabling local entrepreneurship to flourish through the sanitation marketing approach has proved successful in Cambodia. In Indonesia a public-private partnership for hand-washing with soap made the partnership win-win for each group.
 International WaterCentre (2011). WASH Conference 2011, Brisbane, Australia : towards sustainability in water, sanitation and hygiene : conference report. 20 p. Download full report
Related web sites:
- Leading sector organisations launch Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sustainability Charter, E-Source, 04 Oct 2011
- Costing sustainable services training is successful, Brisbane, E-Source, 04 Aug 2011
Source: International WaterCentre, 26 Sep 2011