I have worked in sanitation in developing countries for 30 years, during which time the increase in services has barely kept up with population growth. Consequently billions of people still lack safely-managed sanitation. Clearly, we need to change the way we work in order to serve those people.
One way to do this is by involving private sector companies much more. The private sector can provide efficient and cost-effective services to those people, regulated and enabled (and sometimes subsidised, if appropriate) by the public sector.
Since it was founded a few years ago, the Toilet Board Coalition has aimed to explain the capabilities of the private sector and hence to build stronger links between the private sector and the mainstream development world, for example applying circular economy principles to sanitation and attracting impact investors into sanitation.
The TBC’s Global Sanitation Economy Summit in Pune on 18-21 November will present examples and case studies on these subjects. Private sector innovators and entrepreneurs will be there, alongside investors and financiers and development professionals. At this Summit we can all learn so much and then apply our new knowledge to serve poor people with good-quality sanitation services.