Water, Sanitation and Development

Compiled by:
Risch Tratschin (seecon international gmbh)

Executive Summary

Improving access to water and sanitation has various impacts on the overall social and economic development of societies: amongst other things, it contributes to poverty reduction, alleviating hunger, improving health and primary education, and environmental sustainability. According to the fundamental role of water in people’s life, the improved access to water and sanitation also contributes to a number of other development goals. Expanding access to water and sanitation is a moral and ethical imperative (UNMP-TWS 2005; PEP 2006).

Introduction

Water is crucial for any form of development (SPUHLER 2008)

Water is crucial for any form of development. Source: SPUHLER (2008)


The Millennium Development Goal 7 stipulates to improve environmental sustainability by integrating sustainable development in country policies, by reducing the biodiversity loss, by halving the proportion of people without access to safe water and sanitation and by improving lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers (UN 2010).

Expanding access to domestic water supply and sanitation services will bring the international community closer to meeting a number of other MDGs – in fact, for many of the targets, it is difficult to imagine how significant progress can be made without first ensuring that poor households have a safe, reliable water supply and adequate sanitation facilities. Meeting the target on access to water and sanitation is particularly vital in terms of the poverty, gender, and health Goals, and also has a significant impact on other Goals (UNMP-TWS 2005). According to UNDP, overall human development is more closely linked to access to water and sanitation than any other development driver, including spending on health or education, and access to energy services (UNDP 2010). 

Impact of Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management and IWRM

(Adapted from UNMP-TWS 2005)

Improved access to water and sanitation and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has various impacts on social and economic development of millions of people. Here are some key development issues which are affected by improved access to water and sanitation, and by Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM):

 

Poverty

 

  • Household livelihood security depends on the health of its members, hence adults who are ill themselves or who must care for sick children are less productive.
  • Illnesses caused by unsafe drinking water and inadequate sanitation generate health costs that can claim a large share of poor households’ income.
  • Time spent collecting water cannot be used for other livelihood activities.
  • IWRM can improve allocation (agriculture, industry, households) and reduce vulnerability to water-related hazards.

 

Hunger

 

  • Healthy people are better able to absorb the nutrients in food than those suffering from water-related diseases, particularly worms, which rob their hosts of calories.
  • Water is a direct input to irrigation for expanded grain production. Reliable water sources (IWRM) support subsistence agriculture, home gardens, livestock, and tree crops and thus higher nutritional standards.

 

Primary Education

 

  • Relieve girls from water-fetching duties, allowing them to attend school.
  • Having separate sanitation facilities for girls in schools increases their school attendance, especially after menarche.
  • Reducing illness related to water and sanitation, including injuries from water-carrying, improves school attendance, especially for girls.

 

Gender Equality (see gender factsheet)

 

  • Water sources and sanitation facilities closer to home put women and girls at less risk for sexual harassment and assault while gathering water and searching for privacy.
  • Community-based organisations for water supply and sanitation can improve social capital of women.
  • Reduced time, health, and care-giving burdens from improved water services give women more time for productive endeavours, adult education, empowerment activities, and leisure.

 

Child Mortality

 

  • Higher rates of child survival are a precursor to the demographic transition to lower fertility rates; having fewer children reduces women’s domestic responsibilities.
  • Sanitation and safe water in health care facilities help ensure clean delivery and reduce neonatal deaths.
  • Improved sanitation, safe drinking water sources, and greater quantities of domestic water for washing reduce infant and child morbidity and mortality.
  • Mothers with improved water supply and sanitation services are better able to care for their children, both because they have fewer illnesses and because they devote less time to water-fetching and seeking privacy for defecation.

 

Maternal Mortality

 

  • Accessible sources of water reduce labour burdens and health problems resulting from water portage, reducing maternal mortality risks.
  • Improved health and nutrition reduce susceptibility to anaemia and other conditions that affect maternal mortality.

 

Major Diseases (see health factsheet)

 

 

Environmental Sustainability

 

  • Adequate treatment and disposal of excreta and wastewater contributes to better ecosystem management and less pressure on freshwater resources.
  • Improved sanitation reduces flows of human excreta into waterways, helping to protect human and environmental health.
  • Inadequate access to safe water and inadequate access to sanitation and other infrastructure are two of the five defining characteristics of a slum.

