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WaterAid resources

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Urban framework

This framework sets out how we and our partners develop effective strategies for urban programmes. It provides the driving principles and minimum commitments we will follow globally in urban work.

Policy analysis

Are World Bank investments benefiting the urban poor?

A discussion paper on how to strengthen pro-poor targeting of International Development Association investments in urban water and sanitation in Africa. Based on research in Tanzania, Ghana and Burkina Faso.
See also the Review of the Asian Development Bank's work in India.

Turning slums around: the case for water and sanitation

A discussion paper on the commitments needed to redress political and financial priority given to sanitation and water in rapidly urbanising areas. Produced for the 4th World Urban Forum, Nanjing, China.

Maggie Black wrote two important papers with WaterAid which helped transform thinking on urban issues:

  • Mega-slums: the coming sanitary crisis: this paper examines the different biases in development policy which favour the urban elite or focus exclusively on rural areas.
  • Thirsty cities: this briefing note sets out the key changes in infrastructural policy needed to bring the crisis under control and examines the record of policy and practice for signs of progress.

Working with utilities

Our water, our waste, our town: supporting CSOs to engage in urban water sector reforms

This is a reference manual to show some of the methods and tactics that can be used to make a difference. Various case studies show that CSO-driven urban water and sanitation reforms really do work.

Reaching the urban poor: supporting utilities to engage communities in service extension

This publication provides an overview of the WaterAid modules for the World Bank Institute course on successful utility reform in water supply and sanitation.

Access for the poor and excluded: tariffs and subsidies for urban water supply

This discussion paper helps to explain and structure tariffs and subsidies for the urban poor.

Water utilities that work for poor people: increasing viability through pro-poor service delivery

This publication discusses the need for specific pro-poor measures to ensure water service provision to poor urban populations.

Social accountability: tools and mechanisms for improved urban water services

This discussion paper outlines the principles behind, and the application of, social accountability mechanisms as a means to increase the downward accountability and responsiveness of water utilities to poor people.

Serving the urban poor: African utilities make progress

This discussion paper for the 15th AfWA International Water Congress in Kampala, Uganda, provides a traffic light analysis of the review of 12 African utilities on six key features existing among pro-poor utilities. It was produced in collaboration with WSUP and AFWA.

WaterAid’s interventions at the 15th African Water Association International Congress

A call to action for utilities to focus on services to the poor has emerged from the 15th session of the African Water Association (AfWA) International Water Congress in Uganda, where African utility managers agreed to play a more central role in the political processes towards meeting the MDGs.

Country-specific reports and guidelines

Bangladesh: Ethiopia: Ghana: India: Nepal: Nigeria: Pakistan: Tanzania: Uganda:

Other resources

The urban programming guideThe urban programming guide

A guide to urban sanitation programming produced by Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), of which, WaterAid is a founding member. WSUP works to strengthen water utilities to demonstrate and scale up successful models for services to improve services for low-income consumers in developing cities.

Sustainable sanitation in cities: a framework for actionSustainable sanitation in cities: a framework for action

A guide to urban sanitation programming produced by Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), of which, WaterAid is a founding member. WSUP works to strengthen water utilities to demonstrate and scale up successful models for services to improve services for low-income consumers in developing cities.

City sanitation plansCity sanitation plans

Strategic planning processes for citywide sanitation sector development.
Published by Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management.

Future-proofing citiesFuture-proofing cities

A report by Atkins, in partnerships with the UK Department for International Development, and University College London. It looks at the risks and opportunities for inclusive urban growth in developing countries.