Research Brief: The Economic Returns of Sanitation Interventions in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 2013.
Water and Sanitation Program.
- Sanitation interventions have very favorable socio-economic returns to households and society, contributing to improved health, clean environment, dignity and quality of life, among many other beneﬁts
- Economic efﬁciency of improved sanitation can be optimized by improving program performance, which leads to sustained behavior change
- Sanitation solutions in urban areas that involve wastewater management are potentially cost-beneﬁcial, despite not all beneﬁts having been included.
- Improved hygiene and sanitation conditions in institutions, public places and tourist sites are important to attract more businesses and tourists to Lao PDR.
Improving handwashing with soap practices can save children’s lives by reducing preventable diseases like diarrhea and acute respiratory infections. Despite its effectiveness in reducing disease, handwashing with soap is uncommon in many countries.
The Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) conducted research with local partners in Peru, Senegal, Tanzania, and Vietnam to understand the factors that affect an individual’s decision to practice handwashing with soap. The research informed the implementation of handwashing project activities in the four countries.
Following national and local government implementation, WSP and its partners gathered valuable lessons, which inform this handwashing with soap toolkit. The toolkit, intended for practitioners interested in behavior change, is organized into four modules, each with reports and presentations about the lessons learned from the projects, as well as mass media, direct consumer contact, and interpersonal communication tools used throughout the project.
The Water Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) of Loughborough University, UK, in partnership with the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank, recently developed a self-paced online course that addresses the important global challenges facing the water and sanitation sector.
The course, titled Rural Sanitation at Scale, which is featured as a unit in WEDC’s master’s (MSc) program, is also offered free-of-charge as a non-accredited professional development unit for sector professionals interested in learning more about the issues of scaling-up sanitation in rural areas.
The course is divided into three parts:
Part 1 – Lays out the challenge of scaling up rural sanitation in context, examining fundamental aspects of sanitation provision and the reasons why, up to now, the goal of sanitation at scale has proved elusive.
Part 2 – Examines the core theory of change for sustainable programs. In particular it looks at the first two, of three, key components or pillars required for change: the creation of demand and the supply chain.
Part 3 – Continues to explore the core theory of change, focusing on the enabling environment. The unit concludes with a discussion of how the three pillars fit together and what steps are necessary to take an at-scale program forward.
Each section takes approximately 1 hour of study time, excluding associated reading, and is delivered using a variety of media including slide presentations, film clips, animations, photography and graphics supported by selected online publications.
Note: You will need to allow pop-ups for the course to run.
One of the most quoted WASH statistics was recently “downgraded”. For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, not $8 but “only” $4 is returned in economic returns through increased productivity. This recalculation , says the World Health Organization, is mainly a result of higher investment cost estimates and the more complete inclusion of operation and maintenance (O&M) costs.
Providing a better insight into O&M costs has been one of the achievements of the WASHCost project of the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. WASHCost has published minimum benchmarks for costing sustainable basic WASH services in developing countries . The project collected data from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Andhra Pradesh (India) and Mozambique.
The main message is that spending less than the minimum benchmarks will result in a higher risk of reduced service levels or long-term failure. NGOs claiming that “US$20 can provide clean water for one person for 20 years” have clearly forgotten to include annual recurrent costs for operation and maintenance, capital maintenance and direct support.
The real cost for 20 years of basic water supply from a borehole and handpump would be, per person, between US$ 20 and US$ 61 for construction plus US$ 3-6 every year to keep it working. In total for the 20 years this would amount to US$ 80 to US$ 181 per person.
Similarly, for the most basic sanitation service, a traditional pit latrine, the combined costs would be US$ 37 – 106 per person over 20 years.
Posted in Economic Benefits, Publications
Tagged cost-benefit analysis, Economics of Sanitation Initiative, handwashing, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, life-cycle costs, sanitation costs, statistics, WASHCost, Water and Sanitation Program, World Health Organization
by Anupam Tyagi, Economic Times - Feb 9, 2012
More people die from inadequate sanitation-related causes in India everyday than 10 aeroplanes filled with 200 people each. This has high economic costs. Therefore, achieving adequate sanitation is an imperative.
