Moving beyond ODF to safely managed sanitation
Bronwyn Powell on 16/06/2017 15:42 EST
eDiscussion: CSOs roles in moving beyond ODF to safely managed sanitation for all
What is required of organisations, particularly CSOs, in thinking beyond Open Defecation Free (ODF) to safely managed sanitation for all?
The Civil Society WASH Fund hosted an e-discussion to explore the role that CSOs play in assisting households, communities and governments to move up the sanitation ladder to ensure the safe and sustainable sanitation for all. This e-discussion facilitated by Mark Ellery formed part of the lead-up to the Fund’s South Asia Regional Learning Event on “Thinking beyond Open Defecation Free (ODF) towards the SDGs and safely managed sanitation for all”.
The eDiscussion ran from 12 September - 7 October 2016.
Background: Open defecation is a major cause of malnutrition, disease and death in children. Open defecation practice also disproportionately places the welfare of women and girls at risk. Although South Asia is home to the majority of the open defecators in the world, the practice of open defecation is falling at a faster rate in South Asia than in any other region. This has been due to the effectiveness of behaviour change programs such as CLTS (that was invented and developed in South Asia) that are changing the socially accepted behaviour of open defecation (UNICEF, 2016). Building on this momentum, the challenge increasingly in South Asia is to move beyond the eradication of open defecation towards the safe and sustainable management of sanitation for all at scale.
Context: Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have played an important role in developing community based approaches (such as CLTS) to change individual and community perceptions towards open defecation. The changing of individual behaviour towards open defecation is however not of itself sufficient to ensure the hygienic use of improved latrines, nor the management of waste or wastewater, nor the contribution to improved environmental health outcomes. Addressing these challenges at scale requires changes in the behaviours of the institutions that demand and supply, regulate and arbitrate on the delivery of sanitation services. This requires CSOs to continuously assess the extent to which their activities are assisting the institutions of service delivery to address the most pressing challenges within their jurisdiction and beyond.
Objective: This objective of this e-discussion was for CSOs and other practitioners to share their experiences of working with households and communities, private and public sectors to not only eradicate open defecation but to ensure the safe management of sanitation for all. This e-discussion seeks to understand the role that CSOs and others are currently playing in assisting communities to move from the eradication of open defecation (i.e. triggering the behaviour change of individuals within communities to achieve collective ODF status), to improved sanitation for all (i.e. including the proximate, sufficient, affordable and hygienic sanitation facilities for all … including children, the poor & disabled), to total sanitation (i.e. including the management of fecal sludge, drainage and solid waste services), to ensuring improved health outcomes (i.e. including the regulation and enforcement of environmental health compliance of sanitary facilities). It is intended that this e-discussion will be followed by a webinar in October, 2016 that will explore the role that CSOs in South Asia are playing to support the institutions of service delivery to move beyond the elimination of open defecation to address the universality and sustainability of sanitation services.
Facilitation: This e-discussion was facilitated by Mr. Mark Ellery. Having spent the last decade working with the World Bank in South Asia, Mark is now an independent water, sanitation and local governance consultant based in Western Australia. With more than 20 years of experience in the water sector, Mark has a good understanding of the application of policies, projects and behaviour change in developed and developing countries, within emergency response, reconstruction and development programmes.
Please make responses to the questions succinct (suggest a maximum of 300 words)