Special thanks to all the stakeholders, development agencies and local associations, and local and national government officials for their time and invaluable support during the project.
The research teams would especially like to thank all the supply chain actors for their time and cooperation in participating in this study.
We also extend our sincere gratitude to all the project’s partners including, but not limited to: for Hygiene-Health Promotion Department, Ministry of Health, Dr. Phat; for National Center for Environmental Health and Water Supply (Nam Saat), Dr. Soutsakhone; for UNICEF, Bishnu Timilsina, Chief WASH Section of UNICEF; for Plan International, John McGown, WASH Manager; for SNV, Thea Bongertman, WASH Sector Leader. A number of other people provided comments on presentations during the project and on a draft of this report. We particularly thank Susanna Smets from WSP.
Last but not least, we thank Viengsamay Vongkhamsao, WSP Country Coordinator, and Bounthavong Sourisak, WSP Social Development Specialist.
Around 42% of those in rural communities in Lao PDR practice open-defecation (OD), compared to only 4% in urban areas. However, there has been significant improvement in rural communities – 73% of rural households practiced OD as recently as 2000 (WHO-UNICEF 2014).