To influence Indian policy, such that the government – at its various levels – might better pursue an end to open defecation, especially in rural India, which is r.i.c.e.’s focus.
What is needed now is (1) to convince policy-makers of this, and (2) a better understanding of the local political economy, social forces, and economic factors that constrain or promote latrine use.
Ultimately, our goal is to influence Indian policy, such that the government – at its various levels – might better pursue an end to open defecation, especially in rural India, which is r.i.c.e.’s focus. We note that we can only be a small part of this large process. However, many policy-makers still do not recognize sanitation as a top priority; others are missing opportunities to make programs more effective; and nobody fully understands, including we ourselves, how rural communities can be best encouraged to use latrines. Thus, there is a need for basic persuasion of the urgency of safe excreta disposal; for advocacy of more effective policies, based on latrine use, not construction; and for research into the social, institutional, and political mechanisms that might successfully promote latrine use.
o Conducting a new survey on sanitation attitudes and behaviors in rural north India
• SQUAT report based on findings
• Short contributions from many stakeholders
• “Launch party” conferences in Delhi and two state capitals (probably UP and Bihar, or maybe MP, three very poor Indian states where we have experience and connections)
Research or implementation partners: Delhi School of Economics
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