Journal article

Scaling up sanitation: Evidence from an RCT in Indonesia

L Cameron, Susan Olivia, Manisha Shah

Journal of Development Economics | Elsevier | Published : 2019


We investigate the impacts of a widely used sanitation intervention, Community-Led Total Sanitation, which was implemented at scale across rural areas of Indonesia with a randomized controlled trial to evaluate its effectiveness. The program resulted in modest increases in toilet construction, decreased community tolerance of open defecation and reduced roundworm infestations in children. However, there was no impact on anemia, height or weight. We find important heterogeneity along three dimensions: (1) poverty—poorer households are limited in their ability to improve sanitation; (2) implementer identity—scale up involves local governments taking over implementation from World Bank contract..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for funding the impact evaluation and the Australian Research Council for supplementary funding (ARC Discovery Project DP0987011). We would like to thank Joseph Cummins, John Strauss, and participants at seminars at the University of Southern California, Georgetown University and the World Bank for helpful comments. This paper subsumes the work previously reported in the following working papers: Cameron et al. (2013), Cameron et al. (2015) and Cameron and Shah (2017).