Disruptive design in sanitation marketing: lessons from product and process innovations in Bangladesh

Based in Dhaka, the Sanitation Marketing (SanMark) team at iDE – Bangladesh, is harnessing principles of disruptive innovation to change the landscape of how latrines are produced and sold to rural households. iDE’s Bangladesh SanMark Pilot (BSMP) project (2012-2014) aimed to develop a proof of concept around private-sector led delivery of customer-oriented improved sanitation technologies through three phases: i) identification of existing disruptee conditions, ii) support of an “entry point” innovation that generated key “disruptive design principles”, and iii) robust ideation and prototyping of a disruptor system grounded in the design principles. Through these phases, the project experienced an initial “entry point innovation” through the plastic SaTo® Pan. The resulting design principles then informed development of the disruptor system of the plastic “Sanitation in a Box” (SanBox) offset plastic latrine, a promising sanitation product grounded in a scalable business model connecting grassroots latrine producers to a national supply chain.