The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


KNOW Working Paper - No. 9

Coproduced pathways toward service provision equality: the case of simplified sewerage in Mji Mpya, Dar es Salaam

Kanga pattern

9 February 2023

By Pascale Hofmann, Tim Ndezi and Festo Makoba Dominick

This working paper examines a simplified sewerage system in Dar es Salaam to explore its potential as coproduced pathway between citizens and the state toward service provision equality. Sanitation provision continues to lag behind in many cities in the Global South. Despite some noticeable utility efforts, a city-wide approach to address sanitation inadequacies at scale has largely been missing, with sanitation service deficiencies particularly pronounced in informal settlements.

Dar es Salaam has been a fertile ground for various actors to experiment with innovative solutions that could help to fill the sanitation service gap. This includes a simplified sewerage system (SSS) in a lowincome settlement where sanitation infrastructure and services are co-produced between low-income communities and state actors.

The critical analysis of the SSS offered in this paper pays particular attention to the evolution of the scheme within the wider development of the settlement to examine its scope to enhance the provision of and access to sanitation and address service provision inequalities. The analysis focuses primarily on the coproduction arrangements between actors across the service delivery cycle and their implication for the accessibility and affordability of sanitation services.

This emphasises the importance of long term community involvement across the entire service delivery cycle while highlighting a needed shift from treating low income residents as convenient participants to meaningful long term coproduction partners. Tackling existing power imbalances within the community and across co-production partners can prevent negative implications for the most vulnerable, foster inclusion and challenge the reproduction and reinforcement of existing inequalities over time.

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