Scaling Citywide Inclusive Sanitation Systems (CWIS)

GWOPA is part of a new UN-Habitat project to improve sanitation services for people living in slums and informal settlements.

Over 700 million urban residents live without improved sanitation, which comprises services that ensure human excreta are disposed of in a way that prevents them from causing disease by contaminating food and water sources. The lack of improved sanitation can have a serious effect on health and the environment.

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UN-Habitat will advance Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) norms, which aim to ensure everyone benefits from safely managed sanitation. This is done by promoting a public service approach to extend and sustain inclusive sanitation services across urbanized service areas, drawing on the full range of available and appropriate technologies – including onsite and sewers, centralized or decentralized as appropriate – to meet service goals.


Photo by Milo Miloezger / Unsplash


UN-Habitat will work to improve local, national, and global tools and experience to help authorities establish stronger, safer, more inclusive sanitation service delivery systems. The project will strengthen governments’ and service providers’ data and information management systems on sanitation, water quality and wastewater.

For example, the project will help develop a standardized methodology to source, monitor and aggregate data on the quality and reach of sanitation services in informal settlements to inform investment and service delivery decisions. It will help global monitoring of Sustainable Development Goal 6 on clean water and sanitation for all, and will support the development of fundamental technical guidelines, tools, training materials and knowledge management products such as case studies, thematic learning notes and technical notes on the CWIS approach.

The project will support national and subnational governments and service providers to integrate and advance CWIS in national-level programming through national urban policies. GWOPA, supporting water and sanitation operators to help one another to provide quality services to all, will bolster knowledge sharing and peer partnerships between sanitation service authorities (SWOPs) and disseminate and mainstream CWIS principles and approaches, as well as related monitoring methodologies developed under the project within its network of utilities and local authorities.