Published in: 2012
Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)
Gröber, K. et al.
This factsheet highlights the importance of public awareness raising and sanitation marketing to increase the efficiency and sustainability of sanitation improvements. It provides tools and best-practice examples for practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and those who understand the
importance of sustainable sanitation and wish to disseminate up to date information.
Four key approaches to awareness raising include 1) raising overall public awareness; 2) professional marketing of sanitation to those lacking access; 3) stimulating private sector interest in the sanitation market and 4) advocating to decision makers in the public, private and civil sectors.
Most people who have access to functioning sanitation systems are not aware of the poor sanitation in vast regions of the world and fail to understand its significance in socioeconomic development. Taboos surrounding the toilet and human excreta hinder global progress in this field. Therefore a stronger appreciation of the manifold society-wide benefits of sanitation and the challenges of achieving them are
required in all countries.
This lack of knowledge combined with the toilet’s “dirty image” results in the low priority that users and decision makers alike give to sanitation. To promote safe hygiene practices at the household and community level and to create sustained behavioural change, calls for professional marketing which is a common activity in the commercial
An enabling environment requires political responsibility and the will to create a legal framework that furthers sanitation initiatives. Hence, lobbying policy makers with relevant facts and arguments can have significant impact. Only when they grasp the many cross-sectoral and economic gains which sanitation brings, will they allocate resources and create policies and strategies that strengthen public and private
capacity to provide and manage sanitation services.
The twin fields of awareness raising and sanitation marketing lay the groundwork for successful advocacy and highlight business opportunities in sanitation. These approaches, moreover, make it possible to scale-up and increase the efficiency of current efforts to achieve improved sanitation for all.
Awareness raising aims to achieve the following:
· Create public and political awareness
· Initiate public and policy discussions
· Generate an enabling environment and policy changes that lead to action
Sanitation marketing aims to achieve the following:
· Tailor product design, availability and price to potential customers
· Use communication techniques and media appropriate to the customers’ situation
· Engage people in emotional communication to create genuine demand and behaviour change
· Offer the target group a choice of products that are appealing, accessible and affordable
· Open the market to sanitation business opportunities.
Gröber, K. et al. (2012). Public awareness raising and sanitation marketing - Factsheet of Working Group 9b. Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)
English Factsheets and policy briefs Journalists Public awareness, advocacy and civil society engagement (WG9) Publications by SuSanA Publications by SuSanA
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