Plan has recently partnered with UNICEF to conduct a review of Community Led Total Sanitation implementation efforts across East Asia and the Pacific Region. The results have recently been published in UNICEF’s, Community-Led Total Sanitation in East Asia and Pacific - Progress, Lessons and Directions report.
An Overview of the Situation in East Asia and the Pacific Region
In East Asia and the Pacific region, an estimated 200 million people do not have access to clean water, while 671 million people do not have access to improved sanitation. According to UNICEF, an estimated 100 million people who live in these regions practice open defecation, a practice that puts children at risk of contracting infections that can negatively impact their nutrition and growth. In more severe cases, a child can contract a diarrhea-related illness which is one of the leading causes of death for children under the age of five in both of these regions.
Empowering Communities Through Community Led Total Sanitation
In an effort to end this practice, Plan is working directly with communities to raise awareness and empower them to improve community sanitation. Through the adoption of state-of-the-art behavioral change approaches like Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), Plan is educating communities about the dangers of open defecation and is mobilizing them to act collectively in appraising and analyzing their sanitation issues. Once a community’s desire to work toward collective change has been triggered, they are able to support each other in developing solutions that can help them achieve an open defection free status.
CLTS is now being promoted in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America – this includes 12 countries in East Asia and the Pacific Region. In addition to Plan, UNICEF, WaterAid, Water and Sanitation Program, Institute of Development Studies, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), and the CLTS Foundation have also been supporting CLTS in East Asia and the Pacific.
UNICEF’s East Asia and Pacific Regional Office has recognized the potential of CLTS in raising community awareness on sanitation and hygiene. Joined by Plan, WaterAid, and the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program, they have conducted an extensive review of the CLTS implementation across the region. This review is the first phase of a larger effort to better understand how CLTS implementation is working in the region, why progress differs across and within countries, and the additional efforts that can be undertaken to support, improve, and scale up the use of CLTS approaches in order to achieve regional sanitation and hygiene objectives.
Plan is pleased to share the findings from the review which can be found within UNICEF’s Community-Led Total Sanitation in East Asia and Pacific - Progress, Lessons and Directions report.
In addition to providing CLTS implementation across regions, the report also provides insights into the program’s successes, highlights knowledge gaps, and offers strategic planning recommendations at both the regional and country levels in order to accelerate efforts to reach open defecation free (ODF) status and overall sanitation and hygiene improvements at scale.