What Makes Ghanaians More Likely to Stop Open Defecation and Build Latrines?

This brief is based on the research conducted in collaboration with Global Communities by Miriam Harter and Hans-Joachim Mosler and published by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (known by their Swiss acronym as EAWAG). The research was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The full report (Determining the Effectiveness and Mode of Operation of Community-Led Total Sanitation: The DEMO-CLTS Study by Drs. Miriam Harter and Hans-Joachim Mosler) includes findings from studies in Mozambique and Cambodia. This brief focuses on the findings from the studies in Ghana. This knowledge product is developed by Global Communities in order to make the findings and recommendations of the full report more accessible and actionable by the Government of Ghana Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) as well as by other development partners working in rural sanitation in Ghana.

The Government of Ghana MSWR has basic sanitation guidelines to achieve 100% open defecation-free (ODF) status and equitable and adequate access to sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030, with special emphasis on the poor and vulnerable. This knowledge product is part of the USAID-funded WASH for Health program to provide sustainable access to dignified, safe, and improved water supply and sanitation, and to educate people on the knowledge and behaviors necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. In particular, the WASH for Health program targets rural communities where these services are needed the most and helps achieve the goals of the MSWR in Ghana

Key Findings

  • Factors that determine the success of CLTS interventions are attendance rate of participants during the triggering event, the number of community leaders participating in the triggering event, whether participants believed they would receive rewards like installation of water wells and materials for toilets, and the number of follow-up visits provided by facilitators weeks after triggering.

  • Households that socially identify strongly with their communities are more likely to construct latrines after CLTS interventions.

  • Combining CLTS with other behavior change models did not significantly increase intervention effects.

Read the research brief here.