OVERDUE - Tackling the sanitation taboo across urban Africa

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Development Planning Unit

Abstract

OVERDUE interrogates infrastructural trajectories and possible pathways to tackle the sanitation taboo across African cities, a task at the core of the Open Defecation Free campaign and the 2030 SDGs, especially SDGs 6 and 11. Sanitation is critical for urban life,yet it continues to be invisibilised, avoided, systematically un-tackled or at best reduced to a 'cultural, technical or financial problem'. Disposing safely of human waste has long been recognised as a human right, yet we witness a persistent, exculpated and prevailing everyday right violation endured by the vast majority of the urban poor in Africa and worldwide.

With the grid narratives aspirating to reproduce the 19th Century sanitary revolution of the urban global North and the incremental coping mechanisms of the urban poor, most African cities just get by, skirting around the sanitation taboo. OVERDUE aims to provide fresh insights into the 'urban sanitation crisis' by decolonising the way it is framed and tackled. This involves a critical interrogation of urban sanitation trajectories and the links emerging across the sanitation continuum between large-scale infrastructural investments in grid systems vis a vis collective and individual incremental investments by the urban poor in off-grid coping mechanisms.

A sanitary revolution across urban Africa requires a new perspective on the gaps and synergies between grid and off-grid efforts and the spectrum of practices and interventions in between, which reads the sanitary metabolism of a city as a highly complex system- of pipes, energy, matter and social relations - which can produce illness or health, poverty or prosperity, suffering or well-being, stigma or respect for the different women, men, girls and boys engaged in the management of sanitation. Focusing on three fast growing cities - Freetown (Sierra Leone), Mwanza (Tanzania) and Beira (Mozambique) - OVERDUE examines the sanitation taboo across contrasting colonial legacies, with links to the experiences of Francophone urban Africa.

Our aim is to produce fresh outlooks and robust evidence for effective pathways to equitable sanitation across urban Africa's diversity, through three work packages (WPs). The first two WPs offer a reframed diagnosis of sanitation trajectories in Mwanza, Beira and Freetown, unveiling their spatial and social configurations and the historical and contemporary taboos that undermine equitable pathways. WP1 tracks down past, ongoing and projected infrastructural investments in the cities, scrutinising their political economy and approach to 'sanitation deficits' often through the expansion of sewer systems without secondary treatment. WP2 traces existing off-grid sanitation practices and investment flows by informal dwellers, assessing their outcomes and implications. WP3 expands our critical and propositive enquiry to a wider context to document, debate and evaluate emerging sanitation arrangements that could bridge grid and off-grid arrangements at scale across Francophone, Lusophone and Anglophone urban Africa. The ultimate aim is to contribute to visions for "bridging" policy measures (how do we do it) and practical solutions (what is working best), for whom and why.

We argue that sanitation 'deficits' and 'solutions' need to be de-colonised for the right to sanitation to be realised across African cities. Adopting a post-colonial perspective, we aim to provide fresh insights into how contrasting colonial legacies are imbricated in contemporary urban systems to produce different sanitation trajectories. We draw on intersectionality scholarship to shed light into how people's experiences and opportunities differ depending on gender and other social identities and their diverse, multi-layered and intersecting relations.

Planned Impact

The research team adopts a knowledge coproduction approach and aims to actively involve potential beneficiaries and users in such process in order to tackle the sanitation taboo in-depth and at scale not only in the three case study cities but across urban Africa. A highly interdisciplinary project team with a solid track record working in urban Africa and with African partners from academia, the engineering sector and grounded civil society organisations has the capacity to translate research into actionable knowledge and impact, as well as to support the multiple translations required to expand dialogue and fruitful exchanges across different key agents of change and across multiple languages.

The project aims for the following stakeholder groups to benefit:
A. Poor women and men, boys and girls and their local collectives.
B. Small-scale independent sanitation providers (SSIPs), WASH committees and sanitation technicians.
C. Policy-makers, city officials, councillors, planners, utilities and intermediary organisations guiding the design and implementation of sanitation interventions in the three case study cities and across urban Africa.
D. International external support agencies (ESAs) and other institutions that shape politically, financially, academically or technologically the provision of sanitation infrastructure and services.
E. Early-career researchers and practitioners.

Stakeholder groups A and B will be actively involved in data collection and analysis to develop their skills and capacity to monitor, evaluate, improve and expand sanitation provision as well as facilitate communication and collaboration with others. Dialogue with target groups C and D in each case study city will be pursued through a range of participatory action research tools. Local and regional workshop as well as Focus Group Discussions will strengthen dialogue among and across stakeholder groups and promote horizontal communication and feedback loops. The project is designed to maximise its impact in developing the capacity of target group E, through their active engagement in project implementation and communicating findings. Capacity-building beyond the project team will be achieved through regional exchange visits between mixed stakeholder groups from each city as well as visits to other initiatives across urban Africa to exchange experiences and enter into a critical dialogue. Participation beyond the three case study cities from representatives across all stakeholder groups will be sought through regional workshops and strategic use of different networks to facilitate knowledge sharing and coproduction across Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa. An external Advisory Group consisting of 3 world-leading specialists from academia and practice will scrutinise the quality and relevance of research findings at different stages to maximise the policy impact of research outputs and provide access to their international networks of organisations throughout the the project. Dissemination of findings through digital and printed outputs, and participation in key events and conferences will reach a broader audience and further enhance opportunities for research uptake.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title "Just Sanitation across African cities" campaign 
Description The award started in summer 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a context that brings the vital role of sanitation to the fore more than ever. In response, we decided to celebrate sanitation and initiated the "Just Sanitation across African cities" campaign. The objective was to stimulate and reframe public conversations and actions around just sanitation. As part of the campaign we launched our website, our twitter and our facebook account. We also produced an animated image (Graphics Interchange Format - GIF) developed for World Toilet Day 2020 with OVERDUE team members and graphic designer Ottavia Pasta. It represents a diversity of sanitation infrastructure (both off grid and on grid) and users (men women, children, with wheelchair, caring for a child) and announces the importance to celebrate sanitation in English, French, Swahili, Kryo and Emakhuwa. It was circulated online (website, twitter, facebook) and locally by our partners to attract attention to the activities conducted in the various sites where the award operates. Locally, in Beira, Freetown and Mwanza, partners organized in-city sanitation festivals. The performances and creative outputs are reported separately. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact One of the notable impacts was to draw attention to sanitation. Another one was to increase our capacity to translate texts and voices into several African languages. This is a crucial resource to relocalize knowledge production and consumption. If we intend to decolonize knowledge production and empower residents and local administrations, we need to be working in local languages and make this effort as consistently as possible. This creative product was a step in this direction. 
URL https://i1.wp.com/overdue-justsanitation.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/WorldToiletDay_OVERDUEGIF.gi...
 
