ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0208.v1
Subject: Keywords: Adaptation; Failure; Feedback; Innovation; Learning; Sanitation; Scale-up; Success
Online: 14 October 2021 (08:21:38 CEST)
Background This paper draws learnings and successes based on field implementation experience spanning four years (2016–2019) of implementing CLTS by Prince of Peace Orphans and Widows Vision, a community-based organization located in Kaberamaido district in eastern Uganda. Methods The study aimed to document, disseminate and inform from an evidence-based point of view how adaptation and collaborative engagements triggers learning from mistakes to inform iterative changes from improvements and success.This is a descriptive paper that used project documents review based on field implementation experience. Existing project reports were synthesised, collated and curated for evidence. Data were drawn from project reports and records to inform narratives in writing. Implementation of the project was executed in homogenous rural communities occupied by people of the same dialect, cultural and social settings. Results We note that success in CLTS implementation can hardly be achieved by merely following prescriptions in handbooks and guidelines but rather by devising innovative community engagement and other participatory and community-driven techniques that foster adaptive management, promote ownership, and buy-in.Having learned from our failures, we used data to inform decisions and transformatively deviated from traditional CLTS implementation and introduced high impact and innovative approaches such as the use of CLTS helpdesks and Situation room, the Pamoja approach, learning labs and iterative feedback loops, innovatively tackling slippage and carefully introducing the follow-up mandona approach. These enhanced experiential learning and ultimately resulted in sustained sanitation behaviour. Conclusions The CLTS approach as outlined in the handbook needs to be flexibly adapted to address contextual needs. Reflective and learning sessions reinforced with routine feedback loops from implementers and beneficiaries yields tremendous results, propagates experiential learning, and ultimately results in a transformative deviation from undesirable to desired sanitation behaviours. These innovative approaches once carefully blended have proved to be sustainable, are adaptable and can work in an even larger scale and in a variety of contexts.