iDE commits to impacting over 1 million lives over the next 3 years through cost-effective, sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) market development strategies that improve the health and economic opportunities of rural communities.
iDE's theory of change is that stronger supply chains, consumer demand, and an enabling environment lead to greater uptake of WASH products and services, resulting in reduced mortality, improved health, and financial savings for rural populations. Through its Sanitation Marketing (SanMark) model, iDE aims to create functional markets for sanitary latrines. To do this, iDE i) develops a deep understanding of the target group's needs and aspirations; ii) designs affordable, accessible, and aspirational products to meet those needs; iii) strengthens the capacity of local enterprises to supply products; iv) conducts social marketing campaigns to generate demand and encourage positive behavior change; and v) coordinates with government and NGOs to scale and reach vulnerable households.
As an example, in 2008 iDE designed the Easy Latrine, an aspirational and affordable product, redesigned to be cheaper, simpler to install, more conveniently packaged, and recognizably branded. The modifications dropped the price for a latrine from approximately $56 to just $35. After introduction to the market, in just 16 months, almost 12,000 Easy Latrines were sold at unsubsidized prices, more than four times the latrine sales prior to the project, and 29 new enterprises began selling the latrines. Notably, in one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia, a third of the purchases were made by households that the government has identified as particularly poor.
iDE brings more than 30 years of experience to this global challenge. The Commitment will be supported by iDE's Global WASH Initiative team, a global community of practice including Directors experienced in at-scale Sanitation Marketing implementation, a Knowledge Manager, Program Managers and iDE's innovation lab.
iDE's sanitation marketing (SanMark) approach to catalyzing WASH markets has been to:
Systematically analyze the existing marketplace by engaging with households, supply chain actors, and the enabling environment to develop a deep understanding of their needs, constraints, and aspirations, by Q3 2014.
Identify and adapt or design affordable technology options to meet those needs, by Q3 2014.
Develop and test sustainable business models to effectively distribute these technology options by Q3 2014.
Strengthen the capacity of businesses to take up the business model(s), which can include manufacturing, sales, and business management training and coaching, byQ4 2013 for Cambodia, Vietnam, and Nepal; Q2 2014 for Ethiopia; and Q1 2014 for Bangladesh and Zambia
Design and conduct social marketing campaigns to encourage positive behavior changes, including the purchase and proper use of WASH technologies, by Q4 2013 for Cambodia, Vietnam, and Nepal; Q2 2014 for Ethiopia; and Q1 2014 for Bangladesh and Zambia.
Coordinate and engage with NGOs and government agencies to leverage resources, extend project scale, reach vulnerable households, and develop an enabling environment supportive of market interventions for sanitation, by Q4 2013 for Cambodia, Vietnam, and Nepal; Q2 2014 for Ethiopia; and Q1 2014 for Bangladesh and Zambia.
It is estimated that 2.5 billion people, almost 40% of the developing world, lack access to improved sanitation (a safe, functioning toilet). Every year more children die from diarrhea-related disease than from HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. An estimated 94% of diarrheal disease is attributable to the environment: unsafe drinking water, lack of sanitation, and poor hygiene.
Sanitation-related illness is an economic drain on individuals and developing countries: money is spent on doctors' visits, and potential earnings are lost due to sick workers. In Cambodia alone, it is estimated that poor sanitation costs the country $448 million, or 7.2% of GDP, every year. The World Health Organization calculated that there could be at least $556 billion in economic benefits annually from universal access to water and sanitation across the globe.
Despite the scale of the crisis, sanitation remains a low priority for governments, and recent efforts fall far short of what is required. Progress depends on adequate investment and collaborative action across governments, civil society, multilateral agencies, academia and the private sector.
Addressing this oft-sidelined issue has vast implications for the health, hygiene and productivity of un-served communities. Without improved sanitation, untreated human waste impacts an entire community, affecting many aspects of daily life and ultimately posing serious health risks. The issue runs deeper: teenage girls often leave school at the onset of menstruation due to a lack of privacy, and risk being attacked or raped when they have to defecate in the open after nightfall. This problem goes beyond the need for toilets: it requires sustainable sanitation products and services for all communities. A history of well-meaning subsidies has depressed demand for latrines, stymied the growth of private sanitation markets, and discouraged a sense of ownership in households.