Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

45.8k views

Page selection:
  • joeturner
  • joeturner's Avatar
  • Posts: 717
  • Karma: 23
  • Likes received: 185

Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

OK thanks, that makes sense - perhaps you can see how those of us outside of IDS are confused.
The following user(s) like this post: Petra

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Petra
  • Petra's Avatar
  • Co-founder and former staff member of the CLTS Knowledge Hub (now Sanitation Learning Hub) at IDS, now consultant with 14 years' experience of knowledge management, participatory workshop facilitation, communications and networking. Interested in behaviour change, climate justice and embodied leadership
  • Posts: 110
  • Karma: 8
  • Likes received: 27

Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

This is an IDS blog which is unrelated to the CLTS Knowledge Hub. There are other projects and people at IDS who work with KK. Earlier this year he was visiting one of those people and as part of this gave a seminar.

IDS is a big organisation and the CLTS Knowledge Hub is one project amongst many. So the IDS website does not represent the Hub and the Hub's website www.communityledtotalsanitation.org does not represent the work or views of IDS as a whole.
Petra Bongartz
independent consultant

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • joeturner
  • joeturner's Avatar
  • Posts: 717
  • Karma: 23
  • Likes received: 185

Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

Also, you know, this appears to be an IDS blog and it appears to be written by KK

knotsids.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/the-road...experiences-and.html

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • joeturner
  • joeturner's Avatar
  • Posts: 717
  • Karma: 23
  • Likes received: 185

Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

Petra - you might want to update this page which implies that the institution KK works for is the IDS

www.communityledtotalsanitation.org/page/kamal-kar

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Petra
  • Petra's Avatar
  • Co-founder and former staff member of the CLTS Knowledge Hub (now Sanitation Learning Hub) at IDS, now consultant with 14 years' experience of knowledge management, participatory workshop facilitation, communications and networking. Interested in behaviour change, climate justice and embodied leadership
  • Posts: 110
  • Karma: 8
  • Likes received: 27

Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

Since the emails were limited in their circulation and there was a clear message from UNICEF that they were not happy with the email-based discussion I would say that it would be inappropriate to post the email trail here. I suggest you raise your questions and concerns with UNICEF directly?
Petra Bongartz
independent consultant

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Petra
  • Petra's Avatar
  • Co-founder and former staff member of the CLTS Knowledge Hub (now Sanitation Learning Hub) at IDS, now consultant with 14 years' experience of knowledge management, participatory workshop facilitation, communications and networking. Interested in behaviour change, climate justice and embodied leadership
  • Posts: 110
  • Karma: 8
  • Likes received: 27

Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

Thank you Preetha, and in response to Elisabeth,

I was indeed just wanting to clarify that the CLTS Foundation and Kamal are not synonymous with the CLTS Knowledge Hub at IDS. No further inbetween the lines meaning! And whilst both organisations work on CLTS, we do so in quite different ways and often with different views and opinions.
To further clarify, the methodology was created by Kamal Kar with WaterAid in Bangladesh. Robert and IDS only became involved afterwards.

No hair-splitting, just pointing out that the CLTS Knowledge Hub does not necessarily endorse what the CLTSF does and vice versa.We were not involved in the production or publication of the book on Madagascar and only found out about it just before it was being launched.

And Joe, no KK does not regularly contribute to the CLTS Blog or the website. There is actually not a single blog by KK on the CLTS website.

