SNV / University of Technology Sydney / Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor / World Health Organization / Sustainable Sanitation Alliance / Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit

Smart regulation to reduce faecal contamination of urban water resources

Tuesday 29 August | 09.00-10.30 | Room: FH 307

Poor urban sanitation, particularly in slums, is a major global cause of pollution. Inadequately managed faecal waste contaminates surface and subsurface waters, with negative impacts on slum populations and on water resource quality more widely. The required solutions are necessarily multi-faceted, but one key approach is better regulation to ensure that urban property owners fulfil their individual responsibilities. In Ghana, for example, the great majority of landlords do not provide adequate toilets for their tenants. In Bangladesh and in Indonesia, many toilets discharge directly to surface drains. In all cases, relevant national and municipal regulations exist, but are rarely enforced. This session will report four interventions aimed at developing “smart regulation” in Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia and Zambia: regulation which goes beyond mere on-paper rules and strives to achieve genuine behaviour change, through diverse approaches (for example, by not only threatening punishment for non-compliance, but also offering rewards for compliance). Drawing on this experience and related academic research, and with inputs from an expert panel, this session will use engaging games to explore how regulation of urban sanitation can be made more effective. It’s a critical question, because such regulation can have enormous impacts on water resource quality and public health.

Gold standard events are committed to ensure the gender balance in speakers/panellists and young professional representation in the session.


09:00 So what exactly is “smart regulation” in the sanitation context?
Antoinette Kome, SNV, and Guy Norman, WSUP

09:15 Guided role-play
Guided role-play in which you’ll adopt a defined role (landlord, municipal official, mediator, or journalist) within the negotiation of a system of smart regulation around landlords’ obligation to provide good toilets for their tenants. This activity will help you identify some of the major challenges facing smart regulation

09:45 Real experience from Africa and Asia

  • Zambia - Director Public Health Department, Lusaka City Council
  • Bangladesh - Rajeev Munankami, SNV Bangladesh
  • Ghana - Guy Norman, WSUP

10:10 Panel discussion

  • Prof. Juliet Willetts, Institute for Sustainable Futures
  • Kate Medlicott, WHO
  • Director Public Health Department, Lusaka City Council
  • Trevor Surridge, GIZ  

10:30 Close of session