 

Economic Benefits of Improved Access to Water and Sanitation

Improving water supply and sanitation services can have substantial economic benefit: the WHO estimated some years ago that each $1 invested would yield an economic return of between $3 and $34, depending on the region (HUTTON / HALLER 2004). The UNDP estimated recently that an investment in water supply yields an average economic return of $4.4 to $1 and investment in sanitation a return of $9.1 to $1 (UNDP 2010).

The health-related costs avoided would reach $7.3 billion per year, and the annual global value of adult working days gained because of less illness would rise to almost $750 million. Better services resulting from the relocation of a well or borehole to a site closer to user communities, the installation of piped water supply in houses, and latrines closer to home yield significant time savings. The annual value of these time savings would amount to $64 billion if the target is met (HUTTON / HALLER 2004).

As an example, the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program estimated that inadequate sanitation caused India economic losses equivalent to 6.4% of India’s GDP in 2006 at US$53.8 billion. The report indicates that premature mortality and other health-related impacts of inadequate sanitation were the most costly with 72% of total impacts, followed by productive time lost to access sanitation facilities or sites for defecation with 20%, and drinking water-related impacts with 7.8% (WSP 2010).

Conclusion

MDG 7, which demands environmental sustainability, is considered to be a key goal and a prerequisite for overall MDG achievement. Hence it is not an isolated goal in itself, but instead forms an integral goal for all the MDGs. The provision of safe water and basic sanitation and also improved IWRM can have various, significant impacts on hunger alleviation, health, education or environmental conditions.

But still MDG 7 is displaying insignificant progress because of lacking internalisation of environmental components in socio-economic development. This is needed to protect valuable ecosystem services, such as biodiversity, fish habitats and pollination. Such services can determine the long-term capacity of human societies to buffer or absorb sudden environmental shocks, such as droughts and floods. And there is a growing realisation that huge challenges, such as eradicating hunger, will have to be achieved through environmentally sustainable solutions (SEI 2005).

References Library

HUTTON, G.; HALLER, L. (2004): Evaluation of the Costs and Benefits of Water and Sanitation Improvements at the Global Level. Geneva: World Health Organisation (WHO). URL [Accessed: 01.11.2012].

POVERTY-ENVIRONMENT PARTNERSHIP (PEP) (Editor) (2006): Linking Poverty Reduction and Water Management. New York: United Nations Development Programme / Stockholm: Stockholm Environment Institute. URL [Accessed: 07.06.2011].

SEI (Editor) (2005): Sustainable Pathways to Attain the Millennium Development Goals: Assessing the Key Role of Water, Energy and Sanitation. Stockholm: Stockholm Environmental Institute. URL [Accessed: 30.03.2011].

UN (Editor) (2010): Millennium Development Goals. URL [Accessed: 14.04.2011].

UNDP (Editor) (2010): GOAL WaSH Programme: Country Sector Assessments Volume 2. Governance, Advocacy and Leadership for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. New York: United Nations Development Programme. URL [Accessed: 29.03.2011].

UN MILLENNIUM PROJECT TASK FORCE ON WATER AND SANITATION (UNMP-TWS) (Editor) (2005): Health, Dignity and Development: What Will it Take?. London: United Nations Development Programme. URL [Accessed: 28.03.2011].

WSP (Editor) (n.y.): The Economic Impacts of Inadequate Sanitation in India. New Delhi: Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), World Bank. URL [Accessed: 29.03.2011].

WHO (Editor); UNICEF (Editor) (2010): Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water. 2010 Update. Geneva: World Health Organisation (WHO) / New York: UNICEF. URL [Accessed: 14.04.2011].

Further Readings Library

Reference icon

ERLMANN, T.; BROGAN, J.; MUELLER, K.; SOROKOVSKYI, V.; AGUASAN (Editor); SWISS AGENCY FOR DEVELOPMENT AND COOPERATION SDC (Editor) (2017): SDG 6 along the water and nutrient cycles. Using the water and nutrient cycles as a tool for creating a common understanding of a water and sanitation system - including workshop material. Bern: AGUASAN. URL [Accessed: 21.02.2017]. PDF

This AGUASAN publication illustrates how the water and nutrient cycles can be used as a tool for creating a common understanding of a water and sanitation system and aligning it with SDG 6.


Reference icon

UN-WATER (Editor) (2013): The Post 2015 Water Thematic Consultation Report. New York: United Nations Water (UN-Water). URL [Accessed: 26.08.2013].

This report is the result of a stakeholder consultation organised by the United Nations and partners to lay the groundwork for a new development agenda after 2015. The contributions are organised around three main topics: access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene; water resources and wastewater management; and water quality improvements.


