About Project Sammaan

Project Sammaan provides a new, holistically reimagined model for urban slum sanitation facilities in India.

Business models, architectural designs, communication interventions, and other aspects of these facilities will be reviewed to provide a safer, more hygienic user experience in the hopes of enacting open-defecation behavioral change while providing a functional utility to an underserved population.
The partnering of seemingly disparate entities (design, government, and empirical research) makes Project Sammaan a truly unique innovation effort. These groups are united by a shared goal of re-imagining current models and practices to have a more significant impact on sanitation and hygiene issues in India:
  • Private Philanthropy provides the resources to fund innovation with scale as the primary goal.
  • Government ownership and funding enables adequate infrastructure, community engagement, and utilities’ access.
  • The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) rigorously evaluates facility viability and effectiveness through Randomized Control Trials (RCTs).
  • Quicksand utilizes its user-centered design principles to ensure the facilities meet end-user needs and are readily adopted by communities.

The Potty Project

Project Sammaan was born out of the research Quicksand undertook as part of the Potty Project, an in-depth design research study focused on understanding three things:

  1. The end-user experience at community toilet facilities within urban slums in India.
  2. End-user perceptions, attitudes, and mental models around sanitation and hygiene.
  3. The supply side aspects of community sanitation in slums including things such as pricing, operations & maintenance, caretaking, and business models.
The design research examined various aspects of sanitation and hygiene, generally, and aspects of community sanitation in India’s urban slums, specifically. 
Project Sammaan Press Kit