Journal Article


Some for All?’ Politics and Pathways in Water and Sanitation

Published on 29 January 2012

This IDS Bulletin looks back at the legacy of the UN’s New Delhi 1990 global consultation and the Dublin Conference that followed, assessing their meaning and significance, and challenging the wider global water and sanitation community to rethink approaches and emphases, shifting from targets and pronouncement to sustainability and local knowledge, in the context of 2015, the 6th World Water Forum and Rio+20 in 2012. Under the slogan, ‘Some for All Rather than More for Some’, the New Delhi Statement was expected to set a course for the global community to follow in the 1990s.

Articles in this issue derive from Liquid Dynamics II, a STEPS Water and Sanitation Symposium, which brought together current thinkers and past architects of the Statement, as well as academics and those deeply involved in current policy and practice. The notion of Liquid Dynamics helps us address interdisciplinary perspectives and practical action to tackle upfront the challenges of sustainability, uncertainty and social justice in water and sanitation access.

These dynamics have often been ignored in conventional policy approaches, with water and sanitation debates disconnected from the everyday needs of the poor. In 2015, the UN Freshwater Decade will have ended and the MDG targets will come under a critical spotlight – a global policy juncture. We hope that the underlying message of this IDS Bulletin – that it is vital not to forget the past and rush to new futures – will become part of global public discourse in the coming post-MDG world. Understanding how we have arrived at the current situation is key to understanding future pathways to more effective global collective action.

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Introduction: ‘Some for All Rather than More for Some’? Contested Pathways and Politics since the 1990 New Delhi Statement Alan Nicol, Lyla Mehta and Jeremy Allouche


Some for All Rather than More for Some: A Myth or a Reality? Gourisankar Ghosh

Barriers and Opportunities for Sanitation and Water for All, as Envisaged by the New Delhi Statement Jon Lane


Anti-Privatisation Debates, Opaque Rules and ‘Privatised’ Water Services Provision: Some Lessons from Indonesia Mohamad Mova Al ‘Afghani

Pipe Dreams? The Governance of Urban Water Supply in Informal Settlements, New Delhi Suneetha Dasappa Kacker and Anuradha Joshi

Swajaldhara: ‘Reversed’ Realities in Rural Water Supply in India Shilpi Srivastava

Enabling or Disabling? Reflections on the Ethiopian National WASH Inventory Process Katharina Welle, Florian Schaefer, John Butterworth and Kristof Bostoen


Redefining Water Security through Social Reproduction: Lessons Learned from Rajasthan’s ‘Ocean of Sand’ Michael Mascarenhas

Closing the Gap between ‘Expert’ and ‘Lay’ Knowledge in the Governance of Wastewater: Lessons and Reflections from New Delhi Tim Karpouzoglou and Anna Zimmer

Is Water Policy the New Water Law? Rethinking the Place of Law in Water Sector Reforms Philippe Cullet

Negotiating Marginalities: Right to the City’s Water Nishtha Mehta


Sanitation: What’s the Real Problem? Duncan Mara

Why not Basics for All? Scopes and Challenges of Community-led Total Sanitation Kamal Kar

Working Locally and Globally for Lasting Change: Linking Community Demand and Political Leadership Barbara Frost


Equity and Inclusion in Sanitation and Hygiene in South Asia: A Regional Synthesis Ravi Narayanan, Hendrik van Norden, Louisa Gosling and Archana Patkar

Needs, Rights and Responsibilities in Water Governance: Some Reflections Synne Movik


Lyla Mehta

Professorial Fellow

Jeremy Allouche

Professorial Fellow

Publication details

published by
Nicol, A., Mehta, L. and Allouche, J.
Nicol, A., Mehta, L. and Allouche, J.
IDS Bulletin, volume 43, issue 2


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