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Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) remains a critical problem in Tajikistan, particularly for its rural areas. In terms of sanitation and the market within which it operates locally, there have been no sectoral tools on market-based WASH programming in Tajikistan, and therefore little available guidance around the facilitation of better interactions between the demand and supply of sanitation products. And while specified state departments are responsible for applying and upholding sanitation standards, in practice they continue to rely on guidelines from Soviet times, and rarely carry out household-level inspections – hence the legal frameworks governing sanitation should be revised accordingly.

To fill this gap, Oxfam launched its first sanitation marketing programme in 2018 (as part of its wider Tajikistan Water Supply and Sanitation (TajWSS) Project funded by the Swiss Government) and played a market broker role that transformed the relationship between buyers and sellers of sanitation products. The project approached the process by influencing both supply and demand sides, and by designing affordable and desirable trading processes for rural households to meet their sanitation needs.

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