Comparative assessment of sanitation and hygiene policies and institutional frameworks in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania

Sanitation has attracted increasing political attention in the global development agenda during the last two decades. National governments, development and donor agencies have been rethinking pathways to achieving sanitation and hygiene for all. Policies are considered critical for creating an enabling environment for improving access to sanitation and hygiene services. There are, however, certain requirements that policies must meet for them to be coherent and supportive. This paper presents a comparative assessment of the sanitation policy and institutional frameworks in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. While the assessment finds that the policies in the three countries do meet many of the recommended criteria, and that major reforms in the sector have contributed to improved performance in all three countries, key aspects are still lacking for the sustainability of services and functionality of facilities. A central challenge is that roles and responsibilities for promoting and providing sanitation and hygiene services tend to be widely spread among different government agencies, non-governmental organizations and private operators, and for the most part the roles and responsibilities for sanitation and hygiene are not clearly defined. This creates overlapping interventions and confusion. In each country, coordination on sanitation and hygiene among actors and key stakeholders at different levels is not generally effective. There is, however, an increasing understanding of the this issue, and efforts are being made in the three countries to clarify, redefine and reassign roles and responsibilities to improve coordination in the sector.