Encouraging Rural Sanitation Take-up: Insights from Experimental Evaluations of Interventions

CEnREP Working Paper No. 24-001


We conduct an organized review of intervention-based studies that aim to promote improved sanitation adoption and use RCTs for evaluation. We impose systematic inclusion criteria to identify such studies, and compile their microdata to harmonize outcome and covariate measures as well as estimands across studies. We then re-analyze their data to report metrics that are consistently defined and measured across studies. We compare the relative effectiveness of different classes of interventions implemented in overlapping ways across four countries: community-level demand encouragement, sanitation subsidies, product information campaigns, and offering microcredit to finance product purchases. Interventions with financial benefits generally outperform information and education campaigns. Effects are typically larger for households with higher shares of women and differ little by poverty status, but more research is needed to confirm our conclusions on effect heterogeneity by household characteristics

Suggested citation: Guatam, Sanghmitra, Michael Gechter, Raymond P. Guiteras and Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, “Encouraging Rural Sanitation Take-up: Insights from Experimental Evaluations of Interventions,” CEnREP Working Paper No. 24-001, January 2024, https://go.ncsu.edu/cenrep.wp.24.001.

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