CLTS and emerging issues; the CLTS Sharing and Learning workshop in Kumasi, Ghana

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A fair representation of water sanitation and hygiene practitioners, researchers, local government representatives and donors convened for a CLTS workshop held by the CLTS Knowledge Hub of the institute of development studies in Kumasi Ghana on the 10th July 2016. Most international sector representation as myself used the opportunity of attending the 39th WEDC conference with the theme Ensuring Availability and Sustainable Management of Water and Sanitation for All from the 11-15th July 2016 to also attend the CLTS workshop.

Ghana country experiences
Ghana as a host country provided an overview of CLTS and emerging issues and activities in the country. Impressing on my mind from the presentation was the quality and level of engagement by the local government authority in CLTS related activities. However, the local government and other sector players highlighted challenges as the provision of household subsidies for sanitation access by other stakeholders despite the Ghana Rural Sanitation Model advocating against the practice. It was also highlighted that whilst the Local government was involved in the processes of sanitation and hygiene, having a sanitation and hygiene stakeholder’s engagement to the extension government officials was still significantly tied to the level of financial incentives associated to performing an activity. Implementing partners argued that as a result of the incentive driven local government involvement, only financially significant projects had a higher likelihood of success. At this moment I could not help but race my mind to similar scenarios back home in Zambia. The issue of WASH governance was a very well developed topic throughout the workshop.

CLTS in urban setups
In the group discussing CLTS in an urban setup, the team discussed practical country experiences and challenges from Ghana and Kenya. It was unanimous from all the group participants that CLTS as an approach needed adjustments for it to be applied in the urban setup. One of the intriguing learning points is factors to consider when defining a community to be triggered. Practical suggestions of how other partners have used segmented actors in triggering as landlords, private sector, tenants and lawmakers were explored and discussed.

Sanitation Marketing
In the group, we discussed accessibility, supply chains affordability and demand as critical aspects to consider when implementing sanitation marketing. It was evident from the discussion that market dynamics were a huge determinant for any successful sanitation marketing implementation. Sanitation markets with different dynamics were presented and discussed. In Nigeria for example communities have easy access to sanitation hardware markets and thus sanitation market engagement aimed at increasing service quality delivery. In Zambia however the sanitation supply chains are underdeveloped and a more holistic sanitation marketing strategy was essential. Thus it was established that ascertaining sanitation market dynamics was key prior to any sanitation marketing. Innovations in sanitation products as internal savings and lending and plastic sanitation platform products in Kenya were presented. Areas identified as needing further research were the evidence of the poor moving up the sanitation ladder and also timing of CLTS and sanitation marketing. The discussion naturally lead into a brief synopsis discussion of the chapter CLTS and Sanitation Marketing: Aspects to consider for a more integrated approach from the book Sustainable Sanitation: Experiences, challenges and innovations launched during the WEDC conference.

At the end of the workshop the participants were encouraged to extend the discussions of CLTS and emerging issues during the 39th WEDC conference.

Warren Simangolwa is Sanitation Supply Chain and Finance Advisor for SNV Zambia.

Date: 22 July 2016
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