Better Sanitation – Better Health  

Project period: January 2021 – December 2023
In cooperation with our partner Alternative for Rural Movement (ARM)

Access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a human right

In India, about 40% of the population practice open defecation e.g. in fields or bushes, yet still close to housing areas. The project Better Sanitation Better Health aims at improving the health of the people of the Balasore district in the state of Orissa by stopping open defecation, which has far-reaching health consequences for the whole community. This project is based on experience from the pilot project Work for Change.

The target group of the project, 30 villages and their approximately 24,000 inhabitants, are continuously informed through various efforts about the negative health effects of open defecation and the importance of basic hygiene. The villagers are thus able to make their own decisions that will help stop the spread of bacteria. One example is that the project encourages villagers to be responsible for building their own toilets.


Alternative for Rural Movement

ARM was established in 1989 and is an Indian NGO working for the empowerment and sustainable development of deprived village communities in North Orissa with an emphasis on rural women, children and dalit communities.
Three main goals

  • All 30 villages have improved state of health among villagers as a result of the implemented practices and facilities. Better health can be seen as e.g. decrease in number of sick days per month and decrease in health expenditures.


  • Students are equipped to advocate for the use of sanitary facilities. Active school assemblies are taking actions to improve and maintain the facilities at the schools, and the school children themselves have taken initiatives to promote better hygiene and stop open defecation in the 30 villages. All schools have proper toilet facilities and access to clean drinking water. 


  • The local community has been organised to hold the relevant duty bearers accountable. Sanitation committees have been established and are facilitating the process towards open defecation-free villages. This includes pressure groups and stakeholders from the villages that have been educated on their rights to hold others accountable and advocate for better hygiene.

SDGs aligned with this project

Good Health and Well-Being 

Gender Equality 

Clean Water and Sanitation