Title Mwanza Festival Performance 2020/12/02 
Description Dancers and singers were invited to perform songs and dances for the Mwanza Sanitation Festival on December 02 2020, to voice and incarnate the importance of hygiene and sanitation. Cobras were brought in to narrate the danger of open defecation, exposing oneself to potential threats and health consequences (symbolized by the cobra's bite). The performance took place in front of the Mabatini school in Mwanza where local residents and officials were invited and further engaged in presentations, discussions, and a drawing competition. The performance thus functioned both as a gift, contributing to local entertainment and pleasant interactions and as a way to attract attention and share information related to sanitation. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The impact was to create a space where people could voice their concerns regarding sanitation and talk about this issue which is often taboo and seldom mentioned publicly despite the fact it is a real concern especially for women and girls who do a lot of the maintenance work and suffer from ill adapted facilities, lack of water, and lack of privacy. This was crucial to establish working relations on which the project will draw. 
 
Title OVERDUE Animated presentation films 
Description These 2 short animation films present the research aims and participatory methodology in the context of Freetown, Beira, and Mwanza. These films explain what just sanitation is about, to facilitate engagements with residents, collectives and institutions, stimulate discussions, and complement the information sheet and consent form for potential research participants. They were developed in Tanzania and in Mozambique by national artists, to speak to these contexts and to support the creative sector in African countries. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact The notable impacts are multiple: first they contribute to strengthening the local art scene in Mozambique and Tanzania by channelling resources in their direction and re-anchoring the production of art in these countries, which is a way to re-empower and stimulate self-representation. Second, the films contribute to demonstrating respect and care for research participants, as the films have been crafted specifically for their city, with soundtrack and audios in locally spoken languages and adapted graphic representations of sanitation. This is crucial to invert the stigma and victimizing effect of research and build respectful work and interview relations. Third, it has been demonstrated that information videos generate a deeper and sustained understanding of research among research participants and non-participants (compared to written forms only). These films are thus key to generate a public understanding of OVERDUE's aims and approach and to facilitate further interactions. People will remember what the project is about and more easily get in touch with us, which is crucial to the participatory nature of our research. 
 
Title Radio Debate "Sanitation inequalities and experiences in Beira" 
Description The impact of this debate was to raise the status of local discussions and interest on just sanitation, by bringing to the fore perspectives that are often unheard. It further strengthened the role of local institutions by making their work more visible and understandable to residents. This is an important process for local democracy and accountability. It is also part of a process to challenge the normalization of sanitation inequalities. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact The impact of this debate was to stimulate local discussions and interest for sanitation. It further strengthened the role of local institutions by making their work more visible and understandable to residents. This is an important process for local democracy and accountability. It is also part of a process to challenge the normalization of sanitation inequalities. 
URL https://overdue-justsanitation.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Saneamento-Debate-2-04-de-Narco-de-202...
 
Title Radio Debate "Sanitation trajectory of Beira city" 
Description First radio debate by MEGA-FM radio (the most popular radio in Beira, Mozambique) on January 14 2021, on the historical trajectory of sanitation in Beira presented by Sheila Maribate, with experiences from residents, an interview with the director for the Autonomous Services of Sanitation in Beira, an official from the water company FIPAG, and a lecturer from the Licungo University. The debate also included 10 minutes of interviews with local residents, voicing their concerns and difficulties in terms of sanitation and especially the issue of poor drainage. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact This debate was impactful in so far as it stimulated local discussions and public interest on the role of sanitation in local development and gender equality. It further strengthened the role of local institutions in charge of sanitation by making their work more visible and understandable to residents. This is an important process for local democracy and accountability. It is also part of a process to challenge the normalization of sanitation inequalities. 
URL http://overdue-justsanitation.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Radio-Debate-1-14-de-Janeiro.mp3
 
Title Short films Freetown Sanitation Heroes & Injustices 
Description These 2 short films were produced by SLURC based on recordings during the Freetown Sanitation Festival on 19 November 2020 and the messages elaborated during the festival and its preparation. One film features a mechanical pit emptier in Freetown celebrating manual faecal sludge workers as sanitation heroes as they risk their lives to perform their job and maintain a healthy city. Another one features a woman from the Dworzack community, explaining how sanitation inequalities affect her and her community, as public toilets are far and women expose themselves to violence if they have to go at night, and as limited access generates diseases and health issues. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact These recordings were the first ones to voice the perspective from a resident and a sanitation worker located in urban Africa. They were crucial to stimulate further contributions from other sanitation workers in Senegal and Kenya. They also shed light on the daily consequences of sanitation inequalities, and are very important to bring them to the forefront and question the normalization of unsanitary conditions. The testimony from the Dworzack resident persuades the audience to seek additional voices from women, challenging their invisibility across the sanitation chain in Freetown and internationally. 
 
