CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene - Study by Plan Australia
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TOPIC: CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene - Study by Plan Australia

CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene - Study by Plan Australia 23 Feb 2014 12:39 #7459

  • dietvorst
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A study commissioned by Plan International on the sustainability of CLTS programs in Africa revealed a 92% slippage rate of households in ODF-declared villages. While 87% of the households still had a functioning latrine, only 8% met all of the criteria used to originally award ODF status for a village:

• 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

The study confirms that there is still no evidence that a standard CLTS approach by itself leads to sustainable safe sanitation and improved hygiene behaviour.

While the study admits that better quality latrines were more likely to last and be maintained and that the poorest households often cannot afford such latrines, this "must not impact upon the central, non-subsidy tenet of the CLTS approach".

On the other hand, externally financed support/technical assistance from development agencies (like Plan) and (local) government financed support is considered acceptable.

CLTS has all the hallmarks of a development industry belief rather than an evidence-based approach.

Tyndale-Biscoe, P., Bond, M, and Kidd, R., 2013. ODF sustainability study. Plan International. Read the full report at: www.communityledtotalsanitation.org/reso...inability-study-plan
Cor Dietvorst
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Last Edit: 07 Mar 2014 13:50 by dietvorst. Reason: spelling correction
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Re: CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene - Plan International study 24 Feb 2014 12:42 #7471

  • JKMakowka
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Interesting study, thanks for sharing!

However I think you are misrepresenting the results of the study a bit with your headline.

Here is how the authors summarize their findings:
The study identified that 87% of the households surveyed still had a latrine and thus that if ODF status was equated with a household having a functioning latrine then the rate of reversion to OD (or ‘slippage’) was a remarkably low 13%. However, if a wider set of criteria for ODF qualification was applied things like having a lid over the latrine squat hole, having hand washing facilities with water and soap or soap substitute then the slippage rate increased progressively to over 90%.


Obviously just having a (more or less) functional latrine is far from ideal, but in some settings that is already a great accomplishment.

Maybe I would summarize the findings rather that CLTS isn't particularly good in promoting general (longer term) hygiene behavior and a true understanding of the germ-theory (i.e. fecal oral disease transmission) with its focus on disgust and feces.
Krischan Makowka
Last Edit: 24 Feb 2014 12:44 by JKMakowka. Reason: spelling

Re: CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene - Plan International study 26 Feb 2014 12:57 #7504

  • F H Mughal
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There were 2 posts previously on this forum. The first one was: “How does CLTS in Africa compare to CLTS in Asia?” (forum.susana.org/forum/categories/5-clts...pare-to-clts-in-asia) This post contained the comment of Juliet Waterkeyn, in which she challenged Kamal Kar. The second one was: “CLTS and human rights: Should the right to community-wide health be won at the cost of individual rights?” (forum.susana.org/forum/categories/5-clts...of-individual-rights). This post carries the comments of Petra Bongartz.

In 2012, Jamie Bartram, Barbara Evans et al. published a paper titled: “Commentary on community-led total sanitation and human rights: should the right to community-wide health be won at the cost of individual rights?” (available here: susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktype...p;type=2&id=1695)

I’m of the opinion that if any type of sanitation system in a particular country is doing well, it should continue so as to deliver the results. There is no need to go by any brand name. Every country has its own traditions, norms and style of governance; hence “one-size-fits-all” syndrome would not apply.

F H Mughal
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Last Edit: 01 Mar 2014 21:28 by muench. Reason: added the hyperlinks
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Re: CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene - Plan International study 01 Mar 2014 21:31 #7562

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Dear Mughal,

Thanks for providing those links.
I don't quite understand your point though. Are you saying that if CTLS works in one country (let's say Bangladesh), one should not be too tempted to export the concept to another country (let's say Tanzania) because it is bound to not work so well there?
Or what exactly where you trying to say?
I would appreciate if you could elaborate a bit more on your point.

