Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Safe Disposal of Human Feces

Family members safely dispose of human feces

Safe disposal of feces could prevent over 800,000 deaths a year due to sanitation-related diarrhea.1The Human Waste
WaterAid and Tearfund
2016
 This is a habitual behavior that applies to adult, child and baby feces and must be practiced on all occasions.

Key Points from Global Research

  • Ensuring households have appropriate, accessible, affordable sanitation options can enable latrine construction and use.
  • Leveraging powerful motivators like pride and respect for household members, guests and neighbors can increase latrine use and maintenance.

Behavior Profile Sample: Safe Disposal of Human Feces

A Behavior Profile is a summary analysis of each behavior. This sample draws from global evidence and illustrates the result of using the Create Behavior Profiles Tool to analyze factors, supporting actors and strategies and to ensure logical pathways exist between strategies proposed and factors related to the practice of the behavior. This sample may be used as a starting point or reference for creating country-specific Behavior Profiles.

Create Behavior Profiles

Improve maternal and child survival
Family members safely dispose of human feces
Percentage of households with improved and non-shared toilet facilities

Behavior Analysis

Strategy

STEPS

What steps are needed to practice this behavior?
  1. Decide to build or access a latrine
  2. Build or access an improved latrine
  3. Always use the latrine for human feces, including feces from babies
  4. Cover the latrine hole
  5. Maintain latrine and surroundings

Click on any box
        to see the pathwaysA pathway illustrates how elements in the Behavior Profile are linked. When read from right to left, a pathway highlights how strategies are expected to address the factors to enable adoption of the Accelerator Behavior.  
        of the behavior.

FACTORS

What factors may prevent or support practice of this behavior? These should be analyzed for each country context.
Structural
Accessibility: Family members are unable to safely dispose of human feces because improved latrines are often unavailable locally or materials to build them are insufficient
Accessibility: Family members are unable to build a latrine because physical constraints often make building a latrine difficult (e.g. height of ground water, hardness of ground)
Accessibility: Family members do not safely dispose of human feces because they have insufficient resources to build a latrine
Social
Norms: Family members do not use a latrine to safely dispose of human feces because neighboring households also do not use a latrine, and therefore its necessity is not understood
Internal
Attitudes and Beliefs: Family members do not throw baby feces into the latrine because they do not believe it is dirty
Attitudes and Beliefs: Family members do not use a latrine because they prefer to use the outdoors where the air is fresh
Attitudes and Beliefs: Family members use a latrine to safely dispose of human feces because they feel proud and prestigious when they have their own household latrine
Knowledge: Family members do not use a latrine to safely dispose of human feces because they do not know how to build an improved latrine

SUPPORTING ACTORS AND ACTIONS

Who must support the practice of this behavior?
Institutional
Policymakers: Adopt open defecation free (ODF) policy and sanitation regulations for the country
Community
Community Leaders: Support local sanitation marketing efforts and construction training to improve accessibility
Community Leaders: Build institutional latrines (schools, clinics)
Household
Family Members: Save a portion of available income for sanitation needs

POSSIBLE PROGRAM STRATEGIES

How might we focus our efforts based on this analysis?
Enabling Environment
Financing: Offer financing or credit mechanisms for household sanitation improvements and sanitation businesses
Partnerships and Networks: Form surveillance cadres (government, international and local NGOs) to track ODF communities
Systems, Products and Services
Products and Technology: Investigate new sanitation technologies for geographically constrained situations
Quality Improvement: Facilitate improved private-sector markets to increase access to latrine options and construction, small-scale supplies, or delivery options
Demand and Use
Communication: Use regular community forums to share data and progress on ODF status and discuss challenges
Skills Building: Train local cadres of masons and builders

Global Status of Accelerator Behavior

Percentage of households with improved and non-shared toilet facilities

The DHS Program Indicator Data API, The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program

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