We have also seen the correspondence between UNICEF and various representatives of the Malagassy government. And in keeping with the requests made by UNICEF in this conversation and since without actually going to Madagascar and doing research it is difficult to say what is really happening on the ground, I cannot comment on what figures are correct. As anyone involved in WASH and or CLTS in any country knows is that getting reliable data is a challenge. There are many cases of over-reporting, data massaging to meet (often highly unrealistic) targets. Monitoring, verification and follow up are key issues for sustainability and most countries are still grappling with putting adequate systems in place. There is much to learn and much need for innovation. And an even bigger need for honest sharing of what is happening, ongoing reflection including admission of failures and creative thinking and collaboration on ways forward. Happy to engage in discussion of what might work, but like Elisabeth , I don't really like engaging in lengthy debates that are driven by blame, personal attack and which, in my opinion, especially in virtual fora like this one, do not go anywhere and take up a lot of valuable time.
Petra Bongartz
independent consultant

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • F H Mughal
  • F H Mughal's Avatar
  • Senior Water and Sanitation Engineer
  • Posts: 1026
  • Karma: 20
  • Likes received: 227

Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

I agree with David's views. David's concerns need to be addressed.

David: Could you kindly post the UNICEF's official email, you are referring to? - Thanks

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • joeturner
  • joeturner's Avatar
  • Posts: 717
  • Karma: 23
  • Likes received: 185

Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

I think I am correct in saying that David was referring to a blog written by KK for the IDS CLTS blog.

Doesn't KK regularly contribute to the IDS blog on CTLS?

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • DavidAlan
  • DavidAlan's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • David Crosweller
  • Posts: 98
  • Karma: 6
  • Likes received: 38

Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

Dear Preetha, thank you for your reply. Apologies for the brevity of this mail, but will not be able to comment more fully until later in the week.

You say that the Minister made a statement, which I don't doubt. This topic is based around the statement made by the UNICEF official questioning the figures used in the book. I have read the UNICEF official's email and it is quite categoric that the figures used in the book were incorrect. Can you confirm this is the case or not?

If the figures are incorrect then regardless of why the book was prepared, it has no validity.

I also think that both IDS and CLTS Foundation are splitting hairs by saying that KK is part of one and not the other. However it is dressed up the two organisations are linked by methodology at the very least – a methodology he and Roberts created.

Regards, David

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • PreethaP
  • PreethaP's Avatar
  • CLTS Foundation www.cltsfoundation.org
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: 2
  • Likes received: 0

Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

Hello everyone.

I realise the discussion has gathered quite a bit of momentum and taken new turns since I last posted. Would have liked to engage more consistently, however we are out on the field most days of the month, and many times in remote areas with very weak/no internet connection at all; hence the delay in our responses is quite unavoidable. To begin, will try and address some of the larger questions raised in the discussions here, more details and responses to other questions will follow later.

1) David, as you have been rightly informed, the Minister of Madagascar has issued a statement, confirming that the audit conducted by the Ministry of Water ( in March 2014) is largely consistent with the results declared by FAA (Fonds d’Appui pour l’Assainissement), the sanitation and hygiene programme implementing CLTS in Madagascar, which is supported by GSF. Updates on the recent developments taking place in Madagascar and several details of the programme and its findings are available on the WSSCC website .

2) We just want to reiterate that the book – ‘Promising Pathways’ is a process documentation of the best practices and innovations on CLTS in Madagascar and it is not an evaluation/verification of results study. We will share with you all the link to the pdf version of the book as soon as it is ready.

3) The first response that was posted by the CLTS Foundation on this thread focused on addressing specifically the question raised on ‘pit latrines’. It does not imply that CLTS means or advocates that communities necessarily start at the bottom of the sanitation ladder with pit latrines. In practice, CLTS facilitation takes place in a wide variety of situations of which only a very small number would be such that there is no familiarity with toilets at all. Where this familiarity exists, there the existing known sustainable modes and technologies will find favour and these will often be in tune with the terrain and other conditions. Furthermore, in a properly structured set up with good capacity building, CLTS facilitators are expected to be armed with material that enables a response of various options available to the community when it seeks answers to the questions of what technology to adopt to confine excreta safely after it has resolved to take collective action in this direction. It is entirely possible that existing toilet modes need change as with various forms of fixed point defecation that fail to confine excreta safely and there the facilitators responses post the community resolve, will be important.

