Below are links to 2020 WASH evaluations by 3ie on the safe disposal of child feces, sanitation programming, and water saving technologies
Impacts of low-cost interventions to improve latrine use and safe disposal of child faeces in rural Odisha, India. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 119, April 2020.
Our result demonstrates that theory-informed interventions designed to change behavior can be impactful. Latrine use behavior is changing in the research area overall, but increased 6.3 per cent more in the intervention area. Importantly, our intervention also increased reported safe child feces disposal by over 20 per cent. Safe feces disposal practices were not widely practiced in our research area before the intervention, primarily because their importance was not understood.
Additional investment in refining this and similar interventions is warranted to bring these efforts to scale, particularly as safe child feces disposal has yet to be an investment and communication priority in government campaigns to date. The costs needed for safe management of child feces disposal programmes, like ours, do not need to be extensive to enable change.
Moving forward, policymakers should leverage this and similar programs to not only continue to influence behavior change, but also to sustain changes already made. Increased investment to develop and evaluate evidence-based interventions specifically targeting behaviors is warranted. In turn, researchers need to engage target populations, apply theory to intervention design and conduct rigorous process evaluations to inform future adaptation and scale-up.
Improving households’ attitudes and behaviours to increase toilet use in Bihar, India. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 118, April 2020.
We find a comparable and significant increase in toilet use across treatment and control areas. Self-reported toilet use increased substantially across three different measures of use (usual use, last time use and last three times use). Treatment areas did, however, show an increase in knowledge on correct pit filling rates, and decomposition rates, as well as an increase in the perceived convenience of pit emptying. Most households, however, still reported relying on hiring someone for pit emptying, not always waiting until decomposition was complete.
These results suggest the need for future sanitation programming to focus on knowledge of decomposition rates and the correct disposal of fecal matter, and to emphasize the ease of self-emptying. Sanitation programming must recognize deep-seated social and caste biases, which require sanitation to be treated as a social as well as a health issue.
Access to safe drinking water: experimental evidence from new water sources in Bangladesh. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 109, March 2020.
The programme reduced arsenic contamination in household drinking water, but not faecal contamination. Each tubewell installed under the programme led to a reduction in arsenic contamination of household drinking water that is equivalent to its elimination at the World Health Organization level for about five households. However, each of these tubewells also led to an increase in faecal contamination that is equivalent to introducing faecal contamination into the drinking water of about two households (although we cannot reject a small reduction or no effect on faecal contamination in household drinking water).
Modest improvements in source water quality, with respect to faecal contamination, are offset by an increase in travel time and possibly by changes in storage behaviour. The programme somewhat improved faecal contamination at the source level, but also slightly increased travel time and induced small changes in storage behaviour, both of which increase the risk of faecal contamination in drinking water.
Our best estimates suggest that walking an extra minute to collect drinking water increases the risk of faecal contamination by approximately 1.7 per cent, while storing drinking water in the house increases the risk of faecal contamination by approximately 7 per cent. The consequences of these negative effects are modest because few households walk more than a minute to collect drinking water, and the majority of households did not change their storage behaviour as a result of the intervention.
Impact of alternate wetting and drying on farm incomes and water savings in Bangladesh. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 108, March 2020. This impact evaluation highlights the impact of alternate wetting and drying, a water-saving technology used to reduce irrigation water consumption in rice fields, as compared to conventional flood irrigation on water savings and farm incomes in Bangladesh.
The 5 Star Toilet Campaign: improving toilet use in rural Gujarat. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 105, February 2020. This impact evaluation evaluated the effect of the 5 Star Toilet Campaign on toilet use in rural Gujarat. The Campaign was launched to address the complex determinants of low toilet use and improve use among all members of households having access to government or contractor-built toilets in selected villages of Bhavnagar, Gujarat.