Tag Archives: Ethiopia

The true costs of participatory sanitation

Plan International USA and The Water Institute at UNC have conducted the first study to present comprehensive, accurate, disaggregated costs of a WaSH behaviour-change programme.  The study calculated programme costs, and local investments for four community-led total sanitation (CLTS) interventions in Ghana and Ethiopia.

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Jonny Crocker, Darren Saywell, Katherine F. Shields, Pete Kolsky, Jamie Bartram, The true costs of participatory sanitation : evidence from community-led total sanitation studies in Ghana and Ethiopia. Science of The Total Environment, vol. 601–602, 1 Dec 2017, pp: 1075-1083. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.279 [Open access]


Evidence on sanitation and hygiene program costs is used for many purposes. The few studies that report costs use top-down costing methods that are inaccurate and inappropriate. Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) is a participatory behaviour-change approach that presents difficulties for cost analysis. We used implementation tracking and bottom-up, activity-based costing to assess the process, program costs, and local investments for four CLTS interventions in Ghana and Ethiopia. Data collection included implementation checklists, surveys, and financial records review. Financial costs and value-of-time spent on CLTS by different actors were assessed. Results are disaggregated by intervention, cost category, actor, geographic area, and project month. The average household size was 4.0 people in Ghana, and 5.8 people in Ethiopia. The program cost of CLTS was $30.34–$81.56 per household targeted in Ghana, and $14.15–$19.21 in Ethiopia. Most program costs were from training for three of four interventions. Local investments ranged from $7.93–$22.36 per household targeted in Ghana, and $2.35–$3.41 in Ethiopia. This is the first study to present comprehensive, disaggregated costs of a sanitation and hygiene behaviour-change intervention. The findings can be used to inform policy and finance decisions, plan program scale-up, perform cost-effectiveness and benefit studies, and compare different interventions. The costing method is applicable to other public health behaviour-change programs.

Lessons learned from WASH and NTD projects

wash-combat-ntd-150pxWater, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are essential for preventing and managing diseases including neglected tropical diseases (NTD) which affect over 1 billion people among the poorest communities.

Closer coordination of WASH and NTD programmes is needed to ensure WASH services are reaching the most vulnerable populations. Many WASH and NTD actors have started to work together on the planning and implementation of their projects and have documented their experiences and lessons learnt.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a paper that draws on examples from eighteen countries to summarise emerging successes and challenges. Several examples relate to WASH in Schools projects. Two case studies are highlighted: the Lao PDR and Cambodia CL-SWASH initiative and the CARE Integrated WASH and NTDs Programme in Ethiopia.

WHO, 2017. Water, sanitation and hygiene to combat neglected tropical diseases : initial lessons from project implementation. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization. 6 p. WHO reference number: WHO/FWC/WSH/17.02. Available at: www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/wash-to-combat-neglected-tropical-diseases/en/


World Bank targets smarter sanitation communication for rural Ethiopia

By Peter McIntyre, IRC Associate

The World Bank in Ethiopia has commissioned a rapid survey of what motivates people to upgrade their latrines, with the aim of delivering behaviour change communication materials with greater impact.

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Sanitation rapid survey launch meeting Addis Abeba, 23 March 2017 (Photo: Sirak Wondimu)

The survey is being conducted in four regions, with the main target audiences being adult women, male heads of households, opinion leaders and existing sanitation businesses.

The aim is to pilot and produce materials that emphasise the dignity, prestige and status of having improved sanitation, rather than focusing only on health messages.

The WB decided a new approach was needed after Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) figures for 2016 suggested that only 4% of rural households in Ethiopia have improved toilets facilities while a further 2% have facilities that would be considered improved if they were not shared. This is well below the Joint Monitoring Program figure of 28% for improved latrines (although we understand this may be revised down to around 14%). Indeed, according to DHS, although access to some form of sanitation has risen, access to an improved latrine has declined in percentage terms over the past ten years. Most latrines in rural areas (55%) do not have an effective slab or lid while more than a third of rural households (39%) practise open defecation.

The Government of Ethiopia has a flagship programme to increase use of improved latrines to 82% by 2020.

At a launch meeting in Addis on 23 March 2017, social market consultant, Addis Meleskachew, said that this initiative will develop a memorable brand for marketing materials that will encourage the private sector to provide materials and will attract rural families to buy them.

Dagnew Tadesse,Hygiene and Environmental Health Case Team Leader for Ministry of Health, welcomed the initiative to attract business but emphasised that the GoE approach is based on a comprehensive health education strategy with multiple messages including hygiene awareness, handwashing and safe food, and said that these important messages should not be abandoned.

Jane Bevan, rural WASH Manager at UNICEF Ethiopia offered to share extensive data that UNICEF has collected for its country programme on attitudes to sanitation, which has identified the high cost of concrete slabs as a significant obstacle. She presented examples of low cost options for upgrading sanitation in a pilot project in Tigray region. It was agreed to collate all existing KAP studies and relevant data including research by SNV.