In effect, the point is that CLTS is not oblivious to or anti the technology question. It is just not the question that has to be brought up at all when the initial discussion takes place in the community. Because bringing it up as an issue upfront means that the entire objective of making sanitation a felt community need is defeated. Also, any discussion on toilets and technology before igniting collective behaviour change among the community means that the sanitation question is being framed in advance by the outside facilitation and is therefore, an external concern and not internal to the community which has never felt it to be an issue of consequence anyway. CLTS has shown that the objective of making sanitation an internal concern – felt and owned by the community - can be met only by enabling the community to engage in self-analysis, realize their own situation and behaviour; understand consequences and resolve to take collective action at its own level. Safe confinement is a matter that the community is likely to bring up on its own during this process and toilet choices will be made from a range of options depending on legacy, stage of understanding, available material and capacity, affordability, sustainability, personal and community preference. Facilitators are expected to be able to assist in this process with information on choices, their advantages, disadvantages and costs. So here the technology aspect does come in very clearly. The point is that this technology question (or intervention) needs to be brought into the process at the right moment – after collective behaviour change of the community has been ignited and community demand for sanitation solutions has been created – and that the facilitator should not push for a particular mode when there are various options/modes that confine excreta safely in that particular context.

5) Finally, the point that Petra raised about Kamal Kar not being a part of IDS and having his own organisation CLTS Foundation, is stating a fact Elisabeth – this I believe is in response to David Alan’s first post in which he had referred to Kamal Kar as being a part of IDS – and so, I would not make this statement out to be anything more than what it is just simply stating.

Best regards,

Preetha Prabhakaran
On behalf of CLTS Foundation

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager at GIZ and SuSanA secretariat, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3372
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 931

Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

Dear Petra,

Thanks for your post although I don't quite know what you are trying to say. Maybe I need to read in between the lines... What prompted you to say this in this thread? OK, I saw from a tweets today:

@EvMuench @IDS_UK The CLTS Knowledge Hub, IDS is different from Kamal's org CLTS Foundation which published the book. We had no involvement.


... that you want to distance yourself from that book by Kamal Kar (does anyone know: is it available for download somewhere?).

I really don't know the politics and perhaps this is not the right place to discuss it but I am just curious: Are there fundamental differences between the CTLS approach that is promoted by CLTS Foundation (where Kamal and Preetha work) and the CLTS Knowledge Hub (where you work)? This would be interesting to understand, I think.

Apart from the issue with Kamal's book: could you shed some light on the questions which have been raised by David, Christoph, Cor, Mougabe and Joe above? How do you reconcile the CLTS concept that villagers should find their own solutions, that nobody should prescrive anything to them versus the hesitation of "is it ethical to let them waste their time building a pour flush latrine if the hydrogeological conditions are such that it won't work longer than a couple of weeks" and when we know there is a potentially better solution available (which the villagers don't know yet though)?

Or would you say this is largely an academic debate because in 90% of the cases and regions where CLTS is applied, there is the sufficient space and the right soil and groundwater conditions to make pour-flush latrines a nice, long lasting type of toilet?

I would love for this to be an open, constructive, friendly conversation without people getting aggressive, overly negative or defensive about anything, as we are all in the same boat, learning together and just trying to help people live healthy, comfortable lives. :-)

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/elisabethvonmuench/
The following user(s) like this post: John Brogan

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Petra
  • Petra's Avatar
  • Co-founder and former staff member of the CLTS Knowledge Hub (now Sanitation Learning Hub) at IDS, now consultant with 14 years' experience of knowledge management, participatory workshop facilitation, communications and networking. Interested in behaviour change, climate justice and embodied leadership
  • Posts: 110
  • Karma: 8
  • Likes received: 27

Re: Debate about effectiveness of CLTS, prompted by UNICEF official after book launch about CLTS in Madagascar

Please note that Kamal Kar is not part of IDS but has his own organisation, the CLTS Foundation. At IDS, we run the CLTS Knowledge Hub which is a different and independent entity.
Petra Bongartz
independent consultant

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
Page selection:
Share this thread:
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 0.087 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum