Abstract for: Integrating Physical and Socioeconomic Dynamics of Sanitation Issues in Africa

A major development objective has always been the availability of services for safe management of water, sanitation, and hygiene. Despite this, many African countries' urban areas continue to face serious sanitation issues. In order to introduce systems thinking and address sanitation issues with systems thinking perspective, a workshop has been conducted in Nairobi, Kenya. Through this workshop participants engaged in systems thinking and system dynamics to help them understand and improve sanitation issues in Africa. During the workshop, the participants created causal loop diagrams about socioeconomic aspects of sanitation to identify key variables and relationships. In addition to causal loop diagrams, a system dynamics model created to give widely used shit-flow diagrams to cover physical aspects of sanitation sector, a dynamic perspective and use it to analyse the sanitation system. Although there are other studies where they apply systems thinking to the sanitation problems in Africa and produced causal systems maps, there were no dynamic simulations that would allow policy design and testing. This model attempts to fill this gap in the sanitation literature. Dynamic simulation of the system has been shown to offer options for testing and designing sanitation-related policies.