Monte Achenbach from PSI and John Butterworth from IRC spoke about the work being started by USAID Transform WASH to market innovative sanitation models. John Butterworth said there is a need to make people aware of what is available and to get materials to where they are needed.

The World Bank research is being conducted by 251 Communications.

This blog was originally posted on 5 April 2017 on the IRC website.

Active trachoma and community use of sanitation, Ethiopia

Active trachoma and community use of sanitation, Ethiopia. WHO Bulletin, April 2017.

Objective – To investigate, in Amhara, Ethiopia, the association between prevalence of active trachoma among children aged 1–9 years and community sanitation usage.

Methods – Between 2011 and 2014, prevalence of trachoma and household pit latrine usage were measured in five population-based cross-sectional surveys.

Data on observed indicators of latrine use were aggregated into a measure of community sanitation usage calculated as the proportion of households with a latrine in use. blt-logo

All household members were examined for clinical signs, i.e. trachomatous inflammation, follicular and/or intense, indicative of active trachoma.

Multilevel logistic regression was used to estimate prevalence odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), adjusting for community, household and individual factors, and to evaluate modification by household latrine use and water access.

Findings – In surveyed areas, prevalence of active trachoma among children was estimated to be 29% (95% CI: 28–30) and mean community sanitation usage was 47% (95% CI: 45–48). Despite significant modification (p < 0.0001), no pattern in stratified ORs was detected.

Summarizing across strata, community sanitation usage values of 60 to < 80% and ≥ 80% were associated with lower prevalence odds of active trachoma, compared with community sanitation usage of < 20% (OR: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.57–1.03 and OR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.48–0.95, respectively).

Conclusion – In Amhara, Ethiopia, a negative correlation was observed between community sanitation usage and prevalence of active trachoma among children, highlighting the need for continued efforts to encourage higher levels of sanitation usage and to support sustained use throughout the community, not simply at the household level.

Progress on CLTSH – Findings from a national review of rural sanitation in Ethiopia – UNICEF

Progress on CLTSH – Findings from a national review of rural sanitation in Ethiopia: WASH Learning Note. December 2016.


  • Rural sanitation coverage in Ethiopia continues to improve. The survey found on average 68% latrine usage, similar to the 2015 JMP estimate
  • The majority (89%) of household toilets are unimproved
  • There are strong regional disparities in coverage. 5 regions have over 50%, whilst in 3 regions open defecation is still dominant
  • CLTSH is not always implemented as intended. There are regional variations and some aspects of the triggering and follow-up are omitted
  • The Post-ODF follow-up of the CLTSH approach is limited. Very few communites are recorded as having reached ’level 2’ of ODF
  • Handwashing Rates are low. Only 19% of respondents were found to wash hands at all critical times, and only 45% after using the toilet


Laying the Groundwork to Scale Up Sanitation Marketing in Ethiopia

Laying the Groundwork to Scale Up Sanitation Marketing in Ethiopia, 2016. WASHplus.

Between February 2, 2015 and October 31st, 2015, with support from USAID’s WASHplus project and the Vitol Foundation, iDE implemented a project to scale up rural sanitation marketing in rural areas of four regions of Ethiopia (SNNPR (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples), Amhara, Oromia, Tigray). Building on the success of a pilot project that established the potential to scale sanitation marketing in rural Ethiopia, this project aimed to:

1. Continue developing and refining the design of the latrine products (slab and pit lining) as well as the business model for sales and delivery of the latrine;

2. Develop sales training and marketing materials for sales agents and manufacturers.


Teachers and Sanitation Promotion: An Assessment of Community Led Total Sanitation in Ethiopia

Teachers and Sanitation Promotion: An Assessment of Community Led Total Sanitation in Ethiopia. Env Sci Tech, May 2016.

Authors: Jonny Crocker, Abiyot Geremew, Fisseha Atalie, Messele Yetie, and Jamie Bartram

Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) is a participatory approach to addressing open defecation that has demonstrated success in previous studies, yet there is no research on how implementation arrangements and context change effectiveness. We used a quasi-experimental study design to compare two interventions in Ethiopia: conventional CLTS in which health workers and local leaders provided facilitation and an alternative approach in which teachers provided facilitation.

In 2012, Plan International Ethiopia trained teachers from 111 villages and health workers and leaders from 54 villages in CLTS facilitation. The trained facilitators then implemented CLTS in their respective villages
for a year. Latrine ownership, use, and quality were measured with household surveys.

Differences between interventions were explored using surveys and interviews. The decrease in open defecation associated with teacher-facilitated CLTS was 8.2 percentage points smaller than for conventional CLTS (p = 0.048). Teachers had competing responsibilities and initially lacked support from local leaders, which may have lessened their success.

Teachers may be more appropriate for a supporting rather than leading role in sanitation promotion because they did demonstrate ability and engagement. Open defecation decreased by 15.3 percentage points overall but did not change where baseline open defecation was below 30%.

Ownership of a latrine with stable flooring increased by 8.7 percentage points overall. Improved latrine ownership did not change during the intervention. CLTS is most appropriate where open defecation is high because there were no significant changes in sanitation practices or latrine upgrades where baseline open defecation was low