From Village to Open Defecation Free Nations – Realising the Sanitation SDG of an ODF World
The discourse was on the preparedness of the countries for pursuing the SDGs, especially after various levels of performance during the MDG-era.
Such a discussion is important because this positioning will be crucial to chart the preparedness of the countries in terms of fast tracking the access to improved sanitation and tackling the menacing challenges of under-nutrition, stunting, child mortality, water borne disease burden and national prosperity. The talk focused on some crucial questions: Are country governments prepared to launch a local community driven campaign focussed towards lasting behaviour change using their own resources? How would the governments shift their national sanitation strategies from supply driven, hardware toilet construction to demand led, health outcome focussed collective behaviour change? How are the countries going to tackle sanitation challenges in the context of large scale migration due to natural disasters, humanitarian conflicts and unplanned urbanization? What is the role of the government policy in enhancing the total sanitation access? How have the lessons from the past and of MDGs been incorporated in the government policies in adjusting their ODF national targets and road-maps? What is the role of the donor agencies in improving the sanitation access? How do countries with limited financial capability apply the community led approach? The talk provided insight into how national and regional policies can use sanitation as an entry point and create an enabling environment for holistic development.