Sanitation QOL

Technical Brief: Sanitation-Related Quality of Life

Many programmes only evaluate the benefits of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) across indicators like reductions in diarrhoea, stunting and wasting. However, extensive literature shows there are broad benefits of WASH including time and cost savings, impacts on livelihoods, and privacy, safety and dignity. However, tools for capturing these benefits in a rigorous, quantitative, easy-to-deploy-in-programming manner are lacking.

To adapt the Sanitation-Related Quality of Life (SanQoL) measure, originally developed for urban areas, to several rural settings in Zambia, we conducted a series of qualitative interviews to understand the unique challenges of sanitation in rural settings with special attention to gender, physical disability, and vulnerability in general. We also deployed a quantitative survey across 25 villages in five districts (n=365).

We identified significant differences between drivers of SanQoL and standard monitoring indicators in the sector, implying that it is crucial to understand people’s preferences to better promote and measure the impact of sanitation.