Many sanitation and hygiene programmes are confronted with slippage, which refers to a return to unhygienic behaviour, or the inability of community members to continue to meet all open defecation free (ODF) criteria.
This week we conclude our seven-part series on slippage, where we have explored this phenomenon to provide best practice on how to prevent it from happening. The series is based on the Global Sanitation Fund’s 2016 reflection paper, Sanitation and Hygiene Behaviour at Scale: Understanding Slippage.
Photo: Triggering a community in Madagascar. Going forward, the GSF will continue to support close engagement with communities in order to explore slippage patterns, determine community dynamics and sustain good sanitation and hygiene behaviours. Credit: WSSCC
In our slippage series we have defined and explored its nuances, explored its links with community behaviour change, identified common patterns, discussed monitoring methods, and outlined eight strategies to address and prevent it.
With this understanding and evidence, how do we as WASH practitioners move forward? Given the complexities of slippage across GSF-supported programmes, the authors of the slippage paper recommend eight areas for further exploration:
The GSF is committed to supporting sustainable sanitation and hygiene behaviour change. The Fund will therefore continue to deepen its understanding of slippage and sustainability factors, patterns and monitoring, while further developing and assessing strategies to address and prevent slippage. To this end, a number of research projects are ongoing or foreseen. These include individual country studies on the sustainability of behaviour change, the development and testing of indicators and monitoring methodologies as part of the revised GSF Results Framework, and outcome surveys in different countries. In addition, continued peer-to-peer learning and cross-country exchanges will serve as incubators for strategically addressing slippage.
Through peer-to-peer learning, the Global Sanitation Fund is harnessing the immense amount of knowledge.
The study provides insights and recommendations for sustainability of open defecation free communities in Nepal
GSF workshops support programmes to monitor progress towards and beyond Open Defecation Free status.