the great toilet paper

we are nearing the end now.  rounding the bend into the last lap.  by the end of next week we will have produced a 35-page policy paper for publication by UNICEF, on the household determinants in the success of the total sanitation campaign in bangalore rural district.  a toilet paper, so to speak.

at this point we’ve finished our field work, finished collecting and analyzing the data that came out of it, and completed a first (very rough) draft of the paper.  we have 55 pages.  the coming week will absorb us in the editing process, though at some point we will have to put together a power point for presentation to our research institute.  next week we will present to government officials at the state and taluk levels, and continue editing to incorporate feedback from our partners.  on august 1st we fly to delhi to join the other UNICEF KCCI teams from around the country, at which point all of us will share our respective findings from the last 8 weeks of work.

i’m looking forward to having a finished product to show for my time here.  hopefully our work will contribute to the policy field, as a documentation of best practices in sanitation, helping officials in this and other countries to better implement their campaigns for improved sanitation.  at the least, it has already called attention to some surprising findings: for instance, that households were motivated more by the need for dignity, privacy, and security of women (who used to fear trekking into the fields at night to answer nature’s call), by the convenience of having a toilet in your back yard, and by the need to have the latest commodity and be on par with the neighbors.  concerns for the health implications of poor sanitation don’t seem to have been a critical reason for toilet adoption in this area.

as we get closer i’ll probably share some more of our conclusions, if you’re interested (the impacts and ripple effects are particularly interesting).  for now, some more photos from field visits…

~ by aliciawolcott on July 25, 2010.

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