Problem Addressed

Having Open Defecation Free (ODF) certification conducted by a third party ensures that claims can be verified independently. Access to safe water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene education can reduce illness and death, as well as contribute to poverty reduction and socioeconomic development. Poor sanitation costs Kenya 27 billion shillings annually. In addition, chronic diarrhea can have a negative effect on child development, both physical and cognitive.

Innovative Approach

SteadFirst has seen that there is a gap; villages that do not initially meet standards get left behind. SteadFirst tries to certify villages, but many fail by not meeting the latrine cover requirement because their materials are inadequate. As a solution to this problem, SteadFirst provides a unique nano-financing model to help communities reach their goal of being open-defecation free. In Kenya, through the use of mobile phones, people can pay in small increments for the purpose of bringing adequate materials to the village.

SteadFirst goes into villages where CLTS has already taken place and works with asset financing companies to make available plastic latrine slabs. Villagers can acquire the asset for $160 through deposits and daily fees. Not every village can afford concrete slab, so they enable nano-financing for plastic slabs. In addition, they also use a strong behavior change communication approach. There is traditionally very little follow-up support if a village does not reach ODF standards, but there is demand from the community for those services and few people providing support to get them up to standard.

Program Solution

In the effort to end open defecation, Steadfirst conducts third party certifications. They independently review ODF status claims and determine if those claims comply with their standards. Through this certification process, they have been able to notice unaddressed needs of villages that had difficulties getting certified.

This led to the development of their Sanitation Marketing strategy which incorporates behavior change communication in villages where CLTS triggering has already taken place, and where communities are committed to achieving ODF status, but have nevertheless been unable to do so. To help support behavior change, they also provide nano-financing to make latrine slabs financially accessible.