Testing CLTS approaches for scalability, enhancing the role of local actors in CLTS implementation (Plan USA and Water Institute at UNC - Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana)

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  • KimAndersson
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Re: Testing CLTS approaches for scalability, enhancing the role of local actors in CLTS implementation (Plan USA - Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana)

Dear Darren,
First of all I would like to thank you for introducing this major research initiative on the Forum. And also congratulate to your successful collaboration between researchers and practitioners, which create a powerful partnership.

In your objectives you are talking about “learning” and “capturing” in very broad terms. Is your focus mainly on upscaling of CLTS or are you also looking at more specific dimensions, e.g. how CLTS can support sustained use of sanitation systems and also how to successful achieve an integrated development i.e. water, sanitation and hygiene?

Having the recent functionality discussion in mind from the Thematic Discussion at the Forum on the Sanitation Ladder, I would like to ask if you have analysed the sanitation system function in communities? How is technologies successfully introduced in the CLTS campaigns, e.g. ensuring local capacity for O&M? As also recently discussed on the Forum, the new SDGs will most certainly move beyond containment towards sustainable management. How do you see this change in ambition level from a CLTS perspective?

In addition, it would be nice to hear if your research has provided any interesting cases where the CLTS approach has resulted in safe reuse of sanitation waste products in communities? At SEI we are interested in further exploring how triggering approaches like CLTS could be applied when aiming at strengthen the resource management and livelihoods in communities.

Thanks and best regards,
Kim
Kim Andersson
Stockholm Environment Institute
Postbox 24218,104 51 Stockholm, Sweden
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  • F H Mughal
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Re: Testing CLTS approaches for scalability, enhancing the role of local actors in CLTS implementation (Plan USA - Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana)

Dear Darren,

Interesting output - I assume this is a summary. Do you have a detailed report?

In addition to Kenya, Ethopia and Ghana, a word "worldwide" has been used. I suggest inclusion of South Asian countries (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh), if that is possible at this stage, so that you have review from African and South Asian countries. I reckon, the findings of this research would interest many developing countries.

Best,

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

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  • Darrens
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Re: Testing CLTS approaches for scalability, enhancing the role of local actors in CLTS implementation (Plan USA and Water Institute at UNC - Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana)

Here is a description of a large grant on examining various aspects of CLTS by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation* which we at Plan International USA have been carrying out with partners since 2011:

Title of grant:

Testing CLTS Approaches for Scalability

Subtitle: Enhancing the role of local actors in CLTS implementation
  • Name of lead organization: Plan International USA
  • Primary contact at lead organization: Darren Saywell, Senior Director—Water, Sanitation and Health Practice
  • Grantee location: Washington DC, USA
  • Developing country where the research is being or will be tested: The project is being implemented in Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana (plus 7 additional case studies of the sanitation context in: Cambodia, Nepal, Laos PDR, Indonesia, Niger, Uganda and Haiti)
  • Start and end date: October 2011-September 2015
  • Grant type (e.g. Global Challenges Explorations, Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, Other): Part of the Building Demand for Sanitation (BDS) portfolio
  • Grant size in USD: $7,080,753 (as per grant database )
  • Funding for this research currently ongoing (yes/no): yes
Short description of the project:

Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) was developed in 2000 as a way to generate change in sanitation behaviors, which can then stimulate both demand and supply for improved sanitation and sustainable reductions in open defecation (OD). While CLTS has shown promising results, there are elements and challenges inherent in the CLTS approach that hinder the overall effort to efficiently and effectively scaling the intervention. In particular, the requirement of labor-intensive facilitation, community by community, makes CLTS slow and costly to scale. NGOs most commonly lead facilitation, dependent on donor funding and geographic coverage. Efforts to transfer CLTS facilitation to relevant government entities have also struggled to secure sufficient motivation and resources to effectively implement the approach at scale. Removing these obstacles through modified CLTS methodologies and practices could significantly improve the coverage of the approach.

Plan USA and its research partner, The Water Institute at UNC, are implementing a rigorous, research-based project with the overall goal of advancing global sanitation efforts by improving the cost-effectiveness and scalability of the CLTS approach. This goal will be pursued by collecting, evaluating, and disseminating practical lessons learned about overcoming common challenges to implementing CLTS at scale, based on applied research from pilot interventions in rural Kenya, Ghana, and Ethiopia.

In response to the primary challenge of costly, labor-intensive CLTS facilitation, our approach tests identified strategies to enhance the roles of local actors at the community, facilitator, and government levels in CLTS implementation. In line with the CLTS approach to address both supply and demand for sanitation, the project will generate sustained and community-led demand for improved sanitation along with basic levels of supply of sanitation solutions, to eliminate OD in the short term and achieve further sanitation improvements over time. By identifying ways to enhance the cost-effectiveness and scalability of the CLTS approach within a variety of contexts, it is anticipated that the proposed project will contribute substantially to the overall global efforts to address both the supply of and the demand for improved sanitation, and thus advance the achievement of the MDG for improved sanitation.


Goal:

To advance rural sanitation efforts in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana and worldwide by improving the cost-effectiveness and scalability of the CLTS approach through increased engagement of local actors, such as teachers, local government officials and natural leaders.


