The Potty Project

Researching sanitation in low-income urban India.

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Key Takeaway 16 is “by disaggregating the tasks involved in using a sanitation facility, users’ sense of waiting time is altered.” For example, three queues of five minutes each are perceived to be less tiresome than one queue of fifteen minutes. In some toilet facilities, users are required to first queue up for collecting containers, then for filling water and finally for using the toilet booth. While the total waiting time for the users may be marginally less if all these facilities were available inside the toilet, having to go to different spaces and thereby breaking up the tasks creates a level of socialization that mitigates the frustration of waiting.

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