Gather uses data intelligence to get toilets to people who need them. By 2025 we want to have transformed how sanitation is provided for five million people in four emerging cities.

We do this through practical programmes and evidence-based policy recommendations. In 2019 we are launching the first Sanitation Data Hub in partnership with local sanitation providers in Antananarivo, Madagascar. We are also launching the Sanitation Data Commission to establish a data standard for urban sanitation data.

Priorities as a partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

There are currently 2.5 billion people living in cities around the world without access to a safe, clean toilet. Without toilets, cities cannot thrive. Water sources get dangerously polluted by fecal waste, children get sick and households cannot work. Without toilets, girls drop out of school when they start their periods. Every year the urban sanitation crisis results in increased healthcare costs, decreased income and reduced productivity totalling more than US$200 billion.

Sanitation organisations are working hard to tackle the urban sanitation crisis. These organisations collect data as part of their operations, but this data is often of poor quality and is rarely analysed fully to produce useful insight. The global sector collects a lot of data but it does not record the location, type of toilet or the amount of waste in the same way. As a result, no one can curate data from a variety of resources to create an accurate, actionable baseline. The lack of data interoperability across the sector has led to costly duplication of effort with limited results. Too often, the same areas have been surveyed and the same, low-quality data has been collected repeatedly in slightly different ways. This is unsustainable and wasteful in a sector with already limited resources. The resulting data gap is preventing the entire sanitation sector from getting toilets to people who need them most. We need better data.

Gather is transforming how the sanitation sector uses data, enabling sanitation organisations to make data-driven decisions for the first time. By 2025 we want to transform how sanitation is provided for five million people.

We do this through practical programmes and evidence-based policy recommendations:

  • Our Sanitation Data Hubs bring together key sanitation providers working across cities and transforms how they collect, share and act on analysed data. Gather is pioneering the creation of geospatial shit flow diagrams (SFDs) for emerging cities. By transforming local data practices (including the standardisation, collection, management, sharing and analysis of data) we are transforming the SFD to become a ‘live’ visualisation that indicates where investment and action is needed within a geographic area. Our geospatial SFDs will enable collaboration between government, private and non-profit sanitation organisations, so they can work together to target and track investments effectively to prevent fecal waste from entering water sources.
  • Our global Sanitation Data Commission leverages the work of the Hubs to create a global urban sanitation data standard. The Commission will advise on the creation of a new open data standard for the location and type of sanitation infrastructure and volume of waste. By transforming global data practices, we can help to maximise the impact of local efforts by turning insight into collaborative action.
  • Our thought leadership provides transparent, trusted evidence to transform the conversation around data to drive real change.

This Partner Works to Achieve These SDGs