Background: Access to safe sanitation and the elimination of open defecation are pre-conditions for improved child health and nutrition and wider achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While Indonesia has a solid policy framework, the country ranks third globally in terms of numbers of people practicing open defecation. Objectives: Our aim was to assess the effectiveness of a five-year strategy to reduce open defecation through accelerating implementation of the national sanitation program across districts receiving variable levels of external support.
This study supports SDGs 3 and 6 by analysing data from 88 low-income and middle-income countries and showing geographical disparities in access to clean water and sanitation facilities. These findings identify where efforts to increase access to safe water and sanitation have been successful over time, and highlight the need for targeted and tailored interventions to reach those communities and regions that have been left behind.
The cost-effectiveness and reliability of waste collection services in informal settlements can be difficult to optimize given the geospatial and temporal variability of latrine use. Daily servicing to avoid overflow events is inefficient, but dynamic scheduling of latrine servicing could reduce costs by providing just-in-time servicing for latrines. This study used cellular-connected motion sensors and machine learning to dynamically predict when daily latrine servicing could be skipped with a low risk of overflow.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is ambitious and inclusive, but how well are these global aspirations likely to result in implementable policy change for water and sanitation? This article assesses governance challenges at the local level associated with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which pledges to ensure sustainable water and sanitation for all. The majority of developing countries manage services at the subnational level, making the quality of local governance the key ingredient for improvements in the sector.
Water–Sanitation–Hygiene (WASH) remains vital for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, yet many countries have not localised the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 6, which focuses on ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Even in leading African economies such as South Africa, many communities still use the bucket system for sanitation.
This study supports SDGs 3 and 6 by showing that elementary WASH interventions alone were insufficient in reducing the prevalence of stunting, anaemia, and diarrhoea in children in rural Zimbabwe; these findings call for greater investment into, and scale-up of, WASH programmes in rural settings, in order to achieve more meaningful improvements in child health outcomes.
As the Millennium Development Goals did earlier, the Sustainable Development Goals have mobilised the international community into what can be the most important, although the most challenging, development goals of the 21st century. However, a main limitation has been that the SDGs considered as a baseline the inaccurate figures that were presented by the UN at the end of the MDGs. These figures were not challenged, not even by the academic community, who in many cases has used them uncritically.
Open defecation is a major global health problem. The number of open defecators in India dwarfs that of other states, and most live in rural places. Open defecation is often approached as a problem scaled at the site of the individual, who makes a choice not to build and/or use a toilet. Attempts to end rural open defecation by targeting individuals, like social marketing or behavior change approaches, often ignore the structural inequalities that shape rural residents’ everyday lives.
Massive slums have become major features of cities in many low-income and middle-income countries. Here, in the first in a Series of two papers, we discuss why slums are unhealthy places with especially high risks of infection and injury. We show that children are especially vulnerable, and that the combination of malnutrition and recurrent diarrhoea leads to stunted growth and longer-term effects on cognitive development. We find that the scientific literature on slum health is underdeveloped in comparison to urban health, and poverty and health.
In the first paper in this Series we assessed theoretical and empirical evidence and concluded that the health of people living in slums is a function not only of poverty but of intimately shared physical and social environments. In this paper we extend the theory of so-called neighbourhood effects. Slums offer high returns on investment because beneficial effects are shared across many people in densely populated neighbourhoods. Neighbourhood effects also help explain how and why the benefits of interventions vary between slum and non-slum spaces and between slums.