Practitioner's Tool / Evidence Gathering

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Surveys of potential customers are important tools for gaining quantitative data on knowledge, attitudes and practices related to wastewater and sanitation. Results from standard survey questions can be used to determine customer preferences and willingness to pay for sanitation services. Follow the links below to maximize the reliability of the data collected.

Conducting Surveys

Surveys can vary in cost and complexity depending upon the sample size, number of questions and degree of accuracy. But sometimes, even after huge expenditures, the results can be misleading or just plain wrong. Simple surveys to determine willingness to pay or consumer preferences can be accomplished by the local government for minimal expense and still provide useful data. Follow these links to plan and implement your survey.

San Fernando City Case Study

Focus Groups

Focus group discussions are powerful tools for launching sustainable onsite wastewater treatment programs. These moderated discussions between invited guests are designed to identify the obstacles to expanding wastewater systems and to talk about the concerns, feelings and passions about the project. Achieving consensus on the next steps forward is an important final step of the discussions.

USAID Focus Group Guidance (PDF)

Focus Group - Indonesia Case Study


One of the best ways of finding out what people think is to ask them. Interviews with key stakeholders are a great way to understand people’s experience with and feelings about wastewater and sanitation, but keep them short and focused. The qualitative information you gain from interviews could be used to assess market potential, sizing and design preferences for potential customers, level of interest of elected officials, and people or groups that will likely support or oppose the project.

Conducting Interviews (PDF)

USAID Conducting Interviews Guidance (PDF)