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Unlike subsidy and CLTS where governments are sometimes the main implementer, the government struggles to adjust to their new role as described. What might be some ideas that governments can use to support change?

Government has the role of mobilizing communities to achieve sanitation uptake on the demand side and is ultimately responsible for assuring everyone has safe sanitation. Often what is most difficult for government is learning how to work more collaboratively with the private sector to achieve their aims of increasing sanitation access. Evidence from sanitation market research and pilot sanitation marketing experience in their own or a neighboring country is usually a powerful tool to get government to change views and consider supporting sanitation market development efforts. These results tend to demonstrate just how much of the sustained gains in improved sanitation coverage are due to the market and that a large segment of households are interested and able to purchase improved sanitation if appropriate products and services are accessible through the market. Creating opportunities for government officials to network with local private enterprises who have a stake and interest in growing sanitation markets is one way to start the dialogue. Peer exchange visits to early successful pilot areas and businesses helps to create momentum and appetite for trialing new approaches. Creating competition between local government departments, for example by recognizing and rewarding districts with high growth in new latrine installations, is another strategy for helping to encourage and mobilize government.

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 LSHT

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