Shit Matters: The Potential of Community-led Total Sanitation

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New publication on Community-led Total Sanitation

Sanitation remains one of the biggest development challenges of our time, and a long-neglected issue associated with taboos and stigma. Despite growing attention and efforts, many top-down approaches to sanitation have failed. Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) which originated in rural Bangladesh in 2000 offers a more promising alternative, by focusing on facilitating a profound change in people’s behaviour through participatory techniques.

The approach has proven immensely successful. It is being implemented in at least 40 countries, and has the potential to address several Millennium Development Goals. However, challenges still remain regarding scaling up with quality, inclusion of the poorest, and sustainability. There is also a danger that accounts of success may be exaggerated.

This book addresses both the potential and challenges of CLTS by drawing on research in Bangladesh, India and Indonesia, as well as experiences from Africa. With chapters by leading scholars and practitioners in sanitation policy and practice as well as critical reflections from key players in CLTS, Shit Matters offers important insights into the workings of CLTS on the ground, covering the social, ecological, technological, financial, and institutional dynamics surrounding CLTS with wider lessons for sanitation policy and practice. It is essential reading for anyone interested in development, health, and public policy.

Ordering a copy
Shit Matters can be ordered from the Development Bookshop website or via the ordering form

About the editors
Lyla Mehta is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex and a Professor II at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

Synne Movik is a post-doctoral fellow in Global Environmental Governance at the Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

ISBN 978 1 85339 692 2
2010 • 296 pages • paperback
Published in association with the Institute of Development Studies.

Date: 3 March 2011
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IDS