This research brief summarizes the findings of "Revealed Preference for Open Defecation: Evidence From a New Survey in Rural North India." It aims to understand why open defecation persists in India when rates are steadily dropping across other nations.
- Sanitation policy in India must have programs that concentrate on behavior change and promote latrine use, rather than building latrines.
- There is a widely held belief that latrines are expensive assets, perhaps even luxuries.
- Many people with access to latrines continue to defecate in the open.
- Government latrines are less likely to be used than latrines that households construct themselves.
- Many rural North Indians believe that open defecation is more pleasant, healthy, and wholesome.