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Using participatory design to develop latrine options in Malawi

Creating prototypes to explore the design options
In 2011, UNICEF Malawi decided to apply social marketing tools to improve and enhance their existing CLTS program. The CLTS program had demonstrated great advances in improving sanitation coverage. However, reports were coming into the office that households were continuing to struggle with poor product designs that collapsed after a short time-in-use.

Informed choice catalogue on improved latrine options

Informed choice catalogue cover

This booklet was developed to show that there is a wide range of rural latrine options and latrine designs adapted for users with special needs or for use in special circumstances (flooding, high groundwater table). Such different latrine types that can be used in rural areas are shown in pictures together with advantages and disadvantages, expected life span and needed materials. This format makes it easy to present a range of options and to discuss villagers’ preferences (depending on their willingness and ability to pay).

Date: 9 November 2012

How can poor communities make sustainable use of locally available materials without endangering the environment?

I was recently in Darfur to conduct CLTS training. I had been invited by Tearfund UK in conjunction with Oxfam America. During this workshop one of the participants raised a question for which I was not able to provide an answer immediately.

Gates Foundation launches 2nd round of reinvent the toilet challenge

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is inviting innovators to send letters of inquiry for the second round of the Reinvent The Toilet Challenge

The Foundation is calling for a new set of innovative ideas to support their effort to reinvent the toilet. Grants will be awarded to exceptionally highly-qualified research groups interested in contributing to major advances in human sanitation in the developing world.


Impressions from Nanded: Three variations of urban CLTS meet

India’s population accounts for approximately 1/7th of the world’s population. The Government of India has the immense challenge of governing and providing services for over 1.2 billion people. As we were touching down in Mumbai on the 14th March 2012, and the infamous smell of the city hit our noses, I was reminded of the enormity of the task of governance and service provision for 1/7th of the world.


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