WASHplus Weekly: Sanitation Marketing

Issue 112 August 16, 2013 | Focus on Sanitation Marketing

This issue focuses on sanitation marketing. Several sources define sanitation marketing as an emerging field that applies social and commercial marketing approaches to scale up the supply and demand for improved sanitation facilities. Most of the studies and resources in this issue are from 2012 and 2013, but it also includes a 2010 USAID sanitation marketing guide for managers. Of note is an article by Gordon McGranahan who reviews and discusses shortcomings of the sanitation marketing approach. washplus-weekly

Please contact WASHplus if you have recent studies, manuals, etc., on sanitation marketing that can be added to this compilation.


Sanitation Marketing in Antananarivo: Progress and Impact, 2013. Water and Sanitation Program for the Urban Poor (WSUP). (Video)
This video describes the WSUP sanitation marketing approach in Antananarivo, Madagascar, and the impact of improved latrines on the local community.

Selling Toilets in Cambodia, 2013. J Graham. (Video)
A video by Dr. Jay Graham of George Washington University about his tour of a WaterSHED project in Cambodia.

Toilet Teachings: 2 Toilet Ventures Illustrate Strategies for Success in Inclusive BusinessBusiness Fights Poverty, Apr 2013. C Ashley. (Blog post)
This article discusses two sanitation marketing ventures: 3S Shramik, which is supported by the Business Innovation Facility and works in Pune and other cities in India, and Sanergy, which works in Nairobi slums and is supported by Innovations Against Poverty. Both ventures are developing business models for private provision of sanitation in slums, covering everything from careful toilet design to evacuation of waste.

Upscale Latrines Form the Basis for a New “Sanitation Market” Approach in NepalAgrilinks, Apr 2013. J Yazman. (Blog post)
A new UNICEF-sponsored initiative will expand household availability of “upscale latrines” in rural areas through a market development approach. iDE’s Sanitation Marketing Initiative (SanMark) in Nepal combines its trademark supply chain approach to delivery of low-cost production technology and a “human centered design” approach that considers the needs of consumers for useful as well as efficient household products.

Using Participatory Design in Malawi. Business Fights Poverty, July 2013(Link)
In 2011, UNICEF Malawi decided to apply social marketing tools to improve and enhance its existing community-led total sanitation (CLTS) program. The program demonstrated great advances in improving sanitation coverage. However, reports from the field indicated that households were continuing to struggle with poor product designs that collapsed after a short time in use.

Sanitation Marketing on Call-in Radio Show, June 2013. (Link)
This podcast features WaterSHED’s WASH Marketing Manager Sao Sopha on the topic of WaterSHED’s Hands-Off Sanitation Marketing project.

What is the Difference Between Improving Sanitation and Selling Coca Cola?2013. G McGranahan, IIED. (Link)
Gordon McGranahan outlines his views on the demand problems that lie at the center of the global sanitary challenge, and why he believes that a sanitation marketing approach based on commercial principles cannot address these problems.


Community-Driven Sanitation Improvement in Deprived Urban Neighbourhoods, 2013. G McGranahan. (Link, pdf)
There is an international consensus that urban sanitary conditions are in great need of improvement, but sharp disagreement over how this improvement should be pursued. Both market-driven and state-led efforts to improve sanitation in deprived communities tend to be severely compromised, as there is a lack of effective market demand (due to collective action problems) and severe barriers to the centralized provision of low-cost sanitation facilities.

Demand Promotion and Marketing: How Do We Reach Rural Target Markets in Sanitation Marketing? 2013. M Rios. (Link, pdf)
This guidance note discusses sanitation marketing’s three demand creation objectives and the role of marketing communications; explains the importance of interpersonal communications (IPC) in rural sanitation marketing; and provides steps and tips for developing IPC activities, tools, and materials for sanitation marketing.

A Field Tool for Sanitation Marketing Surveys in Bangladesh, 2013. IRC. (Link)
Consultant-led sanitation marketing surveys typically take months to produce a thick report with largely impractical recommendations. The IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre is developing a field tool that delivers, within just one week, a one-page overview matching sanitation supply and demand.

Investigating the Dynamic Interactions Between Supply and Demand for Rural Sanitation, MalawiJournal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 2(4) 2012. B Cole. (Abstract)
Formative market research is the first step in developing evidence-based sanitation marketing programs. In Malawi, the design, implementation, and evaluation of rural sanitation marketing programs has been limited. This study applied a mixed methodological approach to examine the dynamic interactions between the supply and demand of sanitation in three rural districts.

Learning from Failure: Lessons for the Sanitation Sector, 2013. S Jones. (Link, pdf)
The four case studies in this report involve a range of scales and actors. The first two are NGO-led projects in Malawi: a CLTS project by EWB-Canada and a sanitation marketing initiative by Water for People. The third case study examines the Erdos Eco-Town Project in Inner Mongolia, an urban ecosan project developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Dongsheng District Government. The final example looks at a national program rather than an individual project: the Government of India’s rural Total Sanitation Campaign.

