Increasing private sanitation investments: the Urban Affordable Clean Toilets (U-ACT) project

The goal of the Urban Affordable Clean Toilets (U-ACT) project was to determine the effectiveness of subsidies, extended payback periods, and targeting in stimulating households’ investment in non-sewered sanitation systems. Between 2010 and 2013 we implemented a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 1,200 households in 40 slums in Kampala. Vouchers, which allowed house owners to purchase a Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) at different price levels and with different payback options were randomly offered to tenants and house owners. Our results indicate that increasing the payback period and adequate targeting are almost as effective in increasing take-up rates as halving VIP prices. Overall, the U-ACT project resulted in the construction of over 150 VIP latrines for over 1,500 people in Kampala slums.