Description Please note that due to COVID-19, the actual start of the project was on July 01 2020. Although it is too early to share publicly consolidated findings at this stage, we have reported emerging insights and knowledge coproduction processes in section 15 "Other outputs & knowledge/future steps".
Preliminary key findings emerging from the project include:
1. Pervasive taboos persist across urban Africa in the way in which sanitation is socially and publicly discussed and tackled. These include prominent silences about the links between race and stigmatizing processes affecting 'informal' sanitation workers, the reasons that perpetuate open defecation practices, and the misrecognition of women and girls' role throughout the sanitation chain beyond their needs as 'users'.
2. Innovative combined methodologies are required to unearth the aforementioned taboos and the root causes of systemic sanitation injustices beyond observable deficits. These include the use of city timelines to historicing change (sanitation investments and promises over time), spatial analysis to unveil the focus and locus of investments and promises, and the use of non-verbal methods and safe-to-talk spaces to enable a deeper discussion of how sanitation injustices work and why they persist.
3. A two-tier sanitation system separating 'formal' and 'informal' (and grid and off-grid) systems and providers persists in all three cities under investigation. However, a closer look at the sanitation chain reveals that the separation between these two systems is artificial and hides multiple co-dependencies across the sanitation chain.
4. Housing and land tenure security arrangements explain the persistence of the abovementioned two-tier sanitation system, with historic and contemporary investments inherently linked to property rights. Colonial legacies, both infrastructural and institutional (in the ways administrative boundaries and responsibilities are distributed) also contribute to reinforcing the disjuncture between these two sanitation worlds.
5. While sanitation is approached either as a generic city-wide public health matter or as an individual households affair, there is a wide range of sanitation collectives operating in all three cities that hint towards often untapped collective agency to address sanitation injustices.
6. Gender inequality is strongly relegated to narratives that confine women and girls as sanitation users, focusing on their needs at best, while obscuring their key role as sanitation providers and in supporting city-wide infrastructures of care. More widely, the separation between sanitation users and providers is artificial and explains why women and girls are mostly the focus of hygiene and awareness-raising efforts, while being systematically excluded from wider decision-making processes.
7. Though sanitation infrastructural interventions are always presented as desirable improvements, they also contain costs and potential harm to the most vulnerable groups. Hosting a landfill or a waste water plant that can overflow or leak entails additional risks for local communities. Similarly, the modernization of drains and the installation of pipes and pumps might mean losing one's dwelling or agricultural plot. These harms are often disjunct from the potential benefits as residents displaced by sanitary infrastructure are seldomly the ones connected to sewers and protected from floods but often further displaced and marginalized. This requires a careful analysis of the distribution of sanitary benefits and burdens, as well as grappling with the "legacies of mistrust" inherited from previous sanitary interventions as one sets to investigate contemporary sanitary solutions.
Exploitation Route The methodological outcomes of our award, both the decolonized approach to knowledge production in urban Africa and the non-verbal methods and safe-to-talk spaces to tackle taboos might be taken forward by the WASH sector as well as research projects tackling questions of violence, discrimination, and stigmatization. The online repository where we provide both our methodological briefs and results will constitute a toolbox to facilitate these uptakes.
We also hope that the local dynamics connecting public institutions, private providers, third sector and community-based organizations, as well as the tools and processes (such as gender analysis, mapping, audits, voicing concerns, and experience sharing) will be sustained in the cities where the award operated as well as championed by the institutions connected by the project. Invitations to capacity building and participatory monitoring across projects, cities, and countries, will set this in motion, and an online map of the collectives and projects engaged will provide a starting point, enriched in time, to consolidate this pathway.
Lastly, we expect our re-analysis of the role of women and girls in sanitation (as key providers beyond users), and the reflections on the gendered distribution of power, wages, and decision making, and the importance of care, will be uptake in many other sectors such as energy, housing, democracy, justice, transport, and retail. We will publicize our results and approach in many different formats (publications, briefs, online videos and courses, workshops) to make this impact possible.
Sectors Other

