Climbing the sanitation ladder

Many households which gain access to an unimproved or basic latrine following interventions do not subsequently upgrade their facility or have adequate services available, leading to latrines that may be of poor quality and not safely managed, or a break down in the service chain.

Reasons for this are complex but the affordability of market-based sanitation goods and services by households is a major barrier. Few effective, affordable solutions have been found in areas where latrine construction materials are scarce or other challenging contexts.

Even if traditional toilets are durable, cleanable, and hygienic, at times government and international standards discourage these local solutions. A mix of market-based initiatives, the identification, strengthening and promotion of local solutions and supply chains, incremental changes to unimproved facilities and services and improved affordability through effective finance options are all needed.

Formative research can help develop understanding of context-specific barriers to upgrading, and help identify appropriate and desirable products and the institutional actors that need to be engaged.