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Brian Reed gravatar image

Before testing you have to decide what standards you are looking for. A temporary solution may not last long but may be sustainable as people can afford to replace it. Consider the sanitation ladder and you will see that each step has different cost/ benefits. The key factors are separation of excreta from people and no smell, no flies.

Structurally, standards are more difficult as the geotechnical (pit) and structural (slab) designs will depend on technical factors such as soil type, soil moisture, rainfall, material quality, pit dimensions. One way to overcome this is to look at the quality of the inputs (e.g. capacity of staff) rather than judge the design. Exacting standards can make latrines unaffordable (e.g. problems insisting on a VIP) and therefore set back sanitation provision but inadequate designs are also not good. One way to move forward incrementally is to identify common failure mechanisms and address those. Erosion due to poor surface water management is a common error.