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Study on Cost and Performance Efficiency of Sanitation Approaches in Bangladesh (2006)


The objective of the study was to assess six main approaches of promoting sanitation in Bangladesh in terms of costs and performance as well as effectiveness and efficiency. The approaches were those followed by the Government of Bangladesh, UNICEF, Dishari Project, NGO Forum, Brac, and VERC-WaterAid. An analytical framework was developed to account for government and non-government investment. A relative value of the investments was analyzed in terms of performance and sanitation outcomes to recommend optimal and cost-effective use of resources.


The assessment covered the following areas:


  • Cost analysis—collected and analyzed the costs associated with the various approaches, including those from government, non-government and private sources. Attempts were made to account for explicit and implicit costs related to mobilization, implementation, operations, maintenance, monitoring and evaluation, and efficacy of reward schemes. This also included cost-sharing in cash and kind
  • Performance analysis—analyzed the performance of mobilization, implementation, operations, maintenance, and monitoring and evaluation. Of particular interest was post-achievement sustainability of open defecation-free (ODF) union parishads and villages, especially in terms of usage
  • Relative value of investment analysis—analyzed the relative value of government, nongovernmental, and private investment. Compared areas with mainly government funding with mainly nongovernmental funding.
  • Basic documentation of the approaches—prepared basic documentation of the approaches in terms of institutional, technological, social, and monitoring activities and actors.


The survey collected and presented information in a comparable manner so that all aspects of the approaches are documented: institutional, technological, social, monitoring, etc. activities and the actors involved. The details of costs—monetary and non-monetary—and by source were gathered from the households, communities, local government bodies, and agencies (NGOs, government and other agencies). Data were also collected on key parameters of performance of each approach. This included information on mobilization, implementation, operations, maintenance, monitoring and evaluation, etc. This led to analysis of relative values of investments. Means of assessing changes were a mix of structured interviews, observations, including those at specialized data collection points such as health centers, medicine shops, and medical practitioners.


Primary quantitative and qualitative data were collected from the following levels in the sample of ODF unions:


  1. Union parishad 
  2. Sample villages in the unions
  3. Sample households in sample villages


The major activities carried out for the main study included preparation of draft instruments of quantitative and qualitative data collection based on indicative questions provided by an international expert and submission of clean quantitative data. For qualitative data collection and tabulation, a generic data-entry and analysis format was developed, which was supplemented by outlines, using case studies.


The project contract was awarded by the World Bank, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


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