Tag Archives: Community-Led Total Sanitation

SuSanA Discussion Forum – Shame in sanitation

A series of interesting posts on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and the shaming strategy/approach used in CLTS.

Excerpts:

  • Not a big fan of such tactics either, but I think one needs to acknowledge the other side too, i.e. open defecation is not simply an individual problem but rather one that effects entire communities, so exerting social pressure on the offenders is to some extend justified. The main problem seems to be that it is “all sticks and no carrots”, which given the low economic capabilities of many offenders isn’t very likely to work in the medium to long term.
  • Whistle-blowing by students to stop open defecators is like promoting gang-mobbing as a sort of rule of law. There are underlying reasons for why open defecation is practiced. One billion open defecators cannot be wrong. The psychology of shaming people for defecating in the open or even discussing defecation in public is a deep-rooted one relating to the commonly shared taboo surrounding human excreta. I would even accuse WASH experts and senior officials for indirectly contributing to this behavior when they use swear words to describe human excreta. This is the last chapter in human development and most people have not progressed beyond childhood when it comes to discussing excreta.

 

Robert Chambers – So Much to Keep Up With, So Much to Learn

This was the first time I have been to the annual four and a half day conference of the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina.  Like the annual WEDC conference, there was a huge, almost overwhelming, harvest of information and learning. Here are some bullets of things that struck me:

Inequality is big, big now, with the post-2015 agenda.  It will be picked up and reported in the JMP.  We are entering a new space.  Good. Robert_chambers

Ash. Soap or ash for handwashing.  A JMP committee was unwilling to mention ash because there has been no study of the health effects, only those of soap, although there is no question that microbiologically it is nearly as good as soap.  Let us hope that research will be funded – there are people willing to carry it out.  But the big money for HW research comes, I suppose, from Unilever and Proctor and Gamble.  There is scope here for funding from others.  Ash is poor-friendly – widely available, costless, can be left outside without being stolen or taken by teachers, and is not eaten by goats.  But the deeply rooted refrain is ‘handwashing with soap’.  Again and again one has to argue for including ash – ‘handwashing with soap or ash’ or for that matter, soil, depending on the soil.

Behaviour change.  This came up repeatedly. Far too much to absorb or report but some snippets:

  • Signing a pledge can be effective
  • When someone has invested (e.g in building their own toilet) they may feel they have to keep up appearances and justify it by using it
  • Frequent rewards can reinforce behaviour
  • Special times can be picked as opportunities for change – e.g. a marriage or funeral
  • New behaviours can piggy-back on one another through linking
  • ‘Choice is the enemy of behaviour change’.
  • People infer motives from observing their own behaviour (linked with dissonance reduction)

Read the complete post

One day CLTS sharing and learning workshops

CLTS Knowledge Hub logo

Conference goers in Asia and Africa can get updated on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) during two one day sharing and learning workshops.

The CLTS Knowledge Hub at IDS will host the first workshop on Sunday 14 September in conjunction with the annual WEDC Conference that takes place in Hanoi, Viet Nam from 15-19 September 2014.

The second workshop is on 7 October 2014 in Dakar, Senegal. This is one day before the start of AfricaSan 4 conference that is being held in Dakar, Senegal from 8-10 October 2014.

For full details go to: www.communityledtotalsanitation.org/events

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation

Issue 149 | June 6, 2014 | Focus on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)

This issue updates the December 2013 Weekly on CLTS with 2014 studies, reports, and videos. Included are a May 2014 video of Dr. Kamal Kar discussing CLTS challenges, an article criticizing CLTS, a UNICEF evaluation of its Community Approaches to Total Sanitation program, and other reports and videos. washplusweekly

The June 13th issue of the Weekly will focus on cookstove issues and the next issue of the Weekly on WASH-related issues will be on June 27, 2014.

OVERVIEWS

The Potential of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in Achieving an Open Defecation Free World, 2014. Institute of Development Studies. (Video)
(NOTE: The actual presentation begins at about 4 minutes into the video.) Dr. Kamal Kar, the pioneer of CLTS, speaks about the potential of the CLTS approach in achieving the sanitation Millennium Development Goals with a special focus on Africa. He also discusses second and third generation challenges of CLTS such as sustainability, waste containment, and the politics of scaling up.