URL https://overdue-justsanitation.net/
 
Description "Decolonising WASH" - Sanitation Communities of Practice webinar
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact The award has enabled us to step forward and respond to the call of the UK Sanitation Community of Practices regarding the organisation of a session on "Decolonising the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector" in November 2020. SanCoP events bring together a wide range of professionals with an interest in sanitation from academic and research institutions, NGOs, public and private organisations, mainly based in the UK but mostly working abroad. The questions proposed for the SanCoP session were (1) Why does WASH need decolonising? (2) What is our role as UK-based practitioners? (3) How do our current ways of working strengthen existing unequal power structures? (4) What is the role of SanCoP-UK in this process?. These questions echo reflections undertaken by the OVERDUE project, as we explore sanitation justice across urban Africa, and aim both to tackle colonial legacies and decolonize sanitary solutions. This thematic also builds on the 2020 IRC Global Talk "Decolonizing WASH sector knowledge and decolonising systems thinking", during which Euphresia Lueska and Alara Adali critically examined the conception of WASH interventions by the North with limited inputs from Southern partners, marginalisation of local priorities and exclusion of indigenous knowledge. They pointed to the resulting issues of equity (worse off segments remain excluded), power asymmetries (unequal division of responsibilities, labour and benefits), diversion of resources away from WASH services (as staffing costs in the North are higher), inappropriate technologies (creating dependencies rather than self-sufficiency and sustainability), lack of accountability and of scalability (impossibility to move beyond pilots). Lueska and Adali invited us to "decolonize our minds", come to terms with the legacies of colonialism, share power, make indigenous knowledge known and used, and create safety and support networks for disadvantaged communities. Building on these reflections, insights from the OVERDUE project, and following discussions with Jonathan Wilcox and Sally Cawood from the SanCoP Coordinating Team, we have come forward to contribute to the meeting and capacity building of UK based practitioners. We proposed to co-lead the session and share results, tools and reflections. Our suggestions and template (submitted in February 2021) are currently being discussed and enriched by other participants. The event, which will be public and held online in April/May 2021 will be an opportunity to engage with the broader community of practitioners and scholars and to contribute to challenging colonial practices. We have especially proposed to contribute to question "What is decolonising?" Decolonizing has become a trendy word, from decolonising libraries, to decolonising method, knowledge, Eurocentric knowledge systems in Africa, disciplines, entire sectors of society. Several meanings coexist among which (1) the undoing of colonial rule over subordinate countries or territories and the repatriation of land and its enactment, (2) the liberation of minds and institutions from colonial ideology (racism plays a key role here), (3) the critique of positions of power which undermine some knowledge systems and hinder social justice, (4) the seizing of imperial wealth by the postcolonial subject. Some uses of "decolonial" and "decolonization" are more metaphorical than others, and some might even "kill the very possibility of decolonization" (Tuck and Yang, 2012). We proposed to clarify the polysemy, and the multiple positions and actions entailed in "decolonizing". Further we proposed to focus on water, hygiene and sanitation, by pointing out how the WASH sector embeds and perpetuates colonial relations. How do the invisibilized dynamics of colonialism mark the organization, governance, spatiality, accessibility of the sector and its services? How do colonial and settler perspectives and world views - repackaged as data and findings - get to count as knowledge and to sustain unfair social structures? We then suggested to share several practices and methods implemented through the award such as accounting for colonial legacies, inverting sequence, flexible budgeting and partnerships with equivalence. We proposed to co-lead the session and share results, tools and reflections. Our suggestions and template (submitted in February 2021) are currently being discussed and enriched by other participants. The event, which will be public and held online in April/May 2021 will be an opportunity to engage with the broader community of practitioners and scholars and to contribute to challenging colonial practices. We have especially proposed to contribute to question "What is declonising?" Decolonizing has become a trendy word, from decolonising libraries, to decolonising method, knowledge, Eurocentric knowledge systems in Africa, disciplines, entire sectors of society. Several meanings coexist among which (1) the undoing of colonial rule over subordinate countries or territories and the repatriation of land and its enactment, (2) the liberation of minds and institutions from colonial ideology (racism plays a key role here), (3) the critique of positions of power which undermine some knowledge systems and hinder social justice, (4) the seizing of imperial wealth by the postcolonial subject. Some uses of "decolonial" and "decolonization" are more metaphorical than others, and some might even "kill the very possibility of decolonization" (Tuck and Yang, 2012). We proposed to clarify the polysemy, and the multiple positions and actions entailed in "decolonizing". Further we proposed to focus on water, hygiene and sanitation, by pointing out how the WASH sector embeds and perpetuates colonial relations. How do the invisibilized dynamics of colonialism mark the organization, governance, spatiality, accessibility of the sector and its services? How do colonial and settler perspectives and world views - repackaged as data and findings - get to count as knowledge and to sustain unfair social structures? We then suggested to share several practices and methods implemented through the award such as accounting for colonial legacies, inverting sequence, flexible budgeting and partnerships with equivalence.
 
Description Just Sanitation first through Sanitation Festivals
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact It is early for us to claim an influence on policy, practice, patients and the public at this stage, as the start of the OVERDUE project has been delayed to 01 July 2020 and we have had to limit our field activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g.: no focus groups, reduced mobility and interviews, no face to face exchanges across team members from different cities, etc.). The most advanced results for now have been achieved in Freetown and Mwanza where the sanitation festivals have created a space and opportunity for sanitation providers, public agencies, and residents to meet and discuss what sanitation (in)justice means in each context. In Freetown for example the inclusion of the Freetown City Council in the preparation of the sanitation walk organized by SLURC enabled them to publicize their call centre, to which residents can reach out to signal waste and faecal sludge issues. This strengthens existing mechanisms and services maintaining sanitation across the city. It also revealed sanitary issues in the more formal neighborhoods of the city, outside of the informal settlements were most attention is focused, as well as around markets and workplaces dominantly occupied by women (food market deprived of any facility) compared to the ones where men operate (craft market serviced by public toilets). This made it clear that sanitation had to be considered across the off-grid/on-grid divide and gender relations. It also deeply questioned the political economy of sanitation and gender inequalities, stressing the need for much more consequent investments to improve sanitation across places, with a gender perspective in mind. In Mwanza, the festival brought landowners/households and grid system providers together, particularly to deliberate on the issue of sanitation and lack of water supply in the higher/hills of Mabatini and similar localities. Water scarcity was brought up as one of the key impediments to improve sanitation (small low cost off-grid system). The Mwanza Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Authority (MWAUWASA) made public announcement and commitment during the festival that a large water project for Mabatini settlement was due to start soon. As part of the Sanitation Festival in Beira Mozambique, the director of the Autonomous Beira Sanitation Service (SASB) addressed residents' concerns and their suspicions of corruptions by explaining the technical constraints and limitations endured by his institutions as well as the rationale behind interventions or non-interventions. This was a key moment to foster local discussions and understandings. All these elements contribute to effectively addressing sanitation injustices in these cities but the impacts will only be measurable in the longer term.
 
