Increasing usage of improved sanitation facilities in Kenyan slums



In many parts of the world, insufficient water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities impact everything from community health to school attendance. Sanergy’s innovative, systems-based approach makes hygienic sanitation accessible to those living in the informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya by franchising single, waterless Fresh Life toilets to community members. With marketing and business support from Sanergy these toilet operators  are generating economic activity in their community and improving health outcomes. Despite the success of Sanergy’s model, challenges to widespread adoption remained. GRID Impact was tasked with understanding the mindsets and behaviors of non-users so that Sanergy could better market and grow its operations.

The Focus of Our Project

We were tasked with understanding why uptake of Sanergy’s Fresh Life toilets, like the one shown here, fell short of expectations.

Meeting Users Where They Are.

We conducted field research to understand barriers to the adoption of FreshLife services, especially amongst young adult men.

Understanding the Context.

Here our Principal Alexandra Fiorillo takes notes during fieldwork in Nairobi’s Mukuru slum.

Understanding the Context.

Our team engaged with both stakeholders, like the sanitation team shown here, and users to design solutions.




Behavioral Research
Service Design
Impact Evaluation


Department for International Development


GRID Impact conducted field research and diagnosed sanitation behaviors to increase usage of Fresh Life toilet among residents of the Nairobi slum.  We led a series of rapid prototyping and co-design activities with users and non-users alike to collect feedback.


In collaboration with Populist, GRID Impact designed a series of marketing and communications interventions to help increase uptake of Fresh Life toilets.  Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is conducting a randomized control trial to assess the impact of our interventions.  Results of the trial are forthcoming in 2017.


  • Alexandra Fiorillo

    Founder, Facilitator, and Behavioral Designer