Supply and Demand for Improved Sanitation: Results from Randomized Pricing Experiments in Rural Tanzania

Rachel Peletz, Alicea Cock-Esteb, Dorothea Ysenburg, Salim Haji, Ranjiv Khush, Pascaline Dupas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Improving access to sanitation is a global public health priority. Sufficient consumer demand is required for sanitation coverage to expand through private provision. To measure consumer demand for hygienic latrine platform products in rural Tanzania, we conducted a randomized, voucher-based real-money sales trial with 1638 households with unimproved latrines. We also evaluated multiple supply chain options to determine the costs of supplying latrine platform products to rural households. For concrete latrine SanPlats, 60% of households were willing to pay US$0.48 and 10% of households were willing to pay US$4.05, yet the average cost of supplying the SanPlat to households was US$7.51. Similarly, for plastic sanitary platforms, willingness-to-pay (WTP) dropped from almost 60% at a price of US$1.43 to 5% at a price of US$12.29, compared to an average supply cost of US$23.28. WTP was not significantly different between villages that had participated in the National Sanitation Campaign and those that had not. Randomized informational interventions, including hygiene data-sharing and peer-based exposure to latrine platform products, had minimal effects on WTP. In conclusion, current household demand for latrine platform products is too low to achieve national goals for improved sanitation coverage through fully commercial distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7138-7147
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 20 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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