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Pathways to Sustainability in Community-Led Total Sanitation. Experiences from Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh

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Inspecting latrines

India’s rural Total Sanitation Campaign (1999-2012) in India was considered a complete failure due to its poor results and the millions of ‘missing latrines’. In the light of the shortcomings of the campaign, different actors tried to introduce the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach in the country. However, as a result of opposition at the national level, only specific districts in certain states tried the approach. Many of these experiences were claimed to be very successful, but the evidence base of these claims was weak. Did they actually manage to introduce the CLTS in these areas? Did it yield good results? Are these sustainable?

Andrés Hueso embarked upon his PhD research with these questions in mind. He visited Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh and Khandwa district and Budni block in Madhya Pradesh, where the Water and Sanitation Program (Mandi and Khandwa) and UNICEF (Budni) had partnered with the local/regional government for introducing the CLTS approach. The focus of the analysis was twofold. Firstly, the policy process around the introduction of the approach was analysed (coalitions of actors, their narratives and interests), along with how it shaped the resulting intervention (‘pure’ CLTS or more or less coherent mixed approaches). Secondly, the outcomes at the grassroots were researched, paying special attention to inclusion/equity and sustainability.

Have a look at the 750-word abstract or access the full thesis here.  

Date: 29 August 2013