Identifying low-cost interventions to increase latrine use across India

Client: Multiple (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, other government departments)
Dates of service:
August 2017 - Present
IDinsight service:
Learning partnership, Evidence review, Impact evaluation, Process evaluation
IDinsight contacts:
Divya Nair, Pulkit Agarwal
Learn more about: AMAL Unit
Lear more about the AMAL Unit’s initiatives:
Agriculture | Capacity Building | Data-on-Demand | Financial Inclusion | Health & Nutrition | Measurement

The Problem

The Indian government’s central policymaking unit, NITI Aayog, seeks to transform the country’s 100 poorest districts, which consistently lag on health, education, and economic indicators. The AMAL (Action-focused Measurement And Learning) Unit, set up by IDinsight, is supporting NITI Aayog on the 'Transform Aspirational Districts’ initiative. The initiative aims to significantly improve socioeconomic outcomes in 100+ of India’s poorest districts, home to approximately 250 million people. The thrust of the initiative is to promote an outcomes-based management approach among states and districts, thereby promoting a federal governance structure that fosters competition amongst public entities to chase outcomes while encouraging cooperation to share learnings and best practices.

An initiative of this partnership is working with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a flagship programme of the Government of India launched in 2014 to end open defecation across states in India by 2019.

As the first phase of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan comes to an end, there is a need to sustain the effects of the work undertaken in the last four years.

The overall objective of the AMAL Sanitation team is to identify low cost and easy to implement interventions that are aimed at increasing and sustaining use of latrines across the country.

Evidence Needs

IDinsight Service

The AMAL Sanitation team conducted a thorough evidence review to identify key barriers to sustained use of latrines, and designed behavioural interventions to address challenges related to 4 such barriers. To better understand their impact, the team is now in the process of testing these interventions in partnership with other stakeholders in the ecosystem. Additionally, IDinsight is conducting a process evaluation to generate learnings for the WASH sector around developing nudges to address behavioural constraints to latrine usage.


The project is ongoing.


The project is ongoing.