The World Bank Water Global Practice 's Water And Sanitation Program

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The World Bank Water Global Practice’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) recently released a working paper identifying findings that support new tactics for habit change in open defecation behavior. These advances draw from the fields of psychology, cognitive science, and behavioral science and were first outlined in the 2015 World Development Report (WDR) on Mind, Society, and Behavior. WDR presents new insight into how people make decisions: thinking automatically, thinking socially, and thinking with mental models, and highlights the potential of future policy approaches that influence behavior while forgoing the assumption of individuals as rational decision-makers.

Open Defecation in India

Of the nearly one billion people across the globe who openly defecate, over half live in India. Despite meeting the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for water access, India achieved only “moderate progress” in improvements to sanitation and reduction of open defecation. As of 2011, 49.8 percent of Indians still defecated in the open, and, although the number is decreasing, progress remains slow in rural areas of the country and significant gaps remain between the rich and poor.
In 2014, Prime Minister Modi prioritized an initiative to place a toilet in every household in the country by 2019 and provided 8 million toilets in the first year alone. Yet, simply providing toilets does not ensure their use. Although infrastructure and access to proper latrines and other

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