The research builds on findings from the Rules, Roles and Resources (RRR) programme support project which show that in Rwanda political leadership and commitment plays a more active role in standards-setting, enforcement and investment support in addressing the sanitation gap.

However, this project also revealed that despite the Rwandan government’s commitment to foster progress in the sanitation sector, breaches between policy and practice remain especially at the household level where prescribed sanitation and hygiene guidelines and standards are difficult to live up to. One conclusion from the RRR project is that policy and leadership is important in raising the profile of the sanitation sector as has been done in Rwanda. This is, however, not enough. Sanitation and hygiene must be prioritized at all levels to make things happen.

This proposed research aims to build on the RRR project framework by disentangling how the policies and political leadership in Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda are articulated at the multiple levels (macro, meso and micro) of sanitation governance, including the various partners in development, and how policy is eventually translated into action in terms of investments and behavioral change at the household level.