Authors: D. Satterthwaite; G. McGranahan; D. Mitlin
Publisher: Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council , 2005
This booklet presents a number of community-led initiatives to improve and extend provision for water and sanitation to low-income urban households and discusses their relevance for meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG)
target for water and sanitation.At the core of most initiatives described in this booklet is the possibility for urban poor groups and their organizations to influence what is done and to be involved in doing it. An analysis of these initiatives demonstrates that:
- a great number of development projects are designed and implemented by professionals which permit urban poor groups no influence and which rarely produce the hoped for improvements in water and sanitation
- the community-driven examples given in this booklet usually have much lower unit costs than professionally driven approaches and require much less external finance, also they are usually far more successful at ensuring benefits
reach the poorest groups
- any professionals object to community-driven projects because their own role and importance is diminished - and because their professional training did not equip them to know how to work with urban poor groups and to support their initiatives
- almost all the official development assistance agencies find it difficult to support community-driven development because their structures and procedures were never designed to do so
- most of the discussion on how to meet the MDGs is about national and international changes, but it is largely local governments that will determine whether most of the MDGs and their associated targets are met in urban areas - including those relating to water and sanitation
- much emphasis is placed within the MDGs on the need for better monitoring of progress towards the targets. For water and sanitation provision, the emphasis is on more accurate and detailed national sample surveys. Yet while these surveys
may serve global and national monitoring they do not identify where inadequacies in provision actually are and who suffers from them
- more attention should be given to the role of local 'non-profit' organisations supplying water and sanitation services that work within market frameworks either within systems managed by private water utilities or as 'private water utilities' themselves.
This study was commissioned by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) as an input to the 13th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, April 2005, New York. It is the result of a collaboration between the
WSSCC and the Human Settlements Programme at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
Information Provided by Carol Lombard, Department of Social Development Population Website