This handbook on Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), produced in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the UK, is aimed at enabling communities to analyse their sanitation conditions and collectively understand the impact of open defecation on public health and their environment.
CLTS is an approach that focuses on igniting a change in sanitation behaviour through community participation rather than constructing toilets. It does this through a process of social participation. It concentrates on the whole community rather than on individual behaviours and the collective benefit from stopping open defecation can encourage a more cooperative approach.
People decide together how they will create a clean and hygienic environment that benefits everyone.
The handbook, supported by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) serves as a resource book on total sanitation for community members, sanitation practitioners and non-governmental organisation workers.
This handbook has been compiled as a source of ideas and experiences that can be used for CLTS orientation workshops, advocacy to stakeholders, training facilitators and natural leaders and implementing CLTS activities. It is a resource book especially for field staff, facilitators and trainers for planning, implementation and follow-up for CLTS.
Users of this handbook must feel free to use its guidelines in the way they find best. The methods described are not the only ones for implementing CLTS. Users are encouraged to explore different ways of preparing for CLTS, for triggering, for post-triggering follow-up, and for supporting and spreading CLTS that fit with local conditions, cultures and opportunities. Facilitators must feel free to be inventive and adaptive, and to use their own best judgment in deciding what to do. The ideas and advice that follow have been tried and tested, but it is for facilitators themselves to decide what works for them. The basic principle is the empowerment of local communities to do their own analysis and take their own action to become open defecation free.