We work in India, where more than half of the population defecates in the open without using any toilet or latrine.  Indeed, 60% of all people in the world who practice open defecation live in India, and one in eight of all people anywhere who defecate in the open live in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where we work.

Open defecation has terrible consequences for child health.  Exposure to environmental germs stunts children’s physical and cognitive growth, leading to a population of adult workers less healthy and less productive than they otherwise could be.

Our sanitation research focuses on two questions:

  • How much of the exceptional stunting of Indian children’s  growth can be explained by widespread open defecation?  How much healthier would children be if their neighbors practiced better sanitation?
  • How can the Indian government – and communities throughout India – successfully improve sanitation and reduce open defecation, a common and habitual behavior?

A good place to start learning more about our work is to read some of our policy articles:

Interested in learning more?  Go to our research page, or read these papers:


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