CLTS in East Africa: a path to child and youth empowerment? (PLA 61)

Journal (part) article
PDF (240.53 KB)
Published: November 2010
Participatory Learning and Action
Product code:G02801
Source publication:
Participatory Learning and Action 61 Tales of Shit: Community-Led Total Sanitation in Africa

This article discusses findings from research designed to encourage practitioners and community members to explore the extent and effects of child and youth involvement in the community level changes crucial for the success of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). The main argument is that triggering equips children and youth with the desire and ability to contribute to these changes, but practical constraints, as well as cultural and social factors, shape the nature of each individual child’s ability to do so. There are indications that youth and child involvement in CLTS may, in some circumstances, contribute to shifting relationships between adults and young people, providing a pathway to child and youth empowerment. But findings indicate challenging power relations is never without risk of harm. The author concludes on a cautionary note, posing questions requiring further consideration by practitioners interested in the potential of CLTS to effect more meaningful youth and child participation in community development and governance.

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board. See:

Article in: PLA 61. Guest-edited by: Petra Bongartz, Samuel Musembi Musyoki, Angela Milligan and Holly Ashley.

Keywords: CLTS, Community-Led Total Sanitation, water, hygiene, Kamal Kar, health, PRA, scaling up, policy, triggering, training, facilitation.

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Cite this publication

Shutt, C. (2010). CLTS in East Africa: a path to child and youth empowerment? (PLA 61). .
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