The Government of Indonesia executed the Indonesia Sanitation Sector Development Program (ISSDP, April 2006 - January 2010), with financial support from the Governments of the Netherlands and Sweden, as well as management support from the World Bank's Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). The program assisted a dozen cities to improve sanitation in a wider sense. It covered safe disposal of human excreta and waste water, local drainage, solid waste management and promotion of hygienic practices. The program was demand-based: the cities brought in their own human and financial resources, but got technical assistance for sanitation situation assessments and mapping, sanitation strategy and program development, and finding additional resources for increased implementation.

The program had three major thrusts: (1) develop an enabling sanitation environment, (2) raise sanitation awareness and promote good hygiene, and (3) build city sanitation planning capacities and develop city sanitation strategies. The promotion component included development of poor-inclusive sanitation intervention, assisting men, women and children in the poorest neighborhoods to strengthen good and improve bad sanitation and hygiene conditions and practices.

Community empowerment is important in urban sanitation development, but at the same time, requires that the social and technical institutions in charge of empowerment and sanitation adopt new skills and techniques for working with communities. Without the right skills to assist the communities, build their skills, and provide some minimal monitoring of performance afterwards, there is a risk of over-expecting what a community can manage. Community empowerment with gender- and poor-inclusive approaches must be integrated into all stages of urban sanitation development, i.e. (1) the organizational development, (2) review of related existing projects and services, (3) formulation of an overall city sanitation strategy and program, and (4) local project planning. Equitably attention for gender and poor is part of the overall organization, strategy formulation, local action planning, program and projects development and implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of outputs, outcomes and impacts.

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