Journal Article

Beyond Subsidies – Triggering a Revolution in Rural Sanitation

Published on 1 July 2009

About two billion people living in rural areas are adversely affected by open defecation. in many countries the Millennium development goal for sanitation is off track. Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is a radically different approach to rural sanitation and has shown promising successes where traditional rural sanitation programmes have failed. Unlike traditional programmes, CLTS does not involve providing subsidies for individual household hardware.

In CLTS, communities conduct their own analysis, come to their own conclusions, and take their own action. all gain, especially women, adolescent girls and children. ClTS is now in over 20 countries, but its spread faces obstacles. This In Focus Policy Briefing asks how can we maximise the huge potential for transforming rural sanitation that this approach offers? What has worked? What hinders progress? What should be done?


This publication is also available in French (PDF)


Petra Bongartz

Research Officer

Robert Chambers

Research Associate

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Publication details

published by
Bongartz, P. and Chambers, R.
IDS In Focus Policy Briefing, issue 10


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The Sanitation Learning Hub

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