In the remote area of Lhuentse in Eastern Bhutan, lack of access to improved sanitation and a high incidence of poverty continue to persist. SNV Bhutan, together with the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Programme of the Ministry of Health, collaboratively engage in qualitative research to identify support mechanisms to assist people living in poverty to meet their aspirations for improved hygiene and sanitation.
This paper highlights an approach that employs a research methodology based on inclusion and participation, which allows communities to define their own access barriers and suggest possible solutions for improved sanitation. This community reflection results in raised awareness of the collective responsibility for sanitation,promotes the mobilisation of local leaders to source materials and labour for construction, and encourages transparency at a local level by enabling open discussion.
The paper is part of a new publication "Towards Inclusive WASH: Sharing evidence and experience from the field" supported by AusAID’s Innovations Fund. This publication is a record of the sector's efforts to achieve equity and inclusion in WASH programming around the world. It includes one keynote paper and 16 case studies from a wide range of organisations in 13 countries and with examples from urban, rural and school WASH programming. The case studies provide stories of policy, technology and process innovations through four lenses: Poorest of the poor, Living with HIV and AIDS, Disability and Gender.