The 5 Ds Changing mind-sets to open defecation in India

Today, of the 2.4 billion people who lack access to improved sanitation globally, more than 750 million live in India, with 80 percent living in rural areas. World Water Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the massive work to be done in providing

In the hamlet of Bharsauta in Uttar Pradesh, India, construction worker Vishwanath lives together with their aged parents, four children and his own wife. Three years ago, the authorities paid to build a toilet inside their house. But the occupation wasn't done well: the pit was too shallow, it overflows frequently, along with the smell makes it suffocating to work with. Cleaning the toilet requires taking water from a community water faucet. His family and Vishwanath have determined it'sn’t worth the hassle.

Vishwanath’s family is not alone. Studies have shown that that households which built their particular toilets, instead of receiving a government subsidy, are far more prone to use them. But what are the best ways to persuade people to build their own toilets?

The research helped behavioral change practitioners to reinforce the “community-headed total sanitation” (CLTS) strategy. Building a new “5Ds” strategy, on that combines strengths of the CLTS strategy, research insights and behavior change communications theory into an all-inclusive framework for changing norms around open defecation.

The 5 “Ds” are:

1: Depict.

1: Depict.

 Research reveals that lots of variables motivate individuals to determine to construct a toilet. For example, in the rainy season, irritation was mentioned by 75% of respondents in Bihar ; in Rajasthan, 69% mentioned security concerns for girls and kids.

But, the danger of attempting to convey multiple messages is that finally, none gets heard. It's more efficient to focus on a single, clear message with psychological heft. Research points to self esteem and also the perceived societal standing of the family – for example, a prospective son in law not wanting to stay in a home with no toilet – as the most promising focus for a message.

The “depict” position consequently sets out to establish the standard that utilizing a toilet is proof of refined and being cultured. It seeks to change individuals’s frame of reference: where they expect subsidies, and currently consider toilets as a government program, the messaging portrays it as an issue of evolving something and community norms they should be willing to speculate in themselves.

The research identified the very best channels through which to deliver messages. For example, television reaches 50% of homes with toilets in UP and 29% of those without. Outside advertisements emerged as a potentially particularly effective route.

2: Divulge.

2: Divulge.

2: Divulge. Research implies that individuals do not build a toilet because they're not aware of advice that is basic, the connection between open defecation and diarrhea, for example. Some have formed a negative view of toilets on account of low-quality construction during government sterilization campaigns. The technology that is appropriate was not known by 69% of those for whom toilets were assembled.

Folks often believe toilets are far more expensive than they really are. In UPWARD, estimates ranged from INR 20,000 to 120,000 (around $300 to $1,500). Perceiving toilets unaffordable, people prioritize other demands on resources, for example sending their kids or saving to get a daughter’s union.

Divulge, the second “D”, thus aims to supply practical advice and dispel myths, by way of a variety of print material, audio-video clips and one to one or group conversations. Experience shows that these are far more powerful if messages are packaged as eye-opening revelations with components of surprise or happiness.

3: Exhibit.

3: Exhibit.

Even a lot better than telling folks is showing them what utilize a toilet and they need to understand – the different models of a toilet, how they're built and maintained, how the compost appears – and giving them role models who have constructed. CLTS reaches this third “D” through various methods, including travelling exhibits and group discussions, although demonstration is typically challenging in behaviour change campaigns.

A standard issue with demonstrations is that their impact fades without means of reward. Often, people are initially convinced but lose their motivation. The 5Ds model addresses this dilemma by continually reinforcing the desire to act on knowledge learned, through societal routes including mobisodes on mobile phones and at occasions that maintain buzz through word-of-mouth

4: Dissuade.

4: Dissuade.

 Even when people are conscious of health benefits, the tipping point in behavior change comes when village authorities and local communities establish and enforced sanctions against open defecation.

The “dissuade” stage needs to make open defecators feel that they are being reminded of appearing community norms, rather than intimidated into changing behavior they still see as okay. It can help if sanctions are designed with all the community’s involvement and uniformly imposed, rather than supporting ad-hoc activities by vigilante groups. Mass media messages and road plays might help reinforce the new norms.

5: Dignify.

5: Dignify.

 One method to “dignify” toilet use is linking the custom of singing “Sohar” – a tune used to mark family events that are joyous with toilet construction. Low cost ways of dispersing this tradition comprise mobile ringtones and WhatsApp sound messages. Even families with no toilet, 91% have a cellular phone.

Other tactics include local authorities giving “clean house” nameplates to be exhibited with pride by households with toilets, and holding regular public events to recognize local champions of ending open defecation.

The 5Ds strategy originated in partnership with the UP government and is now being deployed in the state. The mobisodes were shown in Ghandhinagar attended by the Prime Minister and six thousand Sarpanches, or women community leaders on International Women’s Day at an occasion. As the expertise in profits that are UP, it should create valuable lessons that could be used to adapt this program in other Indian states


India South Asia Water Gender Education Health sanitation rural sanitation World Water Day 2017 WWD 2017 Open Defecation open defecation free behavior change