Thanks,

Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Re: CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene - Plan International study 02 Mar 2014 05:45 #7563

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This is quite interesting a discussion. Before I comment on the topic itself. I would like to make comment on Mutual comment on human right issue. I have gone through your references but I don't know how those assumptions affect human right. He sees subsidy has human right and since CLTS is discouraging hardware subsidy it is against human right. I called it assumptions because because they are paper work. Can you please look at other areas where CLTS addresses human right and weigh the two before making recommendations. Let me remind u of some. Human right recognises that individual have access to basic sanitation at critical times, has your subsidy able to provide this? Clts does! Communal latrine provided in most times have been abandoned due to lack of ownership and resonsibilty, key to latrines has been seized by viage head due to lack of cooperation, many rural people have d taboo of defecating on stranger's faeces so they dont use communal effort? The promotion of dignity and self respect is the hallmark of CLTS. It gives access to sanitation 24/7 being it raining or glooming (night). See you are an office man, you are very good in table work I am not disputing that, and that is why you propand theories but I am a field man, I work directly at community level and I can tell you that most of your theories does not work. CLTS is real and it is really changing behavious. Presently I am not talking of isolated cases, in the mean time, I am working on WSSSRP using LGA Wide Approach in two local government in Nigeria and the something is going on 11states in the federation. Time will not permit me to itemise how CLTS contribute to human right but I will share this experience with you.
The issues of human right has been abused by corrupt politicians and thus they have brainwashed the community people that 'you people are poor, it is your right to be rich and have access to everything a rich man has access to, thus any intervention coming to your community is to enrich you claim your right. This has made the community people to relax and kept waiting for government to even buy shoe for them. This is a global issue in developing country. Immediately we enter a community for triggering exercise, the youths that gathering to collect their share.
Recently some group of youths rose against us that what is the meaning of this map you are drawing, "we were told that government has given you money to share with us, build latrine and construct water and now you are drawing map, oh you want to steal how money we will not agree". At the end, they came up that we never knew what you came for was for our benefit we thought it is business as usual and they promise to take immediate action, youths even volunteer to assist the elderly. These are reality on field, CLTS has also settled communal conflict in one of our communities. Are you saying we should trash this approach that is positively changing people's life?
I will use another page for my comment.
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Re: CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene - Plan International study 02 Mar 2014 06:07 #7565

  • F H Mughal
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Dear Elisabeth,

Yes, you got it right with your Bangladesh and Tanzania example. If CLTS is working properly in Bangladesh, it should continue to be used there. If other sanitation system is working in Tanzania smoothly, that system should continue to be used there. To use your words: one should not be too tempted to export the concept to Tanzania. Simple as that.

Regards,

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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Reply: CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation 02 Mar 2014 09:57 #7567

Dear author

I am from Nepal .I fully agree and appreciate your views that "*CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation *" It does not fit in each and every society . The actual name and actions does not match at implementation level . The CLTS and Open Defecation Free area declaration has created unhealthy competition among WASH stakeholders . It has created publicity for celebration rather thinking seriously towards sustainability. The result is short lasting and poor people are in pressure.

kala -- With best regards

*Kalawati Pokharel*

* Country Coordinator* *Nepal WASH Alliance ( NWA), Nepal* *(Supported by Dutch WASH Alliance)* *Contact : *

*NWA Secretariat*

*C/O Lumanti , Po. Box : 10546, Tahachal,Kathmandu*

*Phone : 0977-1 4613288, 1 -4673287, Mob: 9858421064*

Re: CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene - Plan International study 02 Mar 2014 22:37 #7582

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I think I have time now to comment on this topic. If CLTS does not lead to sustainable sanitation and hygiene. Would employ those who are of this opinion to please provide a remedy. I think what we should be using forum like this for is to share ideas, findings and way forward. As WASH Practitioners I believe we should see this network as opportunities to exchange and address challenges not condemning approaches. If you think CLTS is not meeting expected results, where or what do you think the problem lies, where do you think there should be improvement. There is no approach without it challenges and shortcomings but when u weigh the pros and cons and compare it with other or existing approach(es) you would be able to know if you should accept or reject. It is only a mad man that will say or agree that an approach is universal.
However, for you to just abstractly and absolutely condemn an approach that is working well in some other places is not too idea.
For me, those people that condemn CLTS that I have confronted one on one were those who used to make their money on subsidy. But now no budget for mass construction of SANPLAT, Community Latrine/Toilet , supply of reinforcement iron, cement etc.
My point is simple, if you want to condemn provide solution. If you don't have solution please don't condemn. Or are you trying to take us back to approached we have been using for decades and have not been given us needed results. CLTS came up at the very time when there was a global problems it was able to solve it.
Concerning Dietvorst, i believe why people in Nelpa had that problem was because some basic principle of clts were compromised or violated. If the driven really come from those community people and not induced, results are bound to be reaped and will seriously be sustainable. Let us address ourselves and not the approach. Let us pass the right message to the people and allow the decision to come from them. Odf is not an automatic ticket for water supply. If that is the message, what will happen to odf status when they get the water supply.
I think these challenges and how we could tackle them are what we should be addressing on this forum.

