In the fall of 2012, partnered with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor to tackle the issue of open defecation. and WSUP were the recipients of a Development Innovation Ventures  Stage One grant to test a hypothesis that the application of digital tools could effectively change behavior related to the management of human waste.

Building off the lessons learned from rural community-led total sanitation efforts, the team worked to adapt that methodology to an urban context.

The team designed a system that allowed community members to report instances of open defecation by calling them in, in response to signs posted around the neighborhood. This information fed into a database of contacts managed by a community organizer who then called the participants to gather for meetings and clean-ups.

This video shows the and WSUP teams in action – from organizing hackathons in San Francisco to conducting field work in Kumasi, Ghana, live prototyping of the mobile platform and technology, and ultimately to the community gatherings and clean-ups.’s project is supported by the DIV and Gates Foundation WASH for Life Partnership. Read more about the partnership’s new grantees.

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