A summary of the report on economic impacts of inadequate sanitation in India, released on December 20, 2011, by Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank, shows that lack of adequate sanitation in India resulted in an annual loss of $53.8 billion ($161 billion in purchasing power parity, or PPP) or $48 per capita ($144 in PPP) in 2006, the year of evaluation in the report. This was equivalent to 6.4% of GDP in 2006.
Most of these losses were related to health (71.7%; $38.5 billion), and mostly concentrated in children below five years. Other quantified economic losses from inadequate sanitation in this report relate to getting access to cleaner drinking water, time losses from not having access to sanitation, and tourism-related losses.
Results-Based Financing (RBF), which offers incentives for behavior change based on results, has achieved practical success in both the health and education sectors. To date, however, applications of RBF in the sanitation sector have been limited.
In Identifying the Potential for Results-Based Financing for Sanitation, a new Working Paper published by the Water and Sanitation Program and the SHARE consortium, Sophie Trémolet offers practical ideas to apply RBF financing mechanisms to improve the delivery of sustainable sanitation services. Continue reading
Introductory Guide to Sanitation Marketing, 2011.
Print and Online Toolkit, by Jacqueline Devine and Craig Kullmann, Water and Sanitation Program.
Download Full-text (pdf) and view Online Toolkit
Sanitation marketing is an emerging field with a relatively small group of practitioners who are learning by doing. With an Introductory Guide to Sanitation Marketing and a companion online toolkit the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) seeks to contribute to the field by sharing practical guidance on the design, implementation, and monitoring of rural sanitation marketing programs at scale in India, Indonesia, and Tanzania, plus additional projects implemented in Cambodia and Peru.
The online toolkit includes narrated overviews, videos, and downloadable documents including research reports, sample questionnaires, and more.
Sanitation marketing, together with Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and behaviour change are the three core components WSP’s approach to scaling up rural sanitation, which also includes strengthening the enabling environment.
Posted in Africa, East Asia & Pacific, Economic Benefits, Hygiene Promotion, Latin America & Caribbean, Publications, South Asia, Web sites
Tagged Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Peru, sanitation marketing, Tanzania, Water and Sanitation Program
On 27 July 2011, more than 20 leading international water and development organizations signed and launched the WASH Sustainability Charter. This Charter is a collaboratively-developed mission and set of guiding principles to advance lasting solutions in water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH). The Charter is available to read and endorse at www.WASHCharter.org.
The Global Scaling Up Sanitation project of the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) has developed a performance monitoring and benchmarking model to strengthen outcome-based management of the rural sanitation sector in India. This model has been adopted by the Government of Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
A WSP learning note , published in April 2010, draws some preliminary lessons from using the benchmarking model:
- Performance benchmarking enables districts to understand their performance and motivates them to improve. It helps to flag areas of strength, areas that need improvement, and linkages between them
- Through performance benchmarking, inputs, outputs and processes can be linked to outcomes in monitoring rural sanitation sector performance in India
- The use of performance benchmarking weighted scoring is designed to put heavier emphasis on, and therefore encourage, achievement of outcomes
- Benchmarking should enable policy makers and nodal agencies to monitor performance on a rational basis and thereby channel resources and efforts on the basis of identified strengths and weaknesses
- The comparison of performance provides an incentive to be on the “top of the league table”
- Periodic monitoring helps to flag gaps in data accuracy and timeliness of data reporting
- Benchmarking needs to be linked to an incentive in order to drive performance improvement
 Kumar, C.A. and Singh, U. (2010). Benchmarking local government performance on rural sanitation : learning from Himachal Pradesh, India. (WSP learning note). Washington, DC, USA, Water and Sanitation Program. 5 p. : 3 fig., 2 tab. Read the full note
Related web site: WSP – Global Scaling Up Sanitation