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UNICEF (Editor); WHO (Editor) (2012): Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation. Update 2012. New York/Geneva: United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)/World Health Organisation (WHO). URL [Accessed: 19.04.2012].

There are still 780 million people without access to an improved drinking water source. And even though 1.8 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation since 1990, the world remains off track for the sanitation target. It is essential to accelerate progress in the remaining time before the MDG deadline, and I commend those who are participating in the Sustainable Sanitation: Five Year Drive to 2015. This report outlines the challenges that remain. Some regions, particularly sub- Saharan Africa, are lagging behind. Many rural dwellers and the poor often miss out on improvements to drinking water and sanitation. And the burden of poor water supply falls most heavily on girls and women. Reducing these disparities must be a priority.


Reference icon

HUTTON, G. (2012): Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage. (= WHO/HSE/WSH, 1/12). Geneva: World Health Organization. URL [Accessed: 01.11.2012].

The present study aimed to estimate global, regional and country-level costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to meet the MDG target in 2015, and to attain universal coverage. This report updates previous economic analyses conducted by the World Health Organization, using new WSS coverage rates, costs of services, income levels and health indicators.


Reference icon

POVERTY-ENVIRONMENT PARTNERSHIP (PEP) (Editor) (2006): Linking Poverty Reduction and Water Management. New York: United Nations Development Programme / Stockholm: Stockholm Environment Institute. URL [Accessed: 07.06.2011].

This paper analyses how water management can contribute to reduce poverty and makes policy recommendations. Contains a detailed assessment of water’s potential contribution to all of the seven MDGs - not just that one which explicitly refers to water.


Reference icon

SEI (Editor) (2005): Sustainable Pathways to Attain the Millennium Development Goals: Assessing the Key Role of Water, Energy and Sanitation. Stockholm: Stockholm Environmental Institute. URL [Accessed: 30.03.2011].

This report highlights the importance of the environment in achieving all MDGs. It focuses on three core aspects of goal fulfilment, namely freshwater to eradicate hunger and sustain ecosystems, energy and sanitation for poverty alleviation, health improvements and environmental sustainability.


Reference icon

UN (Editor) (2011): (The) Millennium Development Goals Report 2011. New York: United Nations (UN). URL [Accessed: 17.10.2011].

This document annually informs about the progresses concerning the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) of the United Nations.

See document in SPANISH


Reference icon

UNICEF (Editor); WHO (Editor) (2011): Drinking Water: Equity, Safety and Sustainability. New York and Geneva: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO). URL [Accessed: 05.03.2012].

The report investigates access to and use of drinking water in greater detail than is possible in the regular JMP progress reports, and includes increased disaggregation of water service levels and analyses of trends across countries and regions. It focuses on the three key challenges of equity, safety and sustainability.


Reference icon

UN WATER (Editor) (n.y.): Sanitation is Vital for Good Health. (= Factsheet, 2). United Nations Water (UN WATER). URL [Accessed: 17.10.2011].

This factsheet shows the links between improved sanitation and health in a short overview.


Reference icon

UN WATER (Editor) (n.y.): Sanitation Brings Dignity, Equality and Safety. (= Factsheet, 3). United Nations Water (UN WATER). URL [Accessed: 17.10.2011].

This short factsheet informs about how sanitation is connected with questions of dignity, equality and safety, including questions of gender, disabilities, etc.


Reference icon

UN WATER (Editor) (n.y.): Sanitation Sustains Clean Environments. (= Factsheet, 5). United Nations Water (UN WATER). URL [Accessed: 17.10.2011].

This factsheet shortly describes how sanitation can add to sustainability in an environmental way.


Reference icon

UNW-DPAC (Editor) (2010): The MDG Target on Water and Sanitation Reader. UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC). Zaragoza: UN Office to Support the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015. URL [Accessed: 31.03.2011].

Compiled by the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), this reader is intended for all those interested in getting familiar with issues related to the achievement of target 7c of the MDGs. It provides basic references for easy reading and some of the latest and most relevant United Nations publications on issues related to the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as they relate to water and sanitation. Link is provided when the publication is available online.


Reference icon

WHO (Editor); UNICEF (Editor) (2010): Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water. 2010 Update. Geneva: World Health Organisation (WHO) / New York: UNICEF. URL [Accessed: 14.04.2011].