Title Improvements to Social science tools and methods 
Description OVERDUE has devoted so far great efforts to develop research tools and methods that are analytically and culturally sensitive to capture the full complexity of sanitation injustices and taboos. These include: 1. Urban sanitation timelines to capture and visualize continuities and discontinuities across city-sanitation trajectories, including 'promises' (public official statements, policies and plans) and investments on infrastructural developments. 2. Sanitation wheel practices to capture the full universe of formal-informal / individual and collective interventions and relations that sustain sanitation systems across each city analysed. 3. Just sanitation festivals as a contextualized and cultural sensitive means to unearth conspicuous silences and taboos in the way in which sanitation (in)justices are discussed and tackled. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact These different methods are further developed in the "Other knowledge and outputs" section as the categories provided in the "Methods and Tools" sections were too restrictive for us to detail the tools and methods we developed, anchored in feminist political ecology, criticial urban studies, and african studies. 
 
Title Database of Sanitation Collectives 
Description The database contains a list of sanitation collectives in the cities of Mwanza (Tanzania), Beira (Mozambique) and Freetown (Sierra Leone). Sanitation collectives are understood here as groups of actors who engage in sanitation related activities OR that have led campaigns and mobilized to improve sanitation access, quality or services. Sanitation collectives can be formally registered or informal (eg. pit emptiers associations with no official work contract or status), and can directly work in sanitation (e.g. Infrastructure provision, management and cleaning, collection, disposal of waste, treatment and reuse) or be indirectly engaged with sanitation provision and uses (e.g. markets associations, women's NGOs, residents lobbying the municipality etc). This database is a step to identify sanitation practices, to generate new conversations across sanitation users and providers, and to strengthen local capacities to monitor existing facilities, assess needs, and improve access to and control over sanitation services. The database has the form of an excel spreadsheet, where each line is a collective and columns correspond to attributes and characteristics of the collective. Collectives are added through a template interview grid which was collaboratively elaborated by the project team. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact We are still developing this database so the impact on external actors has been limited for now (the database is not publicly available). However, internally this process has generated further discussions on what is a collective, the sampling procedure (eg. how to promote gender equity through the identification and selection of collectives), the consolidation of data (working on shared documents that can be collectively updated by multiple members in a geographically dispersed project). This process has also forced us to reflect critically on how sanitation chains are often portrayed (on grid, off grid, in between) and on the diversity and categories of actors to be included. 
 
Title Repository of recordings voicing "Just Sanitation" 
Description We have generated a dataset of sound recordings titled "Voicing Just Sanitation". In English, French, Gujarati, Portuguese, Spanish. It contains 28 recordings, including three versions produced by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Water and Sanitation. Each recording is about 2 minutes long, with the series as a whole covering the following: (a) celebrating a sanitation hero, (b) voicing an injustice or vision for sanitation justice, and (c) addressing a sanitation taboo. All these recordings have been subtitled in English (some also in French) and are available online on our website and on Vimeo. They emanate from speakers located in a diversity of countries, mostly across Africa (South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Senegal) but also in India, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In terms of Impact, this dataset has enabled us to "bubble up" different experiences and dimensions of sanitation injustice and gender inequality and to initiate an online discussion on why the sanitation 'crisis' needs to be reframed. We have analysed this public and provocative conversation by processing all the subtitles with an online platform (CorTexT), which enables us to identify key terms and map networks of co-occurrence. The graphs were then publicly circulated to reflect on the strong points and gaps of the discussion and to stimulate further contributions to deepen the debate. This revealed a peripheral place for African women in the debate despite their key role across the sanitation chain. The emerging discursive map also provides clear indication of persisting biases and taboos, guiding further efforts to investigate 'silences' and to enrich the debate and research in their direction. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This dataset has been impactful to visualize the ongoing discussion around sanitation in urban Africa. It has helped us to understand and to show the strong points of the debate (dignity, risk, health) as well as those aspects that are less articulated, understood and investigated (for example the double burden of the informal settlements hosting wastewater treatment plants while not being connected). It also revealed the limited space afforded for women's voices despite their crucial role as sanitation users, producers and decision-makers. Additionally it enabled us to bridge discussions beyond linguistic boundaries as we translated and subtitled in several languages and will use these recordings as a first step for further engagements. 
URL https://overdue-justsanitation.net/?page_id=1361#voicingcampaign
 
