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Revolutionising sanitation in Zambia: scaling up CLTS (PLA 61)

In this article, the authors discuss how Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is helping to revolutionise sanitation coverage in rural Zambia. According to UNICEF/WHO, more than a third of rural Zambians defecate in the open. Past approaches to sanitation promotion were inadequate, even with subsidies. In 2007, the Government of Zambia and cooperating partners sought new strategies to meet the Millennium Development Goal for sanitation target of 66%. A zero subsidy CLTS approach was introduced in Choma district with great success. Sanitation coverage has increased to 67% and the government now plans to scale up the CLTS programme throughout Zambia. Lessons from Zambia include ensuring flexibility in terms of structures, timescales and funding and adapting CLTS to local conditions. Multi-sectoral buy-in, mass media participation and the role of local traditional leadership have also been key to success. The authors conclude that successfully scaling up CLTS requires rigorous monitoring, documentation and dissemination.

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board. See: www.planotes.org

Article in: PLA 61. Guest-edited by: Petra Bongartz, Samuel Musembi Musyoki, Angela Milligan and Holly Ashley.

Keywords: CLTS, Community-Led Total Sanitation, water, hygiene, Kamal Kar, health, PRA, scaling up, policy, triggering, training, facilitation.

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