The GSF-supported programme in Togo is a key contributor to ‘Togo Sans Défécation à l’Air Libre’ (‘Open Defecation Free Togo’) or ‘Togo SANDAL’, the national movement to end open defecation in the country. The programme works in rural communities to increase the use of latrines and promote good hygiene practices. Sub-grantees are local and international NGOs facilitating CLTS in all districts in the Savanes and Kara regions, and in five districts in the Plateaux region.
At the end of the year, the Government of Togo officially launched the Togo SANDAL movement together with the GSF-supported programme. The event was attended by government and United Nations officials, local and traditional leaders and a range of other GSF partners and WASH sector actors. The event also launched the second phase of the GSF-supported programme in the country. The first phase focused on achieving five percent of the programme’s targets, in order to learn lessons and refine the implementation strategy before rolling out activities in all targeted communities. Seven Sub-grantees were contracted for this phase, and in 2015 the five percent target was achieved.
By December 2015, the programme reported close to 153,000 people living in ODF environments. This figure has increased by more than 63,000 people since December 2014. Significant progress has also been seen in terms of finalizing core programme documents and strategies, engaging with various stakeholders, building capacity in CLTS, and Institutional Triggering among local authorities in all three regions.
Because the operational capacity of some Sub-grantees has been low, they have required additional support. In addition, some NGOs not funded by the GSF in programme areas continue to subsidize household latrines, which directly contradicts the programme’s behaviour change approach. The programme and these NGOs are working together to address this issue. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection has faced planning and organizational constraints in incorporating Togo SANDAL actions into its daily activities. Staff from the programme team have been embedded within the Ministry to help address these challenges.
Learning and innovation
Regional coordination units, comprised of government staff at various levels, have played a major role in monitoring Sub-grantee performance and results. Furthermore, Sub-grantees have engaged religious leaders and adapted passages from the Bible and Koran to trigger communities, helping to speed up progress on latrine construction and use. And in a number of villages, elderly women have worked with Natural Leaders and Sub-grantees to design and adapt latrine seats to accommodate their needs. In addition, Togo is part of the GSF’s francophone learning exchange initiative, along with Madagascar and Benin. This has led to a radical change in the programme’s post-triggering approach, inspired by the Follow-up MANDONA method developed in Madagascar. This learning has also led to the use of Institutional Triggering to enhance regional and central government commitments.
In 2016, the programme will focus on boosting sanitation and hygiene for more communities, by incorporating learning both from its first phase and more mature GSF-supported programmes. Efforts will also be made to support the Government and the wider WASH sector to develop a road map for an ODF Togo.
When WASH practitioners understand the patterns and causes of slippage, they can devise innovative strategies to avoid it.
Global Sanitation Fund programmes are designed to incorporate gender considerations and equity dimensions.
Monitoring slippage should go beyond the numbers to truly understand behaviour change and community dynamics.