Synergies and trade-offs between sanitation and the Sustainable Development Goals
Non-technical summary: This page contains the non-technical summary of Synergies and trade-offs between sanitation and the Sustainable Development Goals
2 July 2021
- Title: Synergies and trade-offs between sanitation and the Sustainable Development Goals
- Publications/funder: UCL Open: Environment
- Date accepted: 27/04/2021
- Authors: Priti Parikh. Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, UCL; Loan Diep. Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, UCL; Pascale Hoffman. Development Planning Unit, UCL; Julia Tomei. Institute for Sustainable Resources, UCL; Luiza C. Campos, Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, UCL; Tse-Hui The. Bartlett School of Planning, UCL; Yacob Mulugetta. Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy, UCL; Ben Milligan. University of New South Wales; Monica Lakhanpaul. Integrated Community Child Health, UCL
Access to sanitation brings many benefits, including reduced disease, enhanced quality of life and productivity, and improved safety especially for women and girls. Yet, in 2017, more than half the world’s population – some 4.2 billion people – lacked access to safely managed sanitation. This challenge is recognised in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) – a framework for sustainable development, which comprises 17 interconnected Goals and 169 Targets. One of these Targets, SDG6.2 calls for adequate and equitable sanitation for all. We were interested to understand the ways in which action to improve access to sanitation impacts the SDGs, both positive and negative. In the paper, we use a methodology developed at University College London (UCL) to identify linkages between sanitation and all other SDGs. We found that there were positive linkages between sanitation and 130 (77%) of the Targets, and trade-offs for 28 (17%) of the Targets. The results demonstrate the far-reaching benefits that can be delivered by investment in sanitation, many of which extend well beyond the health sector. The paper provides an evidence base to inform action and to support collaboration and investment for enhanced access to sanitation.