World Toilet Organization
|Focus||Improving toilet and sanitation conditions|
|Method||Advocacy, capacity building, training, building market infrastructure, knowledge management, networking|
The World Toilet Organization (WTO) is a global non-profit organization committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. WTO focuses on toilets instead of water, which receives more attention and resources under the common subject of sanitation. Founded in 2001 with 15 members, it now has 151 member organizations in 53 countries working towards eliminating the toilet taboo and delivering sustainable sanitation. WTO is also the organizer of the World Toilet Summits and World Toilet Expo and Forum.
Mission and history
WTO was founded in 2001 by Jack Sim with the stated aim of being a global network and service platform wherein all toilet and sanitation organizations can learn from one another and leverage media and global support to influence governments to promote sound sanitation and public health policies.
In 2005, WTO started the world's first World Toilet College (WTC) to provide training in toilet design, maintenance, School Sanitation and Disaster Sanitation and implementation of Sustainable Sanitation systems. WTO was also one of the founding members of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA), a coalition of 50 organizations to promote sustainable sanitation systems.
In addition to advocacy, capacity building and sanitation projects, WTO is now driving a market-based strategy to address the dysfunctional sanitation market for the poor, by installing efficient market infrastructure.
Jack Sim established the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) in 1998 to break the taboo of toilet and sanitation and legitimize it for mainstream culture. Sim is also a guest lecturer and mentor for social entrepreneurship at INSEAD Asia Campus and Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore. In 2001, Sim founded the World Toilet Organization (WTO). In 2004, he was awarded the inaugural Singapore Green Plan Award 2012 by Singapore's National Environment Agency for his contribution to the environment, and he established the World Toilet College (WTC) the following year.
In 2006, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship selected Sim as the Social Entrepreneur of the Year in Singapore for his work in establishing the World Toilet Organization and World Toilet College. In 2007, Sim was one of the members who convened the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance comprising about 50 organizations active in the field of sanitation. That same year, he also became the first Singaporean elected to be an Ashoka Global Fellow. Ashoka is the largest social entrepreneurship support group in the world. In January 2008, Sim was appointed a Council Member to the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council for Water Security, a Council that advises the WEF on water and sanitation matters.
World Toilet College
Established in 2005, the World Toilet College (WTC) started as a social enterprise to establish an independent world body to ensure the best practices and standards in Toilet Design, Cleanliness, and Sanitation Technologies are adopted and disseminated through training. WTC’s underlying principle is to bridge the "last mile" to professionalize the sanitation and restroom industry and ensure that the needs, design, maintenance and cleanliness of restrooms receive mainstream attention. The WTC claims to be the first and only institution that addresses the needs of both the urban and rural toilets in a holistic manner.
WTC has a long-standing partnership with Singapore Polytechnic. In 19 November 2005, WTC signed a Memorandum of Association in which Singapore Polytechnic agreed to provide the premises for classroom training. On-site training will be done in various locations. It also has the support of local and international government ministries and agencies, private enterprises, and sanitation experts.
WTC offers the following programmes:
- Restroom Specialist Training Course (RSTC)
- National Skills Recognition System Course (NSRS)
- Sustainable Sanitation Course (SusSan)
- Restroom Design Course (RDC)
- School Sanitation and Hygiene Education Course (SSHEC)
- Disaster and Emergency Sanitation Course (DESC)
World Toilet Summit
The World Toilet Organization started the World Toilet Summit in 2001 to provide a common platform for stakeholders to connect, share, learn and collaborate to meet the global target for sanitation. WTO leverages foreign governments and NGOs to host the World Toilet Summit in different cities each year.
Each summit is aimed at addressing issues of toilet and sanitation from technologies, development, funding, to design, maintenance, social entrepreneurship, capacity building, research and related topics, creating massive media coverage and momentum.
These summits have been held around the world:
- 2013 - Solo, Indonesia
- 2012 - Durban, South Africa
- 2011 - Hainan, China
- 2010 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- 2009 - Singapore
- 2008 - Macau, China
- 2007 - New Delhi, India
- 2006 - Moscow, Russia
- 2005 - Belfast, Northern Ireland
- 2004 - Beijing, China
- 2003 - Taipei, Taiwan
- 2002 - Seoul, South Korea
- 2001 - Singapore
World Toilet Day
In 2001, the World Toilet Organization declared its founding day, 19 November, as World Toilet Day. Since then, 19 November has been observed globally by its member organizations. In September 2009, a new website was launched dedicated to the celebration of World Toilet Day. Its 2012 slogan was “I give a shit, do you?”.
In Malaysia, a celebration of 2010 World Toilet Day ended with cash prizes being awarded for 7% of the 5,700 public toilets (schools, shopping malls, restaurants, etc.) which had been inspected by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government and earned the maximum 5-star rating. The official noted that more than 51% of the toilets inspected had received only one or two stars.
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