This paper explores how transition management processes can be designed to address the unsustainability of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in informal settlements in cities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The unsustainability of services related to WASH in informal settlements in Sub-Saharan Africa is deeply embedded in current societal and governance structures, cultures, and practices; it is context-dependent and involves numerous actors with different interests. Based on a literature review and empirical work in Arusha (Tanzania), Dodowa (Ghana), and Kampala (Uganda), we identify five context dimensions that account for the unsustainability ofWASH services: (a) multiplicity ofWASH practices, structures, and arrangements; (b) governance capacities forWASH services and maintenance; (c) landownership for sustainable access toWASH; (d) public participation in decision-making related to WASH; and (e) socio-economic inequalities governing access to WASH. These dimensions pose numerous conceptual and application challenges for transition management. Based on these challenges, recommendations are formulated for the design of a contextualized, participatory transition management process that is not only functional, but also emancipatory.

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Sustainability (Switzerland)
Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT)