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This paper considers the damage to household toilets in the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquake through the lens of good performance in progress towards national sanitation targets. In doing so it highlights the very different drivers of development and emergency relief, an issue that is rarely documented. It draws upon expert opinion and first-hand observation to put a spotlight on conflicting approaches in the transition phase and seeks to understand how these were navigated at the national policy level and in practice at the district level. In doing so the paper contributes to discussions about what better preparedness measures could be undertaken and how sanitation gains can be maintained in the face of natural hazards/climate change and supported better after disaster strikes.

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