Transformative consumer research: addressing sanitation service issues

Stephen Graham Saunders, Srinivas Sridharan, Dani Barrington

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

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Abstract

The United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) relating to sanitation requires member states to deliver “improved” sanitation services to poor communities in order to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to basic sanitation by 2015. Despite some success in meeting these obligations, many local governments in South Africa are facing major challenges in delivering “improved” sanitation services to their poorest communities. Local governments are not only struggling to fund and resource “improved” sanitation solutions, but are facing a situation where many communities are openly and forcefully rejecting the “improved” sanitation services on offer. Our paper develops a Transformative Consumer Research (TCR) Framework that seeks to
provide an understanding of the active role that consumers play when deciding whether to reject, transform or accept sanitation offerings. Within this framework, we investigate how consumers exert agency and shape markets. We show how research guided by this framework can help local governments collectively develop “improved” sanitation solutions that are not only “accessible”, but that contribute to sustainable health and well-being within the community it intends to serve. We conclude with some practical insights from our research into the “toilet wars” in Cape Town, and offer suggestions for further research that is grounded in the TCR Framework.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventFaculty of Business and Economics Monash University Conference: Building a Sustainable Future in Sub-Saharan Africa: Water Security, Food Security, Business and Policy - Johannesburg, South Africa
Duration: 1 Mar 2013 → …

Conference

ConferenceFaculty of Business and Economics Monash University Conference: Building a Sustainable Future in Sub-Saharan Africa: Water Security, Food Security, Business and Policy
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityJohannesburg
Period1/03/13 → …

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