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The Dual Collective Action Problem Facing a Latrine Program in Nepal
Published: 06 November 2013 by MDPI in The 3rd World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Development Policy, Practice and Education
Abstract: This paper describes the variety of obstacles that have hindered the success of a latrine program undertaken in Nepal’s Northwestern Humla District 2003-2013. The program has achieved modest success in some villages and has utterly failed in others. The project site is a selection of villages in Humla’s Karnali River Valley, populated by Buddhist ethnic Tibetans in the northern reaches and caste-observing Hindus to the south. The authors have been conducting research in the villages in this valley since 1995, initially on marriage and reproduction and more recently on the community development and hygiene and sanitation issues facing these householders. In this paper, the first and second order collective action problems associated with the latrine project and some ways to address them are presented. The paper draws upon the work of anthropologists and economists who have considered these types of problems across contexts, including in latrine projects elsewhere in the developing world.
Keywords: collective action problem, cooperation, sanitation, nepal