Home » Explore Stories » Loo Rewards – SMS-based incentive programme to tackle open defication

Project Name: Loo Rewards
Organisation: Samagra Empowerment Foundation
Project Location & Coverage Area: Pune, Maharashtra
Project URL: http://samagra.co/
Area of intervention: Water & Sanitation

About 60 per cent of Indians defecate in the open due to a lack of sanitary toilets. And when Swapnil Chaturvedi came to India from the U.S. in 2007, he was appalled by the lack of dignity and sanitation afforded by the country’s dirty, under-ventilated toilets. With grants from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he initiated, the Samagra Empowerment Foundation to tackle the issue of open defecation. LooRewards uses an SMS-based incentive program to give redeemable reward points to the urban poor for adopting healthy, hygienic practices like using a toilet, buying clean water, etc. Families receive reward points and updates directly on their phones, making the benefits of using the services, immediate. User membership and usage is managed using the looRewards app that is installed on toilet operator’s tablet. Toilet users become members of looRewards platform at their nearest community toilet. LooRewards solves technological challenges – it does data collection at individual or family level which include socio-demographic data, toilet usage data, hygiene data and health data.
LooRewards delivers specific, personalized insights and content to each customer, converting otherwise inscrutable data into actionable insights. Data visualizations enable users to get insight into consequences of their actions.

For the municipal corporations, it provides a data visualization platform, where it can monitor toilet usage and its maintenance. Operators in this model can retain all their collections as their income, so they are incentivized to engage more and more users. The end user is incentivized through reward points for early payment of toilet usage fees which can be redeemed at different vendor outlets.

loo2Reach & Road Ahead

Samagra has partnered with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to redesign and refurbish community toilets used by slum residents. Samagra operates in three urban slums—Ramnagar in Warje Malwadi, Nehrunagar Vasahat and Shrawandhara—and looks after six communal toilet blocks.
That’s 128 toilet seats and 4,300 daily users, of which 2,098 are young girls and women. To use Samagra’s toilets, slum-dwellers pay a monthly fee of INR 75 per family. They receive an ID card which can be used at any Samagra toilet, any number of times. The operation model of LooRewards is to motivate
people to pay, actively involves and incentivizes all the stakeholders – the end users, the government, local store owners, toilet operators and SHGs/ NGOs serving the community.

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