Publications by authors named "Nikhil Srivastav"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Measuring open defecation in India using survey questions: evidence from a randomised survey experiment.

BMJ Open 2019 09 26;9(9):e030152. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

r.i.c.e, India.

Objectives: To investigate differences in reported open defecation between a question about latrine use or open defecation for every household member and a household-level question.

Setting: Rural India is home to most of the world's open defecation. India's Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2015-2016 estimates that 54% of households in rural India defecate in the open. This measure is based on a question asking about the behaviour of all household members in one question. Yet, studies in rural India find substantial open defecation among individuals living in households with latrines, suggesting that household-level questions underestimate true open defecation.

Participants: In 2018, we randomly assigned latrine-owning households in rural parts of four Indian states to receive one of two survey modules measuring sanitation behaviour. 1215 households were asked about latrine use or open defecation individually for every household member. 1216 households were asked the household-level question used in India's DHS: what type of facility do members of the household usually use?

Results: We compare reported open defecation between households asked the individual-level questions and those asked the household-level question. Using two methods for comparing open defecation by question type, the individual-level question found 20-21 (95% CI 16 to 25 for both estimates) percentage points more open defecation than the household-level question, among all households, and 28-29 (95% CI 22 to 35 for both estimates) percentage points more open defecation among households that received assistance to construct their latrines.

Conclusions: We provide the first evidence that individual-level questions find more open defecation than household-level questions. Because reducing open defecation in India is essential to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, and exposure to open defecation has consequences for child mortality and development, it is essential to accurately monitor its progress.

Trial Registration Number: Registry for International Development Impact Evaluations (5b55458ca54d1).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030152DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6773353PMC
September 2019

An Experiment with Air Purifiers in Delhi during Winter 2015-2016.

PLoS One 2016 15;11(12):e0167999. Epub 2016 Dec 15.

r.i.c.e., New Delhi, India.

Particulate pollution has important consequences for human health, and is an issue of global concern. Outdoor air pollution has become a cause for alarm in India in particular because recent data suggest that ambient pollution levels in Indian cities are some of the highest in the world. We study the number of particles between 0.5μm and 2.5μm indoors while using affordable air purifiers in the highly polluted city of Delhi. Though substantial reductions in indoor number concentrations are observed during air purifier use, indoor air quality while using an air purifier is frequently worse than in cities with moderate pollution, and often worse than levels observed even in polluted cities. When outdoor pollution levels are higher, on average, indoor pollution levels while using an air purifier are also higher. Moreover, the ratio of indoor air quality during air purifier use to two comparison measures of air quality without an air purifier are also positively correlated with outdoor pollution levels, suggesting that as ambient air quality worsens there are diminishing returns to improvements in indoor air quality during air purifier use. The findings of this study indicate that although the most affordable air purifiers currently available are associated with significant improvements in the indoor environment, they are not a replacement for public action in regions like Delhi. Although private solutions may serve as a stopgap, reducing ambient air pollution must be a public health and policy priority in any region where air pollution is as high as Delhi's during the winter.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0167999PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5158316PMC
July 2017