Bhutan: 100% open-defecation free

Pathways taken by a four-year project in Bhutan in support of the government’s sanitation and hygiene priorities. Completed in 2022, the project impacted the lives of 30% of Bhutan’s population.

  • Abstract

    In November 2022, the Government of Bhutan officially proclaimed the country to have achieved 100% open-defecation-free status.

    This brief presents the salient contributions made by a four-year SNV project with partners (2018-22) across eight districts in Bhutan. It offers examples of the partnership’s contributions in securing Bhutan’s ODF achievement and the development of the country’s post-ODF strategy roadmap. Behind this success are the political leadership embodied by the country’s government, and an achievement built on 15 years of collaborative work.

    As Bhutan enters its next phase of sanitation development, the brief contends that climate-resilient programming is a must, particularly insofar as this pertains to operationalising the country’s post-ODF roadmap. It also suggests the need to create synergy between WASH services, water security commitments, and the national climate change agenda.

  • Bibliography

    SNV, ‘Supporting Bhutan to become 100% open-defecation free’, Project Brief, Beyond the Finish Line-Bhutan (2018-2022), The Hague, SNV, 2023.

  • Donors & Partners

    UTS-ISF, CBM Australia, Water for Women, Australian Aid, Ability Bhutan

  • For more information

    Kencho Wangdi, Country Representative/Sector Leader - Water, SNV in Bhutan

Further reading


Strengthening transformative leadership for inclusive WASH in Bhutan

Strengthening transformative leadership for inclusive WASH

Emerging pathways to WASH leadership for people with disabilities

Case study

Systems change: SSH4A in Bhutan

Inclusive CRRWASH services - Bhutan