SFDs are a new way of visualizing excreta management in cities and towns

Improving understanding of urban sanitation


The fate of excreta produced by urban populations across the globe is often poorly understood. Particularly in low- and middle-income countries with rapidly expanding cities, excreta management represents a growing challenge; generating significant negative public health and environmental risks.

What is an SFD?

An excreta flow diagram (also often described as shit flow diagram, SFD) is a tool to readily understand and communicate visualizing how excreta physically flows through a city or town. It shows how excreta is or is not contained as it moves from defecation to disposal or end-use, and the fate of all excreta generated. An accompanying report describes the service delivery context of the city or town.

Make your own SFD

Find guidance and support for creating SFD graphics and reports: the SFD Graphic Generator allows you to create your own SFD graphic for any given city, while the Helpdesk gives you the opportunity to write SFD reports on an embedded form in a protected area. You can reach out to us any time, we are ready to support you throughout the process.


Discover SFDs Worldwide

As sanitation practitioners and city officials recognize how effective SFDs are in engaging and stimulating dialogue on excreta management to achieve better sanitation, the number of SFDs being prepared all over the world will increase rapidly.


Consortium Partners

The SFD Promotion Initiative is managed by GIZ under the umbrella of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA).
Since November 2014, GIZ the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting the initiative through two grants (2014-2015 & 2016-2018).

Partners of the Promotion Initiative
The Centre for Science and Environment in Delhi (CSE)
the Global Sector Program on Sustainable Sanitation of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ GmbH)
commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ)
the Department of Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development (Sandec)
at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag)
the water@leeds research group of the University of Leeds (UoL)
the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) of Loughborough University
and the World Bank - Water and Sanitation Program (WSP)