Re: CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene - Plan International study 03 Mar 2014 08:51 #7587

  • JKMakowka
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I think people need to look beyond just CLTS to understand why there is such a huge gap in the success and perception of it.

As far as I can tell it was developed for and works well under the following circumstances:

1. Existing social fabric of small communities (most likely in rural areas with little migrant workers)
- This is important because otherwise the social pressure for joint behavior change either does not work at all or only works via human dignity violating means (for a short while)

2. Experienced skilled CLTS facilitators that introduce the method
- Because of the "simple" basic tools of CLTS, many (mostly government) implementers mistakenly think it can be implemented at scale with unskilled (and often uninterested) facilitators that just run through the "program" and expect CLTS to just work.

3. A community that is not under severe stress by outside factors
- Sanitation is an topic people consider to be relevant when there is a relatively stable situation under which for example the investment in a toilet makes sense.


I think that an assessment of these three points can predict the success or failure of a CLTS campaign with a very high certainty. But if someone has additional points to add I would be happy to hear about them.
Krischan Makowka
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Re: CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene - Plan International study 03 Mar 2014 10:56 #7599

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Dear Krischan,

In response to your first comment:

The Plan report states that the wider set of critera "were used in each country to originally award ODF status for a village". So according to their own standards the real slippage rate was over 90%.

As Gates Foundation WASH Chief Brian Arbogast said in his latest blog 'Debunking sanitation myths':

while toilets are necessary to solve the sanitation challenges we face, they alone are not sufficient.


Plan's wider set ODF status criteria rightly refers to hygiene as an essential element. However it fails to mention safe disposal of fecal sludge, which Arbogast refers to and which figures in the sustainable sanitation service delivery approach propagated by organisations like IRC and SuSanA - see Assessing sanitation service levels

If CLTS cannot ensure proper hygiene and safe disposal, it will achieve little more than delayed open defecation.

Regarding your second comment about CLTS success factors, the Plan report recommends several other ones including post-ODF support, access to financing and sanitation marketing.
Cor Dietvorst
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Last Edit: 03 Mar 2014 10:58 by dietvorst. Reason: language editing

ODF Sustainability Study - Plan Australia 03 Mar 2014 14:52 #7604

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All -

Some points of clarification:

1. The title to this thread is disingenuous. The report does not make the claims attributed to it in such definitive terms (the story is more nuanced than that) and presenting it as such does a disservice to the authors of the report (Plan Australia). *

2. It also fails to recognize that Plan has and continues to invest in learning appropriately from what works from its programming approach and seeks to alter long term program design based on these lessons learned.

3. This is a study presented by Plan Australia, completed by an independent evaluation team. It is not the same as the Plan USA work, funded by BMGF, which is studying the effectiveness of local actors (other than NGOs) in facilitating CLTS (see here on the forum: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/5-clts...ation-funded-by-bmgf). Please do not conflate the two.

4. A more interesting discussion thread - in my opinion - would be to focus on how social norms and CLTS relate to each other and how as a sector we can be looking at improving sustainability post implementation (which remains a challenge, irrespective of the particular approach to change that we implement).

Regards,

Darren Saywell
Plan International USA

* Note by moderator (EvM): I have modified the thread title, is that better? Old thread title was: "CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene - Plan International study". New thread title: "CLTS doesn't lead to sustainable safe sanitation & hygiene? - Study by Plan Australia"
Last Edit: 03 Mar 2014 15:44 by muench. Reason: added hyperlink to other forum post; added moderator's comment at the bottom
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Re: ODF Sustainability Study - Plan Australia 03 Mar 2014 16:11 #7607

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Not really - I don't think just adding a question mark deals with this issue, You've taken the worst interpretation of results and tarred the entire report with this headline - life is much more complex and the report illustrates this complexity - which you should allow readers to form their own conclusions about, rather than pre-digesting the outcome.
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