Description Partnership with COWI A/S & Moz 
Organisation COWI A/S
Department COWI Mozambique
Country Mozambique 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We support this collaboration through a multi-party agreement which contributes financially to COWI A/S & COWI Mozambique as well as expands the topics and methods championed by these institutions. Especially, we are developing community based approaches as well as approaches "with equivalence", based on trust, respect, and mutual learning. COWI is a consultancy firm which has a strong expertise in policy evaluation and project implementation but is less versed into participatory approaches and co-production of knowledge. Working together in this award, we are developing new methods to work in Mozambican cities in partnership with local authorities and communities, to produce fairer and more inclusive sanitation. Our contribution is based on the expertise and approaches developed at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, in the KNOW program as well as by Prof Adriana Allen and Pascale Hofmann working on urban sanitation in multiple cities.
Collaborator Contribution COWI A/S & COWI-Moz contribute to this partnership by leading with the activities implemented and developed in Mozambique, and especially in the city of Beira. They have developed collaborations with a local radio (Mega-FM radio) as part of the award, to generate public discussions around sanitation in Beira. They have also developed a partnership with a local association involved in sanitation (FACE). COWI researchers have also drafted a sanitation profile, collected information regarding sanitation in Beira and contributed to the methodological development of the project, providing inputs at various stages.
Impact This collaboration has resulted in the production of the "Just Sanitation Beira Profile", in the production of a podcast recorded by Catarina Simoes Mavila in November 2020, in the production of a position paper on COVID-19, sanitation, and intersecting inequalities, in the production of 2 radio debates broadcasted on a local radio (Mega-FM Beira) and in connections with organisations based in Beira Mozambique working on sanitation.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Partnership with COWI A/S & Moz 
Organisation COWI A/S
Country Denmark 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We support this collaboration through a multi-party agreement which contributes financially to COWI A/S & COWI Mozambique as well as expands the topics and methods championed by these institutions. Especially, we are developing community based approaches as well as approaches "with equivalence", based on trust, respect, and mutual learning. COWI is a consultancy firm which has a strong expertise in policy evaluation and project implementation but is less versed into participatory approaches and co-production of knowledge. Working together in this award, we are developing new methods to work in Mozambican cities in partnership with local authorities and communities, to produce fairer and more inclusive sanitation. Our contribution is based on the expertise and approaches developed at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, in the KNOW program as well as by Prof Adriana Allen and Pascale Hofmann working on urban sanitation in multiple cities.
Collaborator Contribution COWI A/S & COWI-Moz contribute to this partnership by leading with the activities implemented and developed in Mozambique, and especially in the city of Beira. They have developed collaborations with a local radio (Mega-FM radio) as part of the award, to generate public discussions around sanitation in Beira. They have also developed a partnership with a local association involved in sanitation (FACE). COWI researchers have also drafted a sanitation profile, collected information regarding sanitation in Beira and contributed to the methodological development of the project, providing inputs at various stages.
Impact This collaboration has resulted in the production of the "Just Sanitation Beira Profile", in the production of a podcast recorded by Catarina Simoes Mavila in November 2020, in the production of a position paper on COVID-19, sanitation, and intersecting inequalities, in the production of 2 radio debates broadcasted on a local radio (Mega-FM Beira) and in connections with organisations based in Beira Mozambique working on sanitation.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Partnership with Centre for Community Initiatives Tanzania and Ardhi University (ARU) 
Organisation Ardhi University
Country Tanzania, United Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We support this collaboration through a multi-party agreement which contributes financially to Ardhi University and CCI as well as expands the topics, methods and areas championed by these institutions. In Particular, we are developing work in Mwanza, a secondary city compared to Dar Es Salaam, which enables us to expand the network of both institutions. We contribute to this collaboration by providing capacity building (example Gender Capacity Building), new tools (eg. sanitation timelines) and by sharing methods, litterature and resources. Our contribution is based on the expertise and approaches developed at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, in the KNOW program as well as by the various members brought together by the award and sharing their expertise.
Collaborator Contribution CCI and Ardhi University contribute to this partnership by leading with the activities implemented and developed in Tanzania, and especially in the city of Mwanza. As part of the award, they have organized a sanitation festival in Mwanza which brought together local authorities, residents and sanitation providers. CCI and Ardhi researchers have also drafted a sanitation profile, collected information regarding sanitation in Mwanza and contributed to the methodological development of the project, providing inputs at various stages. CCI further has extensive experience in the construction and maintenance of simplified sewerage systems and engagements with communities around sanitary interventions, which is a major contribution to the different sites where the award operates and the reflections collectively developed.
Impact This collaboration has resulted in the production of a first draft of the "Just Sanitation Mwanza Profile", in the production of a podcast recorded by Richard Prosper in January 2021 and by Prof Wilbard Kombe in December 2020, in the production of a Sanitation festival which created a space for local authorities, sanitation providers and residents to voice their concerns, expectations, and future interventions, in the production of a position paper on COVID-19, sanitation, and intersecting inequalities, and in connections with organisations based in Mwanza Tanzania working on sanitation. Methods adapted to Mwanza have also been developed as a result of this collaboration.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Partnership with Centre for Community Initiatives Tanzania and Ardhi University (ARU) 
Organisation Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI)
Country Tanzania, United Republic of 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We support this collaboration through a multi-party agreement which contributes financially to Ardhi University and CCI as well as expands the topics, methods and areas championed by these institutions. In Particular, we are developing work in Mwanza, a secondary city compared to Dar Es Salaam, which enables us to expand the network of both institutions. We contribute to this collaboration by providing capacity building (example Gender Capacity Building), new tools (eg. sanitation timelines) and by sharing methods, litterature and resources. Our contribution is based on the expertise and approaches developed at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, in the KNOW program as well as by the various members brought together by the award and sharing their expertise.
Collaborator Contribution CCI and Ardhi University contribute to this partnership by leading with the activities implemented and developed in Tanzania, and especially in the city of Mwanza. As part of the award, they have organized a sanitation festival in Mwanza which brought together local authorities, residents and sanitation providers. CCI and Ardhi researchers have also drafted a sanitation profile, collected information regarding sanitation in Mwanza and contributed to the methodological development of the project, providing inputs at various stages. CCI further has extensive experience in the construction and maintenance of simplified sewerage systems and engagements with communities around sanitary interventions, which is a major contribution to the different sites where the award operates and the reflections collectively developed.
Impact This collaboration has resulted in the production of a first draft of the "Just Sanitation Mwanza Profile", in the production of a podcast recorded by Richard Prosper in January 2021 and by Prof Wilbard Kombe in December 2020, in the production of a Sanitation festival which created a space for local authorities, sanitation providers and residents to voice their concerns, expectations, and future interventions, in the production of a position paper on COVID-19, sanitation, and intersecting inequalities, and in connections with organisations based in Mwanza Tanzania working on sanitation. Methods adapted to Mwanza have also been developed as a result of this collaboration.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Partnership with l'Etre Egale 
Organisation L'etre egale
Country France 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We support this collaboration through a multi-party agreement which contributes financially to l'Etre Egale as well as expands the topics covered by this association to include sanitation in urban Africa. L'Etre Egale has supported gender equity in many societies and sectors, but not specifically around the issues of sanitation. Through this partnership we are expanding the range of questions, issues, and institutions covered by l'Etre Egale thus strengthening the intersection between gender and sanitation. We are also bridging the gap between Francophone and Anglophone knowledge communities as L'Etre Egale connects both worlds and circulates knowledge in both directions.
Collaborator Contribution L'Etre Egale contributes to gender mainstreaming in all the OVERDUE meetings, methodological development, and outputs. Through provocative questions and observations, this partner urges us to reflect on how we approach gender relations and to rethink our questions and approaches to support gender equity. L'Etre Egale also intervened in December 2020 in a gender capacity building with Julian Walker (UCL DPU). This will be followed up soon by a second session and reading groups to increase our knowledge and tool box. In parallel L'Etre Egale is supporting the third Work Package of the project by seeking voices of African women to reframe public conversations around sanitation and participate in further capacity building activities and regional dialogues.
Impact This collaboration has resulted in gender mainstreaming in the "Just city Sanitation Profiles", in the production of a podcast recorded by Claudy Vouhé in November 2020, in a capacity building session on gender, in the production of a position paper on COVID-19, sanitation, and intersecting inequalities, and in connections with organisations based in french speaking Africa working on gender and sanitation.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Partnership with the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (SLURC) 
Organisation Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre
Country Sierra Leone 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The research team has contributed to this partnership by co-producing research activities (scanning of sanitation collectives, registering sanitation-infrastructure-practices) and building the capacity of the SLURC researchers (gender capacity building in December 2020).
Collaborator Contribution SLURC has contributed to the partnership by co-producing the methods and results. researchers from SLURC have shaped the interview grids, designed a Sanitation Festival, collected primary information, as well as analyzed the literature on sanitation in Freetown and drafted a Just Sanitation City Profile.
Impact This collaboration has resulted in the production of the "Just Sanitation Freetown city profile", in the production of a Sanitation Tour in Freetown on World Toilet Day (19/11/2020), on 5 audio recordings of sanitation users, providers and researchers, and on 2 short films, as well as over 40 pictures and a blog post. It has also resulted in the co-production of a research method to scan sanitation collectives.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Beira Sanitation Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In the COVID-19 pandemic, the OVERDUE project organized a "Sanitation Festival" in the city of Beira as a context-sensitive way to celebrate sanitation actors and their vital role, while achieving our objectives of supporting actors and institutions who keep communities healthy and documenting the practices around sanitation. In Beira, COWI-Moz launched a call for photos in December 2021 to document sanitation heroes, taboos and (in)justices across the city and change the image of sanitation based on residents' contribution. The call was to finish in January 2021 but the end date had to be reported and the competition suspended due to COVID-19 and the tropical storm Eloise (hit Beira in late December 2020). Radio debates on a local radio (Mega-FM Beira) were also scheduled to spark public discussions around sanitation infrastructure and experiences across the city. The radio collected several testimonies to stimulate reactions and debates of participants coming from governmental agencies, public utilities, local universities and other organisations. This was particularly adapted to the context of the pandemic, reaching the public through radio rather than events requiring their physical presence. Several residents called to share their concerns and experiences. The new mayor of Beira, as well as the director of the sanitation services, and the provincial secretary of the section fighting against HIV/AIDS reaffirmed publicly their commitment to sanitation as a public health priority. The festival contributed to generating new research questions and observations, as well as engagements which we will build upon in the activities to come.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
URL https://overdue-justsanitation.net/?page_id=1000
 