This well illustrated report describes the status and trends with respect to the use of safe drinking-water and basic sanitation, and progress made towards the MDG drinking-water and sanitation target. It presents some striking disparities: the gap between progress in providing access to drinking-water versus sanitation; the divide between urban and rural populations in terms of the services provided; differences in the way different regions are performing, bearing in mind that they started from different baselines; and disparities between different socioeconomic strata in society. Each JMP report assesses the situation and trends anew and so this JMP report supersedes previous reports (e.g. from 2004, 2006 and 2008).


Reference icon

WHO (Editor); UNICEF (Editor) (2013): Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water. 2013 Update. New York/Geneva: United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)/World Health Organisation (WHO). URL [Accessed: 21.08.2013].

This well illustrated report describes the status and trends with respect to the use of safe drinking-water and basic sanitation, and progress made towards the MDG drinking-water and sanitation target. It presents some striking disparities: the gap between progress in providing access to drinking-water versus sanitation; the divide between urban and rural populations in terms of the services provided; differences in the way different regions are performing, bearing in mind that they started from different baselines; and disparities between different socioeconomic strata in society. Each JMP report assesses the situation and trends anew and so this JMP report supersedes previous reports


Reference icon

DANGOUR, A.D.; WATSON, L.; CUMMING, O.; BOISSON, S.; CHE, Y.; VELLEMAN, Y.; CAVILL, S.; ALLEN, E.; UAUY, R. (2013): Interventions to Improve Water Quality and Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Practices, and Their Effects on the Nutritional Status of Children. (= Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, 8). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. URL [Accessed: 05.09.2013].

Water, sanitation and hygiene interventions are frequently implemented to reduce infectious diseases, and may be linked to improved nutrition outcomes in children. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the effect of interventions to improve water quality and supply, provide adequate sanitation and promote handwashing with soap, on the nutritional status of children under the age of 18 years and to identify current research gaps.


Reference icon

SPEARS, D. (2013): How much International Variation in Child Height Can Sanitation Explain?. (= Policy Research Working Paper, 6351). Washington: The World Bank Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). URL [Accessed: 23.09.2013].

Physical height is an important economic variable reflecting health and human capital. Puzzlingly, however, differences in average height across developing countries are not well explained by differences in wealth. This paper provides the first documentation of a quantitatively important gradient between child height and sanitation that can statistically explain a large fraction of international height differences.


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ALBUQUERQUE, C. (2013): Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque. (=Report submitted to the General Assembly’s Human Rights Council, 24th session, July 11, 2013). Geneva: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). URL [Accessed: 07.10.2013].

Focusing on sustainability in the realization the human rights to water and sanitation, the report examines how the rights to water and sanitation can and must be met for present and future generations. Using the human rights framework, the report analyses states’ common approaches to water and sanitation, particularly in adopting measures both during times of normalcy and during economic and financial crises, and shows how those approaches often fail to incorporate sustainability.


Reference icon

IWA (2013): Human Resource Capacity Gaps in Water and Sanitation. Main Findings and the Way Forward. London: International Water Association (IWA). URL [Accessed: 07.10.2013].

This is the synthesis report of the Human Resource Capacity Assessments. In the water and sanitation sector, the human resource requirement to meet the water and sanitation targets has been relatively unknown in relation to the numbers of staff, qualifications and their practical experience. IWA developed an assessment method to collect data on human resource gaps (skills) and shortages (number of workers) at the national level in the water and sanitation sector. The assessment method was piloted in five countries in 2009, Mali, Zambia, South Africa, Bangladesh and Timor L’este and in phase 2 a more structured approach was used for 10 in-country assessments (Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Mozambique PNG, Sri Lanka, Lao PDR and Philippines, Niger, Senegal, and Ghana).


Reference icon

CLASEN, T.F.; ROBERTS, I.G.; RABIE, T.; SCHMIDT, W.P.; CAIRNCROSS, S. (2009): Interventions to Improve Water Quality for Preventing Diarrhoea. In: The Cochrane Library. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. URL [Accessed: 30.09.2013].

Diarrhoeal diseases are a leading cause of mortality and morbidity, especially among young children in developing countries. While many of the infectious agents associated with diarrhoeal disease are potentially waterborne, the evidence for reducing diarrhoea in settings where it is endemic by improving the microbiological quality of drinking water has been equivocal. The aim of the present study is to assess the effectiveness of interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhoea.


Reference icon

CROSS, P.; COOMBES, Y. (2013): Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa: Where do we Stand?. Analysis from the AfricaSan Conference, Kigali, Rwanda. London: International Water Association (IWA) Publishing. URL [Accessed: 01.11.2013].

