The Evolving Sanitation Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: A Bibliometric and Content Analysis of Global Trends and Future Research

The Evolving Sanitation Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: A Bibliometric and Content Analysis of Global Trends and Future Research

Shivani, Vijayaraghavan M. Chariar, Rishi Kant Kumar, Sameer Shukla, Kumod Kumar
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/IJEGR.327366
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The field of sanitation has been extensively discussed in the literature from varied viewpoints. However, a comprehensive approach summarising the entrepreneurial facets of the sanitation industry is still fragmented. This study examines 375 papers published over 25 years. It attempts to identify significant studies and concepts that researchers have developed across time. A review of the literature on sanitation and its entrepreneurial ecosystem has been undertaken in the study. It incorporates bibliometric as well as content analysis. The bibliometric approach focuses on the quantitative aspects of the study, while content analysis looks at the literature qualitatively. Data analysis has been performed using the Scopus database. Further, VOSviewer software has been used to create various network maps. The highest number of papers were published in 2021, signifying growing research interest in the domain. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment is the journal of highest influence, and the most cited paper is about “Marketing to the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) Market.”
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1. Introduction

Sanitation is one of the essential components of human life since it preserves human health, increases life expectancy, and has been proven to have economic advantages (Naughton & Mihelcic, 2017). Its significance was emphasized in 1923 by Mahatma Gandhi, who stated that “sanitation is more important than independence” (PMO, India, 2008). Yet in 2020, 3.6 billion people at the base of the pyramid (BoP) worldwide lacked safely managed sanitation services, 494 million practised open defecation, 2 billion lacked safely managed drinking water services and 2.3 billion lacked basic handwashing services (WHO & UNICEF, 2021). Inadequate sanitation, hygiene and contaminated drinking water have been associated with the spread of diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, dysentery, hepatitis A, and polio (Murray et al., 2020; Drinking-Water WHO, 2022; Pullan et al., 2014). Consequently, the lives of billions of people at the base of the pyramid (BoP) in underdeveloped countries are negatively impacted by poor sanitation as a primary cause (London & Esper, 2014). The global economic costs of poor sanitation are estimated to be US$260 billion annually (Hutton, 2013).

Sanitation is often considered a social taboo and rarely gets discussed openly in communities (Rosenqvist et al., 2016; Burt et al., 2021b, Gwara et al., 2020). The United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have given research and development in the field a much-needed breakthrough. In 2016, the SDGs succeeded the MDGs with a dedicated goal (Goal 6) to ensure the sustainability and availability of water and sanitation for all by 2030 (UNICEF, 2020). Yet several nations are falling significantly behind their set targets. UNICEF and WHO (2021) warned that unless progress quadruples, billions of people will not have access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene by 2030. One of the primary reasons for the same has been attributed to weak and fragmented governance and delivery systems (United Nations, 2020).

Evidently, the supply-driven water and sanitation system is not meeting customers' needs. The absence of basic sanitation poses a significant public health concern, but it also presents a business opportunity (Bagire et al., 2021b; Amoah et al., 2021b; Mallory, Holm, et al., 2020b; Rao et al., 2020). As a result of persistent issues, there is a growing realization that the private sector is needed to address these challenges. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are identified as the cornerstone of the 2030 agenda for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (NITI Aayog, 2021). Innovative collaborations across governments, enterprises, civil societies and UN agencies have been considered crucial in achieving the agenda (SDGF, 2016). According to the Toilet Board Coalition (2019), the sanitation economy has the capability to produce 3.8 trillion litres of fresh resources each year through the circular sanitation economy, which is regenerated from toilets and sanitation systems. In India alone, the sanitation economy is worth $97.4 billion in 2021 and is estimated to stand at $148.2 billion by 2030 (Toilet Board Coalition, 2021).

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