Image of Petra Bongartz

Petra Bongartz

Research Officer

Petra has worked in International Development for 14 years, first on HIV/AIDS and since 2006 on Community-led Total Sanitation. Together with Robert Chambers she created the CLTS Knowledge Hub at IDS in 2009. Petra is Research Officer for Strategy, Communications and Networking for the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Knowledge Hub.

She leads on the Hub’s communication activities, develops and implements the Hub’s strategy with the other Hub members, (co-)facilitates workshops, maintains the CLTS website, and engages in networking and action learning activities.

She has a strong interest in sustainable behaviour change, not just in sanitation but with regard to stories, values and relationships that create the word we currently live in. Petra seeks to introduce more embodied ways of working into facilitation, leadership and the development context, making clearer the linkages between the micro of personal behaviour and the macro, i.e. the work we do ‘out there’ and finding ways to re-connect personal awareness and growth with activism. She is a Movement Medicine Apprentice Teacher and Facilitator and brings the modalities of this movement based practice into her work.

Connections and expertise

Programmes and centres
Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS)
Member of

Petra Bongartz’s recent work


Sustainable Sanitation for All

Describing the landscape of sustainability of CLTS and sanitation with reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and through examples from Africa and Asia, the book captures a range of experiences and innovations from a broad range of institutions and actors within the WASH sector,...

1 July 2016


CLTS in Africa: Trajectories, Challenges and Moving to Scale

This book chapter looks at the progress and maturing of Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in Africa. It introduces innovations and adaptations, poses questions and challenges and suggests possible ways forward as CLTS goes to scale on the continent.

1 January 2014


Tales of Shit: Community-Led Total Sanitation in Africa

Participatory learning and action 61

Around 2.6 billion people defecate in the open. The consequences are dire: shit carries disease and is a major killer. Recently, a radical new participatory approach called Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) has encouraged millions of people to look at, talk about and tackle the problems...

1 January 2010