SLH Learning Brief;9

Strengthening Sub-national Systems for Area-wide Sanitation and Hygiene

Published on 20 May 2021

For some time, local government leadership has been recognised as key to ensuring sustainability and scale and it is an important component of the emerging use of systems strengthening approaches in the sanitation and hygiene (S&H) sector.

From late 2020 to early 2021, the Sanitation Learning Hub (SLH) collaborated with local government actors and development partners from three sub-national areas to explore ways of increasing local government leadership and prioritisation of sanitation and hygiene (S&H) to drive progress towards area-wide S&H.  It is hoped that this work will provide practical experiences to contribute to this thinking.

Case studies were developed to capture local government and development partners’ experiences supporting sub-national governments increase their leadership and prioritisation of S&H in Siaya County (Kenya, with UNICEF), Nyamagabe District (Rwanda, with WaterAid) and Moyo District (Uganda, with WSSCC), all of which have seen progress in recent years. The cases were then explored through three online workshops with staff from the local governments, central government ministries and development partners involved to review experiences and identify levers and blockages to change. This document presents key findings from this process.

French and Portuguese translations are also available via the OpenDocs link to the right.

Cite this publication

Coultas. M (2021). ‘Strengthening Sub-national Systems for Area-wide Sanitation and Hygiene’ Sanitation Learning Hub Learning Brief 9, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI:


Mimi Coultas

Research Officer

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Programmes and centres
The Sanitation Learning Hub

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