The world has come a long way. In 1990, nearly half the global population lacked adequate sanitation and 1 in 4 people worldwide (1.3 billion) defecated in the open. In 2015, 68 percent of the global population -- which is now 2 billion higher -- has improved sanitation.
When we first started working in the WASH sector in Zambia, we were using mobile phones and cloud-based data aggregation to engage government workers. We worked through community volunteers and district environmental health technicians. Little did we know, we had only scratched the surface.
Why does hunger persist in a world of plenty? In a world that has made so much progress in achieving many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), cutting extreme poverty in half by 2010, why has it not yet cut hunger in half?
People are beginning to realize that toilets and sanitation are critical to making sure that we protect hard-won gains and keep up the momentum in all of the more traditionally attractive areas of development.
None of this is to say that open defecation is either a good idea in this day and age, or even defensible. But making sweeping claims, using them to justify near-bigotry, and papering over obvious challenges hardly advances the conversation.