Understanding Sanitation Stakeholders Perspectives

Project Brief


RTI engaged with Quicksand to investigate to understand the current decision-making around sanitation infrastructure, unmet needs and challenges, and unique aspects of four broad use cases, namely Factories, Schools, Religious Sites, and Construction Sites. The overall objective was to understand stakeholder perspectives to help inform opportunities for innovative new sanitation technologies RTI was developing in shared-use facilities.


Research for the project covered multiple cities across two broad regions within India (i.e., North and South) to account for a range of perspectives, as well as to investigate any potential opportunities or challenges that may be driven by location. Within the four use cases, over 30 sites were visited in 5 cities.  

The four use cases were identified by RTI through a quantitative analysis of sanitation market opportunities. Our research further informed on these opportunities through an in-depth qualitative study. This was conducted through in-depth interviews with all levels of stakeholders involved in the decision-making process with respect to sanitation technologies.

The project team endeavoured to build in as much diversity as possible within the use cases to ensure a rich understanding of not only the individual perspectives, but also the drivers behind such. For example, for religious sites, locations representing manifold faiths were included in the enquiry.

This list of stakeholders emerged from an ecosystem mapping exercise that was supported through both primary and secondary research. The interviews were conducted on-site in order to facilitate developing an intimate understanding of the various contexts, and to accommodate rich media documentation.

Beyond gaining an intimate understanding of the various perspectives regarding sanitation, the project also sought to understanding existing strategies and to gauge capacity and interest in innovative new technologies.

We provided a robust comparison of the individual use cases, including how their needs mapped against various features of the new technologies RTI was developing.


The project team presented RTI with a recommendation regarding the use cases that represented the greatest potential for implementing their new technologies in. These recommendations were driven by factors such as barriers to entry for new innovations, stakeholder understanding of proper sanitation and its benefits, spatial constraints, willingness to experiment, and more.

Based on these recommendations, RTI was able to map their new innovations to appropriate use cases, identify which technologies under development would be prioritised for the Indian market, and develop a deep understanding of the decision-making ecosystem with respect to sanitation technologies.

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