Leaving no one behind means strong sanitation systems

Leaving no one behind means strong sanitation systems

Leaving no one behind means strong sanitation systems 1012 674 Agenda for Change

Photo by Paul Green (Unsplash)

World Toilet Day, recognized annually on November 19th, inspires the WASH sector to tackle global sanitation challenges.  The theme this year – ‘leaving no one behind’ – is aligned with the core premise of Sustainable Development Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all.

“Leaving no one behind’ is a promise to ensure that the needs of certain actors in the sanitation system (women and girls, the poor, disabled, and underserved) are not ignored while delivering WASH services at scale. To achieve this, we also must address the factors that lead to stronger sanitation systems; things like political will, financing, and accountability, among others. Only then will we see a sanitation system that can ensure sustained, universal, and equitable service delivery.

Agenda for Change members commit to joint principles as they work to achieve sustained, universal WASH access at all levels: global, national, and local (city, district, municipal, woreda, among others). Below we share examples of what Agenda for Change members are doing in countries around the world to strengthen sanitation systems while leaving no one behind. These include briefs, blogs, videos, toolkits, presentations, calls to action, and even a free online course!

Aguaconsult & Welthungerhilfe

Strengthening the inclusion of sanitation and hygiene in WASH systems thinking: a new discussion paper from the Sustainable Services Initiative – This paper analyses the eight building blocks used by Agenda for Change, and examples of building block checklists used in the WASH sector, to propose adaptations to better reflect sanitation and hygiene.


Urban Ghana’s Sanitation Challenge – A blog that introduces CRS’ work with local government officials to rehabilitate public toilets in Tamale city, Ghana.

The Center for Water Security and Cooperation (CWSC)

The RENEWAL platform – An overview of the pan-African RENEWAL platform for water and sanitation law across 5 pilot countries.


Facilitation of CLTS in Guatemala – A video highlighting the successful facilitation of community-led total sanitation (CLTS) methodology in Chiquimula, Guatemala.


Replication guideline to Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for Eastern Indonesia (SEHATI) approach – A guidebook sharing experiences and learning from the SEHATI community-led total sanitation programme in Indonesia.

Full chain sanitation services in small and medium towns – A learning brief outlining the ONEWASH Plus sanitation approach across 8 towns in Ethiopia.

Sanitation tools: Creating demand and ensuring supply and finance for sanitation – An introduction to sanitation tools used in different contexts; a Sanitation Supply and Demand Tool and a Faecal Waste Flow Calculator.


WASH in Schools for Everyone (Project WISE) – A brief on Project WISE implementation in government schools across Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Kolkata, India.


Sanitation Workers Report – A research report on the experiences of sanitation workers across the globe.

Delivering Rural Sanitation Programs at Scale, with Equity and Sustainability – A call to action that calls for reprioritisation of rural sanitation and proposes five principles for ensuring equity and sustainability.

Rethinking Rural Sanitation – A free, six-hour course geared towards designing rural sanitation programmes that are equitable, sustainable and scalable.

Water For People

No short cuts: reaching scale takes time and persistence – A blog (in English and Spanish) focused on a sanitation marketing approach in the Musaffarpur district of Bihar, India.

Sanitation as a Business in Rwanda – A documentary highlighting the work on the Sanitation as a Business (SAAB) model in Rwanda.

Hey Evo! Want to End Bolivia’s Sanitation Crisis? Here’s How! – A blog (in English and Spanish) on the local government initiative Construyo Mi Baño con Incentivo Muncipal (“I Build My Bathroom with a Municipal Incentive”) in Villa Rivero district, Bolivia.

Sustainable Sanitation through Market-Based Mechanisms in Nicaragua – A project report sharing lessons learned from approaching sanitation challenges alongside microfinancing institutions in Nicaragua.


Tackling the ‘Political Will’ Problem: How local leadership development has accelerated sanitation uptake in Cambodia – A presentation on the Civic Champions sanitation leadership program in Cambodia.

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