Research Themes

clts-icon-contextIn what contexts do local actors work?

Context refers to the settings or circumstances in which local actors carry out their roles and responsibilities. We are interested in learning about what factors help or hinder local actors in contributing to the success of CLTS. For example, a motivated natural leader may only be able to influence their community in settings where sanitation subsidies have never been introduced or in circumstances when traditional leaders have shown that they are supportive.

We are exploring these issues through:

  • A systematic review of CLTS literature;
  • Case studies of CLTS approaches in nine countries across Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean;
  • Situational assessments in Ghana, Kenya, and Ethiopia; and
  • Implementation and evaluation of CLTS projects in Ghana, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

As we learn from our research, we will share findings through this website. Our work will give a better understanding about which factors matter most for the success of CLTS. This will support decision making by practitioners and policy-makers about where and how to spend time and money.

Highlighted Resources

  • Implementation Context in Kenya, Ghana, and Ethiopia

Implementation Context in Kenya, Ghana, and Ethiopia

This post synthesizes three situational assessments characterizing the CLTS implementation context in Kenya, Ghana, and Ethiopia. The individual assessments are available in our Resource Library.

Countries across Africa, Asia, and […]

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clts-icon-process What is the role of local actors?

The term “local actors” refers to individuals who have a role in CLTS. We are interested in how local actors are involved in CLTS, and how they affect CLTS implementation.The roles of local actors vary from country to country. In this project, we work with natural leaders, schoolteachers, and local government officials in their roles as community motivators, facilitators, and CLTS program managers respectively. Local actors also include others such as children, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and health workers. Let us know what local actors you work with by using our contact form. We are exploring the role of local actors through:

  • In-country implementation and evaluation activities;
  • A systematic review of CLTS literature;
  • Case studies of CLTS approaches in nine countries across Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean; and
  • Situational assessments in Ghana, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

As we learn from our research, we will share our findings with you here. Our work will provide a better understanding of how local actors support CLTS across different countries and contexts, which could help us all make better decisions about programming and policy.

Highlighted Resources

  • Lessons from CLTS Implementation in Seven Countries

Lessons from CLTS Implementation in Seven Countries

Plan International supports Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) implementation in a number of communities around Cambodia. This learning brief and underlying country report present the roles of local actors in Plan International’s program activities and highlight considerations for scalability, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Plan International and other sanitation practitioners can support the national government and local actors in developing a systematic approach to community selection, strengthening CLTS facilitation training, and standardizing monitoring & evaluation processes.
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clts-icon-cost What is the cost of involving local actors?

We are interested in the economic cost of involving local actors, which includes  financial and non-financial costs associated with involving local actors in a CLTS project. For example, a CLTS triggering session involves paid facilitator time and unpaid community member time, both of which have a cost. Triggering also includes transportation, food, and possibly phone credit.

Limited data has been collected on the costs of CLTS. Most organizations in the countries included in our research do not track or record spending on CLTS activities. We cannot assess cost-effectiveness of CLTS without this information. This makes it difficult for policy-makers to make decisions on how to allocate resources.

In Ghana, Kenya, and Ethiopia, we are looking at a range of costs, including the cost of training, facilitation, community meetings, and latrine construction.

Through our combined implementation and evaluation, we will show how these costs vary in different settings and for different local actors. A better understanding of CLTS costs will enable us to see how to reduce costs, and to compare cost-effectiveness of different approaches to CLTS and CLTS in different settings.

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clts-icon-results How do local actors influence results?

One aim of our project is to understand how CLTS outcomes change in Ghana, Kenya, and Ethiopia when we give extra training and mentoring to local actors.

In Ghana, we are evaluating how training natural leaders affects household- and community-level outcomes such latrine construction and behavior change. In Kenya, we are evaluating how training and mentoring local government affects their CLTS knowledge and attitudes, and management of CLTS in their counties. In Ethiopia, we are evaluating teachers as facilitators in comparison to health extension workers using  household-, village-, and kebele-level outcomes.

Our recent systematic literature review revealed that while many say natural leaders, teachers, and local government are important for sanitation and hygiene, there is limited evidence for their exact role or how they influence CLTS outcomes. The grey literature portion of the review is available on this website (Venkataramanan, 2012). Our findings will be of interest to researchers, practitioners and policy-makers who wish to understand how to improve their projects. We are currently updating the systematic literature review and will share the update on our website soon.

Highlighted Resources

  • Lessons from CLTS Implementation in Seven Countries

Lessons from CLTS Implementation in Seven Countries

Plan International supports Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) implementation in a number of communities around Cambodia. This learning brief and underlying country report present the roles of local actors in Plan International’s program activities and highlight considerations for scalability, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Plan International and other sanitation practitioners can support the national government and local actors in developing a systematic approach to community selection, strengthening CLTS facilitation training, and standardizing monitoring & evaluation processes.
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Resource Library

Visit the CLTS Resource Library

A collection of project-related publications available for download.

Resource Library