Promoting Latrine Use in Rural India Thematic Window

3ie is pleased to announce nine provisional awards for formative evaluations of interventions to promote latrine use in rural India. The nine teams are conducting formative studies over three months in eight Indian states: Bihar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The grants have been made under 3ie’s Promoting Latrine Use in Rural India Thematic Window. The nine formative studies are expected to conclude in April 2017. Among these nine teams, five will be selected in June 2017 for additional funding toward implementation and impact evaluation of an intervention to promote latrine use. These impact evaluations will be carried out over an 18-month period. The findings of these studies are expected to inform the Government of India’s national programme, the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM; the Clean India Mission), on an ongoing basis.

Taken together, the teams are employing a diversity of behavioural science-based approaches to the problem of latrine use. Some of the approaches include behaviour centred design; the risks, attitudes, norms, abilities, and self-regulation model; incentive framing; nudge theory; social norm models and modified versions of community-led total sanitation.

3ie is collaborating with the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics(r.i.c.e) on this grant window.

3ie and r.i.c.e invited applications from research organisations or consortia for a latrine use measurement project under its Promoting Latrine Use in Rural India Thematic Window. The selected consultant team is expected to test different data collection tools to measure latrine use in Karnataka, Bihar, Odisha and Gujarat

The answers to the questions 3ie received on the consultant team's terms of reference are provided in this Q&A document.

About 3ie’s Promoting Latrine Use in Rural India Thematic Window

This window will support the design and implementation of rapid impact evaluations of interventions aimed at increasing latrine use in rural India. It will support studies that apply insights from behavioural science to address supply- or demand-side factors influencing latrine use. 3ie’s grant window aims to generate evidence on the design and implementation of context-specific, low-cost interventions that can be implemented and scaled-up with the resources available through the Government of India’s current national sanitation programme, SBM and/or any voluntary household contributions. 

This window is now closed for applications. To find out more about the scope of this grant window, please read the  Request for qualifications (273.5 KB)  document

The documents that were required for application to this grant window can be found here.

Closing the evidence gap on latrine use in rural India

Open defecation (OD) is a widespread and persistent health challenge in India. According to the World Health Organisation and UNICEF (2015), almost 60 per cent of the global population that practises OD is located in India. In rural India, 90 per cent of households do not own a latrine, and 61 per cent of individuals defecate in the open. The health consequences of OD are long lasting and life threatening.  As per the World Bank (2006), OD’s economic consequences are estimated to be around US$53.8 billion or about 6.4 per cent of GDP.

Even though latrine use has widely been cited in the mass media as a key factor for reducing OD, very few quantitative studies have focused on latrine use as a primary or secondary outcome. To address this knowledge gap in research, 3ie’s Promoting Latrine Use in Rural India Thematic Window will investigate multidimensional supply and demand factors influencing latrine use.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has provided funding support for this thematic window.


3ie is proud to be a partner of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA). SuSanA is an open international alliance with members who share a common vision on sustainable sanitation and are dedicated to understanding viable and sustainable sanitation solutions

Photo©UNICEF & Gov. of India

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