This book takes stock of progress made by African countries through the AfricaSan process since 2008 and the progress needed to meet the MDG on sanitation by 2015 and beyond. It addresses priorities which have been identified by African countries as the key elements which need to be addressed in order to accelerate progress.This book is essential reading for government staff from Ministries responsible for sanitation, sector stakeholders working in NGOs, CSOs and agencies with a focus on sanitation and hygiene and water and Sanitation specialists. It is also suitable for Masters courses in water and sanitation and for researchers and the donor community.


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ISLAM, M.S.; MAHMUD, Z.H.; GOPE, P.S.; ZAMAN, R.U.; HOSSAIN, Z.; ISLAM, M.S.; MONDAL, D.; SHARKER, M.A.Y.; ISLAM, K.; JAHAN, H.; BHUIYA, A.; ENDTZ, H.P.; CRAVIOTO, A.; CURTIS, V.; TOUR, O.; CAIRNCROSS, S. (2013): Hygiene Intervention Reduces Contamination of Weaning Food in Bangladesh. In: Tropical Medicine and International Health 18, 250-258. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. URL [Accessed: 25.11.2013].

This study was conducted to measure the impact of a hygiene intervention on the contamination of weaning food in Bangladesh.


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CAVILL, S.; CHAMBERS, R.; VERNON, N. (2015): Sustainability and CLTS: Taking Stock. (= Frontiers of CLTS: Innovations and Insights, 4). Brighton: Institute of Development Studies. URL [Accessed: 30.04.2015].

Sustainability is without doubt one of the most burning subject matters that subsumes many of the issues that we are seeing in CLTS and wider WASH practice. There have been several useful studies on sustainability that have highlighted some of the different aspects as well as the complexities involved. However, it is unclear how much of the learning from these studies has been built into current and future programming and practice. Based on existing research and our own understanding, this issue of Frontiers of CLTS is an attempt at an up to date synthesis of where we are at the beginning of 2015. In the issue, we identify some priority areas for learning: How to phase in sanitation marketing; Post-ODF engagement of government, NGOS, donors and others; How to ensure equity and inclusion; How to transform social norms; Monitoring, learning, changing


Case Studies Library

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WSP (Editor) (n.y.): The Economic Impacts of Inadequate Sanitation in India. New Delhi: Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), World Bank. URL [Accessed: 29.03.2011].

Inadequate sanitation causes India considerable economic losses, equivalent to 6.4 percent of India’s GDP in 2006 at US$53.8 billion, according to The Economic Impacts of Inadequate Sanitation in India, a new report from the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). The study analysed the evidence on the adverse economic impacts of inadequate sanitation, which include costs associated with death and disease, accessing and treating water, and losses in education, productivity, time, and tourism. The findings are based on 2006 figures, although a similar magnitude of losses is likely in later years.


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ARNOLD, B.F.; NULL, C.; LUBY, S.; UNICOMB, L.; STEWART, C.; DEWEY, K.; AHMED, T.; ASHRAF, S.; CHRISTENSEN, G.; CLASEN, T.; DENTZ, H.N.; FERNALD, L.C.H.; HAQUE, R.; HUBBARD, A.; KARIGER, P.; LEONTSINI, E.; LIN, A.; NJENGA, S.M.; PICKERING, A.J.; RAM, P.K.; TOFAIL, F.; WINCH, P.; COLFORD, J.M. (2013): Cluster-Randomised Controlled Trials of Individual and Combined Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Nutritional Interventions in Rural Bangladesh and Kenya. The WASH Benefits Study Design Rationale. In: BMJ Open.. London: British Medical Journal Group (BMJ Group). URL [Accessed: 23.09.2013].

Water quality, sanitation, handwashing and nutritional interventions can independently reduce enteric infections and growth faltering. There is little evidence that directly compares the effects of these individual and combined interventions on diarrhoea and growth when delivered to infants and young children. The objective of the WASH Benefits study is to help fill this knowledge gap.


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SPEARS, D.; GHOSH, A.; CUMMING, O. (2013): Open Defecation and Childhood Stunting in India. An Ecological Analysis of New Data from 112 Districts. In: PLOS ONE 9. San Francisco/Cambridge: Public Library of Science (PLoS). URL [Accessed: 23.09.2013].

Poor sanitation remains a major public health concern linked to several important health outcomes; emerging evidence indicates a link to childhood stunting. In India over half of the population defecates in the open; the prevalence of stunting remains very high. Recently published data on levels of stunting in 112 districts of India provide an opportunity to explore the relationship between levels of open defecation and stunting within this population.


