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Slow initial growth is a challenge to 1-3 year funding cycles. Also, national latrine sales versus village-by-village "coverage' is a challenge to NGOs business/implementation and funding models. Please could you comment on this?

Sanitation is a significant capital expenditure, so it takes time for households to plan and save up for purchase, thus is can take time for sales to grow. It also takes time for new products and technologies to start penetrating a new market: ‘early adopters’ will purchase first, and they will slowly be followed by others as people gain more exposure and confidence in the product.
As with all sanitation interventions, sanitation marketing has the goal of achieving community-wide coverage and usage. This means that tracking latrine sales, uptake and usage on a village by village basis is essential. Such monitoring is often done by community leaders or local government with initial support from NGOs. Village-by-village results can then be aggregated up to intermediate and project area-wide reporting at quarterly and bi-annual frequencies. As an example, in Benin, the national rural sanitation program uses volunteer community-based sanitation promoters to monitor progress at household level using symbols developed to mark the start of construction, slab installation, and completion of each new latrine on a community map, because many of them are not literate. A local government sanitation supervisor visits quarterly to collect and aggregate results based on the changes recorded on the map in the community.

Answer thanks to:

Mimi Jenkins

Research Engineer in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California at Davis
Honorary lecturer in the Environmental Health Group at LSHTM

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