Long-Term Data On Toilet Use Uptake, Abandonment Needed To Support Better Investments, Experts Write

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: What panel data tell us about toilets in India
Indermit Gill, director of the Duke Center for International Development at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, and Subhrendu K. Pattanayak, professor of public policy and environmental economics at Duke University and faculty director of the Sustainable Energy Transitions Initiative at the Duke Energy Access Project, discuss recent developments in sanitation and toilet usage in Bangladesh and India, noting some data from Bangladesh “point both to rapid adoption and abandonment of toilets.” The authors note, “In many ways, the findings echo the experience with other investments in new infrastructure. For the changes to persist long enough to permanently alter hardened habits, these investments have to be accompanied by durable arrangements for maintenance, and periodic reminders of the human and financial costs of reverting to the practices of old” (9/20).

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