Cost-effectiveness By Country

Posted in — Global Learning > Impact
January 10, 2019
422 Idegbl Cost Eff Source 1 Bug
iDE Global WASH

Cost-effectiveness measures how well our programs deliver returns for our donors.

As a non-profit organization, iDE leverages donations and grants to achieve our mission and goals. To be the best stewards of this funding, we take pains to regularly measure the impact we are having against each dollar spent.

Along with our global measurement, we also measure the cost effectiveness of individual programs. Doing so helps us understand the health of the program itself, but especially enables us to compare how well we take lessons to heart when we attempt to replicate programs in other locations. For example, the chart above compares our latrine sales in three separate countries, overlayed so that the relative timescale to reach scale can be observed. The line represents a rolling six-month average of what iDE spent for each toilet sold. In the first six months, this cost is high as we test and iterate the product in the marketplace. As the program begins to scale (seen in the overlaid area graphs that represent number of toilets sold), the unit cost often drops precipitously. But not always. In some of our programs, we conduct additional market research and product design activities to refine our model. This was the case in Ethiopia, where our unit costs rose in the program's second year as we designed a suite of products to meet the needs of different customer segments.

As each country programs develops, we constantly measure how this cost effectiveness—the amount of program funding required to facilitate each latrine sale—changes over time. We have performed this analysis for the five programs where we’ve achieved greatest scale, and have found that our cost-effectiveness improves over time as our work to build sanitation markets takes hold.