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Policy Lessons from the Implementation of India’s Total Sanitation Campaign

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  • Spears, Dean

Abstract

Ending widespread open defecation and pursuing feasible methods of safe excreta disposal must be the top policy priorities for India. This paper draws policy lessons from the first 10 years of latrine construction under India’s Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), which was a flagship program of the Indian government. The TSC improved average health and human capital among Indian children where it was implemented, but sanitation coverage remains substantially incomplete. Indeed, the first 10 years of the TSC, on average, prevented an infant death for a few thousand dollars, a comparatively very inexpensive average cost. This initial success is in part due to the Clean Village Prize or Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP), an incentive for village governments. Heterogeneity in the intensity and effectiveness of TSC implementation suggests that the additional benefits of extending effective TSC implementation to the many remaining Indian children would probably substantially exceed the additional costs. Therefore, as the TSC becomes the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, India should not miss the opportunity to invest in successful principles of total sanitation: quality data, effective monitoring, and motivational ex post incentives

Suggested Citation

  • Spears, Dean, 2013. "Policy Lessons from the Implementation of India’s Total Sanitation Campaign," India Policy Forum, National Council of Applied Economic Research, vol. 9(1), pages 63-104.
  • Handle: RePEc:nca:ncaerj:v:9:y:2013:i:2013-1:p:63-104
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    Cited by:

    1. Lant Pritchett & Salimah Samji & Jeffrey S. Hammer, 2012. "It's All about MeE: Using Structured Experiential Learning ('e') to Crawl the Design Space," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2012-104, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Augsburg,Britta & Caeyers,Bet & Malde,Bansi Khimji, 2019. "Can Micro-Credit Support Public Health Subsidy Programs ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8846, The World Bank.
    3. Derek Headey & Giordano Palloni, 2019. "Water, Sanitation, and Child Health: Evidence From Subnational Panel Data in 59 Countries," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(2), pages 729-752, April.
    4. Lant Pritchett & Salimah Samji & Jeffrey Hammer, 2012. "It’s All About MeE: Using Structured Experiential Learning (‘e’) to Crawl the Design Space," CID Working Papers 249, Center for International Development at Harvard University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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