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SQUAT survey findings up at!

Blog Post1 min read

Our new research paper and policy brief summarizing findings from the SQUAT survey are now up! Check out the SQUAT Report website at

It is clear that many people who live in households with latrines still defecate in the open. What we need now is a focus on motivating latrine use rather than continued efforts to build more latrines. Some of our key findings include:

  • 40% of households with working latrines have at least one member who defecates in the open.
  • More than half the people who have government latrines don’t use them.
  • Among those who defecate in the open, 47% say they do so because it is pleasurable, comfortable, or convenient. Toilet use is often considered optional, not an urgent need.
  • 51% of those who defecate in the open report that widespread open defecation would be at least as good for child health as latrine use.
  • People want expensive latrines: most families in rural India can already afford to buy the simple latrines that save lives in Bangladesh.

To achieve its goal of eliminating open defecation by 2019, the Government must redirect sanitation policy towards promoting latrine use. India needs nothing short of a Latrine Use Revolution, publicly directed by the country's top leaders and known to every rural Indian.

If you want to learn more, we hope you'll explore further on the SQUAT Report site. Help us spread the message and get everyone engaged in starting a Latrine Use Revolution!


r.i.c.e. is a non-profit research organization focused on health and well-being in India. Our core focus is on children in rural north India. Our research studies health care at the start of life, sanitation, air pollution, maternal health, social inequality, and other dimensions of population-level social wellbeing.

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