Sustainable Sanitation for All: Experiences, Challenges, and Innovations

July 2016

We hope that the collection of experiences in this book will go some way to further opening up discussion about sustainability, contribute to improved practice, and thus help the millions of people who are suffering the consequences of inadequate sanitation.

Describing the landscape of sustainability of CLTS with reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and using examples from Africa and Asia, this book captures experiences and innovations from a broad range of institutions and actors within the sanitation and hygiene (S&H) sector. It presents recommendations and offers practical suggestions for practitioners, funders, policymakers and governments.

Despite great strides in improving S&H in many developing countries, 2.4 billion people worldwide still lack access to adequate sanitation, with the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable members of society often overlooked and unmet. Moreover, sustainability is currently one of the key challenges in CLTS and wider S&H practice, subsuming issues such as behaviour change, equity and inclusion, physical sustainability and sanitation marketing, monitoring and verification, engagement of governments, NGOs and donors (particularly after open defecation free (ODF) status is reached), and more.

Achieving ODF status is now recognised as only the first stage in a long process of change and sanitation improvement. New challenges emerge every step of the way, such as how to stimulate progress up the sanitation ladder, how to reach the poorest and most marginalised groups, or how to maintain and embed behaviour change. Several studies on sustainability have highlighted some of these aspects as well as the complexities involved. This book develops these key themes by exploring current experiences, practices, challenges, innovations and insights. It also identifies a future research agenda and gaps in current knowledge.

The book is available to download in full by clicking on the button to the right.

You can also download individual chapters:

  1. Going beyond open defecation free
  2. Sanitation in Bangladesh: revolution, evolution, and new challenges
  3. Building environments to support sustainability of improved sanitation behaviours at scale: levers of change in East Asia
  4. Strengthening post-ODF programming: reviewing lessons from sub-Saharan Africa
  5. CLTS and sanitation marketing: aspects to consider for a better integrated approach
  6. User-centred latrine guidelines – integrating CLTS with sanitation marketing: a case study from Kenya to promote informed choice
  7. Sanitation infrastructure sustainability challenges case study: Ethiopia
  8. The long-term safe management of rural shit
  9. Beyond ODF: a phased approach to rural sanitation development
  10. Roles and responsibilities for post-ODF engagement: building an enabling institutional environment for CLTS sustainability
  11. Who is managing the post-ODF process in the community? A case study of Nambale sub-county in western Kenya
  12. Tools for embedding post-ODF sustainability: experiences from SNV Nepal
  13. Certification of open defecation free status: emerging lessons from Kenya
  14. Promoting choice: smart finance for rural sanitation development
  15. Putting the hardest to reach at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals
  16. Leave no one behind: equality and nondiscrimination in sanitation and hygiene
  17. Purity, pollution, and untouchability: challenges affecting the adoption, use, and sustainability of sanitation programmes in rural India
  18. Using social norms theory to strengthen CATS impact and sustainability
  19. Conclusion: gaps in knowledge and further research needs

Additional details

PublisherPractical Action Publishing
ThemesBehaviour change, Challenging contexts, Climbing the sanitation ladder, Disability, Government leadership, Leave no one behind, Monitoring, evaluation and learning, National and sub-national monitoring systems, Older people, Sanitation value chain, Slippage, Social marginalisation, Social norms, Support mechanisms, Sustainability and safely managed sanitation, Tools and processes, Tough physical environments
ApproachesCommunity-led approaches

Bongartz, P.; Vernon, N. and Fox, J. (eds) (2016) Sustainable Sanitation for All: Experiences, Challenges, and Innovations, Rugby, UK: Practical Action Publishing


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