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close this bookSanitation Promotion (SIDA - SDC - WSSCC - WHO, 1998, 292 p.)
close this folderThe challenge - A sanitation revolution
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View the documentThe problem of sanitation - WSSCC Working Group on Promotion of Sanitation
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View the documentSanitation research needs - WSSCC Working Group on Promotion of Sanitation

Sanitation research needs - WSSCC Working Group on Promotion of Sanitation

Sanitation has special features and requirements that distinguish it as a field in its own right. Therefore, research and scientific study specifically on sanitation are necessary to help enable practitioners to make better decisions. Ultimately, this will lead to more successful and sustainable sanitation programmes. Donor organizations can make a significant contribution to improving sanitation programme performance by supporting research aimed at filling the current information gaps. The following areas in which research is urgently needed have been identified by the Working Group on Promotion of Sanitation.

Planning models

- for integrating sanitation into other social programmes (literacy, population, nutrition).

Indicators for monitoring and evaluation

- behaviour-change indicators, health-impact indicators, long-term success indicators;

- the percentage of a population that would need to be covered (“critical mass”) to ensure “full coverage” for purposes of disease control;

- development of criteria and a monitoring and evaluation framework for measuring success at national and community levels;

- development of methods for assisting communities in identifying and using indicators.

Private sector involvement

- the key barriers to private sector involvement;
- the optimal mix of responsibilities between the public and private sectors.

Sanitation technologies

- how to choose an appropriate mix of technologies to suit urban areas with low, middle and high income;

- how to achieve low-cost, culturally-sensitive technologies, including dry-latrine systems;

- critical review of low-cost and least-cost technologies;

- new technologies that recycle nutrients.

Participatory methods, social marketing, and social mobilization

- models for how social marketing and participatory methods can best be combined;
- critical review of methodologies to change hygiene behaviours.

Success stories and models

- through case-studies of countries, determine the characteristics of high achievers and low achievers in sanitation and from these derive lessons learned.

Finance, cost-effectiveness and cost recovery

- alternative financing and cost-recovery mechanisms;

- the cost-effectiveness of alternative strategies for the control of faecal-borne diseases;

- a critical review of the value of “willingness to pay” (WTP) studies and alternative mechanisms to determine WTP.