Social pressure and sanitation behaviour

Shame or Subsidy: what explains the impact of India’s Total Sanitation campaign?

Speaker: Sumeet Patil, CEO & Research Director, NEERMAN
: February 14, 2013

A recent study shows that social pressure and peer monitoring have a greater impact on changing sanitation behaviour of people than subsidies.

A randomized social mobilization campaign was undertaken in the state of Orissa, India, to evaluate and measure sanitation outcomes in terms of child health and household welfare. The campaign increased households’ ownership of sanitary latrines by about 24% overall – and 31% in poorer households that received subsidy as compared to 19% in households that did not receive a subsidy.

The increase in toilet coverage and use did not lead to statistically significant reductions in self-reported diarrhea, but significant improvements in children’s nutritional status was noted. Switching from open defecation to latrine use also saved substantial amounts of time and increased satisfaction in sanitation conditions.

Patil will discuss the dynamics of shame and subsidy and their relative impacts on improving sanitation in India.

Seminar presentation (1.4 MB)

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