Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.


Issue 2, 2016
Previous Article Next Article

Cost-effectiveness and community impacts of two urine-collection programs in rural South Africa

Author affiliations

Abstract

As the number of technologies and programming approaches for improving global sanitation grows, there is an increasing need to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of each so that policy can be driven by informed decisions that consider cost as well as impact. I use data from two different urine-collection programs that were implemented in rural South Africa to model the cost-effectiveness of each in terms of the cost per litre of urine collected and the cost per household, over a range of operational values. One program was based on conditional cash transfers with the aim of increasing toilet use, while the second program was centrally managed and designed to be logistically simple for the municipality. In comparing the results of the two models I find a paradox. Urine that is collected from households by the municipality is less expensive than incentivized urine collection on both a volumetric and household basis, but only at urine collection rates that cannot be achieved without incentives. Conversely, the incentivized collection is more cost effective when the collection rates are low, but at rates that would correspond to very low incentive prices, rendering the incentive scheme useless. My results illustrate the importance of cost-effectiveness analysis as a tool in sanitation programming but I also highlight the need to view the data with a more nuanced approach that considers the complexities of program implementation in poor, rural communities as the mathematical optimal may not correspond to a realistic, or socially desirable one.

Graphical abstract: Cost-effectiveness and community impacts of two urine-collection programs in rural South Africa

  • This article is part of the themed collection: Sanitation
Back to tab navigation

Associated articles

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
12 Oct 2015
Accepted
31 Dec 2015
First published
06 Jan 2016

This article is Open Access

Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2016,2, 320-335
Article type
Paper

Cost-effectiveness and community impacts of two urine-collection programs in rural South Africa

E. Tilley, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2016, 2, 320
DOI: 10.1039/C5EW00237K

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements