Tag Archives: Plan International

Plan International – Testing CLTS Approaches for Scalability: Indonesia Learning Brief

Testing CLTS Approaches for Scalability: Indonesia Learning Brief, 2015. Plan International.

Sanitation Marketing Project in Grobogan District, Indonesia. photo credit to Jonny Crocker

Sanitation Marketing Project in Grobogan District, Indonesia. photo credit to Jonny Crocker

Plan International supports Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) implementation in a number of sub-districts in Indonesia.

In this learning brief, we review the roles of local actors in Plan International Indonesia’s program activities and highlight considerations for scalability, planning, implmentation, and evaluation.

Plan International and other sanitation practitioners can support the national government and local actors by placing more responsibility on sub-district staff to lead triggering, enlisting the added support of village facilitators to lead post-triggering, and scaling up village-based financing mechanisms to sustain CLTS outcomes.

Link to project website: http://waterinstitute.unc.edu/clts/

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

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Creative measures improve sanitation programmes in eight African countries

Sapling handwashing, Malawi.

Sapling handwashing, Malawi. Photo: Plan Malawi

Eight African countries are creatively achieving the goals of community led total sanitation programmes (CLTS) including one idea in Malawi where handwashing is monitored according to the health of tree seedlings planted beneath water outlets.

In Zambia several schools have established vegetable gardens to reduce malnutrition and improve school attendance. Some of the harvests have been sold raising funds for school activities.

In Sierra Leone men have traditionally been the community leaders but women are now being encouraged to play a major part in village committees and networks of natural leaders.  To support CLTS women conduct house-to-house monitoring, giving health talks and reporting diseases –- many of them overcoming challenges such as illiteracy to maintain the programme.

Plan International’s five year Pan African CLTS (PAC) programme which ends in December, 2014, is operating in the eight countries of Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Malawi, Ghana and Niger. With the backing of the Dutch government the project was designed to promote and scale up sanitation in communities and schools.

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Darren Saywell/Plan Int’l – Urban Frontiers for Sanitation Programs

Below is a link to Darren Saywell’s presentation planto the USAID Sanitation Working Group on December 12, 2012.


  • Urban Frontiers for Sanitation Programs – Time to Get Real or Time to Get Really Worried?
  • How urban sanitation is different
  • The gap in urban sanitation
  • What’s new and different?
  • Community-Led Total Sanitation
  • And more

Plan International USA Receives $7 Million Grant for Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Research

Plan International USA Receives $7 Million Grant for Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Research Project in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Ghana

Plan’s Testing Modified CLTS for Scalability project aims to improve rural sanitation by researching and testing the cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and scalability of the CLTS approach

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Every year, more than 2.4 million people die from diarrheal and sanitation-related diseases – the most vulnerable and disproportionately affected are children under the age of five. In 2008, there were nearly one million deaths from diarrheal disease in Africa alone, according to the World Health Organization.

In September, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded Plan International USA a four-year $7 million dollar learning and implementation grant to determine how to best introduce Community-Led Total Sanitation solutions in developing countries. Research and testing will be conducted on new and specifically designed projects in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Ghana and will examine the CLTS approach, ultimately aiming to uncover ways to make it more scalable and cost-effective.

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Africa: self-help sanitation for more than 2 million people

More than 2 million people and over 740 schools in Africa are getting improved sanitation.

In a new five-year programme, development organisation Plan International will expand its existing self-help sanitation programme in six African countries (Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Malawi) and introduce it in two other countries (Ghana and Niger).

The programme aims to implement and promote the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach as it was originally intended: the community is triggered to act by itself towards its development by stopping open defecation and improving hygiene behaviour. There are no toilet subsidies and no financial rewards for eliminating open defecation. Plan and its local partners will carry out CLTS activities in 805 rural communities. Adapted versions of the approach will be used in 36 peri-urban communities and 742 schools.

Besides implementing sanitation projects, the programme will also engage the private sector. It will support local small or medium entrepreneurs to market the construction and maintenance of sanitation facilities.

Another programme element involves setting up national and international CLTS networks. National sanitation networks will not only coordinate programme activities but also lobby for sanitation policies to include CLTS and its adapted approaches in urban areas and schools. The results of the programme will be disseminated, including feed-back to the communities. The IDS website www.communityledtotalsanitation.org is instrumental in the dissemination to the wider audience.

The “Empowering self-help sanitation of rural and peri-urban communities and schools in Africa” project started in December 2009 and runs until December 2014. Plan Netherlands, in collaboration with Plan’s two regional African offices, is the programme’s lead agency. The two other programme partners are the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, UK and the IRC International Water and Sanitation based in The Netherlands. The total budget for the programme is € 8.4 million, half of which is provided as a grant by the Netherlands Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), one third are the estimated investments by the communities in their own development, and the remaining part comes via Plan Netherlands from fund raising activities by Dutch primary school children.

For more information read the programme’s executive summary

For more information on CLTS go to www.communityledsanitation.org

Contacts details:

Guinea / Guinea-Bissau: driving home the cholera message

In Bafata, Guinea-Bissau, children go door-to-door counting mosquito nets, monitoring hand-washing and checking the distance between kitchens and latrines. The activities are among efforts by health NGOs and authorities to fill the gap between cholera-prevention messages and behaviour, after a 2008 epidemic killed some 220 people and infected at least 13,000.

The national flag is hoisted in front of the cleanest house, and the family is feted in schools and on local radio, Ingrid Kuhfeldt, head of NGO Plan International in Bissau, told IRIN. Plan International, which has been working in Bafata for 15 years, launched the scheme to prevent future cholera outbreaks.

“There is much more competition now on who has the best hygiene materials and the cleanest house – we hadn’t seen this kind of rivalry before,” Kuhfeldt said.

Children also try to dispel hygiene “myths” with families – for example that lemon juice can disinfect water – and show people how much chlorine to drop into a well to clean the water, Kuhfeldt said.

Rather than resenting the children, adults listen, partly because of children’s rising status in society over recent years, according to Kuhfeldt. “[People] have a growing respect for their children having seen them make speeches in front of audiences in schools, heard them on the radio and seen them set up committees,” she said. “They’re starting to realize they can learn from [the children].”

In Guinea, with the support of aid agencies and the local health services, a local radio station in Kindia helps spread hygiene messages through radio spots and village contests. A team from the radio station organizes public games in remote communities, quizzing people on hygiene and cholera prevention and asking people to make up songs on a hygiene-related theme, according to Aboubacar Sylla, head of programming at the station. Prizes include radios, water buckets or farming tools.

“Hundreds of people come out for these activities; people really like it,” Sylla said. “And it is quite interactive; we encourage everyone to talk about the subject at hand.”

Bafata and Kindia recorded no cholera in 2008, despite infections in neighbouring regions.

Source: IRIN, 15 Oct 2009