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The provision of adequate sanitation to the urban poor has increasingly come to the fore across the SDI network. Incremental approaches to informal settlement improvement are key to a long-term process that develops community capacity alongside infrastructure. With water and sanitation at the forefront of key challenges faced in slum dweller communities, federations have reached out across the SDI network, as well as to the private sector and other international organizations, building upon their capacity and knowledge around improving the quality of sanitation and water provision in their slum communities.

 Utilising groundbreaking technologies in sanitation, federations construct affordable, sustainable and reliable sanitation units both on a communal and household capacity. These technologies include: Ecological Sanitation (EcoSan toilets), micro flush toilets and old fashioned flush toilets. Toilet construction and management bring together organized communities and local government in partnerships that have the possibility for replication in other settlements across the city. 

 Making a citywide impact through sanitation opens up the space for other relationships with government to be developed around associated services and infrastructure (e.g. Solid waste management, grey water recycling or the provision of water).  Communities are also able to access upgrading funds and, as in India and Uganda, become the contractors who build, maintain and manage sanitation infrastructure. The momentum this generates has potential for both local and national policy reforms and articulations.  It is becoming increasingly clear that sanitation interventions and the partnerships that they create can lay the groundwork for partnerships and outcomes at a citywide scale.



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