Shame or subsidy revisited: social mobilization for sanitation in Orissa, India.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE:To determine the effectiveness of a sanitation campaign that combines 'shaming' (i.e. emotional motivators) with subsidies for poor households in rural Orissa, an Indian state with a disproportionately high share of India's child mortality. METHODS:Using a cluster-randomized design, we selected 20 treatment and 20 control villages in the coastal district of Bhadrak, rural Orissa, for a total sample of 1050 households. We collected sanitation and health data before and after a community-led sanitation project, and we used a difference-in-difference estimator to determine the extent to which the campaign influenced the number of households building and using a latrine. FINDINGS:Latrine ownership did not increase in control villages, but in treatment villages it rose from 6% to 32% in the overall sample, from 5% to 36% in households below the poverty line (eligible for a government subsidy) and from 7% to 26% in households above the poverty line (not eligible for a government subsidy). CONCLUSION:Subsidies can overcome serious budget constraints but are not necessary to spur action, for shaming can be very effective by harnessing the power of social pressure and peer monitoring. Through a combination of shaming and subsidies, social marketing can improve sanitation worldwide.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pattanayak, SK; Yang, J-C; Dickinson, KL; Poulos, C; Patil, SR; Mallick, RK; Blitstein, JL; Praharaj, P

Published Date

  • August 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 87 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 580 - 587

PubMed ID

  • 19705007

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19705007

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1564-0604

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0042-9686

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2471/blt.08.057422


  • eng