Knowledge Hub Filter

WASH: Improving Provision for Urban Children

Author(s): Sheridan Bartlett, Corina Shika Kwami, Priti Parikh

Language: English

Download PDF


Billions of people in the global South remain unserved by adequate provision for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Some of the most significant challenges in addressing the backlog are in urban areas, where high densities complicate conditions. As local authorities struggle to keep up with rapidly growing urban populations, the number of unserved households continues to grow, particularly in informal settlements in sub-Saharan Africa. Inadequate WASH provision, detrimental to all residents, poses particular challenges for the health and safety of children and even for their long-term development.

This briefing highlights the problems related to urban WASH access and presents research findings on the impact on children of different ages, especially young children and adolescent girls. Building on promising practices and lessons learnt, this briefing also includes guidance for NGOs for supporting improved access to WASH and hence living conditions for children in urban contexts.

The Research Series: Cities for Children and Youth is published by the Global Alliance – Cities 4 Children. This series includes publications reflecting on a range of issues faced by urban children and youth and will shed light on promising initiatives and practices for sustained change. The series aims to inspire action, add to knowledge, improve program/project design and advocate for children’s and young people’s rights in the urban agenda. It is aimed at practitioners, policy makers, government officials, researchers and advocates for better cities for children and youth and will include a range of publications:

  • Evidence to action briefs: These are short research summaries about different topics that are important to address when thinking about child rights and the well-being of children and young people in urban contexts.
  • Case studies of success from different urban contexts to inspire change and action
  • Country/city reports about the situation of children in urban areas
  • Practical tools to work with children and young people to encourage their participation, better understand their needs and support their contributions in the urban context.
  • If you would like to contribute to this series please contact us here.
WASH: Improving provision for urban children