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South Asia

Report from the CLTS workshop at SACOSAN V in Nepal

On the 20th October 2013, a one-day CLTS Sharing and Learning workshop was held in Kathmandu, Nepal, in the run-up to the 5th South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN V). We were 45 participants, coming from different countries –with Nepal leading in terms of numbers of participants and India second– and with various degrees and kinds of experience in CLTS.

Download the workshop report

Date: 17 March 2014

Discussion note on sanitation policy and practice in India

Background discussion note on sanitation policy and practice prepared by Vinod Mishra (India Country Coordinator, WSSCC) and Robert Chambers (Research Associate, IDS) on the occasion of the Jaipur Rural Sanitation Sharing Forum 'What works at scale? Distilling the critical success factors for scaling up rural sanitation' which was held from the 5-7 February 2014.
Date: 11 March 2014
Country: 

The untold story of India’s sanitation failure, Addendum

Three months ago, a paper dealing with the causes of the failure of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) in India and written by Brian Bell and myself, was published in the journal Water Policy. A very succinct summary: the TSC –the national rural sanitation campaign of India between 1999 and 2012– was a ‘good’ policy on paper, but yielded very poor results. Its valuable core principles –community-led, people-centred, demand-driven and incentive-based– did not happen in practice. The result: millions of latrines ‘planted’ throughout the country without any involvement or appropriation by the ‘beneficiaries’, severely affecting sustainability. We identified five main causes behind the theory-practice gap in the TSC: low political priority; flawed monitoring; distorting accountability and career incentives; technocratic and paternalistic inertia; and corruption.

CLTS in rural north India

India is the country with the biggest open defecation problem in the world.  In India, open defecation is practiced by more than half of households and by about 67% percent of rural households.  In fact, 60 percent of people anywhere who defecate in the open live in India.  This widespread lack of sanitation, combined with India’s high population density, poses important health threats for children. 

A qualitative comparative analysis of well-managed school sanitation in Bangladesh

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.

Date: 26 February 2014
Country: 

An investigation of the effects of a hand washing intervention on health outcomes and school absence using a randomised trial in Indian urban communities

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.

Date: 26 February 2014
Country: 

Reflections on monitoring and over-reporting in sanitation

Sanitation is probably one of the sectors with the highest levels of overreporting. It is clearly the case of India, where 4/5 of the toilets reported during the Total Sanitation Campaign were found ‘missing’ in the 2011 Census. The monitoring system, intended to measure the sanitation coverage increase, was found to actually reflect funds disbursement.

Are children in West Bengal shorter than children in Bangladesh?

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.

Date: 19 February 2014
Country: 

My hang up

my hang up
When we started the switching study – a qualitative research project on latrine adoption in 4 regions of South Asia – I was pretty nervous. Sangita’s already told you about our lifestyle in the field—lots of people on one floor, cold baths and long lines for the bathroom in the morning. Though I must say having our own cook is pretty posh compared to other data collection projects I’ve worked on. But the thing I was most concerned about was how awkward it was going to be to ask people about where and how they poop. Can you imagine if someone came to your house and started asking you about your toilet habits?

Response to The Hindu’s recent editorial on sanitation

rice- India latrine
We recently spoke with a retired public servant who built a latrine about a year ago that is used by only three of the thirteen people in his family. He told us that “if a man wants to stay healthy, then he should [defecate] outside,” and that in his village “you’ll find a latrine in everyone’s house, but I don’t want to go in one…I think going in latrines is disgusting.” This man’s beliefs were far from unique. Many of the people that we spoke with in rural Haryana felt similarly.

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