Skip to main content
TitleRural poor choose their water and sanitation services in Lao PDR
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsManiphousay, N, Mukherjee, N, Seager, M
Secondary TitleField note / WSP
EditionReprint (2000)
Pagination8 p. : 1 map, 8 photogr.
Date Published1998-03-01
PublisherWater and Sanitation Program - East Asia and the Pacific, WSP-EAP
Place PublishedJakarta, Indonesia
Keywordsdemand responsive approaches, hygiene, laos, rural communities, safe water supply, sanitation, sdiasi

Preparation for the World Bank-financed Provincial Infrastructure Project for Oudomxai and Phongsali provinces in northern Lao PDR was carried out during the larger part of 1997. The challenge was to find optimal local solutions – without sacrificing technical feasibility and quality. Central to the preparation process was an exercise in ‘listening’ to rural Lao communities about the types and levels of water and sanitation services they wanted. It was also an attempt to understand why communities are making the choices they do, since an accurate estimation of demand is possible only when those choices are adequately ‘informed’ ones. Thus, the preparation involved community dialogues that did not begin by asking, “what are you willing to pay for?” or “how much are you willing to pay?” Dialogues began, instead, with participatory assessments of existing health and hygiene awareness and practices within the communities.
The results were used to jointly identify what water and sanitation related behaviors they would like to change, linking these with the water and sanitation services they were willing to pay for. In the process, the communities gained insights about how they could maximize the impact of services on their quality of life, while the external facilitators of the dialogues (service providing agency and partner agencies) gained deeper understanding of what would sustain the services, once provided. The key to success was listening and learning, using team-based approaches that combine technical and social process skills.

Custom 1822


The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.

Back to
the top