Across South-east Asia many of the poorest communities live on marginal land or over water. Owing to adverse geographic and climatic conditions in these areas, neither conventional nor most well known ‘alternative’ sanitation options are feasible at affordable prices for poor communities or poor governments. A recent study in the region has started to develop a typology of challenging environments for sanitation as a means to: assess the scale of the challenges; understand the specific issues involved in improving sanitation; identify, develop or improve sanitation technologies to cope with different environments; and to disseminate the results in the study countries, regionally and beyond.
Governments around the world are trying public-private partnerships where their own provision of water and sanitation services has proven inadequate. This article describes a number of different forms these partnerships can take.