Environmental Management

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 637–649 | Cite as

Determination of Appropriate Service Delivery Level for Quantitative Attributes of Household Toilets in Rural Settlements of India from Users’ Perspective

  • Mohammad Rashid
  • Debapratim Pandit


Improvement of quality of sanitation services in rural settlements is an important development goal in developing countries including India and accordingly several strategies are adopted which promote the demand and use of household toilets through creating awareness and providing subsidies to poor people for construction of household toilets with service-level standards specified from experts’ perspective. In many cases, users are unsatisfied with the quality of toilets constructed using subsidies and the same remain unused. Users’ satisfaction depends on their perceptions of service quality of individual attributes and overall service quality of the household toilets, which is an important determinant of sustainability and sustained use of toilets. This study aims to assess and benchmark the appropriate service delivery level for quantitative attributes of rural household toilets based on user perception. The service quality is determined with the help of level of service (LOS) scales developed using successive interval scaling technique, the zone of tolerance (ZOT), and users satisfaction level (USL) which relates service delivery levels with user satisfaction directly. The study finds that the service quality of most of the attributes of household toilets constructed using subsidies is perceived as poor. The results also suggest that most of the users expect to have a toilet with the service level of attributes ranging between LOS A and LOS B.


Household toilets India Rural Service quality User perception 



The authors sincerely thank the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, for providing the necessary facilities and opportunities to prepare this research paper and also the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), India, for funding the research program carried out in the institute.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture and Regional PlanningIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

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