Department Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development

Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS)

CWIS is a paradigm shift in urban sanitation, and places equity, public & environmental health and coexistence of hybrid sanitation systems at its centerpiece. This concept is under constant evolution with research and practice taking place simultaneously. It aims to create consensus bringing together major sector players such as the World Bank, Gates Foundation, WaterAid, Leeds and Emory Universities among others, placing their efforts with a unified front.

Sandec has been at the forefront of research on urban sanitation, and several projects contribute to the CWIS initiative. The following projects have a direct relevance. 

Planning for CWIS

This PhD project aims to develop a novel planning methodology for the paradigm shift in urban sanitation for cities of developing countries. It aims to bridge top-down and bottom-up planning approaches for different sanitation contexts. With a focus on India, at a time when sanitation has received its highest priority and such research will be useful for future citywide inclusive sanitation planning.

»Download the PhD Research Brief

Capacity Development

The ConCaD project aims to build capacity in private sector consulting towards the planning, designing and implementation of Citywide Inclusive Sanitation. The purpose of increased consultant capacity is to improve the delivery and sustainability of sanitation services to poor and non-poor communities and increase the impact of sanitation investments at city scale in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with a particular focus on 'at scale' sanitation services funded by Governments and or through international financing institutions and development partners.

Towards CWIS Series

The video Towards CWIS Series portrays African and Asian cities moving towards citywide inclusive sanitation. Sanitation experts from Kampala (Uganda), Lusaka (Zambia), Kathmandu (Nepal), Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Dhaka (Bangladesh) tell the sanitation story of their cities, give personal insights into their work, provide background information about the current sanitation situation in their cities, share their visions and highlight inspiring initiatives.

Publications and Reports

A special issue on Citywide Inclusive Sanitation is put together and several articles are published in the international peer reviewed journal, Frontiers in Environmental Science.

These articles are available on open access at