Sumadi Sumadi

Ashoka Fellow
Nganjuk, Indonesia
Fellow Since 2013


This profile was prepared when Sumadi Sumadi was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
By redefining the role of sanitarians, Sumadi has shifted their attitude and behavior from passive employees to community entrepreneurs. Together with his 38 sanitarian community entrepreneurs, who also play the role of marketers, Sumadi has engaged village midwives, construction workers, building material suppliers, and community members to about 5,000 household toilets which serve over 25,000 people in the Nganjuk District, East Java, among other cities in Indonesia.

For Sumadi, each sanitarian is a community entrepreneur; a professional who can perform above their duties and act beyond implementing a sanitation campaign. By using a market-based approach, Sumadi’s sanitarians have reduced inefficiencies in the supply chain. Like doctor-pharmacist-drugstore partnerships, Sumadi helps sanitarians’ build relationships. Through the Indonesia Association of Sanitation Management and Empowerment, he connects the Sanitation Works Association (Asosiasi Karya Sanitasi) with construction workers, material suppliers, and the Association of Sanitation Entrepreneurs (Asosiasi Pengusaha Sanitasi), to facilitate the emergence of sanitation demands across different villages in Indonesia.

Sumadi’s model has been replicated across 45 districts and associations have been set up in nine cities, including Java, Lombok, Sulawesi, and Papua islands. His model has also inspired the village youth in South Kalimantan to become community sanitation entrepreneurs. Sumadi is approaching Health Polytechnic Schools in Aceh and Surabaya to include entrepreneurship curriculum in order to build a future community of sanitarians.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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