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KOV, P.; SMETS, S.; SPEARS, D.; VYAS, S. (2013): Growing Taller Among Toilets. Evidence from Changes in Sanitation and Child Height in Cambodia, 2005-2010. Amston: Research Institute for Compassionate Economics (RICE). URL [Accessed: 23.09.2013].

Child height is an important indicator of human capital and human development. Recent medical evidence suggests that exposure to poor sanitation - and speci cally to widespread open defecation - can pose a critical threat to child growth. This paper identi es an effect of open defecation on child height from within-province changes in the local area open defecation to which children are exposed.


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HAMMER, J.; SPEARS, D. (2013): Village Sanitation and Children's Human Capital. Evidence from a Randomized Experiment by the Maharashtra Government. (= Policy Research Working Paper, 6580). Washington: The World Bank Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). URL [Accessed: 01.10.2013].

Open defecation is exceptionally widespread in India, a country with puzzlingly high rates of child stunting. This paper reports a randomized controlled trial of a village-level sanitation program implemented in one district by the government of Maharashtra. The program caused a large but plausible average increase in child height, which is an important marker of human capital. The results demonstrate sanitation externalities: an effect even on children in households that did not adopt latrines.


Awareness Raising Material Library

Reference icon

SIWI (Editor) (2005): Driving Development By Investing In Water And Sanitation. Five Facts Support the Argument. Stockholm: SIWI. URL [Accessed: 24.08.2011].

This short pamphlets presents five key facts highlighting the importance of water for development, amongst them increasing economic productivity, reducing hunger and illness, and benefits for the environment.


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THE WORLD BANK (Editor); WSP (Editor) (2013): What's a Toilet Worth?. Lack of Access to Sanitation Costs the World US$260 Billion Yearly. Washington: The World Bank, Water and Sanitation Program (wsp). URL [Accessed: 09.09.2013].

This graphic shows the costs of inadequate sanitation and economic benefits that could result from improved sanitation.


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USAID (Editor); WASH PLUS (Editor) (2013): Integrating Water, Sanitation and Hygiene into Nutrition Programming. Washington: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), WASHplus. URL [Accessed: 23.09.2013].

Diarrhea, pneumonia, and birth complications are the top three killers of children under age 5 worldwide. Diarrhea is also a leading cause of undernutrition in this age group, and one-third to one-half of all child mortality cases are linked to undernutrition. If mothers and other caregivers used basic hygiene practices and had better access to safe water and adequate sanitation this could greatly reduce under-5 deaths and improve child nutrition.


Important Weblinks

http://thewaterchannel.tv/ [Accessed: 07.06.2011]

Girls in Burkina Faso lose one to two years of lessons during their school life because of the time they spend collecting water each day. This short video shows how improvements in the rural water supply are designed to bring about change and provide better development opportunities, especially for women and children.

http://www.devinfo.info/ [Accessed: 22.03.2011]

The DevInfo system has been endorsed by the UN Development Group and is being used in many countries to help track the MDGs and other national priorities. It delivers significant enhancements for easy access to information on human development. The system has been developed under UN partnership and is distributed royalty-free to all end users.

http://www.wssinfo.org/ [Accessed: 22.03.2011]

The homepage of the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) of WHO and UNICEF for Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) offers three tools to build dynamically water supply and sanitation data representations in the form of maps, graphs and tables by choosing between geographical area, level of aggregation, type of data, year and urban/rural setting. Specific country files are available in the documents section.

www.wsp.org/economic-impacts-sanitation [Accessed: 01.11.2012]

The Economics of Sanitation Initiative (ESI) was launched in 2007 with a WSP study from East Asia, which sparked public awareness and Government action in several countries. ESI further analyzed the costs and the benefits of alternative sanitation interventions for various countries in Africa, East Asia and South Asia.

https://improveinternational.wordpress.com [Accessed: 06.06.2013]

This is an ongoing compilation of statistics to show that failure rates for water systems, latrines, and hygiene promotion campaigns are still high after decades of intervention.

https://ble.lshtm.ac.uk/ [Accessed: 01.10.2013]

The Programming for Nutrition Outcomes is a free open-access educational resource, supported by the Department for International Development. This Master's-level module has been designed to explore the complicated problem of undernutrition, highlight its multi-sectoral causes and identify potential programmatic solutions.

http://www.youtube.com [Accessed: 03.02.2014]

This video explains why access to water is so important for development.