CLTS for subsidy based Programs

Incentive based Community Led Total Sanitation Model For Subsidy Based Programs

by Bilal Javed


Subsidized CLTS approach is modification to the traditional CLTS approach as the better performing communities are awarded with sanitation grants to improve the sanitation infrastructure. The first stage of the three step approach is more or less similar to the traditional CLTS approach, while the latter two stages differ as they focus subsidy along with behavioral change rather than behavioral change alone as in traditional CLTS. The approach will produce sustainability in the traditional subsidy based program as it focuses permanent behavioral change in the target communities along with the subsidy. Another aspect of the approach is that it focuses behavioral change with an award that will encourage the targeted communities to participate throughout the application of the approach.


Subsidized CLTS approach is modification to the traditional CLTS approach as the better performing communities are awarded with sanitation grants to improve the sanitation infrastructure. The approach is derived keeping in mind the subsidy based programs. Generally in disasters and emergencies the early response it is a hard task for the organizations to implement programs focusing the behavioral change alone, as the communities require subsidy along with the behavioral change initiatives. The traditional CLTS programs normally focus on behavioral change that in early stages of emergencies are not much productive. The current approach will facilitate the early emergency sanitation programs as well. Furthermore, the approach is a good fit for the subsidy based programs as it induces behavioral change along with the subsidy in sanitation infrastructure.

The first stage of the three step approach is more or less similar to the traditional CLTS approach, while the latter two stages differ as they focus subsidy along with behavioral change rather than behavioral change alone as in traditional CLTS.


Stage 1: Community ignition using PRA

Defecation area transect And Activating Catalyzing Agents

Most of the communities are not aware of the problem if not marked out by an outsider. Communities with poor sanitary environment are found to unaware of their surrounding and possible hazards their daily life behaviors are causing to the environment. Instigating step to change behavior is to make the target realize about the value of his/her behavior.

Activity 1 - Walk of Shame

Walk of shame is the activity introduced by traditional non-subsidy based CLTS methodology. In the activity a team of facilitators take community members on a transect walk through their own living area during to inspect the sanitation status of their own place. During the walk sites of open defecation within the locality are highlighted to the community by the facilitators. Revelation of the open defecation areas by and in front of the visitors (facilitators) naturally creates a sense of shame and embarrassment among the community members. Feeling the sense of shame and embarrassment at this time the facilitators stop and enquire about the family or person possibly responsible for a particular site of open defecation. They also explain the group that what possibly could happen during emergency defecation at night or during seasons of high incidence of diarrhea. The question raised by the facilitators not only creates a sense of embarrassment among the group but makes them think about finding ways to get rid of open defecation. A procession of the community members participating follows the walk making the rest of the community aware of the findings of the walk. The transect walk will end in setting up a date and time for the first meeting of the community to discuss a solution to the problem of open defecation.

Activity 2 - Using Children and Youth as Agents of Change

Children and youth are found to be good catalyzing agents. Children sensitized fully in the school and youth in the community for avoiding open defecation, play a significant role by persuading their parents and families to stop this practice. Furthermore, the children and youth will be encouraged by the facilitators to develop their own slogans against the open defecation when they are fully aware of the hazards through open defecation. The slogans serve as a catalyst for changing the behavior of the rest of the community.

Sanitation mapping, collective calculation and flow diagrams

Activity 3 - Village Sanitation Mapping (defecation maps)

The walk is followed by a planning activity, the defecation mapping. Defecation mapping is similar to social mapping where the community in first meeting after the transect walk roughly maps the location of households in the community, while also marking the sites of open defecation and the location of existing (as identified during the transect walk and any additional place known to the community) and needed sanitary facilities, i.e. community and household toilets, street pavements and drains etc. The mapping is done in a participatory manner where all the community participants provide equal inputs.

Activity 4 - Village Feces Calculation and mapping routes of fecal contamination

After and during the mapping exercise role of the facilitator is to make the participants aware of the hazards linked to the open defecation, i.e. contamination of drinking water, food and crops (F-6 diagram is shared with them that how these feces become part of our daily food especially through flies, chicken and pets). The activity further ignites the emotions of the participants and motivates them to avoid open defecation. To add more catalyst the participants are facilitated to set and calculate feces contributed by each household to the environment. This participatory awareness raising tool allows the community to realize the degree and extent of the problem. The significant figures calculated for a single year per person creates an element of surprise resulting in motivation to cater the issue.

Developing Visual tools

Use of visual materials is always fruitful as people often benefit from the visual appeal of visual materials because it tends to focus their attention on the topic. When facilitators present material in various manners, such as providing communities with both a summary statement and a chart on a given topic, it facilitates their understanding of the topic.