Sanitation Investment Tracker (SIT): An Overview, 2013. M Prat. (Link, pdf) |(User guide)
SIT provides a robust data collection and analysis method to estimate household investments and spending on sanitation, with greater accuracy, timeliness, and verifiability, and lower costs of data verification and correction than traditional methods.

Sanitation Marketing for Managers: Guidance and Tools for Program Development, 2010. USAID Hygiene Improvement Project. (Link)
This manual provides guidance and tools for designing a sanitation marketing program. It guides professionals in the fields of sanitation and marketing to 1) comprehensively assess the current market for sanitation products and services and (2) use the results of this assessment to design a multi-pronged sanitation marketing strategy.

Sanitation Marketing Lessons from Cambodia: A Market-Based Approach to Delivering Sanitation, 2012. Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). (Link, pdf)
The WSP-supported Sanitation Marketing Pilot Project is one of a range of sanitation marketing initiatives applying the sanitation marketing approach to the rural Cambodian context. The project designed a new affordable pour-flush latrine package (the Easy Latrine), trained local enterprises to profitably produce and sell it, and developed sales and promotional strategies to increase consumer demand. In less than two years, households from four provinces purchased a total of 10,621 unsubsidized Easy Latrines from local private enterprises.

Sanitation Marketing Toolkit, 2013. Water and Sanitation Program. (English) |(French)
This toolkit and its print companion, Introductory Guide to Sanitation Marketing, offer practitioners and program managers suggestions based on WSP’s experience implementing sanitation marketing in a range of diverse geographic, cultural, and political settings.

Sanitation Markets: Using Economics to Improve the Delivery of Services Along the Sanitation Value Chain, 2012. S Trémolet, SHARE. (Link, pdf)
The “sanitation economics”’ approach used throughout this paper consists of applying economic principles, approaches, and tools to evaluate a number of sanitation markets alongside the sanitation value chain. Each segment of the chain can be conceived as a separate sanitation market, with different actors demanding and providing sanitation services.

Training of Trainers Manual: Sanitation Marketing, Community-Led Total Sanitation, Handwashing with Soap, n.d. Water and Sanitation Program/Tanzania. (Link, pdf)
The sanitation marketing approach treats the household as a viable consumer, which has to be researched to better understand the motivators and barriers to purchasing latrines. It employs a range of methods from media campaigns and direct consumer contact to stimulate demand to accreditation and training for small business providers to improve supply.


Clean Team Ghana – (Website)
Through in-depth analysis of their needs and aspirations, and the markets in which they exist, the Clean Team created a model for a profitable social business that seeks to reach scale through the modest investment of return-seeking capital.

iDE/Cambodia – The Sanitation Marketing Project (SANMARK)(Link)
The SANMARK approach has multiple successes—from a business perspective as much as a public health perspective. The stimulation of demand means an increased awareness and education about public health. Use of local supply chains through local enterprises means that it brings business and jobs to local markets. Furthermore, the intelligent use of design means that the cost of the toilet ends up being lowered to an affordable price for the poor.

Rural Sanitation Marketing in Malawi – Learning Together(Blog)
This blog is the brainchild of the 31 participants and four co-facilitators of the Learning Together, Achieving as One Workshop: Rural Sanitation Marketing in Malawi. The workshop was hosted by Mzuzu University’s Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation, WASTE Netherlands, and UNICEF Malawi over three days in July 2012.

Sanitation Marketing. WaterAid WASH Reference Group. (Website)
The Sanitation Marketing Community of Practice is a WASH Reference Group managed by WaterAid Australia. The WASH Reference Group is an Australian-based community of practice comprising 25 organizations working on water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion in developing countries, including NGOs, research organizations, and the Australian water industry.

PSI – Sanitation Marketing through Social Entrepreneurship in India(Link)
This project works to expand supply in the sanitation market through low‐income entrepreneurs by developing appropriate business models, increasing access to finance options for entrepreneurs, and increasing demand for affordable sanitation products and services among consumers, including access to credit.

WaterSHED – Sanitation Marketing – (Link)
WaterSHED’s Hands-Off Sanitation Marketing Project supports local enterprises to profitably sell sanitation products and services that households want and can afford. Instead of project beneficiaries, this project sees toiletless households as an untapped market of consumers ready and willing to invest in a product that will change their lives.

WASHplus Weeklies will highlight topics such as Urban WASH, Indoor Air Pollution, Innovation, Household Water Treatment and Storage, Hand Washing, Integration, and more. If you would like to feature your organization’s materials in upcoming issues, please send them to Dan Campbell, WASHplus Knowledge Resources Specialist, atdacampbell@fhi360.org.

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