What can the world learn from achievements and challenges in the field of South Asian sanitation provision? Considerable progress has been made in 10 subject areas: policy development, low-cost solutions, user choice, decentralization, mapping poverty areas, funding of demand creation, motivating users, local production and supply, phasing out ineffective subsidies, and going beyond numbers to healthy practices. Ten others are still under-developed: diversification between and within households, cost-effective promotion, targeting remaining subsidies with equity, upgrading toilets over time, environmental safety, scope for dry toilets, sanitation in urban slums, short-term versus long-term programmes, sustainability of facilities and programmes, and organizational and human capacities, especially at intermediate level. This paper provides an overview of the South Asian Sanitation & Hygiene Practitioners' Workshop organized by IRC, WaterAid and BRAC in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 29-31 January 2008.
From 2003 to 2006, International Development Enterprises piloted a rural sanitation marketing approach in two provinces of Vietnam. During this period, coverage of sanitary toilets grew from 16 per cent to 46 per cent. Some three years after the project ended, the Water and Sanitation Program initiated a research study to investigate the sustainability of outcomes achieved. The study was conducted in collaboration with IRC and ADCOM and used a variety of methods including focus group discussion and structured interviews with community members, suppliers and promoters. The study found that coverage had continued to grow in pilot communes and had reached 59 per cent two years later. Promoters had continued their activities, albeit at a lesser intensity level. Many suppliers had expanded their product range and customer base and reported that their revenues from sanitation increased. Lack of tailored information on more affordable toilet construction and financing were the main barriers for those who had not yet built a sanitary toilet, despite having been reached by the pilot project.