Community-led Total Sanitation


The ODF Ghana Campaign takes inspiration from the encouraging progress in the implementation of the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach. CLTS is a sanitation social intervention approach which emphasizes behaviour change. It promotes the social norm of always using a toilet to replace the norm of defecating in open spaces especially in rural communities.

The approach originated from Bangladesh in the late 1990s and has spread to more than 60 developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The approach targets eradication of open defecation as an essential entry point to sanitation behaviour change processes. Once people have effectively been triggered into stopping open defecation, the result is a sudden increase in the demand for household toilets.

Ghana adopted the CLTS approach in 2010 and launched a national scale-up programme in 2012. The national scale-up programme, however, provides additional components to complement the CLTS efforts. These include facilitation of supply of household toilet products and services, and development of toilet technology options.

Through the implementation of the CLTS approach, thousands rural communities in Ghana have been effectively facilitated to stop open defecation for the first time in Ghana between 2012 and 2018. Elsewhere in Asia and Africa, CLTS has helped several countries to reduce open defecation and improve general sanitation and hygiene behaviours.