The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Policy briefs from DPU summerlab 2022 series in São Paulo published

18 July 2023

A policy brief has been produced from a participatory research in São Paulo exploring linkages between sanitation and the SDGs led by DPU's Dr Pascale Hofmann in collaboration with FESPSP and research fellow Lourenço Capriglione (MSc ESD alumnus)

Sao Paulo peole sitting round table in favela street

As part of the 2022 DPU Summerlab Special Research Fellowship series, Lourenço Capriglione (MSc ESD alumnus) was a research fellow in a participatory research exploring linkages between sanitation and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Brazil. The research was led by Dr Pascale Hofmann (DPU) in collaboration with Dr Tathiana Chicarino and Dr Elcires Pimenta from Fundação Escola de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo (FESPSP), one of DPU’s partner organisations. The research focused on a context-specific examination of synergies and risks between sanitation and the SGDs in the municipality of  Campinas in the state of São Paulo with particular emphasis on informal settlements, given their disproportionate vulnerability to sanitation inadequacies. The research engaged with representatives from the public utility company and the municipality and further involved fieldwork in one of the municipality‘s informal settlements.

The research builds on an important series of work by a multidisciplinary UCL team examining links between sanitation and the SDGs at globalnational and local level. Findings from the research in Campinas highlight synergies between sanitation and multiple SDG targets. They further point out that utility efforts must be combined with multi-sectoral, participatory and context-specific policies, plans and interventions to overcome interconnected risks and harness the far-reaching benefits of sanitation. The team produced a policy brief entitled "Sanitation in informal settlements: integrated local action towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Campinas" with key recommendations. The document is available in English and Portuguese. The policy brief will be officially launched in Sao Paulo in August this year through a hybrid event organised by FESPSP.

From Lourenço's perspective, coming back to his home country for the DPU Summerlab was at the same time an exciting and challenging experience. "I always took for granted the water on my tap and a toilet in the house, without putting a lot of thought into where it was coming from or where it was going. Although I was in my home county, I was immersed in a different context and geography. During the process, I carefully reflected on the ethical implications of our work, which included not creating expectations about short-term sanitation improvements for the residents involved. The research team was always open to innovative ideas and collaboration, and I have learned a lot from each of them. I am convinced that our research and policy brief will leverage positive changes in the community.  Both the municipality and utility company were very open for the project and confident with the relevance of its results."

Download the Policy Briefs

Sanitation in Informal Settlements: Integrated local action towards meeting the SustainableDevelopment Goals (SDGs) in Campinas (English)

Saneamento em Núcleos Urbanos Informais: Ação Local Integrada para o Cumprimento dos Objetivos deDesenvolvimento Sustentável em Campinas (Português)