How to strengthen local government leadership for sanitation and hygiene

December 2021

At AfricaSan6 conference (Tuesday 23rd November 2021), the Sanitation Learning Hub facilitated this free online session on how to galvanise and sustain support of local governments for sanitation and hygiene(recording 1hr 27mins)

In the session panellists shared concrete examples of local government leadership mainly from West Africa, looking at what leads to prioritisation of sanitation and hygiene, and identifying commonalities and transferable knowledge.

The session builds on the work of the Sanitation Learning Hub (SLH) with government representatives and development partners from local areas in East and West Africa in 2020-2021.

Panellists and presenters:

  • Afou Chantal Bengaly (IRC-WASH, Mali)
  • Shadrack Guusu (United Purpose, Nigeria)
  • Will Tillet  (United Purpose, UK) TBC
  • Firmin Akpako (Helvetas, Benin)
  • Antoine Kocher (Helvetas, Benin) TBC
  • Issifu Adama (UNICEF, Ghana)
  • Nana Kobea-Bonso (University for Development Studies, Ghana)
  • Rashida Mohammed (Yendi Municipal, Ghana)


  • Gian Melloni (Sanitation Learning Hub, UK)
  • Jamie Myers (Sanitation Learning Hub, UK)
  • Jolly Ann Maulit (UNICEF West and Central Africa regional office, Senegal) TBC


The Ngor Declaration of 2015 set forth commitments towards “strong leadership and coordination at all levels to build and sustain governance for sanitation and hygiene” (Commitment 4). However, guidance on how to foster this is limited, particularly at the local government level where the responsibility for sanitation and hygiene often sits.

To bridge this gap, the SLH collaborated with local governments and development partners from seven local areas in East and West Africa, promoting cross-learning among stakeholders. This session presents the main findings from East and West Africa, with a focus on examples of local government prioritisation of sanitation and hygiene, on the emerging lessons and recommendations, and on their implications for the sector at large. This aims to stimulate reflections around replicating successes and adapting strategies in different contexts in Africa, and it aims to influence policy and practice.

The session runs for 1hr 30mins. In the first part, we introduce the research and learning initiative carried out in East and West Africa, and we present its emerging findings and recommendations. In the second part, we facilitate a debate with a selected group of panellists from the participants in the learning initiative, where AfricaSan6 conference attendees are welcome to ask questions and interact with the panellists, and we reflect together on commonalities, differences and ways forward.

Share this resource

Learn more about SLH Research

We use a range of research approaches, which aim to draw attention to urgent knowledge gaps, blind spots and emerging questions, often at a critical point in time, to support policy-makers, practitioners and partners in navigating and responding swiftly.

SLH Research and Learning