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Study Overview

Evaluating a Behavioural Intervention to improve toilet use amongst toilet owning households in rural Bihar
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Study Status:
In Development

This study tests the impact of a behaviourally informed intervention in increasing intent, and habit, of toilet use amongst toilet-owning households in rural Bihar. The intervention we propose to evaluate leverages a set of community meetings and follow-up household visits and utilizes an inter-related and internally coherent set of activities and tools to create and activate intentions to use latrines. The lessons from this study will be important in developing solutions to increase the rate of toilet use in rural Bihar, and consequently important in improving sanitation outcomes across the country.

Registration Citation:

Viswanathan, S. and Datta, S., 2018. Evaluating a Behavioural Intervention to improve toilet use amongst toilet owning households in rural Bihar. Registry for International Development for Impact Evaluations (RIDIE). Available at: 10.23846/ridie141

Water and Sanitation
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Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Shruti Viswanathan
Oxford Policy Management
Name of Second PI:
Saugato Datta

Study Sponsor

International Initiative for Impact Evaluation
Study Sponsor Location:

Research Partner


Intervention Overview


The interventions will be introduced to villages through program staff visits to households. The intervention consists of two main touch-points: 1) Community Meetings: 1-2 meetings for all study households in a ward 2) Household Visits. Only households with a functional pit latrine will be eligible for the intervention. Community meetings will be held at the ward level. The community meeting targets behavioural barriers such as overestimation of pit filling rates, a lack of clarity about the benefits of latrine use, and ambiguity around pit decomposition and emptying. The community meetings are supplemented and reinforced by a set of nudges, commitments, and pledges during ongoing household-level visits.

Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
World Vision India
Type of Organization:
NGO (International)

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
International Initiative for Impact Evaluation
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Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
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Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
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Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

The Randomized Control Trial (RCT) is considered one of the most rigorous impact evaluation designs, as it provides the most convincing estimate of the counterfactual (i.e. what would have happened in treatment areas in the absence of the intervention). In the presence of systematic differences between treatment and control groups (such as unobserved differences in ability), it would be impossible to determine if the observed differences in key impact indicators are due to the intervention, or due to pre-existing systematic differences. Randomisation minimizes the risk of this selection bias, making treatment and control groups balanced on both known and unknown characteristics at the start of the evaluation. Any differences detected with statistical significance between treatment and control groups at the end of the evaluation can therefore be attributed to the intervention.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

Outcome & Description Toilet Use (Final outcome) Safe disposal of child faeces Knowledge on the correct rates of pit filling (Intermediate outcome) Aversion to pit emptying (Intermediate outcome)

Unit of Analysis:
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Treatment and Control assigned at the village level, intervention delivered to a random ward within the village
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Number of Individuals in Sample:
Approximately 1152 households in the survey
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
Approximately 4000 households will receive the intervention

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
TW14 PAP_19.2.18.docx
Other Documents:

Outcomes Data

For quantitative analysis, we will be using two instruments for data collection, one at the household level and the other at the community level. The household instrument aims at capturing both household level and individual level data in accordance with the indicators. The community instrument on the other hand will capture data on community characteristics. The household survey tool will measure several key indicators related to knowledge, attitude (perceptions and intentions), practices
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Treatment Assignment Data

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Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
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Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
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Data Analysis

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Study Materials

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Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected

Completion Overview

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Preliminary Report:
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Data Availability

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Other Materials

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Description of Changes:

Study Stopped