Approaches to improve faecal sludge management practices and on-site sanitation services can better be supported through an understanding of the behavioural determinants and consumer preferences for the services. This practice paper describes a process in Bhutan in which stakeholders collaborated to carry out formative research to identify motivations and barriers to improved septic tank management by building owners in Thimphu City. Using a sanitation behaviour change framework, the findings focused on prioritised behavioural determinants of knowledge of septic tank management and services, willingness to pay and the use of enforcements. The research findings were then used to develop a practical yet evidence-based behaviour change communication strategy for the City in 2012 that aimed to improve safe and timely emptying practices, improve services and increase demand from households, business and institutions.

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