Sanitation, Hygiene and Wastewater Resource Guide

More than 2.6 billion people worldwide...

... (40% of us) do not have access to basic sanitation. As a result, they and others suffer severe health risks, significant economic loss, and a fundamental loss of human dignity. Through the Millennium Development Goals, the world is committed to halving the fraction without access to sanitation by 2015. Achieving this goal requires new approaches and innovative thinking.

 sanitation and hygiene - why they matter

Who is the Guide for?

This Guide has been written primarily for non-specialist staff in the World Bank involved in planning, developing, or managing activities which may include urban or rural sanitation and hygiene. The Guide should also be useful for others interested in learning more about sanitation and hygiene.


The Guide is a concise introductory review of challenges and approaches to the management of human excreta. Broader environmental sanitation issues (e.g. drainage, solid waste management, vector control and water supply)are not directly addressed in this guide. References and links have been carefully selected to give the reader ready access to the best resources currently available. Service provision in sanitation and hygiene involves four main components that must be understood and addressed when designing or implementing a new sanitation project: 

  • institutions required to implement and sustain improved sanitation and hygiene at scale.
  • infrastructure itself (the physical hardware of latrines and sewers);
  • promotion of behavior change, both for hygiene, and for household investment in infrastructure;
  • finance required to pay for the infrastructure and promotion.

This Sanitation, Hygiene and Wastewater Resource Guide describes sanitation problems and solutions through the above framework, and guides the reader to available resources on these topics.

In addition, we need to be clear about the benefits of sanitation and hygiene to champion increases in sanitation investments effectively, these are described in Sanitation and Hygiene: Why They Matter.