IWA Publishing

Confronting culture to overcome sector failure: sanitation in Indonesia

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This recent development case study from Indonesia hinges on culture, yet on a relatively discrete and measurable cultural aspect. The rationalized discussion of attitudes and behaviors explains the breakthrough success for sanitation, and enables discussion as to the feasibility, advisability, and mechanics of addressing culture for development. Examination of the case illustrates and supports previously published assertions about the efficacy of targeted change and the parameters of successful interventions. It provides specifics about a program that is on track to save millions of lives through improved sanitation. The case supports the criticality of culture in development, not as a competitor or distraction from humanitarian investments, but as a causal determinant of positive, neutral, or negative investment outcomes.

Keywords: culture, Indonesia, sanitation, transformational development, values

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