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World Water Week: CLTS


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Presentation given by Synne Movik at World Water Week in Stockholm on 21 August 2009, using Community-Led Total Sanitation as a case study. Find out more at:

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World Water Week: CLTS

  1. 1. Meeting the MDGs: The Potential of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Synne Movik
  2. 2. Sanitation overview <ul><li>Sanitation was long a neglected issue in development </li></ul><ul><li>UN declared 1981-1990 as the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation decade , but main focus on water </li></ul><ul><li>When sanitation addressed, it often happened a in very technical, top-down way , paying scant attention to people’s actual needs and wants </li></ul><ul><li>Little focus on sanitation behaviour and links to hygiene </li></ul><ul><li>More recently receiving increasing attention - in 2007, the British Medical Journal voted for sanitation as the greatest medical advance in the last 166 years </li></ul>
  3. 3. The idea of CLTS <ul><li>CLTS offers an alternative to top-down, conventional approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Pioneered by Kamal Kar, a development consultant working with the Village Education Resource Centre (VERC) , CLTS began as an experiment in Bangladesh in 1999. It soon spread to other countries in Asia, such as India, Indonesia, Nepal and Cambodia </li></ul><ul><li>More recently a number of countries in Africa and Latin America are also implementing CLTS </li></ul><ul><li>The CLTS approach seeks to create ‘open defecation free’ villages through an emphasis on changing the attitudes and behaviour of the whole community., rather than supporting toilet construction for individual households </li></ul>
  4. 4. Key elements of CLTS <ul><li>Community decision and collective local action </li></ul><ul><li>Social Solidarity and cooperation </li></ul><ul><li>Local diversity and innovation </li></ul>
  5. 5. The practice of CLTS <ul><li>Pilot villages are selected in an area, and a facilitator triggers the process of raising awareness of the threats to health from open defecation </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Hands-off’ approach - no lecturing! </li></ul><ul><li>PRA techniques, such as transect walks and mapping are used to bring villagers’ attention to routes of disease spread from faeces </li></ul><ul><li>When people realise that they are actually ingesting their own faeces, this insight results powerful emotions of shame and disgust which triggers community action </li></ul><ul><li>Villagers draw on local knowledge and resources to construct toilets themselves </li></ul>
  6. 6. Transect walks Walking through the bush to find the stuff! Rural community near Awassa, Ethiopia leading a OD transect team. Slums in the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia – locations where sources of water get contaminated with human excreta are important points to stop during a defecation area transect and discuss with the community.
  7. 7. Mapping ‘ Who shits where?’ Community members in Tororo, Uganda, map places used for open defecation. Photo: Philip Otieno, Plan Kenya. In a well facilitated CLTS triggering, villagers in Tanzania calculating household shit, the ignition point is often reached while they are doing this
  8. 8. Raising awareness of sanitation and health linkages Philip Otieno of Plan Kenya contaminating drinking water with shit before offering it to community members to drink during a hands-on CLTS training in Tanzania. Photo: Samuel Musyoki, Plan Kenya.
  9. 9. Devising solutions A village woman in the Andean mountain region of Llallagua, Bolivia, proudly presents her newly constructed latrine made of mud, bricks and stone. Photo: Meghan Myles, UNICEF Bolivia
  10. 10. The social-ecological-technological dynamics of CLTS <ul><li>Social dynamics: cultural and religious practices, social power relations </li></ul><ul><li>Ecological dynamics: uncertainty of environmental impacts (increased accumulation of faeces may contaminate water sources, disease ecologies) </li></ul><ul><li>Technological dynamics: understandings and framings of technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Adopting a systems perspective to CLTS involves looking at how CLTS contributes to facilitating a change in actors’ perceptions of socio-ecological-technological system dynamics </li></ul>
  11. 11. The social-ecological-technological dynamics of CLTS: Examples <ul><li>Socio-ecological interactions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>During triggering, people are made aware of the existing inter-linkages between their own shit and the presence of disease. Prior to this, shit was often seen by communities as something external to their </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>environment, something that did not concern them and did not relate to their daily rituals. Social perceptions of ecological systems thus undergo a profound change. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Socio-technical interactions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural practices, beliefs and social mores determine technological designs, and fuel people’s resistance or acceptance to toilets. Religious notions of purity and conceptions of modesty and privacy often point </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to particular pathways of designs, in terms of separating men’s and women’s sanitary facilities. Power relations also work to facilitate the emergence of particular technologies rather than others. E.g. whose needs do local entrepreneurs cater for? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Group characteristics Demographics Power relations Gender relations Cultural practices Religious norms Perceptions of shit Sentiments/needs/desires Health problems Mindset Creativity Materials Supply networks Maintenance Infrastructure Cost Traditions for masonry Availability Marketing Architechture Social Technological Ecological Climate conditions Landscape changes Settlement patterns Wet/arid Floods/droughts Soil types Water/groundwater table Vegetation cover Presence of pathogens
  13. 13. CLTS challenges <ul><li>Though successful, challenges remain, including gaining a better underst anding of the social-ecological-technological dynamics and how particular pathways emerge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. to what extent do social dynamics and power relations constrain or enhance CLTS interventions and in what ways does the CLTS community awareness approach contribute to re-fashioning such relations and open up new spaces for intra-community negotiation? What factors contribute to sustaining behaviour change in the long-term? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the ecological dynamics at work, and how resilient are the technological options to shocks such as floods and droughts? What happens when toilet structures collapse? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do emic perspectives, men’s, women’s, and children’s different roles, statuses, and perceptions help fashion opportunities and constraints for the emergence of particular technological options? </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. CLTS challenges <ul><li>Adoption of CLTS characterised by diversity – challenge is to design institutions that can equip people with strategies to deal with diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Governance processes affect systems dynamics shaping the pathways that unfold </li></ul><ul><li>How to engage with other approaches to create new pathways for improved sanitation and development? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Further resources <ul><li> </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>THANK YOU! </li></ul>