Mapping open defecation in India | Sanitation Hackathon

Mapping open defecation in India

Short description 

First ever sanitation status map of rural India.

Crisis statement 

Open defecation puts people at high risk for water borne diseases.  700 000 truckloads of fecal matter is not being collected every year. This shit ends up contaminating groundwater used for drinking, cleaning, etc. and poses a serious health hazard in community and public areas where collection/disposal is unreliable.

Currently, India’s Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is pioneering a national program on total sanitation that rewards local governments for achieving open defecation free status.  A key element of reward local government is recognition at the highest level.

However, the current sanitation status of local government (gram panchyats), while publicly available, remains easily overlooked. This reduces the chances for use as an planning tool, in advocacy, and to reward local government for having achieved and retained this important status.

Needs statement 

Need to put this sh*t on a map! Visualize the open defecation status of gram panchyats accross India.


Public data on sanitation status – currently stuck in table format @

Indian administrative boundaries – available at,, etc.

Add interactive features:

eg. color code sanitation status

eg. add timeline so users can compare data annually (2005-2011),

eg. add feature so users can view (aggregated) status at different levels (district, state, block, GP).

eg. make map easily exportable for use by media, in advocacy, etc.

eg. create stand alone website where map can be viewed/downloaded.

Impact statement 

If created, the map would allow the public to easily see where the open defication problem is greatest/where the most progress is being made. 

The map could also help policy makers better target investments in sanitation. 

The map could also go on the Ministry’s website, reaching a wider audience than current table version of data.



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By |2022-07-06T11:36:29+00:00July 6, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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