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Promoting latrine use in rural India

2016 - 2019 • International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)


To generate a body of evidence that can help inform decision-making about how to increase latrine use in rural India


The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), in collaboration with the research
institute for compassionate economics (r.i.c.e.), has established a programme of learning to generate evidence to inform the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) before its conclusion on October 2nd, 2019. The hallmark of this programme is to use behavioural science and conduct rapid impact evaluations of low-cost, scalable interventions.

This programme is divided into two phases. In phase one, 3ie awarded nine teams small grants to conduct formative research in rural areas across eight Indian states - Bihar, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh - over three months. The most promising of these projects will be selected for full-scale implementation and impact evaluation over twelve months, resulting in the generation of rigorous evidence which can inform the Swachh Bharat Mission before its conclusion.

Taken together, the teams have employed 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.


Image: Promoting Latrine Use in India Project

Countries of activity

Location of main activity


To generate a body of evidence that can help inform decision-making about what works, why, for whom and when, in order to increase latrine use in rural India.

Further information

This programme emphasises the use of behavioural science to develop low-cost interventions to promote latrine use. Intervention costs are capped at USD 20 per household, to fit within the incentive offered to households by the SBM. This is facilitate the scalability of successful interventions. The aim of this program is to generate actionable evidence which can be scaled up within the IEC resources of the SBM before its conclusion in October 2019.

Contact information

Shaon Lahiri
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Neeta Goel
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Filter tags

Behaviour change Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation East Asia & Pacific Enabling environment and institutional strengthening International NGO Political processes and institutional aspects Politicians and local decision makers Rural Rural areas Specific to one or several countries


International Initiative for Impact Evaluation
New Delhi

3ie funds impact evaluations and systematic reviews that generate evidence on what works in development programmes and why. 3ie is an international grant-making NGO promoting evidence-informed development policies and programmes. We are the global leader in funding and producing high-quality evidence of what works, how, why and at what cost in international development. We believe that better and policy-relevant evidence will make development more effective and improve peoplea€™s lives. Since its founding in 2008, 3ie has awarded over 200 grants (146 impact evaluations, 33 systematic reviews and 38 other studies) in over 50 countries, with a total value of US$ 84,225,205. 3ie has offices in New Delhi, London and Washington, DC. The three main funders of 3ie are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UKaid through the Department for International Development and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. 3ie manages two sanitation-related thematic windows; one funded by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, and another funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The former aims to generate evidence on the psychosocial effects of sanitation, and the latter, promoting latrine use in rural India.

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