Description Freetown Sanitation Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact During the COVID-19 pandemic, the OVERDUE project organized a "Sanitation Festival" in the city of Freetown as a context-sensitive way to celebrate sanitation actors and their vital role, while achieving our objectives of supporting actors and institutions who keep communities healthy and documenting the practices around sanitation. In Freetown, a sanitation walk was organized by SLURC, connecting different informal settlements of the city to discuss the sanitation situation and interact with residents around key messages that had been previously elaborated. SLURC brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including members of the Freetown City Council, private sanitation service providers (Immaculate, Kari Septic Emptier, Gento Liquid Waste, Charliesc), Brac Sierra Leone, SL Environmental Protection Agency, Action against Hunger, Youth Development Movement, GOAL - Sierra Leone, Concern Worldwide, the Disaster Management Department (Office of National Security), Kissi Manual Pit Emptier, Masada Waste Management Company, the Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor (FEDURP), the Centre for Dialogue on Human Settlements and Poverty Alleviation (CODOHSAPA), YMCA - Sierra Leone and community members/representatives. Together they crafted key messages, and engaged discussions across the city. This was covered by a local journalist and profiled in the local press. This festival was also relayed internationally online through Twitter, Facebook and the project's webpage. The festival contributed to generate new research questions and observations, as well as engagements which we will build upon in the activities to come.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://overdue-justsanitation.net/?page_id=1361#Festival_Freetown
 
