Final Documentation

Harnessing market power for rural sanitation, IDE Vietnam, 2005

    Summary of results
    In 2003, the international NGO International Development Enterprises (IDE) launched a project to stimulate the acquisition and use of hygienic sanitation in villages in two provinces in Vietnam. IDE developed a range of options that were affordable and appealing to potential customers.

    IDE then developed, through capacity building, business development support, and credentialing, a local network of masons to deliver these options. To better understand the drivers of sanitation demand, IDE and the masons assessed the consumers' willingness to pay for and perceived benefits of sanitation and then used the assessment results to promote the benefits and availability of the sanitation options through appropriate media channels and tailored messages.

    Within a year of the project, there was a 100 percent increase in sanitation access compared to the pre-project access rate. Unlike traditional sanitation projects, no capital cost subsidies were employed to stimulate demand.

    Households of all income levels accessed sanitation, which was greatly facilitated by the masons offering flexible household financing terms. The project highlights the importance of never underestimating a population's willingness to pay for sanitation, provided that quality products and services are offered and are effectively communicated.

    For a 2011 story on the BBC website about related work by IDE in Cambodia, click here.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Synthesis Documents
    »Sixth Annual Service Markets Seminar, Turin, September 2005 (English/French/Spanish)