Formative Research to Develop Appropriate Participatory Approaches towards Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Rural Areas - India WASH Forum, May 2016

  • depinder
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  • Depinder Kapur is a senior development professional with experience in WASH, Livelihoods and NRM.
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Sanitation Behaviour Change Study

The WHO supported research on sanitation behaviour change is enclosed.

The study delved into understanding deeper self perception barriers, that prevent people from building and using toilets in rural India. In a previous study by the authors, in mixed caste Bihar rural areas as well as in this study in the states of Telengana, Gujarat and Jharkhand : the study found that caste, tribal and class identities play a major role in determining adoption of improved sanitation and hygiene behaviours. Your self perception that you are from a lower caste can prevent you from building a toilet and hand washing with soap, lest you confront the higher castes. Similarly if you have a very basic subsistence tribal livelihood status, you may lack the aspiration to improve your sanitation and hygiene behaviours alone unless this is part of a larger livelihood and income improvement change.

The study findings challenge the popular approaches to behaviour change - normative and advertising based approaches, that believe mere coaxing for health benefits, shaming and pride can make people change their sanitation and hygiene behaviours.

The study was done by India WASH Forum and is being presented today at SACOSAN 7 in Islamabad.

The study is accessible at India WASH Forum site :

It is also available at :

Placed here for discussion.


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 Mission and member of the 12th Five year Plan Working Group on Water and Sanitation.

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