Use of Improved Sanitation Facility
English: % of households using an improved sanitation facility
French: % de ménages utilisant une installation d'assainissement améliorée
Czech: % domácností využívajících vylepšené typy toalet
What is its purpose?
This indicator assesses the proportion of households using an improved sanitation facility - one of the most effective measures for preventing diarrhoea and other life-threatening diseases.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews and observations among a representative sample of your target group members:
RECOMMENDED SURVEY QUESTIONS (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)
Q1: Where do you and your family members defecate?
1) use pit latrine with slab
2) use ventilated improved pit latrine
3) use flush or pour toilet (connected to a sewer system or septic tank)
4) use composting toilet
5) defecate in the open
6) use pit latrine without slab
7) other - specify: ...........................
(ask the following questions only if the previous response is 1, 2, 3 or 4)
Q2: Can you please show me the latrine?
1) latrine was shown
2) latrine was not shown
Q3 for data collector: Does the latrine show visible signs of being used? (faeces present; anal cleansing material available ...)
1) latrine IS likely to be used
2) latrine is NOT likely to be used
NOTE: Only answers 1-4 (or other pre-approved options) plus data collector's confirmation of the latrine's use (based on observation) counts as "using improved sanitation".
Calculate the indicator's value by dividing the number of households using an improved sanitation facility by the total number of respondents and multiplying the result by 100.
1) The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) use a different version of this indicator: "% of population using safely managed sanitation services". The results of this indicator are disaggregated into five categories:
- % of population using safely managed sanitation services (use of an improved sanitation facility which is not shared with other households and where excreta are safely disposed in situ or transported and treated off-site)
- % of population using basic sanitation services (use of improved facilities which are not shared with other households)
- % of population using limited sanitation services (use of improved facilities shared between two or more households)
- % of population using unimproved sanitation services (use of pit latrines without a slab or platform, hanging latrines and bucket latrines)
- % of population practicing open defecation (disposal of human faeces in fields, forest, bushes, open bodies of water, beaches or other open spaces or with solid waste)
For details, see WHO/UNICEF's publication below.
2) People often tend to over-report their positive behaviours and under-report the undesirable behaviours (such as defecating in the open). As much as possible, do not rely only on what people say - always go and observe whether the respondent has a latrine (if s/he said so) and whether the latrine looks used.
3) Consider also assessing whether the latrine has the following aspects of being an “improved model”:
- solid slab that looks safe to use
- slab hole is covered
- slab is washable and clean
- solid walls that provide adequate privacy
- door that provides adequate privacy
- wire mesh in windows (preventing insects from flying in)
4) According to UNHCR's standards, in a camp setting, the proportion of people reporting defecating in a toilet should be ≥ 60% in emergency and ≥ 85% in post-emergency contexts.
5) USAID/OFDA uses a different version of this indicator: "number of people who report using a latrine the last time they defecated". See USAID/OFDA's guidance on this indicator.
Access Additional Guidance
- WHO / UNICEF (2017) Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: 2017 (read chapter 2.2) (.pdf)