Activity 5 - Charts and diagrams to help communities understand the use of basic hygiene and environmental sanitation practices

The facilitators use the visual appeal of certain objects to change the behavior of the communities. An activity in a community meeting is planned where the community is presented a piece of bread along with excreta or filth, or some garbage is mixed in glass of water and then offered to community to eat or drink. The community naturally denies the consumption of the items and may turn their faces away. The facilitator capturing the response further ignites the change by presenting the net effect of open defecation and un-sanitary conditions on food, health and environment. Further to live presentation in the community meetings visual materials on hygiene and sanitation are also displayed in public places around the community to improve the coverage of the lessons from the activities to every single role player in the community.

Planning for collective and household action and implementation

Participatory planning process is initiated in the community as a result of numerous catalyzers. The community shows concern in finding the solution to the problem and map ways to cater it.

Activity 6 - Formation of Village Sanitation Committee (VSC)

The facilitator viewing the community response assists in formulating a village committee to address the issue. Facilitator identifies and selects with mutual agreement of the community champions based on their innovative behavior to the issue and assigns them key roles in the committee. His role is also to make sure that the committee is represented by all the clusters within the community. The committee serves as local regulatory authority for the sanitation facilities provided in future to the community. The facilitator also links the VSC to the government and non-government line departments working in the area for sanitation, and develops a coordination and support framework to create sustainability in future sanitation programs. To build a symbiotic relationship between VSC and line departments a series of capacity building events are arranged by the facilitator for both the organizations.

Activity 7 - Formulating A Village Sanitation Action Plan (Village SAP)

The next task for the facilitator is to facilitate the VSC in formulating a village sanitation plan. The facilitator organizes and completes the activity in a participatory manner. During the activity needs of the community to improve sanitation infrastructure are assessed and ways to meet the needs are also discussed. The activity ends in a list of needs and rough estimate of the resources required to meet the needs. The facilitator assists the VSC to reach the line departments to technically assess the needs and generate detailed estimate of the resource required for the needs.

Stage 2: Evaluation and Ranking

Third party evaluation of the communities relating response in Stage 1

To assess the community needs on ground and their response to the behavioral change approach a third party evaluation participated by line departments, facilitator and representatives of VSCs is conducted along all the target communities of the facilitator. An evaluation committee is formulated participated by the line departments and facilitators. A questionnaire/checklist based on participatory assessment methodologies (i.e. QPA) with multiple indicators to measure the change is formulated and reviewed by the evaluation committee.

Activity 8 - Field visits by line departments and a third party and evaluation using QPA

Selected members by the evaluation committee pays visit to the target communities and collect data using the pre-designed formats. The results and findings of the evaluation is than shared with the committee.

Activity 9 - Participatory ranking with all key stakeholders

The committee analyses the data collected by the visiting committee members and ranks the communities on the basis of scores from the data. The communities ranking top are selected for the intended sanitation grants.

Stage 3: Facilitation and Sustainability

Performance based communal facilitation

Activity 10 - Providing small sanitation grants based on findings of Stage 2

The selected communities are awarded the intended sanitation grants in an event participated by all the targeted VSCs. The event will not only produce a sense of pride in the winning communities but will create a sense of competition among the communities unable to win the grants. The sense of competition will than improve the behavior of the communities relating sanitation for future sanitation programs.

Activity 11 - Constructing/providing community sanitation infrastructure in line with Village SAP with partial community input

The facilitators will than assist the VSCs in formulating a framework for utilization of the grants. Role of the facilitator is also in implementation of the developed framework. The sanitation infrastructure is than provided at community level according to pre-estimated resources by the line departments. Community and VSC are involved throughout the process of implementation and inputs are ensured at all levels during the process.

Building Capacity and Sustainability

Along with behavioral change and subsidy in sanitation infrastructure building capacity of all the stakeholders to create sustainability is of core importance.

Activity 12 - Capacity building of VSC in management of organization and system to sustain the inputs

The facilitators conduct events for VSCs of the grant winning villages in management of grant and the provided sanitation infrastructure. The event address all the key elements of managing community based organization and basic operation and maintenance of the sanitation infrastructure.

Activity 13 - Capacity building of line departments and VSC in building up a coordination framework leading to mutual benefits and sustainability

The facilitators also arrange events for VSCs and line departments to build symbiotic relationship and coordination framework. The events will focus the role of both VSCs and line departments in the sanitation infrastructure, assigning equal responsibilities to both the parties.