Is CLTS considered a sustainable way to provide sanitation?
Community led total sanitation seems to be very effective, however, it is very time consuming. Does anyone know if this is considered a sustainable way to provide sanitation? I.e. if CLTS was the only way to get people to change their sanitation habits, how many people would have to be employed (and how much money would be required) to sensitize everyone in the world. I think that CLTS will not work as the only solution. Hopefully it has some compounding effect and once sensitizing reaches some threshold, people will start to see for themselves that sanitation is essential.
Concerns about CLTS were addressed in a paper by Christine Sijbesma:
Sanitation and hygiene in South Asia : progress and challenges : summary paper of the South Asian Sanitation & Hygiene Practitioners' Workshop organised by IRC, WaterAid and BRAC in Rajendrapur, Bangladesh, 29-31 January 2008.
In 2009 WaterAid published a review of CLTS programmes in Bangladesh, Nepal and Nigeria.
WSP’s Global Scaling Up Rural Sanitation Project is testing Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and Sanitation Marketing approaches in Tanzania, India, and Indonesia. The project web site includes numerous studies on the use of the these approaches in these countries.
In 2009 UNICEF published a field note “Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS)” , reviewing experiences in Sierra Leone, Zambia, Nepal, and in India.
Originally posted on 21 January 2011
For more on CLTS see:
An independent review of the sustainability of Plan CLTS programmes in Africa uncovered a slippage rate of 92%. The study report provides an analysis of factors that lead households to revert to open defecation (OD) and factors that motivate people to remain open defecation free (ODF) + six focus areas for improving CLTS approaches.
A link to the study plus a discussion on its findings can be found on the SuSanA forum.
For every agenda, there are economic winners & losers - promoting policy change and rapid scale-up of CLTS is no exception. Evaluations w/ findings consistent w/ the economic interests of CLTS expert promoters are readily available, published & circulated. Evaluations w/ negative findings are embargoed and/or 'redacted'. For neutrality, look to established academic institutions w/out an evident financial stake in whether or not CLTS is adopted (one example is M.I.T. J-PAL). Research produced by parties whose income significantly depends on the 'CLTS Revolution' can - and should - be recognized for what they are: vested Interests.
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