1.3.1 The sanitation ladder
The sanitation ladder provides a measure of progress towards the provision of adequate sanitation facilities for every household. The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) version of the ladder is shown in Figure 1.3.
The lowest rung of the ladder is open defecation, where people without access to latrines or toilets deposit their faeces in open spaces. Unimproved facilities are one step above open defecation and include latrines that do not ensure the separation of faeces from humans. The next stage is shared facilities, which are facilities that would be classed as improved, but are shared by two or more households. At the top of the ladder are the improved facilities, where human contact with faeces is avoided. Different types of latrine facilities are discussed in Study Session 6.