Objectives (set at project start in 2011):
  • Objective 1: Learning. Plan and UNC designed and implemented applied research pilot projects that test solutions to locally-relevant global CLTS scaling challenges in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Kenya. Plan International has implemented CLTS for several years in each of these countries; based on this knowledge and analysis of existing barriers to implementation at scale, the pilots were designed to address three strategic challenges. The project applies experimental research standards and deliberate project design guidelines to test modified CLTS methodologies for local actor engagement that address these challenges, in a manner that will allow the partners to evaluate, document, and disseminate its experiences and innovations.
  • Objective 2: Capturing. The collection of knowledge, tools, and lessons learned is a central activity of the project, and is conducted with the extensive support of researchers at UNC. This includes the systematic capture and evaluation of results from the pilot interventions, supplemented by innovations and expertise from Plan International’s global CLTS experience. UNC also supports Plan in conducting a broad literature review, and collecting and developing standardized metrics for sanitation programming.
  • Objective 3: Sharing. We disseminate the knowledge collected and the results of the research pilots to internal and external practitioners and researchers in the sanitation sector. Specific dissemination activities will include publication of research pilot results, exchange visits among pilot countries, publication of knowledge collected (leading practices, methods, tools, case studies, etc.) through both traditional publications and web-based resources, and coordination of learning events at the regional and global levels
Research or implementation partners: The Water Institute at the University of North Carolina, Plan Kenya, Plan Ethiopia, and Plan Ghana

Links, further readings – results to date:

Project website: scalingclts.web.unc.edu/resource-library/

Current state of affairs:

The project is being implemented according to the plan. To date the project has completed a range of scheduled activities: rigorously assessed CLTS operating context in all three pilot countries; reviewed literature worldwide to inform the project approach; conducted community-based implementation of CLTS (treatment vs. control groups) in pilot countries; conducted rapid assessments of CLTS programming in seven comparison cases worldwide; and completed process-learning focused workshops with regional stakeholders in Africa and Asia.


Biggest successes so far:
  • Data analysis still underway, so premature to identify results from the pilot evaluations as yet
  • In process terms, building an effective partnership between a research oriented organization (UNC) and a practice based organization (Plan) has been a strong lesson learning exercise, the insights from which will be documented and made available from this grant.
Main challenges / frustration:
  • Identification of serious confounding issues for the research in Kenya led to a complete re-design of research objectives and approach in 2012. These confounding factors were: complex institutional arrangements in which NGO and government roles are often indistinguishable; mixed financing of WASH from government, NGOS, and bi- and multi-laterals; expectations of and dependency on NGOs by district governments; low similarity of treatment and control districts; and upcoming elections and redistricting. This has impacted the available timeline to implement and monitor outcomes in that country;
  • Survey contractors in Ghana produced poor quality work, compromising the confidence that the research team had in the baseline prepared for the study. Surveys had to be re-commissioned using alternative contractors, impacting scheduled timeline for activities;
  • Interpretation of rigorous research protocols by practitioners has at times led to spillover effects between treatment and control groups.

Very best,

Darren


Darren Saywell, PhD
Senior Director – Water, Sanitation and Health Practice
Plan International USA
1255 23rd Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20037, USA


*
Note by moderator:
A list of all the sanitation grants by the BMGF is now available here in the project database on the SuSanA website, filtered by funding agency BMGF:
www.susana.org/en/resources/projects?vbl...5D=&vbl_22%5B%5D=612

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  • Darrens
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Research project by Plan USA: Testing different models of facilitation (funded by BMGF)

Information is provided to colleagues interested in CLTS in the sector relating to a new grant provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for Plan International USA. For further information, contact Darren Saywell, WASH/CLTS Technical Director, Plan International USA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Plan International USA's Testing Modified CLTS for Scalability project aims to advance rural sanitation efforts in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, and worldwide by improving the cost-effectiveness and scalability of the CLTS approach through increased engagement of local actors. This goal will be achieved by collecting, critically evaluating, and disseminating practical lessons learned about overcoming common challenges to implementing CLTS at scale, based on applied research from pilot interventions in Kenya, Ghana, and Ethiopia that are embedded in broader knowledge generation activities. In line with the CLTS approach, the proposed project applies community-led solutions to address both demand for and supply of sanitation, to help communities eliminate open defecation and maintain and improve sanitation status over time.

The proposed project will be led by Plan USA with key support from the Water Institute at UNC (UNC) and local implementing partners, and will be achieved through three integrated objectives:

Objective 1: Learning. Plan and UNC will design and implement applied research pilot projects that test solutions to locally-relevant global CLTS scaling challenges in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Kenya. Plan International has implemented CLTS for several years in each of these countries; based on this knowledge and analysis of existing barriers to implementation at scale, the pilots were designed to address three strategic challenges. The proposed project applies experimental research standards and deliberate project design guidelines to test modified CLTS methodologies for local actor engagement that address these challenges, in a manner that will allow the partners to evaluate, document, and disseminate its experiences and innovations.

Objective 2: Capturing. The collection of knowledge, tools, and lessons learned is a central activity of the project, and will be conducted with the extensive support of researchers at UNC. This will include the systematic capture and evaluation of results from the pilot interventions, supplemented by innovations and expertise from Plan International’s global CLTS experience. UNC will also support Plan in conducting a broad literature review, and collecting and developing standardized metrics for sanitation programming.

Objective 3: Sharing. We will disseminate the knowledge collected and the results of the research pilots to internal and external practitioners and researchers in the sanitation sector. Specific dissemination activities will include publication of research pilot results, exchange visits among pilot countries, publication of knowledge collected (leading practices, methods, tools, case studies, etc.) through both traditional publications and web-based resources, and coordination of learning events at the regional and global levels.
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