SDG #6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all, seeks to reduce the incidence of malnutrition, communicable diseases, and inequities that are directly related to lack of access to improved sources of drinking water (affecting 663 million people worldwide) and improved sanitation (which 2.4 billion people still lack). This new goal implies a commitment by countries to monitor and report on their progress, similarly to what was done for the MDGs, but with much more detail.

In previous blogs on Fecal Sludge Management (FSM), we outlined the lack of appropriate attention given to FSM as a formal urban sanitation solution and we presented new tools for diagnosing fecal sludge challenges. In this blog, we provide illustrations from Indonesia and Mozambique of the challenges and opportunities of using FSM.

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Based on key findings, a three-step pathway to scale and sustainability has emerged to improve rural sanitation in India, where almost 600 million people living in rural areas defecate in the open.


To address this neglected but crucial part of urban sanitation, the World Bank has developed some tools to diagnose Fecal Sludge Management status and to guide decision-making.


Open defecation remains a critical global health challenge, affecting almost 1 billion people around the world and contributing significantly to the estimated 842,000 people who die each year because of poor sanitation, hygiene practices, and unsafe water supplies. A new study proposes a framework to support the initiation and maintenance of open defecation behavior change.

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Publication: Nudging and Habit Change for Open Defecation: New Tactics from Behavioral Science

Featured Initiatives

Scaling Up Rural Sanitation
Supporting governments and private sector to implement sanitation programs at scale.
Economics of Sanitation (ESI)
Study estimates billions of dollars in losses from poor sanitation.
Domestic Private Sector Participation
Assisting domestic private sector participants to help increase access to water and sanitation services, especially for the poor.

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