ODF Sustainability Study

Download the executive summary and full study

Between March 2012 and October 2013,Plan Internationalcarried outresearch on ODF sustainability in their programmes in Africa. This study,carried out on Plan's behalf by FH Designs and with support from theAustralian and UK governments, was conducted in Ethiopia, Kenya, SierraLeone and Uganda.

The study investigated results in CLTS programmes operated by Plan acrossthe four countries. Data was collected in 4960 households in 116 villages where CLTS had beentriggered and communities declared ODF two or more years before the study commenced. Thestudy sought to answer three questions:

  1. What percentage of households had remained ODF?
  2. What were the primary causes of households reverting toopendefecation(OD)?
  3. What motivated people to remain ODF?

The study identified that 87% of the households surveyed still had a latrine and thus that if ODFstatus was equated with a household having a functioning latrine then the rate of reversion to OD(or ‘slippage') was a remarkably low 13%. However, if a wider set of criteria for ODF qualificationwas applied - things like having a lid over the latrine squat hole, having hand washing facilities withwater and soap or soap-substitute - then the slippage rate increased progressively to over 90%.

Motivators and enablers versus De-motivators and Barriers
Key factors supporting (motivators and enablers) and inhibiting (de-motivators and barriers) households and communities to invest in and maintain use of latrines were identified throughinterviews with 1200 households across more than 50 communities.

Practical implications
The study also identified a number of key practice implication for CLTS programs including: