Robert Chambers (March 2009)
Despite large government and NGO programs, despite substantially increased public spending on sanitation, and despite sustained economic growth, open defecation is declining very, very slowly in rural “Hindi heartland” north India. Widespread resistance to using simple latrines in the rural north Indian plains states is a human development crisis and a serious puzzle: this is exactly the place on earth where open defecation is most common and where high population density most raises the human and economic costs of open defecation.
The project, Testing CLTS Approaches for Scalability, evaluates through a rigorous research program three distinctive strategies to enhance the roles of local actors in CLTS interventions in Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia. The project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to learn, capture and share reliable and unbiased information on CLTS approaches and scalability.This grey literature review was prepared by The Water Institute at UNC for Plan International USA as part of the project.
Continued management of sanitation and hygiene services, post-intervention, is a global challenge, particularly in the school-setting. This situation threatens anticipated impacts of school sanitation and hygiene investments. To improve programming and policies, and increase the effectiveness of limited development
resources, this study seeks to understand how and why some schools have well-managed sanitation post-intervention,
while others do not.
This research study aimed to evaluate how an intervention, which combined hand washing promotion aimed at 5-year-olds with provision of free soap, affected illnesses among the children and their families and children’s school absenteeism. The study monitored illnesses, including diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections (ARIs), school absences and soap consumption for 41 weeks in 70 low-income communities in Mumbai, India. It showed that direct-contact hand washing interventions aimed at younger school-aged children can affect the health of the whole family.
On World Toilet Day 2013 (19th November), the CLTS Knowledge Hub at IDS launched a new publications series Frontiers of CLTS: Innovations and Insights. This is a series of short notes offering practical guidance on new methods and approaches and thinking on broader issues.
Children in West Bengal and Bangladesh are presumed to share the same distribution of genetic height potential. In West Bengal they are richer, on average, and are therefore slightly taller. However, when wealth is held constant, children in Bangladesh are taller. This gap can be fully accounted for by differences in open defecation, and especially by open defecation in combination with differences in women’s status and maternal nutrition.
The Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) was a community-led, people-centred, demand-driven and incentive-based programme ideal to address India's rural sanitation crisis, or so it seemed. But policy failed to translate into practice and outcomes were remarkably poor. In the 2011 census data showed 31% sanitation coverage in 2011 (up from 22% in 2001), far from the 68% reported by the Government. The decade has witnessed progress slowing down and the number of rural households without latrines increasing by 8.3 million.
A new research brief from the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), Investing in the Next Generation: Growing Tall and Smart with Toilets, examines how the level of open defecation in a community is associated with shorter children in Cambodia. Key findings highlighted in the research brief are that open defecation is associated with greater stunting at every age, and that it is associated with greater stunting even when the household itself does not openly defecate.