Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity – this is not acceptable

  • JKMakowka
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Re: Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity – this is not acceptable

Yes, I agree with Dani's points.

Also related:

Toilets need water, women suffer under ODF drive

www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/toilet...ffer-under-odf-drive

Microbiologist & emergency WASH specialist
WASH news aggregator at: news.watsan.eu
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  • RaHaSolutions
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Re: Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity – this is not acceptable

Our project model is based on this very fascinating discussion. As proposed by Kris, we, for instance, will give a toilet to a family or a school on condition that the community helps the family/school get the toilets. Typically, a “more urbanized compatriot” will nominate the family/school. In consultation with the family/school, the compatriot will mention their favourite corporation/organization. We give the toilet on condition that the corporation/organization publicly “brags” about being the family’s/school’s favourite in relation to the project.

The bragging spreads word about the project, and we get subsequent nominations for the project.

The nominator is expected to be a close relative/friend of the family/school – the nominator is expected to privately discuss with the school/family and jointly decide that they are willing to take our toilets (in such private discussions, coercion around it being "disgusting" or "undignified" to shit on the beach, if any, may not be prominent)

Getting organizations/corporations to ‘brag’ is easy. Family businesses, for instance, have connections with their local area going back generations. National and international chains, on the other hand, often have a strong social or community support ethos as part of their corporate policy, providing free or subsidised goods and services – and sometimes funding too – for local community initiatives. Businesses operate as part of communities and hold as much of a stake in supporting local community amenities and promoting civic pride as the locals themselves.
Back to the point, we market the toilets to the “more urbanized compatriots” and the organizations/companies – those who, in CLTS, would stigmatise the toilet-less.

In short, a family/school is toilet-less because you, “the more urbanized compatriots” and the corporations/organizations, have not nominated the family/school for a toilet. This takes care of ‘…psychosocial literature highlights that shame is a volatile and often harmful emotion, particularly in conditions of poverty. Shame’s negative psychological outcomes include: low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, anger and even suicide (Turner, 2000, 2009; Scheff, 1988, 2000)’. It also shifts effects of "conspicuous consumption" (approach to marketing) from the toilets-less (who get affected negatively by it) to their urbanized compatriots” and the corporations/organizations (who actually need it).

On the reasonable assumption that un-improved toilets (pits) may not be desirable to the beneficiaries, we are guided by a possibility that beneficiaries see little value in pits mainly because they know that their more urbanized compatriots use much better toilets – in this sense, the pit is not different from OD, its a bluff. We apply the kind of toilets in attached photo – even in Napal, Kris.

Dani, please share your survey/report (that shows that a fairly high standard of toilet was needed) – this will strengthen our marketing approach.

Unfortunately (because the last few percent are really the ones that count from the public health perspective), we don’t have a product for nomads. But we build toilets on road sides for children, disabled and the sick; those who cannot wait.

Reusable sanitary pads that we give to teenage girls (who get our toilets) are for purposes of managing our sun-drying toilets. We avoid the shame associated with selling reusable pads – the girls use the reusable pads, not because they are less fortunate, but because the toilets cannot accept disposable pads (pits may accept disposables).

I am struggling to understand the argument around atolls, please help, Dani. Are you saying that, because we don’t drink ocean water, it may be ‘technically’ ok to shit in/near it? I understand the ‘absolutes’ part of your argument.

We will follow you at WEDC, mostly because we would want to fully understand your argument (that favours us) that, from a health risk angle, open defecation would be better than …unimproved pits.

Bringing Clean Close Water & Toilets
www.raha.solutions
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  • RaHaSolutions
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Re: Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity – this is not acceptable

We forgot to add that this discussion is so closely related to our project that we included your quotes in our website, see raha.solutions/about-raha/ , thanks a lot

Bringing Clean Close Water & Toilets
www.raha.solutions
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  • muench
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Re: Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity – this is not acceptable

Hi Titi (Raha Solutions),
I don't think it's right that you have used the profile pictures of Dani, Susan and Kris and quotes from their forum posts on your website without their prior consent. Like this it looks like they are endorsing your product or company. I am pretty sure they would not want to do that. Please take that down and ask for their consent first.
But thanks for letting us know about this.
Regards,
Elisabeth

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  • DaniBarrington
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Re: Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity – this is not acceptable

Agreed, please remove our photos and quotes from your website.

Dani Barrington, PhD, BE (Hons), BSc

Lecturer in Water, Sanitation and Health
University of Leeds

Editor in Chief
Journal of Humanitarian Engineering

Honorary Fellow in Public Health
The University of Quuensland
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  • depinder
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Re: Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity – this is not acceptable

For a special issue on CLTS, kindly see the India WASH Forum Newsletter below

indiawashforum.com/wp-content/uploads/20...cy-Newsletter-36.pdf

Depinder Kapur is a senior Development and WASH expert and is currently leading the Sanitation Capacity Building Platform of National Institute of Urban Affairs in New Delhi. He has worked with AKRSP, SPWD, CARE(Director NRM), Oxfam(Program & Advocacy Director), WaterAid India(Country Head) and WSSCC(National Coordinator). Also has 5 years of work experience as a consultant with UNICEF, FAO, WSSCC, FES and World Bank. Principal Trustee of India WASH Forum and part of a Citizens Initiative on Right to Water and Sanitation. Also worked with Ministry of Urban Development for the Clean India...
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  • sengel
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Re: Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity – this is not acceptable

Great link, thanks Kris. I had not even thought of the extra burden in carrying water!
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  • sengel
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Re: Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity – this is not acceptable

Hi Titi,

While I was excited to read about your "bragging" approach and am pleased you found the work useful, I agree too. I am happy to have my work cited but don't want to appear to endorse particular organisations.

