The Western Pacific Sanitation Marketing & Innovation project was the first to promote sanitation enterprises in informal settlements in the Pacific. How does the concept stand up to a cost-benefit analysis?
This paper presents the findings of an externally conducted cost-benefit analysis of the sanitation marketing component of the Western Pacific Sanitation Marketing and Innovation Project, implemented by Live & Learn Environment Education in partnership with International Women’s Development Agency and International Water Centre. It adopts a multi-layer analytical methodology focusing on the value for money created for sanitation enterprises, communities and project stakeholders in three countries – Fiji, PNG and Vanuatu. Findings highlight that the project is likely to provide large benefits to the community, and is without doubt highly beneficial to the informal settlement households.The analysis confirms that while the project presents overall good value for money, products sold to beneficiaries should balance affordability, accessibility and aspirations to ensure long term benefits. The paper is informative for researchers, particularly on how sanitation benefits and costs can be monetised and compared from multiple perspectives. It provides lessons for social enterprises wishing to make financial and social impacts in fragile contexts and supports policy makers with key insights to promote further improvement of sanitation in informal settlements.