Despite huge investments in the water and sanitation sector over the years, millions of urban poor communities still remain unserved with adequate water supply and improved sanitation services. Part of the problem has been the failure to give attention to indicators, financial mechanisms and institutions that are designed by local organizations at local level. This paper, which describes an ongoing project, shows that there are many innovative and inspiring examples of locally driven initiatives that improve water and sanitation in low-income urban areas. The project aims to create an environment where local teams can learn directly from each other and provide a basis for better understanding of how to identify and build upon local initiatives that are likely to improve water and sanitation in low-income urban settlements. Although efforts to replicate such local successes have been disappointing, there have been important advances in local information collection, financing and organization.