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Governance in Urban Sanitation

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Governance in Urban Sanitation

Capacity for Agenda 2030
Deadline: 27 Sep 2017
Web Based
9 Oct 2017 to 15 Dec 2017
To be confirmed
Duration of event:
10 Weeks
Programme Area:
Environment, Governance, Local Development
Specific Target Audience:
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In 2015, the United Nations adopted the SDGs that challenged the global community to reduce poverty and increase the health and well-being of all people. Particularly, goal 6 aims at ensuring access to water and sanitation for all by 2030, with specific objectives such as achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, improving water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, and also by halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.

Developing access to sanitation services poses technical, institutional, financial and also social and cultural challenges. Major obstacles relate to governance deficiencies, especially the lack of adequate institutional framework. Other hindrances include the weak priority given to sanitation and the insufficiency of substantial investment in the sector. Besides investment, sustainable solutions should also adequately address the other dimensions, especially institutional and financial aspects. It is thus essential to implement sustainable institutional arrangements ensuring the setting up of a political anchor for the sanitation sector as well as responsiveness to the demand, transparency and accountability to users, financial sustainability, and the involvement of all the actors in their area of expertise. 

This e-learning course aims to enhance the capacity of local decision-makers and sanitation professionals to make the most enlightened decisions and investments in the area of urban sanitation. Additionally, it provides analytical tools to understand the financial and institutional framework of the sanitation sector, taking into account the needs of urban poor communities.

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the benefits of sanitation;
  • Analyze costs and financing of sanitation services;
  • Identify suitable institutional arrangements and evaluate service provider options, benefits and limits;
  • Integrate accountability when structuring relationships;
  • Make communities and microfinance organizations partners in extending sanitation services to the poor;
  • Assess specific situations and recommend financial and institutional strategies at the local level towards urban sanitation improvement.

The course is composed of 4 modules as follow: 

  • Module 1: Introduction to Sanitation
  • Module 2: Economics, Pricing and Financing of the Sanitation Sector
  • Module 3: Institutional Aspects of the Sanitation Sector
  • Module 4: Sanitation and Poverty


The course is based on UNITAR’s sound adult learning pedagogical principles. Each module includes readings, self-assessment activities and quizzes. The learning activities are distributed in such a way to ensure the achievement of the learning objectives in a flexible manner. 

The course is open to decision-makers from local governments as well as representatives of service providers (national governments, private sector, NGOs) and international organizations involved in the sanitation sector worldwide. It is advisable to have prior basic knowledge of urban sanitation and/or urban environmental issues.

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