Thanks and cheers,
Susan
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  • shobana
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Re: Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity – this is not acceptable

Dear Dani,

I read the editorial and i believe the situation is quite different when it comes to urban sanitation.
It might be out of context but going purely by your title, I would slightly disagree. Open defecation is not only considered wrong from sanitation point of view but there is also some level of disgust and aversion when it comes to open urination ( mostly by men) in Indian cities.
This is mainly because those who defecate or urinate in pavements make them unusable for others and passersby are exposed to unwanted nudity. Here, shaming people is acceptable.
There were several toilet marketing campaigns shaming those who urinate in public. One team in Mumbai had water tankers patrolling the streets and drenched those who urinated in public with water.
Watch the video here:


What kind of market approaches should one resort to here?

Regards

Shobana Srinivasan
SuSanA Secretariat, GIZ Eschborn
BORDA e.V Germany
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Working as a part of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Phase 3 SuSanA project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
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  • DaniBarrington
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Re: Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity – this is not acceptable

Hi Shobana,

Thanks for your thoughts. I should note that the title of the editorial is slightly "sensationalised" (as it is an online platform where the editors do take some creative license with them!); the https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027795361730638Xunderlying systematic review that the editorial is based on does not suggest that all sanitation marketing is bad per se, but that we "need to monitor for well-being impacts throughout sanitation marketing interventions and continuously improve them". I think that the most important thing in many cases is to be aware of how impacts on well-being are playing out over time, and adjust as necessary.

However, I do disagree with tactics, particularly shaming, which it can be fairly safely assumed will have negative impacts on well-being from the outset. In no way am I condoning urination on public city streets, but I think that using a water cannon as a deterrent is not the way to go about it (how far is it, morally, from spraying people with a water cannon to throwing rocks at them for openly defecating?). Spraying water on someone to teach them not to urinate somewhere is literally how some people train dogs. I am not an expert on behaviour change, nor a specialist on New Delhi, so I would not want to suggest what approaches should be used instead, especially without context - but there has to be a better way than this.

Dani Barrington, PhD, BE (Hons), BSc

Lecturer in Water, Sanitation and Health
University of Leeds

Editor in Chief
Journal of Humanitarian Engineering

Honorary Fellow in Public Health
The University of Quuensland
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  • muench
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Re: Toilet marketing campaigns in developing countries erode people’s dignity – this is not acceptable

Fascinating discussion, touching on so many different but related aspects. Thanks.

I find it really sad to read the article that Kris linked us to:
Also related:

Toilets need water, women suffer under ODF drive

www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/toilet...ffer-under-odf-drive

I find it sad because I am wondering: who insisted that it had to be flush toilets if the village has a shortage of water?? Could it be that it was men deciding on the type of toilet because they don't need to carry the water? The article doesn't say what kind of flush toilet it is, probably pour flush twin pit pit latrine. If they use a SaTo pan then the flushing would only be a litre (if I remember correctly) per use. But even one litre adds up... so why not go for dry toilets in this case? How about urine-diverting dry toilets? (and please not the objection again that they cannot be used in India. I think David Crosweller with his GroSan toilets has proven otherwise, see in this thread: forum.susana.org/170-shared-toilets-comm...ngo-sanitation-first )

And I agree with what was said earlier in this thread: If we can help people get desirable, aspirational toilets, rather than dodgy, dark, smelly pit latrines then surely it will be a whole lot easier to move people from open defecation to using toilets. I am not saying that all pit latrines are dodgy, dark and smelly but many of them are. Added to that is the "time bomb" a few years down the track of who will empty the pits? Only the "Dalits"? See related very interested thread on the Dalit issue here:
forum.susana.org/71-behaviour-change-and...n-india-and-pakistan
and here:
forum.susana.org/71-behaviour-change-and...dia-and-caste-issues

About CLTS: I think we can agree on this conclusion: CLTS how it was conceived originally had no intention to use any type of external force or external shaming, but rather focus on creating a realisation and a feeling of disgust (see the publication I quoted from earlier on 12 June). It worked well in tight-nit rural Bangladeshi villages. But once government and "professional" facilitators got hold of it, it deviated from its original soft/peaceful/self-help approach. I think this must be very frustrating for those who still support and believe in the original CLTS idea. I still think it would have been useful to use a different term for the more government-driven approach (in India, the term "total sanitation campaign" was used for a while - now it's part of the Swachh Bharat mission - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swachh_Bharat_mission )

I also agree with points raised by Kris and Dani: it is not the open defecation per se that we need to combat. It is the disease spreading that can result from open defecation that we worry about. E.g. If you had a nomadic population with ample space and little rainfall (= no risk of surface water pollution) then open defecation is really not a big deal and could be safely continued.

Greetings,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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