Use of Improved Sanitation Facility

Indicator Phrasing

% of households using improved sanitation facilities which are not shared with other households

Indicator Phrasing

INDICATOR PHRASING: % of households using improved sanitation facilities which are not shared with other households

What is its purpose?

This indicator assesses the proportion of households using improved sanitation facilities which are not shared with other households (i.e. so called “basic sanitation services”, as defined in the Joint Monitoring Project’s progress ladder towards achieving the SDG on sanitation – see at the bottom of this page).

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews and observations among the representatives of a representative sample of your target households:



Q1: Where do you and your family members defecate when you are at home?

A1 Select one of the following:

1) use pit latrine with slab 

2) use ventilated improved pit latrine 

3) use flush or pour toilet (connected to a sewer system or septic tank) 

4) use composting toilet

5) defecate in the open 

6) use pit latrine without slab 

7) use bucket 

8) other - specify: ...........................


(ask the following questions only if the previous response is 1, 2, 3 or 4)


Q2: Can you please show me the latrine?

A2 Select one of the following:

1) latrine was shown

2) latrine was not shown


Q3 for data collector: Does the latrine show visible signs of being used? 

A3 Select one of the following:

1) latrine IS likely to be used

2) latrine is NOT likely to be used


Q4: Does the latrine has a washable slab?

A4: yes / no


Q5: Does the superstructure provide the user with sufficient privacy?

A5: yes / no


Q6: How many households use this latrine?

A6 Select one of the following

1) only the respondent's household

2) two or more households 


NOTE: A household is using "improved sanitation facility" only if:

- The answer to Q1 is 1, 2, 3 or 4 (or other pre-approved option)

- The data collector confirms that the latrine has signs of being used

- The latrine has a washable slab

- The latrine’s superstructure provides the user with sufficient privacy


Calculate number of households using an improved sanitation facility which is not shared with other households. In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this situation is described as people using “basic sanitation services” (learn more in chapter 2.2 of the document provided at the bottom of this page).  


To calculate the indicator's value, divide the number of households using “basic sanitation services” by the total number of respondents. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage. 

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by location and the households’ wealth category.

Important Comments

1) It is highly recommended that you also report on the percentage of households that 1) are using improved sanitation services and at the same time 2) have a handwashing station with water and soap (see relevant guidance).


2) People often tend to over-report their positive behaviours and under-report the undesirable behaviours (such as defecating in the open). As much as possible, do not only rely on what people say - always go and observe whether the respondent really has a latrine (if s/he claimed so) and whether the latrine looks used. 


3) WHO/UNICEF’s Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) that defines the methodology for measuring people’s use of “basic sanitation services” does not consider whether the surveyed latrines have a washable slab (Q4) and offer sufficient privacy (Q5). These are additional standards required by Tearfund. If you need to ensure that your data is comparable with other data collected using JMP standards, remove the consideration of answers to Q4 and Q5 from your calculation of the indicator’s value.

This guidance was prepared by Tearfund from People in Need’s IndiKit guidance ©

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