Skip to main content



Processes, materials and methods

Published on: 23/10/2012

Easy to use and low-cost leaflets and catalogues can inform potential customers. Conviction comes more from interpersonal interaction. Interactions can be with promoters, suppliers, relatives and peers, including those who have already installed a toilet. A participatory process with discussions on pros, cons and steps helps the householders (men and women, often couples) decide.

With the help of various donors, Nam Saat in Lao PDR developed a set of loose cards with the different technologies and construction materials, with the bills of quantities underneath. Potential customers could lay the cards out and discuss the options, as illustrated here:


COSI in Sri Lanka has developed and used a similar set, but without bills of quantity and in black and white for photocopying. Local promoters, such as the youth clubs and women’s groups, organized neighbourhood meetings to discuss options, costs and financing. The illustrations show some of the cards and the decision-making process. Depending on socio-cultural preference, discussion is first separately in male and female sub-groups, or directly in a mixed group.


Demonstration toilets

IDE in Vietnam, SEUF in Kerala and IWSD in Zimbabwe report that it is good practice to build a demonstration toilet for new types of toilets. This makes local costing possible and allows potential customers to see the difference. Ideally, demonstration households agree that others can come and see their toilets, e.g. at agreed days and times. Demonstration toilets are not toilets built for free at homes of leaders who keep them as a private gift.