Sanitation policy and development has undergone a paradigm shift away from supply-driven toward behavioral-based demand-driven approaches. This shift to increase sanitation demand requires multiple stakeholders with varying degrees of interest, knowledge, and capacity. Currently, the design of appropriate sanitation technology disconnects user preference integration from sanitation technology design, resulting in fewer sanitation technologies being adopted and used. This research examines how preferences for specific attributes of appropriate sanitation technologies and implementation arrangements influence their adoption and usage. Data collected included interviews of 1,002 sanitation users living in a peri-urban area of South Africa; the surveyed respondents were asked about their existing sanitation technology, their preferences for various sanitation technology design attributes, as well as their perspectives on current and preferred sanitation implementation arrangements. The data revealed that user acceptability of appropriate sanitation technology is influenced by the adoption classification of the users. Statistically significant motives and barriers to sanitation usage showed a differentiation between users who share private sanitation from those who use communal sanitation facilities. The user acceptability of appropriate sanitation systems is dependent on the technical design attributes of sanitation. The development of utility functions detailed the significance of seven technical design attributes and determined their respective priorities.


  • Highlights the new sanitation adoption group of partakers.

  • Demonstrates the motivations for sanitation usage in peri-urban communities.

  • Demonstrates the barriers to sanitation usage in peri-urban communities.

  • Explores the link between sanitation adoption status, motives, and barriers and the utility of certain technology.

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