The total elimination of open defecation holds promise of major gains in enhancing the wellbeing of women, children and men and in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
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.
In a CLTS process, facilitators encourage communities to carry out their own appraisal and analysis of community sanitation. This generally leads them to recognise the volume of human waste they generate and how the practice of open defecation means they are likely to be ingesting one another’s faeces. The resulting disgust and desire for self-respect can induce them to take immediate and comprehensive action by digging and building latrines and stopping open defecation without waiting for external support in the form of hardware subsidy.
This project aims to make a difference by reducing the deprivation and enhancing the wellbeing of poor people through research to generate knowledge and insights concerning CLTS, through participatory action research engaging with practice, and through the sharing of knowledge, experience and insights across communities, organisations and countries.