The Global Sanitation Fund-supported programme in Cambodia

Date: 15th May 2015

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Executing Agency:
Plan Cambodia
Programme duration:
Programme Coordinating Mechanism:
Chaired by the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Rural Development

The Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme (CRSHIP) works to increase sustained access to improved sanitation and promote good hygiene practices in rural communities. CRSHIP actively supports national WASH sector objectives and partner capacity building, placing learning at the centre of all of its work. Phase one targeted six provinces, and phase two, which began in 2015, targets an additional five. The programme works through local and international NGOs, with the Ministry of Rural Development leading the Programme Coordinating Mechanism.

2016 Highlights

In 2016, CRSHIP completed phase one, with follow-up responsibilities formally transferred to the Ministry of Rural Development. The programme is now focusing on the five provinces under phase two.

CRSHIP continued its focus on aligning activities with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.2 and the 2015-2019 National Action Plan for sanitation and hygiene. This included developing a framework and guidelines for incorporating equality and non-discrimination across the programme as well as supporting income generating activities, menstrual hygiene management and inclusive WASH for the elderly and people with disabilities.

The programme continued to train provincial and district level government staff in CLTS, hygiene promotion and school WASH, and it also supported efforts to update the national CLTS guidelines. In addition, CRSHIP worked closely with the Ministry of Rural Development to support advocacy activities aimed at increasing the budget and support for sanitation at the provincial, district and commune levels. So far, estimates indicate that several commune councils have committed to increase their WASH budgets to 10 percent of their annual budgets. The model used for these advocacy activities has since received support from other donors and expanded to other provinces outside of the GSF-supported programme.

At the end of 2016, the programme reported supporting close to 622,000 people in 756 villages to live in ODF environments. The programme has also promoted WASH in over 760 schools. Although phase one has concluded, the spillover effect from the programme means that the provinces supported continue to report on new ODF villages and communes.


Most households in Cambodia prefer investing in pour flush latrines, but some do not have the cash, and there are limited opportunities to access financial support. CRSHIP is therefore supporting implementing partners to introduce community income-generating activities, to increase access to funds for WASH. In addition, adapting the programme and supporting a large, multistakeholder partnership to achieve SDG 6.2 and leave no one behind is highly challenging, time consuming and complex. To address this, the programme has redesigned its strategy and introduced tailor-made approaches (see ‘learning and innovation’ section).

Learning and innovation

In CRSHIP, leaving no one behind has meant a redesign of its strategy and the introduction of tailor-made approaches, including the Context Driven Adaptive Approach to scale and speed up learning, inclusion and quality; the design of a Real-Time Learning approach; the Participatory Social Assessment and Mapping (PSAM) methodology; and a comprehensive equality and non-discrimination framework and guidelines.

CRSHIP began implementing PSAM in 2016. PSAM is a systems thinking, participatory methodology that is used to gain understanding of the local context, social norms and interactions, vulnerabilities, key development issues, opportunities, and potential solutions. PSAM has been carried out by implementing partners in 274 villages. The information gathered has been used to adapt workplans, ensure the inclusion of the most vulnerable groups and monitor and evaluate equality and non-discrimination outcomes. The Ministry of Rural Development has recognized the innovativeness of the methodology, and has indicated that it can potentially influence national guidelines and practice.

In 2016, CRSHIP continued to develop its Real-Time Learning approach, through a multi-year learning and documentation grant. The approach helps generates learning in real-time to solve complex implementation problems as they occur. It also supports inclusive and adaptive programming through collective learning and capacity building.

Looking ahead

CRSHIP will continue to strengthen its focus on equality and non-discrimination. This will include training implementing partners in inclusive WASH, collecting disaggregated data, promoting sanitation for women and girls, and supporting income-generating activities. The programme will also work with government partners to update national CLTS and school WASH guidelines, improve processes and systems, enhance advocacy, and mobilize resources.

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