By 2030, over 60% of the world’s population will live and work in urban environments. With dynamic growth, however, comes emerging challenges that deserve closer examination and dialogue. Capacities of local governments are overstretched, and many face the lack of human and financial resources to cope with the rapid changes. In fact, the majority of the urban poor in Asia are still without access to adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services.
As the region rapidly and haphazardly urbanizes, it will be critical to ensure that public services in urban areas are delivered in an efficient and inclusive manner. Without access to WASH services, people living in poverty stricken areas suffer from poor health. The scale and pace of urbanization in the region requires new approaches that engage with whole systems to achieve impact at scale. As the range and volume of stakeholders in cities have expanded from its original citizens to include foreign and rural migrant workers as well as other marginalized groups, approaches to tackle WASH problems increasingly require multi-sectoral approaches and collaboration between all stakeholders involved.
Moreover, governance in urban areas is often fragmented, with multiple actors and no single entity holding overall responsibility for urban development. It is often the case that there will be multiple agencies with overlapping jurisdictions and responsibilities within a municipality. In light of these governance challenges and complex structures in an urban context, WASH policies and programmes that focus exclusively on the technical challenges of delivering these services are bound to struggle to achieve their objectives. Creating sustainable solutions for WASH involves institutional governance mechanisms such as policy, regulation, delivery, and oversight, as well as the application of wider good governance principles of active citizenship, transparency, and social accountability.
Time: 9.00 – 17.00
Date: 7-8 May 2015
Venue: Aetas Ploenchit, Bangkok Thailand