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Updated - Wednesday 15 December 2010

Four decades ago Thailand’s political leadership chose to allocate relatively little funding to sanitation but concentrate available financing on training local health officers, village leaders and volunteers so that they could conduct a range of activities including demand promotion and rigorous monitoring and evaluation. Although policy instruments used in the Thai sanitation sector have varied over the years, the ultimate result was that Thailand achieved dramatic increases in rural sanitation coverage, going from very low coverage to universal coverage in about four decades.

 

 

This interesting lesson was highlighted in the discussion on a historical study about public finance for sanitation in rural Thailand, rural Bihar under the Total Sanitation Campaign and in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) at the IRC 2010 symposium [1].

 

 

An interesting aspect of the Thai approach is that they chose to focus on the most capable (and comparatively richer) villages and households first, expecting them to act as leaders for replication in less advanced villages. This worked initially, until hardware subsidies were allocated to the remaining poorest villages so as to reach universal coverage.

 

 

[1] Sophie Trémolet, Effective public finance for household sanitation: a study for WaterAid, abstract and presentation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related news: Financing on-site sanitation for the poor : a six country comparative review and analysis, Source Weekly, 02 Mar 2010

 
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