Giving Compass’ Take:
• Radhika Menon at IDR gives some highlights from impact evaluations of low-cost interventions across four Indian states that revealed interesting findings on how to accurately measure toilet use.
• How can we fund more projects and create useful designs for toilets? What would make these innovations more accessible?
There has been a fair bit of hoopla around India being declared open defecation free last month. In the media debates, the measurement of India’s open defecation-free status has come under a good deal of scrutiny. Leaving aside the politics of the debate, there remains an important question: how can latrine use be measured rigorously?
Those working in the sanitation space have known for a long time that the measurement of latrine use is prone to inaccuracy and self-reporting bias. If you ask someone about whether they are using the latrine, social desirability bias may push them into saying, ‘yes’. So when 3ie started the Promoting Latrine Use in Rural India evidence programme, we decided that it was important to focus on the tricky business of measuring latrine use.
The 3ie evidence programme supported four impact evaluations of low-cost, behaviour science-informed interventions to promote latrine use in rural Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka and Odisha. 3ie, along with our thought partner, the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics and the four research teams from Oxford Policy Management, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Eawag-Wateraid and Emory University came together to collectively think about ways we could measure latrine use rigorously. All the teams worked on a standard list of latrine use questions and used a variety of measurement tools. We also had an independent latrine use measurement team, led by IFMR, test two different survey modules amongst a sub-sample of around 2,400 households in study areas.
Read the full article about toilet use in India by Radhika Menon at India Development Review (IDR).
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