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A Blue Revolution for Inclusion, Equality, and Diversity – Innovation for Inclusive Water and Sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean (RG-T3859)

Ensuring prosperity for all and safeguarding global health cannot be achieved without concerted and targeted efforts to provide universal water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. As a result, many calls to action to ensure equal access to water and sanitation services have reverberated across the globe for decades. To contribute to these calls of action, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) hired Tambourine Innovation Ventures (TIV) to author a paper on innovation and inclusion in the WASH sector.

TIV’s paper was designed to offer policymakers and executive agencies in the water and sanitation sector a compendium of tools to ensure universal, equal, inclusive, and sustainable access to water and sanitation services. Through the paper, a team of TIV experts provided an overview of the global population's issues in accessing WASH and compared those to the population of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The paper also introduced the decades-long mission of providing access to safe, affordable, and dependable drinking water and sanitation for all by codifying the rights to water and sanitation as basic human rights and tied this mission to SDG 6.

The paper introduces a snapshot of the inclusive practices employed in the WASH sector across countries in the LAC region. Despite countries in the region having relatively high access to improved water services for urban areas, the same cannot be said for water access in rural areas. To address these gaps, the paper highlights the need to address current water and sanitation problems faced by marginalized and underprivileged groups through methods beyond the conventional approaches taken thus far. Technology in the SDG era has frequently been emphasized and has played a crucial role in addressing some of the WASH-related challenges. By identifying use cases of simple and digital technologies that address the needs of marginalized and vulnerable groups – women and girls, LGBTI, people with disabilities, indigenous people, and Afro-descendants – in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the paper aims to promote the need to develop better and new approaches to addressing vulnerable population groups' needs. To address their needs in an affordable and culturally sensitive manner, the team reviewed promising inclusive innovation from across the globe to improve WASH service delivery, quality, accessibility, delivery, distribution, awareness, and behavior change that can be deployed in LAC.

The paper serves as a call to action for a blue revolution of inclusion, equality, and diversity, as they are essential components of well-being, upward economic movement, and equal opportunities for the underserved, underprivileged, vulnerable, and marginalized groups in LAC.

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