Description Mwanza Sanitation Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In the COVID-19 pandemic, the OVERDUE project organized a "Sanitation Festival" in the city of Mwanza as a context-sensitive way to celebrate sanitation actors and their vital role, while achieving our objectives of supporting actors and institutions who keep communities healthy and documenting the practices around sanitation. In Mwanza, CCI and Ardhi university organized a celebration at a local school, presenting several options for safer sanitation, analysing drawings produced by students as well as engaging with residents of the Mabatini neighbourhood. This festival was a key moment where the municipality announced it would further invest in water supply and sanitation in this area and where residents voiced some of the difficulties they were facing to maintain safe sanitation and private and dignified access to facilities. The festival contributed to generating new research questions and observations, as well as engagements which we will build upon in the activities to come.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://overdue-justsanitation.net/?page_id=1361#Festival_Mwanza
 
Description OVERDUE Just Sanitation Facebook page 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The OVERDUE project actively seeks to involve potential beneficiaries and users in the knowledge co-production process, to foster discussions around sanitation, reframe debates, amplify voices and support pathways towards just sanitation. During the reporting period (01 July 2020- 01 March 2021) we launched a dedicated Facebook page to share our work through a social media channel widely used by institutions, residents, associations, and practitioners across African cities to communicate and exchange. The Facebook page thus offers more accessible presence online than the website or the twitter account, while all these communication channels make the project visible and inform interest groups and the general public about the research. It further serves as a relay of resources (articles, voices, results, shared experiences) posted on our website. Though most material online is in English, we have also shared posts in French and in Portuguese, to broaden the scope of engagements. In the long term this will become a space to talk about sanitation and challenge taboos, making them more visible and thus contributing to increased sanitation justice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.facebook.com/overdue.justsanitation
 
Description OVERDUE Twitter Account 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The OVERDUE project actively seeks to involve potential beneficiaries and users in the knowledge co-production process, to foster discussions around sanitation, reframe debates, amplify experiences and support pathways towards just sanitation. During the reporting period (01 July 2020- 01 March 2021) we have set up a dedicated Twitter Account. This is crucial to reach the general public as well as fellow researchers, NGOS, and practitioners interested in sanitation justice in Africa and elsewhere. This account has enabled us to draw attention to our activities and outputs. For example we have aired over 25 short audios on twitter, each one reaching up to 200 views. This has been a first step to reframe the debate around sanitation, enriching it from different perspectives. We have aired voices of practitioners, of researchers, and of users, creating a space for dialogues which cannot currently happen due to COVID-19 and which will live on. The account is also a way to amplify the work of others working on just sanitation and contributes to our objective of challenging the sanitation taboo. It further serves as a relay of resources (articles, voices, results, shared experiences) posted on our website. Though most material on-line is in English, we have also shared posts in French and in Portuguese, to broaden the scope of engagements.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
URL https://twitter.com/Just_OVERDUE
 
Description OVERDUE website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The OVERDUE project actively seeks to involve potential beneficiaries and users in the knowledge co-production process, to foster discussions around sanitation, reframe debates, amplify experiences and support pathways towards just sanitation. During the 01 reporting period (July 2020- 01 March 2021) we have set up a project's dedicated website (https://overdue-justsanitation.net/ ). This is an important engagement activity because it makes the project visible and informs interest groups and the general public about the research. It further serves as an archive and database of resources (articles, voices, results, shared experiences) which can be uptaken by other organisations and projects. The website further provides several means of engagement. We can be contacted by written form online and by oral form (through phone and an online voice messaging). Though most material online is in English, we have also shared some messages and posts in French and in Portuguese, to broaden the scope of engagements.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
URL https://overdue-justsanitation.net/
 
Description Online article SDG at UCL "OVERDUE: A transdisciplinary network is challenging gender inequalities in sanitation across urban Africa." 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact UCL selected OVERDUE to showcase how its research engages with the SDGs. The piece was produced in conversation with a professional journalist. The project was showcased as an initiative contributing to tackling SDG 6.2. "access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations". This enabled us to make public the launch of the project and its website, and to make our research more visible.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/sustainable-development-goals/case-studies/2020/oct/overdue-tackling-sanitatio...
 
Description Voicing Just Sanitation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The "Voicing Just Sanitation" campaign was a major engagement of the OVERDUE project with the public and interest groups . The campaign was launched on World Toilet Day (November 19 2020) to put forward voices and key messages to advance just sanitation and reframe debates and action. The call for short soundtracks (>2min) was structured around the three following questions:
1.Who are the sanitation heroes we should celebrate across African cities?
2.What does urban sanitation (in)justice look like?
3.What taboos should be tackled to ensure safe toilets for all (SDG6)?
As of March 2021 we have received and aired 26 voices speaking from different countries such as India, Kenya, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Senegal, Mozambique, and Tanzania, and diverse perspectives (users, sanitation workers, researchers, practitioners). The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation also contributed to the campaign, recording his message in English, Spanish and French. All these voices were mounted with an OVERDUE cover, subtitled, broadcasted, and uploaded. They form an initial cloud of voices that was circulated to engage with broader publics and institutions. It continues to be used as an engagement forum, to enrich the discussion and increase the visibility of certain taboos, heroes and (in)justices of sanitation in urban Africa. This is an ongoing engagement that will be spotlighted over the years at specific dates (eg. April 7: World Health Day ; April 28: World Day for Safety and Health at Work ; May 28: Menstrual hygiene day ; November 19: World toilet day ; November 25th : International day violence against women).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
URL https://overdue-justsanitation.net/?page_id=1361#voicingcampaign