SQUAT (Sanitation Quality, Use, Access, and Trends): Evidence based sanitation advocacy for India

2013 - 2015 • rice (Research Institute for Compassionate Economics)

Purpose

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.

Activities

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.

Location

Detailed location of main activity  Countries of activity

Objectives

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)

Further information

Research or implementation partners: Delhi School of Economics

Filter tags

Asia & Pacific Behaviour change Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Enabling environment and institutional strengthening Health and hygiene India North America Political processes and institutional aspects Politicians and local decision makers Public awareness, advocacy and civil society engagement Specific to one or several countries United States University, education or research institution Urban informal settlements (slums) WASH and nutrition

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