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    Review of 'Synergies and Trade-offs between Sanitation and the Sustainable Development Goals'

    Synergies and Trade-offs between Sanitation and the Sustainable Development GoalsCrossref
    Average rating:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of importance:
        Rated 5 of 5.
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        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of completeness:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of comprehensibility:
        Rated 3 of 5.
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    Synergies and Trade-offs between Sanitation and the Sustainable Development Goals

     priti parikh (corresponding) ,  Loan Diep,  pascale hofmann (2020)
    Better understanding of the range of opportunities that can be leveraged from the sustainable and inclusive management of sanitation services is required, alongside the evidence to support it. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a comprehensive framework for sustainable development broken down into 169 Targets articulated under 17 interconnected Goals. Based on a methodology developed at University College London (UCL), this study identifies linkages between sanitation and each of the 169 Targets on the basis of published evidence. We show that there are synergies between sanitation and 130 (77%) of the Targets and trade-offs for 28 (17%) of the Targets. With synergies with all the 17 Goals we identified 83 Targets (49%) that call for action in the sanitation sector. The results demonstrate the far-reaching benefits that can be unlocked from investment in sanitation, which extend beyond health and spread across sectors. This seeks to provide the evidence base to inform strategic investment in sanitation and particularly by integrating sanitation interventions into collaborative cross-sectoral development efforts. The research provides different stakeholders, including policymakers, funders, practitioners and researchers, with a framework that can be applied to context specific cases and projects. We propose a range of recommendations to policy-makers, practitioners, and researchers who seek to take this study further to support delivery of sustainable and inclusive sanitation services for all.

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      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at


      Review text

      It is a fascinating and systematic evaluation of the interactions between sanitation and the SDG. However it would benefit from careful, ruthless editing to ensure clarity through out.

      A flaw with the method is that it is based on looking at the peer reviewed literature. It is therefore only capable of evaluating hypotheses that have been tested previously. This could lead to important aspects being overlooked: for example climate change. As I said this flaw is inherent to the method used and cannot therefore be rectified. However, it can be acknowledged as a limitation of the study.

      The lessons for policy makers practitioners and researchers are well made. However, the discussion will be more powerful if it focusses on those conclusions we can reasonably draw from the research presented and refrains from sentiments which though laudable are not directly supported by the findings of the researchers.




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