As sanitation and hygiene programmes mature, the challenge shifts from helping communities achieve open defecation free (ODF) status to sustaining this status. In this context, many programmes are confronted with ‘slippage’ – the return to previous unhygienic behaviours, or the inability of some or all community members to continue to meet all ODF criteria. How should slippage be understood and addressed? A new report – primarily based on experiences from the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF)-supported programme in Madagascar, provides comprehensive insights.
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Slippage is intricate because it is hinged on the philosophy and complexity of behaviour change. Moreover, the definition of slippage is linked to the definition of ODF in a given country. The more demanding the ODF criteria are, the more slippage one can potentially experience.