The Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) project is a 5-year task order awarded to Tetra Tech in September 2016 under the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Water and Development Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity Contract (WADI). The USAID/WASHPaLS project prepared a review of scientific and gray literature related to community-led total sanitation (CLTS) to assess the knowledge base on best practices and identify evidence gaps.

This review offers a description of the CLTS intervention, tracing its evolution in theory and practice from Southeast Asia to its current place as a global phenomenon, and explores the open defecation free (ODF) concept, analyzing its strengths and weaknesses. It highlights the disconnect between the independent monitoring and analysis of CLTS program results and internal performance reports released by implementing organizations and their donors. This review also seeks to assess circumstances in which CLTS works best, the most promising implementation modalities, and instances where CLTS may not be suitable.

This literature review was made possible by contributions from Jeff Albert, Valentina Zuin, Rachel Peletz, Caroline Delaire, and Ranjiv Khush (Aquaya Institute); Morris Israel and Jonathan Annis (Tetra Tech); Joe Brown (Georgia Institute of Technology); Marion (Mimi) Jenkins (University of California, Davis); and Aditi Krishna and Hannah Taukobong (Iris Group).

April 25, 2018
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