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UNICEF Field Notes on Community Approaches to Total Sanitation - Learning from Five Country Programs

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Policy Briefs

CATS is UNICEF’s core strategy to eliminate open defecation, in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2: to ‘achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations’.4 CATS has scaled up rapidly since its 2008 inception, with implementation in over 60 countries: approximately 48 million people now live in open defecation free communities that previously did not.5 With these achievements come even greater challenges. Achieving universal basic sanitation coverage by 2030 will require an acceleration of progress to eliminate open defecation, to keep up with population growth and to reach the poorest households. Five country field notes examining the Haiti, Philippines, Mali, Zambia and Nepal CATS programmes were developed for this set of CATS Field Notes, to generate lessons for programming through exploring how each programme reached its current stage of development. The field notes capture CATS programmes at different stages of maturity, both in terms of total number of people that live in ODF communities and the adoption of CATS within government programmes and systems. At one side of the spectrum is Haiti, with its nascent but promising programme. In the middle of the spectrum are the Philippines and Mali programmes, with Zambia and Nepal representing more developed examples of CATS programming.

A flexible case study methodology was used to develop these field notes, which included a desk review and interviews with UNICEF staff. Where possible, field visits were conducted, during which interviews and focus group discussions were held with key sanitation stakeholders who were identified for the specific purpose of developing these field notes. Rapid observation of communities and household toilets also occurred for some cases, where feasible. Developed primarily for UNICEF staff and its partners, these field notes can be used to learn about specific aspects of CATS programmes in different contexts