The SFD approach is provided to practictioners worldwide via an open source Webportal. The methodology and tools (will) allow for the easy production of standardized SFDs by city stakeholders, development agencies and non-governmental organisations.


SFD for Dakar, Senegal (Blackett et al., 2014)


The story behind…

During 2012-2013 the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank carried out an analysis of excreta management in 12 cities and developed new tools for assessing the context and outcomes relating to the flow of excreta through the city. This study aimed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of excreta management throughout the sanitation service chain.
Building on this work, a group of institutions active in the field of excreta management convened in June 2014 to further develop excreta flow diagrams (SFDs) and the service delivery assessment tool developed by WSP.

In November 2014, a one-year project titled the SFD Promotion Initiative started, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2014. This has being managed by GIZ under the umbrella of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) together with the project team CSE, Sandec/Eawag, UoL and WEDC.

The ongoing 2nd phase, started in November 2015, is conceived as a rolling out of the approaches and methodologies that were developed during the 1-year kick-start phase. It has a duration of 3 years and is part of a longer process, which in order to maintain momentum may require further funding and expert time during succeeding phases.
Our vision for the medium to long-term is a vibrant, interactive web portal that allows the independent development and upload of SFDs as well as wider elements of assessing the current status of service delivery and other planning tools. The Webportal shall enable city-stakeholders worldwide to establish SFDs according to tested manuals and software including a platform for scrutiny as the ultimate mechanism for quality control and user-friendliness of open access tools. The first year did lay the foundations for this vision to materialize, in that it developed necessary tools as well as quality checks and contextual research, and initiated the dialogue about SFDs and their potential with city stakeholders both on the ground as well as in the internet via the newly developed SFD promotion website as part of the SuSanA-portal.

The main aim is to roll-out the use of SFD by cities worldwide as part of the urban sanitation advocacy and planning process and as a diagnosis and decision-support tool. We aim at cities being able to prepare high quality SFDs with no or minimal support from the project, while the quality of SFDs remains at a highly credible level.



Blackett, I., Hawkins, P., Heymans, C. (2014). The missing link in sanitation service delivery. A review of fecal sludge management in 12 Cities - . Water and Sanitation Programm (WSP), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank

  • Online course by CSE in July 2018

    The Centre for Science and Environment is launching an online course on the preparation of Shit Flow Diagrams (SFDs). You can find out more on their website and apply by June 10th.

  • SFD PI Update 7

    Live Q&A, training events, reports, publications... - Check out the latest developments of the SFD Promotion Initiative on the SuSanA Forum

  • New SFD Report available from Patna, India

    Check out how the city of Patna, located at the Southern banks of river Ganga, manages its sanitation!

    Read its new SFD Report!

  • New SFD Report available from Tikapur, Nepal

    Find out more on the sanitation practices in Tikapur:

    98% on-site sanitation technologies (pit latrines, septic tanks, biogas digesters)

    2%  open defecation

  • Material of the Question & Answer session available

    Any questions about SFDs? Watch our recent Q&A session about SFDs 

    1. Presentation: The SFD Manual - a guide to content and process

    2. Presentation: The SFD Review Procedure

    3. Presentation: The SFD Helpdesk

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