CRITICISMS OF THE CLTS APPROACH

Shaming and Sanitation in Indonesia: A Return to Colonial Public Health Practices?Development and Change, Jan 2014. S Engel. (Link)
CLTS involves more than just education and encouragement; it uses social shaming and punishment. The authors argue that this is not only an inadequate approach but one that echoes coercive, race-based colonial public health practices. This article thus integrates extant historiography on Indonesian colonial medicine with contemporary scholarly literature and field research on CLTS using case studies of a 1920s hookworm-eradication program funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, and the current World Bank Water and Sanitation Program, both in Java.

EVALUATIONS/LITERATURE REVIEWS

Evaluation of the WASH Sector Strategy “Community Approaches to Total Sanitation” (CATS), 2014. UNICEF. (Link)
In the context of the recent evolution of the sanitation sector, CATS can be seen in a twofold way: as a move from technically based, supply-driven approaches toward behavior change, demand-driven approaches; and also as a recognition of the centrality of the adoption of a new social norm around ending open defecation as a key issue to be addressed, with impact on and linkages with other sectors.

Testing CLTS Approaches for Scalability: Systematic Literature Review, 2012. V Venkataramanan. (Link)
This report presents findings from a systematic literature review conducted by The Water Institute at UNC as part of the Plan International USA project: “Testing Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Approaches for Scalability.” Despite widespread implementation of CLTS and many claims of success, no systematic review has been carried out on the effectiveness and impact of CLTS programs. The objectives of the systematic review of the grey literature were to characterize the breadth of grey literature on CLTS and to describe the role of key internal actors—natural leaders, teachers, and local government—on sanitation and hygiene outcomes.

Continue reading

Towards total sanitation workshop report – key findings

Cotonu Workshop Key Findings report

How can Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and other programmatic approaches be  integrated into a service-led rural sanitation delivery? This was the topic that attracted  around 70 practitioners from 16 different countries  to Cotonu, Benin in November 2013 for a Learning and Exchange workshop  “Towards sustainable total sanitation”. The workshop was organised  by IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre in partnership with WaterAid, SNV and UNICEF.

The key findings of the workshop a presented in a new report, which is divided into four categories, covering the four conditions to trigger a service:

  • strengthening the enabling environment
  • demand creation and advocacy to change behaviour
  • strengthening the supply chain, and
  • appropriate incentives and financial arrangements.

Study examines sustainability of CLTS programmes in Africa

Plan-ODF-sustainability-coverDespite the widespread implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programs and many claims of success, there has been very little systematic investigation into their sustainability.  A new study, which aims to change that, is creating a stir in the WASH sector.

A study commissioned by Plan International on the sustainability of CLTS programs in Africa revealed that 87% of the households still had a functioning latrine. This would indicate a remarkably low rate of reversion (13%) to open defecation (OD) or “slippage”.

However, if the criteria used to originally award open defecation free (ODF) status to villages are used, then the overall slippage rate increased dramatically to  92%. These criteria are:

  • A functioning latrine with a superstructure
  • A means of keeping flies from the pit (either water seal or lid)
  • Absence of excreta in the vicinity of the house
  • Hand washing facilities with water and soap or soap-substitute such as ash
  • Evidence that the latrine and hand washing facilities were being used

Continue reading

WSP promoted CLTS approach in Indonesia criticised

A highly critical article in Development and Change argues that the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach, which the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) has promoted in Indonesia, is not only “inadequate” but also “echoes coercive, race-based colonial public health practices”.

Susan Engel

Dr Susan Engel, University of Wollongong, Australis

Authors Dr Susan Engel and Anggun Susilo reveal striking similarities between developments in Indonesian sanitation in the 1920s and the 1990s. In both eras the focus changed from “the provision of hardware to […] participation and social mobilization” to encourage “individuals and communities to construct and maintain their own sanitation facilities”.

In the 1920s, the Rockefeller Foundation led the change, 70 years later it was WSP. In both cases the approaches are said to have met resistance because they were coercive and humiliating for the poorest, who also had to pay for latrines they couldn’t really afford.

Engel and Susilo found no evidence that the CLTS approach in Indonesia was sustainable. They conclude that government involvement, not just self-help CLTS approaches, is essential for successful sanitation.

Engel, S, and Susilo, A., 2014. Shaming and sanitation in Indonesia : a return to colonial public health practices?. Development and change, 45, 1, pp. 157-178. DOI: 10.1111/dech.12075

See also:

  • India, Madhya Pradesh: sanitation campaign humiliates women, say critics, Sanitation Updates, 24 Dec 2014
  • WASHplus Weekly: Community-Led Total Sanitation, Sanitation Updates, 13 Dec 2013
  • Topic: CLTS and human rights: Should the right to community-wide health be won at the cost of individual rights?, SuSanA Forum