Several members of the Athena Infonomics team participated in a series of captivating events focused on innovative approaches to inclusive sanitation at the 2022 International Water Association World Water Congress and Exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark.
During a September 13 workshop, Athena Co-founder and Partner Deepa Karthykeyan shared insights from our work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) initiative—focused on eight cities across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia that are redesigning their urban sanitation service systems with a CWIS approach—to advocate for joining efforts to strengthen city data systems that center around the needs of local service authorities. In her speech, Karthykeyan emphasized the need to reimagine data system infrastructure in a way that empowers service authorities to generate and use reliable data on customers, assets, operations, finance, and service quality.
Then, during a September 14 National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (NFSSM) Alliance workshop, Principal Consultant Ram Paul provided an overview of data availability across the sanitation value chain in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal as part of a presentation on how we can collaborate to improve the data systems of service authorities. The workshop brought Ram together with a number of WASH experts—from organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Nepal’s Ministry of Water Supply, the Centre for Policy Research, WaterAid Bangladesh, India’s National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), ITN-BUET, and the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi—to share highlights from South Asia that demonstrate how multiple stakeholders, including local representatives, communities, administration, private-sector stakeholders, and development partners, all need to interact with each other in order to deliver citywide inclusive sanitation services.