Promoting Latrine Sales through Integrated Sanitation Marketing
Sustainable Development Goals: 6
- SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
This document aims to present the ACCES approach and share preliminary lessons from integrating sanitation marketing into the CLTS approach in rural areas.
In 2015, after a decade of approaching rural sanitation by subsidizing latrine construction with minimal results, the Government of Senegal launched a new strategy for rural sanitation defined by a transfer of responsibility for the acquisition of sanitation services to communities. This created an opportunity for market-based approaches for increased sanitation outcomes.
In line with this strategy, the USAID Project “Assainissement, Changement de Comportement et Eau pour le Sénégal (ACCES)”, or “Sanitation, Behavior Change, and Water for Senegal,” aims to increase sustainable access to improved water and sanitation services and inspire adoption of hygiene practices to improve health and nutritional outcomes, especially for women and children. The USAID/ACCES project targets more than 50 municipalities in the regions of Kédougou, Tambacounda, Matam, Kolda, Sédhiou and Ziguinchor. USAID/ACCES promotes a market-based sanitation approach to increase demand for sanitation products and services by households and to strengthen entrepreneurs’ and other market actors’ ability to respond to an increase in demand in a fair and sustainable manner. Intervening on both the demand and the supply sides of the market, USAID/ACCES aims to create an enabling environment for equitable delivery of quality WASH products and services with the goal of universal sanitation coverage. The project has two geographically tailored approaches: a more traditional market-sanitation approach for urban and peri-urban zones, and a Community- Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach with integrated marketing components for rural areas.
CLTS facilitates achieving and sustaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in rural communities through social behavior change communication (SBCC) and triggering collective actions. In general, CLTS interventions focus on the systematic use of latrines, hand washing, and protecting water sources and local living environments. Inherent to this approach is the assumption that people, once motivated to end open defecation, will seek out WASH products and services on their own.
Since its creation, CLTS has been successful in transforming sanitation behavior and outcomes in rural communities across the globe; however, USAID/ACCES identified commonly encountered weaknesses when it contextualized the approach in Senegal, including the observed low-quality and limited sustainability of self- built sanitation facilities and the disagreeable odors, proliferation of flies, and risk of collapse during the rainy season. USAID/ACCES’ strategy is to ensure that people can access desired latrine technologies that are hygienic, do not collapse and efficiently control odor and flies. Through implementation, USAID/ACCES has found that people desire higher-quality latrines than what they can build on their own, but lack access to improved sanitation products and the financing to acquire them. Additional challenges to CLTS effectiveness include: (i) unmotivated community-level facilitators; (ii) ineffective monitoring systems to maintain ODF status; (iii) local administrative authorities’ weak commitment to developing sanitation services and maintaining ODF certification; (iv) ineffective poverty targeting mechanisms; and, (v) non-inclusive targeting, including women, youth, and other people living with a disability in implementation. These factors contribute to slippage from ODF status; a study commissioned by Plan International found that if all ODF criteria were applied to follow-up analyses then the overall slippage rate of CLTS communities in four African countries was high, approximately 92%.
USAID/ACCES is implementing an approach that goes beyond traditional CLTS and includes marketing hygiene and sanitation products in these rural communities. The aim is to improve access to WASH products and services while making positive hygiene behavior change more attractive to the communities. The approach is expected to strengthen resource mobilization in communities, contribute to durable infrastructure and improve overall sanitation. This document aims to present the ACCES approach and share preliminary lessons from integrating sanitation marketing into the CLTS approach in rural areas.
Recommendations and Conclusions
USAID/ACCES has found that hygiene and sanitation marketing is effective in generating demand for latrines and contributes to sanitation market development in both rural and peri- urban communities. Key ACCES success factors include high levels of community engagement, active community leaders through the VMC model, and innovative financing mechanisms. Below are recommendations derived from USAID/ACCES’ experience:
- Establish fundamental success criteria to use in CLTS site selection.
- Develop sanitation product models in advance through participatory approaches to ensure products are well adapted to CLTS sites.
- Ensure a thorough mapping exercise to prevent targeting villages with active subsidized latrine projects.
- Ensure sufficient locally-based human resources, in both quantity and quality, ideally: two community-level agents for each group of 5 – 6 villages, one to manage the CLTS/SBCC activities and the other to manage the income-generating activities (IGA)/financing activities.
- Integrate existing community members and networks into the latrine marketing process (e.g. community leaders, women’s groups, community-based organizations, local entrepreneurs and service providers).
- Broker lending via microfinance institutions to pre-finance latrine purchases.
- Train local networks to promote latrine sales to groups.
- Include IGA training activities in the project to better support women’s groups in CLTS communities to generate income, which can be used to purchase latrines.
- Encourage women’s groups in CLTS communities to promote Sagal latrines, to provide financing, and to participate in IGA training.
- Establish a relationship between local health workers and community-based agents so that patients who do not have adequate hygiene and sanitation facilities at their homes can be referred by the health workers to the project actors.
As USAID/ACCES moves into its fourth year, it’s focus is to ensure a sustainable hygiene and sanitation market. By integrating these sanitation products into private service provider networks, in collaboration with local businesses and local financing institutions, market sustainability will improve. Furthermore, USAID/ACCES encourages certified Sagal masons to increase their sales outreach by independently targeting neighboring villages and neighborhoods with latrine marketing. VMCs are well positioned to support these entrepreneurs to expand their marketing and manage sales in neighboring communities. Finally, ACCES has encouraged savings groups and VMCs to collaborate on developing internal latrine financing plans which generate revenue and contribute to the group’s financial stability. These financial incentives also contribute to maintain VMC motivation to continue promoting improved sanitation in their communities and, as a result, maintain their ODF status.