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Robert Chambers - Research Associate

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Richard Douglass

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Professor Robert Chambers has a background in biology, history and public administration.

His current concerns and interests include professionalism, power, the personal dimension in development, participatory methodologies, teaching and learning with large numbers and Community-Led Total Sanitation.

The Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Hub works in collaboration with practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and others in the development, sanitation and related communities, and in governments, international agencies, civil society, research institutes and other organisations.

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CLTS is an innovative methodology for mobilising communities to completely eliminate open defecation (OD).

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Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is a participatory approach that started in Bangladesh and has been spread to varying degrees in India, Cambodia, Indonesia, China, Nepal. To a limited degree, it has also been trialled in some African countries.

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The image is a photo of the front cover of Frontiers Seven

Norms, Knowledge and Usage

Frontiers of CLTS: Innovations and Insights 7 (2016)

The partial or total non-use of toilets, with some or all in a household defecating in the open, is a growing concern. Although all households may have a toilet, communities cannot remain open defecation free unless they are always used by everyone. This is not just an issue of maintenance and accessibility but also of social norms, mind-sets, and cultural preferences. The problem is widespread but most evident in India. More details

Sustainability and CLTS: Taking Stock Front Cover by Sue Cavill, Robert Chambers and Naomi Vernon

Sustainability and CLTS: taking stock

Frontiers of CLTS: Innovations and Insights 4 (2015)

Sustainability is without doubt one of the most burning subject matters that subsumes many of the issues seen in Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and wider Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practice. This issue of CLTS Frontiers series identifes priority areas for learning More details

This is the cover to IDS Working Paper 450, 'Reframing Undernutrition: Faecally-Transmitted Infections and the 5 As'.

Reframing Undernutrition: Faecally-Transmitted Infections and the 5 As

IDS Working Paper 450 (2014)

The dominant nutrition discourse concerns access to adequate food and its quality. It now includes food security, food rights and justice, governance and agriculture. More details

This is the image for the book ' Explorations in Development Practice'.

Into the Unknown: Explorations in Development Practice

Robert Chambers reflects on experiences, which led him to examine personal biases and predispositions, and he challenges readers to examine the pervasive significance of power in forming and framing knowledge. Into the Unknown reflects on the journey of learning, and encourages readers to learn from observation, curiosity, critical feedback, play and fun. More details

Non-IDS publication

Good Practices for Effective Participation in Social Protection Design and Implementation

This short article looks at how participation can provide some answers to overcoming the tendency for elite capture in social protection programmes. More details

Thematic Expertise:
Agriculture; Nutrition; Participatory methodologies; Poverty; Water and Sanitation.

Related Programmes and Centres:

Geographic Expertise:
Sub Saharan Africa.