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Market-based Sanitation Decision Support Tools

Universal access to basic sanitation is a long-standing challenge despite decades of government, donors, funders, and civil society interventions. And while the importance of the private sector for the supply of toilets has been recognized since the 1980s, few development programs applying market-based sanitation (MBS) approaches have scaled. The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) project aims to better understand the barriers to scaling MBS interventions and improving programming globally.

To this end, the project’s Scaling Market-Based Sanitation desk review highlighted the role of market rules (i.e., policy, regulation, or laws) in the business environment in shaping the functioning and scaling of sanitation markets. However, the project found few precedents of market rules for sanitation markets, which is a challenge because policymakers rely upon precedents for policy choices and implementation decisions.

The project developed Decision Support Tools (DSTs) as a modeling-based approach to guide sanitation-related policymaking when precedents or the evidence base is thin. WASHPaLS built DST models for three example sanitation policies that would potentially support the growth of sanitation markets to demonstrate the approach. The three example policies are penalties on landlords, tax reduction/exemption, and limited-duration financial support to demand activators. A technical paper for practitioners used publicly available data from one country in the three DST models to demonstrate the utility of the approach.

The tools below are intended for practitioners interested in adapting the models for their contexts and assessing the potential cost-benefit of the policies. User guides provide overviews of the base models and guidance on adapting them, while the models of country-specific applications aid comprehension. Practitioners interested in adapting the models should use the ‘Sandbox’ versions. The ‘Original’ versions should be used to understand the model and formulae, identify errors made during adaptation, and as a general reference.


Decision Support Tools (download a .zip file of all documents by clicking here)