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Service quality of household toilets in rural settlements of India: an assessment from the users' perspective

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

User satisfaction with the perceived service quality of household toilets and its attributes is one of the important factors that affect users' attitudes towards toilet use. In this study, the perceived service quality of household toilets is assessed using data on users' satisfaction with individual service quality attributes and overall service quality in Gaya district of Bihar, India. The data collected from 723 households are analyzed using factor analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM). Then, an ordered logistic regression is applied to establish the relationship between the latent parameters and user satisfaction with the overall service quality of toilets. The latent factor, ‘toilet structure’ is found to be more important in users' assessment of the overall satisfaction followed by ‘availability of water’ and ‘toilet maintenance’. The identified latent factors are further analyzed in terms of their variation across socioeconomic groups, which showed that households belonging to socioeconomically marginalized sections of society are dissatisfied with their toilets. The service quality of household toilets constructed using subsidies mostly by the socioeconomically marginalized households is perceived as poor. The study highlights the importance of different dimensions of household toilets which would help policy makers in designing more effective policies on rural sanitation.

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