Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation / Emory University / Plan International USA / The World Bank Group / University of Leeds / WaterAid

Call to Action: Radically Shifting Mindsets for Citywide Inclusive Sanitation

Tuesday 29 August | 09.00-10.30 | Room: NL 253
The complexities of the urban sanitation environment: Sweeper in Lucknow, India ( (c) Sharada Prasad)

The SDGs give impetus for cities to be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG11), ensure citizens’ health and wellbeing (SDG3) and secure access to sustainable water and sanitation services (SDG6). Although urban sanitation is critical to achieving these goals, cities struggle with providing sanitation for all: urban population growth outpaces access gains; one billion slum dwellers live with poor/no sanitation; only 26% of urban excreta is safely managed – resulting in environmental degradation, endemic disease, low productivity and limited economic growth, in large cities and small towns alike. Business as usual won’t deliver universal urban sanitation – a radical mindset shift is required. To accomplish this, we need to debunk the persistent myths around urban sanitation and agree on specific actions. Urban development professionals need to understand how sanitation impacts a city’s form and function and supports economic development; sanitation professionals need to transform their thinking to design and deploy customer-centric service solutions accessible to all. The event will present a series of activities initiated by a coalition of partners under the banner of a Call to Action for Citywide Inclusive Sanitation, designed to stimulate stakeholders globally to address urban sanitation differently such that the Sanitation SDG can be achieved.


9:00 Welcome
Moderator: Ken Caplan, Partnerships in Practice, UK

9:05 What is the call to action, and why the excitement?
Ken Caplan
, Partnerships in Practice, UK

9:20 The difference a coalition can make for cities

  • Part 1: 100 Resilient Cities, by Olivia Armenta, the Rockefeller Foundation
  • Part 2: Example from Beira, Mozambique, by Maarten Gischler, DGIS

9:35 Participant brainstorm and group work: using a global alliance to make progress in weakly enabled and strongly enabled cities

  • Barbara Evans, University of Leeds
  • Martin Gambrill, The World Bank GWSP
  • Jan Willem Rosenboom, Gates Foundation
  • Andres Hueso, WaterAid
  • Darren Saywell, AECOM

10:10 Group work synthesis

10:20 Wrap up and closing
Ken Caplan, Partnerships in Practice, UK

10:30 Close of session