If we are to identify effective, replicable solutions that address the design, management and operational challenges of communal sanitation facilities, it is imperative that we rigorously test out the impact of the various interventions and understand the causal mechanisms along the way. Thus, research is a crucial aspect of Project Sammaan, where a mix of software and hardware interventions will be evaluated using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) methodology.
There are two hardware interventions that will be studied: the provision of a basic package of design, infrastructure, and operational improvements, as well as additional infrastructure above the basic package, such as spaces for bathing and washing clothes. We will study if this provision of complementary services is cost-effective and whether this drives adoption. In terms of software at the facility-level, we will study the appropriate management system to ensure sustained maintenance. Facilities will be assigned to either community management or private contractor management, to study the effect of toilet management systems on usage rates.