Learning from ODF Districts in Mozambique

SLH Learning Briefs 14
June 2023

Mozambique has committed to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2 to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation by 2030. Much progress is still needed, with recent data indicating that 36 per cent of the population (11.6 million people) still use unimproved facilities which are not designed to hygienically separate excreta from human contact. In addition, Mozambique has a high rate of open defecation at 23 per cent (7.1 million people).

The prevalence of unsafe sanitation practices, regarded as the use of either unimproved sanitation facilities or open defecation, is particularly high in rural areas, with an alarming 75 per cent of the rural population lacking access to safe sanitation facilities. Based on these trends, it is projected that Mozambique will not achieve an open defecation free (ODF) status until 2068.

To accelerate results, the Government of Mozambique (GoM) recently approved the Rural Sanitation Strategy (2021-2030) which aims at eliminating open defecation and achieving universal access to basic sanitation by 2030 using Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) as the core approach. As a key partner of the GoM in the rural sanitation subsector, UNICEF has been supporting large scale sanitation programmes in several provinces.


  1. Focus on the levers of change above to accelerate progress towards ODF in other districts.
  2. Support communities to build affordable, climate-resilient latrines from the outset, for example by providing technical support on appropriate designs, materials, construction techniques and latrine sites, and establishing accessible, pro-poor financing mechanisms.
  3. Continue to build the capacity of key sanitation stakeholders to increase the quality of implementation, focusing particularly on district authorities and local level service providers.
  4. Conduct a study to assess the relative cost-effectiveness of Community Participation and Education (PEC) and District Driven Team (DDT) approaches to identify the most efficient implementation approach to scale-up

Additional details

PublisherInstitute of Development Studies
RegionSouthern Africa
ThemesBehaviour change, Challenging contexts, Leave no one behind, Monitoring, evaluation and learning, Sustainability and safely managed sanitation
ApproachesCommunity-led approaches

Uandela, A. and Coultas, M. (2023) ‘Learning from ODF districts in Mozambique’, SLH Learning Brief 14, The Sanitation Learning Hub, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/SLH.2023.006


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