World Toilet Organization

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World Toilet Organization
Formation 2001
Founder Jack Sim
Type Non-profit organization
Focus Improving toilet and sanitation conditions
Headquarters Singapore
Region served
Method Advocacy, capacity building, training, building market infrastructure, knowledge management, networking
Website ;

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[1] with 15 members, it now has 151 member organizations in 53 countries working towards eliminating the toilet taboo and delivering sustainable sanitation.[2] WTO is also the organizer of the World Toilet Summits and World Toilet Expo and Forum, and initiated the World Toilet Day.

Mission and history[edit]

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 network of over 250 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.


Main article: Jack Sim

The World Toilet Organization was funded by Jack Sim in 2001. Jack established the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) in 1998 to break the taboo of toilet and sanitation and legitimize it for mainstream culture.

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.[3] In 2007, Sim was part of a group of people and organizations who founded the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance a network of over 250 organizations active in the field of sustainable sanitation.

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 Summit[edit]

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.

World Toilet Summits have taken place in the following locations in the years since 2001:

World Toilet Day[edit]

Main article: World Toilet Day

In 2001, the World Toilet Organization declared its founding day, 19 November, as World Toilet Day.[6] Since then, 19 November has been observed globally by its member organizations.

World Toilet College[edit]

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.[7]

WTC has a long-standing partnership with Singapore Polytechnic. On 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.[8]

WTC offers the following programmes:

  • Disaster and Emergency Sanitation Course (DESC)
  • National Skills Recognition System Course (NSRS)
  • Restroom Design Course (RDC)
  • Restroom Specialist Training Course (RSTC)
  • School Sanitation and Hygiene Education Course (SSHEC)
  • Sustainable Sanitation Course (SusSan)


  1. ^ Dueñas, Christina (2007). "Water for All". Archived from the original on 2011-12-29. Retrieved 10 March 2009. 
  2. ^ Beech, Hannah (6 October 2008). "Jack Sim (Cover story)". Time International (Atlantic Edition). 172 (14): 82–83. 
  3. ^ "Sim Jack". Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. 
  4. ^ "World Toilet Summit 2013". Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "World Toilet Summit 2012". Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Don't Laugh: World Toilet Day Aims to Promote Sanitation, Rid World of Disease". Fox News. 19 November 2008. 
  7. ^ Forbes, 24th, september, 2015
  8. ^, CNBC,30th June, 2006

External links[edit]