Scaling Up Rural Sanitation: Core Components

 WSP's Scaling Up Rural Sanitation is learning how to combine the promising approaches of Community-Led Total Sanitation and Sanitation Marketing to generate sanitation demand and strengthen the supply of sanitation products and services at scale, leading to improved health for people in rural areas.
 
Our current projection is that, by the end of 2011, 4.45 million people will have gained access to improved sanitation facilities and we will be able to measure the impacts these gains have had on young children suffering from diarrheal disease and on the productivity of households, especially among the rural poor.

Scaling Up Rural Sanitation builds on promising approaches in Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and Sanitation Marketing. It is a large-scale effort to meet the basic sanitation needs of the rural poor who do not currently have access to safe and hygienic sanitation. The project is testing state of the art approaches to create demand for sanitation and to use marketing techniques to improve the supply of sanitation-related products and services. Together, CLTS and Sanitation Marketing can help generate household and community demand for sanitation facilities but also for a set of improved sanitation behaviors that comprise total sanitation and promote the development of a self-sustaining demand and supply mechanism. These two strategies are complemented by targeted advocacy with national and local governments and capacity-building for local government agencies.
 
Sanitation Marketing can help generate household and community demand for sanitation facilities but also for a set of improved sanitation behaviors that comprise total sanitation and promote the development of a self-sustaining demand and supply mechanism. These two strategies are complemented by targeted advocacy with national and local governments and capacity-building for local government agencies.
 
 
The enabling environment is the policy, institutional and financial framework that is necessary for sustaining and replicating large scale sanitation programs. Scaling Up Rural Sanitation is tracking progress across eight dimensions of the enabling environment:
1.     Policy, Strategy, and Direction
2.     Institutional Arrangements
3.     Program Methodology
4.     Implementation Capacity
5.     Availability of Products and Tools
6.     Financing
7.     Cost-effective Implementation
8.     Monitoring and Evaluation
 
Enabling environment assessments were done in the four project sites. The results are being used to better understand the programmatic and institutional conditions, prioritize and address critical gaps and strengthen the enabling environment.
 
 
 
To support evidence-based learning and the effective management of results, Scaling Up Rural Sanitation has a strong monitoring and evaluation component. On the performance monitoring side, global and country objectives are aligned through a common set of results and measurable performance indicators. Captured in a series of Results Frameworks, these form the basis for the respective monitoring and reporting systems. Country teams use a Global Management Information System to capture and report on progress and emerging results against each of the performance indicators. In this way, local governments and the project team can track how each country is performing, what is being learned, and any additional efforts that may be needed to achieve outcome and impact.
 
 
    
 

Scaling Up Rural Sanitation is designed to learn about implementation and achieving results at scale with a focus on sustainability and replicability. The lessons we are learning and the body of knowledge we are developing will contribute to building a pathway for replication that will help to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for sanitation by 2015.

Through the research being conducted in the field and the experiences the teams have as they implement the programs, which are then reviewed and integrated into new actions, we are learning more about what it takes to adapt Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) to a particular country context, what conditions are necessary to develop an enabling environment in order to effectively create local support, ownership and behavior change, what it takes to foster an institutional learning culture, and the ways in which awards, recognition and incentives can be used to trigger community action to become Open- Defecation Free (ODF). We are learning that progress towards becoming ODF can be objectively measured through performance benchmarking tools and that these tools can be useful to both monitor progress and provide assistance to communities.

Through formative research and market assessments, we now have a better understanding of the household misconceptions about what constitutes a true (safe) toilet and what are the social drivers to improved sanitation practices. We are learning about the differences in the “readiness” of different countries to replicate/adapt the Total Sanitation and Sanitation Marketing model to scale up rural sanitation. As a team, we are also learning how to learn and, more importantly, how to effectively capture this learning in the form of knowledge products to facilitate capacity building, broader understanding and replication.

The project learning strategy documents the key questions guiding the teams’ learning and details the process for generating, sharing, capturing, and disseminating knowledge about what works. This information will benefit current stakeholders but also future stakeholders who want to promote and implement effective, sustainable, large scale sanitation programs.  

Scaling Up Rural Sanitation is conducting a comprehensive impact evaluation study to document the wide range of health, development, social, and economic outcomes that are believed to be influenced by fecal contamination. For example, there is important but only preliminary evidence that childhood diarrhea is an inhibitor of children's long-term physical and even cognitive development. If true, the child development benefits of reduced diarrhea may overshadow its already enormous health and mortality consequences and this study promises to yield scientifically valid evidence.

The impact evaluation will be run as a set of coordinated, community-randomized, controlled trials of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and Sanitation Marketing in two states in India, East Java in Indonesia, and 10 districts in Tanzania. In addition to collecting a broad range of indictators to allow an intensive study of sanitation's economic, developmental, and social welfare impacts, the project costs and the value of these diverse benefits will be closely examined. Research papers presenting findings will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals and evidence-based reports will be disseminated to government officials, stakeholders, and civil society.