SFD - a tool to foster sustainable urban sanitation

Work overview

SFD Phase - I builds on the service delivery assessment and faecal waste flow diagrams (or Shit Flow Diagrams, SFDs) developed by the World Bank – Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). SFD is a visualization tool that summarizes complex information into an easy-to-understand diagram, as it simply shows how excreta is or is not contained along the sanitation value chain. The diagrams are backed by a service delivery context description and information on data sources in the city concerned. The SFD Promotion Initiative consists of six partner institutions and its main objective is the development and rollout of SFDs. The approach is currently being tested in 50 cities worldwide and the results will be disseminated via the SFD web portal hosted by the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) platform (www.sfd.susana.org).

Since November 2014, GIZ has been supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through a one year start-up grant to support the promotion of this approach. The SFD Promotion Initiative, a consortium formed by key partner institutions ( CSE, University of Leeds, WEDC Lougborough, EAWAG –SANDEC, WSP- World Bank and GIZ), is further developing tools for the easy production of standardized SFDs and service delivery context descriptions. CSE as part of consortia has till date produced 11 SFDs (for Indian cities) based on desktop research and have also developed 2 of these SFDs further by field based data collection and engaging with key stakeholders. 


How Indian cities perform in Excreta (septage and sewage) Management, 2016



SFD Phase - II


Excreta flow diagrams (also often described as shit flow diagram, SFD) are increasingly used to analyze the sanitation in urban areas. Modifications of the method are also being used to generate the first generation of national estimates of percentage of the population with access to ‘safely managed sanitation’.

Phase II of the initiative is based on demand driven approach unlike phase I in which the consortium had chosen the cities.

CSE along with partner institutions intends to provide support to participating cities and towns, which are keen to develop SFDs for their cities and to use it as a planning tool to improve the sanitation of the city. Phase II also aims to refine the existing tool based on the empirical validation.

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Contact for further information

SFD Initiative Co-ordinator
(Email: sfdhelpdesk@cseindia.org)
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE),
41-Tuglakabad Institutional Area,
New Delhi–110062
Tel. 91- 11 -40616000
Fax. 91-11-29955879
Website: www.cseindia.org