Empowering Local Government to Support Sanitation

LESSON LEARNED: Proper training, ongoing coaching, and monitoring is important for successful local government engagement

Government engagement, like private sector engagement, needs to be supported with a holistic approach of ongoing training, coaching, monitoring, and relevant tools. Coaching and monitoring, in conjunction with relevant and easy-to-use tools, was instrumental to the success of the Behavior Change Communications (BCC) campaign around latrine usage. Commune Committees for Women and Children (CCWC) conduct educational village meetings on many development issues, however, many CCWC facilitators cited the BCC campaign as the first time they had ever received coaching and tools on speaking about sanitation, or any topic for that matter. The training and subsequent support through ongoing check-ins and feedback helped the CCWCs improve and gain confidence in engaging villagers. The ongoing training and feedback is important for helping the CCWCs learn by doing, and making improvements immediately upon real-time feedback, as opposed to waiting until the end of a project evaluation to identify needed changes. This lesson is important, especially when considering conducting capacity building for the government at scale.

Local government officials often show enthusiasm for sanitation efforts. However, they have limited resources and know-how. Further engagement and resourcing of government at all levels and across various ministries is necessary to empower local government to actively support sanitation.