Assessing organisational capacity for sanitation planning and investment in three Bangladeshi cities

Project Duration May 2017 - March 2018 Category: Institutional frameworks and capacity Country: Bangladesh Delivered by: ITN-BUET
Themes: Finance Planning Research Sanitation Urban Sanitation Research Initiative


To assess how Bangladeshi City Corporations (specifically Dhaka North, Chittagong and Rangpur) deliver sanitation services to their citizens and how the external environment and long-term, operational and short-term factors influence City Corporations’ capacity to plan, finance, design and implement sustainable sanitation services.


Despite Bangladesh’s achievement of eradicating open defecation, access to improved sanitation facilities remains poor in low-income areas in the three cities.

  • City Corporations are not adequately aware of their role in providing and managing sanitation.
  • City Corporation staff have few opportunities to participate in sanitation planning activities.
  • City Corporations do not have a unit dedicated to providing sanitation services.
  • Internally-generated revenue within City Corporations tends to be low, and central government allocations are not sufficient.

None of the City Corporations assessed have a mission statement or a commitment to improving sanitation.


This project examined three of Bangladesh’s 12 City Corporations (CCs), but the findings are indicative of a wider lack of local government capacity to deliver safe and equitable urban sanitation. For this to improve, strong leadership and clear strategies are required. Elected Mayors of CCs can provide such direction: for example, the creation of dedicated Sanitation Units within individual CCs with support from the local government division would be a major step forward, helping to promote enhanced institutional focus and coordination. In parallel, each CC should design a comprehensive plan for improving city sanitation systems (including FSM), investment (including development of public-private partnerships) and services that are accessible for the poorest.

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