UNITAR Online Catalogue

Governance in Urban Sanitation 2014

3 Oct 2014
10 Weeks
Área del programa
Local Development
600,00 US$
Correo Electrónico del Centro de Coordinación del Evento


In 2000, the United Nations adopted the Millennium Development Goals that challenged the global community to reduce poverty and increase the health and well-being of all peoples. Particularly, the global sanitation target was set to halve the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by the year 2015.

However, nearly 40% of the world’s population still lacks adequate sanitation. Developing access to sanitation services poses technical, institutional, financial and also social and cultural challenges. Major obstacles relate to governance deficiencies, especially the lack of adequate institutional framework. Other hindrances include the weak priority given to sanitation and the insufficiency of substantial investment in the sector. Besides investment, sustainable solutions should also adequately address the other dimensions, especially institutional and financial aspects. It is thus essential to implement sustainable institutional arrangements ensuring the setting up of a political anchor for the sanitation sector as well as responsiveness to the demand, transparency and accountability to users, financial sustainability, and the involvement of all the actors in their area of expertise.

Objetivos del evento

This e-learning course aims to enhance the capacity of local decision-makers and sanitation professionals to make the most enlightened decisions and investments in the area of urban sanitation. Additionally, it provides analytical tools to understand the financial and institutional framework of the sanitation sector, taking into account the needs of urban poor communities.

Objetivos del aprendizaje

 At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the benefits of sanitation;
  • Analyze costs and financing of sanitation services;
  • Identify suitable institutional arrangements and evaluate service provider options, benefits and limits;
  • Integrate accountability when structuring relationships;
  • Make communities and microfinance organizations partners in extending sanitation services to the poor;
  • Assess specific situations and recommend financial and institutional strategies at the local level towards urban sanitation improvement.

Contenido y estructura


Module 1: Introduction to Sanitation
Module 2: Economics, Pricing and Financing of the Sanitation Sector
Module 3: Institutional Aspects of the Sanitation Sector
Module 4: Sanitation and Poverty
The course is composed of 4 modules that are covered in a period of 10 weeks, corresponding to about 50 hours learning time. On average the course requires 5 hours of study time per week.


This 4-module course is e-learning, asynchronous, self-paced, tutor facilitated and is based on UNITAR’s sound adult learning pedagogical principles. The modules include interactive lessons and illustrated narratives that introduce the participant to the conceptual foundations of governance in urban sanitation. Taking advantage of the opportunities of technology-enhanced learning, the learning materials are presented through various media, such as text, graphs, images and video material, which contribute to better retention and enhance the learning process.

Participants also engage in the development of a case study, where they can apply the knowledge gained to a real-life scenario. Peer reviews and discussion forums are other core elements of the course, organized to create collective knowledge and to facilitate interaction and experience sharing. Each module also includes self-assessment exercises as well as quizzes.
A high level sanitation expert guides participants through this learning process, delivering and conveying information, clarifying doubts and supporting participants through the different activities. 


Público objetivo

The course is open to decision-makers from local governments as well as representatives of service providers (national governments, private sector, NGOs) and international organizations involved in the sanitation sector worldwide. It is advisable to have prior basic knowledge of urban sanitation and/or urban environmental issues.  

Información adicional

Course Completion & Certification

Successful completion of the course requires participants to achieve a minimum total score of 70% and entitles to a certificate of completion. A certificate of participation will be issued to participants who took all the mandatory exercises but achieved a score inferior to 70%.
Technical Requirements
  • Platform: Windows 95 or later versions; MacOS 9 or MacOS X; Linux
  • Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space
  • Software: Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Office
  • Browser: IE 8, Firefox 4, Google Chrome 11, Safari 5 
  • Basic computer skills and an understanding of navigation on internet
  • A good internet connection is necessary

Download the flyer here.