Case Study

Scaling Community-Led Sanitation in Rural Areas

Water and Sanitation Program
World Bank
Publication Year:
April 29, 2020
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation

The report reviews the role of local government in the area of WASH in the context of the management models that TSSM is using in all three countries.


Executive Summary

The World Bank administered Water and Sanitation Pro- gram (WSP) recently passed the mid-point of the four-year timeframe for its Global Scaling Up Sanitation Project (TSSM). TSSM tests proven and promising Community- Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approaches to create community-wide demand for stopping open defecation and improving sanitation. It is coupled with the use of sanitation marketing techniques to further strengthen the demand for sanitation at the household level and improve the supply of affordable sanitation-related goods and services produced by the local private sector for the rural poor.

One of the central premises of TSSM is that local govern- ments can provide the vehicle to scale up rural sanitation. In all three TSSM countries—India, Indonesia, and Tanzania—local governments are at the center of the implementation arrangements. Scaling up through local governments is a logical choice because functioning local government ad- ministrations exist throughout most countries, and with increased decentralization, have been delegated the man- date for rural sanitation, and that local governments have the necessary infrastructure in place to play this role in terms of staffing and resources. This report looks at the experience to date in three TSSM locations in developing the capacity of local government to carry out its role in rural sanitation.

The report suggests that the role of local government in TSSM be defined in seven specific functions:

  • Strategy and planning
  • Advocacy and promotion
  • Capacity building
  • Supervision
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Regulation
  • Coordination

The report reviews the role of local government in these areas in the context of the management models that TSSM is using in all three countries. While there are variations in the models that reflect the country contexts, all three countries have placed local governments at the center of the implementation arrangements. In all three countries, the roles and responsibilities of the districts are carried out at three levels of local government—district, sub-district, and village. The study concludes that the model of working through local governments with the support of resource agencies—national or regional non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—to build the capacity of local government, is fundamentally sound.


Management Model
  • The fundamental management model of implementing TSSM through local government with the sup- port of resource agencies is appropriate. Even though local governments lack capacity in some areas, nevertheless, they remain the only structure in the country that has the legal mandate, the staff, and the physical infrastructure required to implement TSSM at scale.
  • The management models in each country quite understandably emerge from the country context.
  • A description of the management model cannot be limited to looking just at what happens at the local government level. In order to determine the replicability and scalability of the management model, it is equally important to look at the roles played by regional or state entities and by national government as well as the entire way the TSSM project is structured in each country.
  • All three countries use resource agencies—usually national level NGOs—to build the capacity of local government. The role of the resource agencies varies according to the capacity of local government.
  • The management models are still evolving and may not be the model that is eventually used to scale up. For example, Tanzania will be experimenting with a system of franchising for sanitation marketing, which if successful, would shift some responsibilities in the area of sanitation marketing from local government to the franchisors.
Local Government Capacity

The visits to local governments in all three countries showed a high level of commitment and interest in TSSM. Local governments understand TSSM, accept their central role in TSSM, and are highly engaged in the project. Implementation is proceeding at a rapid pace and creating momentum on the ground, and local governments are at the center of these activities. National direction and support have played a role in bringing about this level of interest and engagement. The findings discussed below should be viewed in the context of the very real and tangible progress that has been achieved. Specific findings include the following:

  • Local governments are not carrying out the full range of roles needed to implement and sustain TSSM. In order to narrow the deficit in sanitation coverage and show results in communities, the focus has been primarily on those roles related to implementation.
  • Local governments have made more progress in their role in supporting CLTS than sanitation marketing although increasingly CLTS activities are being complemented by sanitation marketing activities such as formative research-based behavior change commu- nication and training of masons and other private sector providers.
  • While districts have developed implementation plans, they have not yet developed strategic plans or strategies for scaling up TSSM within the district.
  • Local governments have an essential role in ensuring supervision of CLTS facilitators and private sector suppliers of sanitation products and services.
  • The cascading trainer of trainer (TOT) approach used in every country to develop the capacity of local government at all levels is appropriate, but needs more rigor in its application to assure quality.
  • A capacity-building program should also include a component to share lessons learned and experiences across districts and villages.



Most of the following can be implemented within the current TSSM approach:

  • Develop the capacity of local government in the full range of roles required to implement and sustain
  • TSSM.
  • Develop local government strategic plans for scaling up and sustaining TSSM.
  • Develop a package of standardized tools and training materials for each level of the cascading TOT.
  • Produce training materials with a separate trainer’s guide and participant manual that are adapted for use
  • at each level.
  • Develop a more rigorous approach to training master trainers and increase the emphasis on training skills.
  • Institutionalize mechanisms for districts to share experiences and lessons learned with one another.
  • Identify an institutional home(s) for capacity building and then develop its capacity to play this role
  • effectively.

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