Handbook on Community-Led Total Sanitation

Published on 1 March 2008

The CLTS approach originates from Kamal Kar’s evaluation of WaterAid Bangladesh and their local partner organisation – VERC’s (Village Education Resource Centre is a local NGO) traditional water and sanitation programme and his subsequent work in Bangladesh in late 1999 and into 2000.

This led to the discovery of the CLTS approach in which use of PRA methods enables local communities to analyse their sanitation conditions and collectively internalise the terrible impact of OD on public health and on the entire neighbourhood environment.

When triggered systematically and combined with ‘no-hardware subsidy’ policy and a hands-off approach by the facilitator, CLTS could provoke urgent collective local action to become totally ODF. A new style of facilitation has evolved. In its classic form, this uses the crude local word for “shit” and encourages local communities to visit the dirtiest and filthiest areas in the neighbourhood. Appraising and analysing their practices shocks, disgusts and shames people. This style is provocative and fun, and is hands-off in leaving decisions and action to the community.

Cite this publication

Chambers, R. & Kar, K. (2008) Handbook on Community-Led Total Sanitation, Brighton: IDS

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Image of Robert Chambers

Robert Chambers

Research Associate

Image of Kamal Kar

Kamal Kar

Honorary Associate

Publication details

published by
Kar, K. with Chambers, R.
978 0 9550479-5-4


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Programmes and centres
The Sanitation Learning Hub

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