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The Urban Sanitation Challenge - Financing water and sanitation for the urban poor in developing world cities. This 3-hour workshop, led by the Global Challenges Initiative and London-based not-for-profit Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), will explore research prospects in the area of urban sanitation. Please register here.

Millions of slum-dwellers worldwide live with grossly deficient sanitation, and improving urban sanitation services is a critically important SDG target.

WSUP works with sanitation service providers (SMEs, utilities, municipal governments) in Africa and South Asia, to support provision of financially viable and socially equitable sanitation solutions in cities. WSUP is now beginning the roll-out of a 4-year programme of research around urban sanitation, primarily focused in Ghana, Kenya and Bangladesh, and with core funding of GBP 4m from DFID. 

A primary WSUP interest is sanitation financing, and specific projects within this programme are likely to focus on inter-related aspects including consumer willingness-to-pay, cost projection and modelling, market development and private-sector enablement, and public financing mechanisms including ring-fenced taxation and cross-subsidy. Following extensive consultation with in-country actors, WSUP will be releasing diverse competitive calls in coming months, and this workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss the design of calls (for which Cambridge researchers will of course be very welcome to bid). 

The workshop will also facilitate wider discussion around research priorities in the urban water and sanitation domain, and around prospects for partnership in bids for other research funding streams, including GCRF. We anticipate a stimulating, participative and useful workshop, and warmly invite interested researchers to join us.

Welcome to Cambridge Global Challenges

Cambridge Global Challenges is the Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular focus on the poorest half of the world’s population.


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