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As the 21st century transitions into a new decade, 453 million people across Asia and the Pacific still defecate in the open, while 1.2 billion people have no access to basic sanitation services. Of these numbers, 72% live in rural areas.

The United Nations estimate that by current indications many developing countries will fall short of reaching the Sustainable Development Goal on sanitation for all by 2030 (SDG 6.2). It is clearly imperative that programs and projects for sanitation in the region must be pursued significantly. Additionally, the situation underscores the demand for a different way of doing things – flush away business as usual – to ensure that investments are directed toward communities where interventions are needed the most.

The urgency is made even more dire with the onset of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. This crisis has put to the forefront the importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene as a critical means to prevent transmission of the virus, and strengthen public health, especially among the vulnerable.

The ADB Sanitation Dialogue 2021 (ASD 2021) focuses on the theme of “Accelerating Inclusive Sanitation”. ASD 2021 is an opportunity to raise awareness and action on increasing access to inclusive sanitation with the aim that everyone has access to and benefits from sustainable sanitation services, and human waste is safely managed along the whole sanitation service chain.

Adapting to the new normal, the conference has been redesigned as a series of webinars over the course of two weeks that will be largely available for all.

Our online event will gather representatives of ADB developing member countries, ADB specialists and project officers, and other decision-makers and development partners to discuss the latest sanitation strategies and tools, technical options, including new technologies and alternatives, integrating resilience, as well as ways to tap financing and leverage partnerships.

As the fourth edition of the dialogue, ASD 2021 aims to amplify awareness on citywide inclusive sanitation (CWIS), a systemic approach based on equity, safety, and sustainability. To avoid the unwelcome 2030 scenario of leaving people behind without adequate sanitation, this conference will focus strongly on practical solutions, addressing bottlenecks, and building capacity to reinforce the motivation for sanitation for all.


ASD 2021 aims to share knowledge on developing and implementing inclusive sanitation through:

  • upfront presentations of the consequences of poor sanitation and polluted water sources;
  • heavy use of case studies to demonstrate solutions, including the CWIS approach;
  • focus on introducing resilience planning in CWIS strategy using urban climate change resilience tools;
  • use of smaller work groups to ensure greater focus on issues confronting developing members;
  • opportunities for ADB and partners to explain how they can be of practical assistance to developing members; and
  • ensuring developing member delegates leave with a sense of purpose and clear views on what actions they can take to accelerate their sanitation work programs

Target participants

To highlight inclusive sanitation, the webinar and workshop sessions will be open to all. The event is expected to convene representatives of ADB developing member countries and members of the wider ADB community. Major partners, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund, as well as other multilateral development banks, related organizations, private sector, and civil society will also participate.

How to register

Registration is closed

Social media

Please use #ASD2021 for all social media posts related to the Online ADB Sanitation Dialogue 2021.

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Background material

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