Homing in on Household Sanitation Access-Usage Gaps: A Comparative Study of Sustainability and Equitability Aspects of the Total Sanitation Campaign in Northern India
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The study explored how interventions, and subsidization in particular, influence sustainability and equitability of household sanitation access and usage for the impoverished in the Total Sanitation Campaign in rural northern India. Villages from States of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were included to represent the Total Sanitation Campaign’s alternative Community-Led Total Sanitation and conventional approaches. Despite a central demand-driven, incentive-based strategy, this study found supply-led, subsidy-based interventions continue in India. Adequate facilitation and awareness raising in alternative interventions led hardware subsidies to become less relevant. In alternative interventions the majority of poor and non-poor achieved access, access was more sustainable, and usage was more equal among poor and non-poor households. In conventional interventions, deficient awareness raising and rigid subsidy-orientation led only households receiving latrine subsidies to achieve access. As a result of conventional interventions, non-poor were commonly excluded, access achieved was often unsustainable, and latrine usage was equally weak for all households. The study concludes latrine subsidies not only cause harm, but they also induce perpetuation of supply-led tendencies in all interventions, excluding poor and non-poor households based on Government poverty classification, guiding projects to be technically-oriented, and causing neglect of awareness raising necessary for people to value and adopt household sanitation.