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Sanitation value chains in low density settings in Indonesia and Vietnam: impetus for a rethink to achieve pro-poor outcomes

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This study examined the sanitation hardware supply chain in rural, low density settings in Indonesia and Vietnam. Actual costs along the chains were investigated to understand the challenges and opportunities to support affordable sanitation in remote, rural locations. Data was collected from four remote districts in Indonesia and Vietnam through a systematic value-chain analysis comprising 378 interviews across households and supply chain actors and both quantitative and qualitative analysis.

There were three main findings: Firstly, poor households, often located in remote areas and with lower sanitation access, often experienced higher costs to build durable latrines than households in accessible areas or district capitals. Secondly, locally sourced materials (sand, bricks or gravel) had a greater influence on price than externally sourced materials (cement, steel and toilet pans), even accounting for cost increases of these materials along the supply chain. Thirdly, transport and labour costs represented considerable proportions of the overall cost to build a toilet. These findings highlighted logistical and financial barriers to poor, remote households in accessing sanitation.

The findings of this study can inform strategies to improve the availability and affordability of sanitation products and services, in particular key issues that need to be addressed through government and non-government pro-poor market-based interventions.

This study by Juliet Willetts, Anna Gero, Akhmad Akbar Susamto, Ryan Sanjaya, Thanh Doan Trieu, Janina Murta and Naomi Carrard was first published in washdev2017141; DOI: 10.2166/washdev.2017.141 on 26 July 2017.

Date: 22 August 2017