How does Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) affect latrine ownership? A quantitative case study from Mozambique

BMC Public Health. 2018 Mar 21;18(1):387. doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-5287-y.


Background: Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) is a widely used, community-based approach to tackle open defecation and its health-related problems. Although CLTS has been shown to be successful in previous studies, little is known about how CLTS works. We used a cross-sectional case study to identify personal, physical, and social context factors and psychosocial determinants from the Risks, Attitudes, Norms, Abilities, and Self-Regulation (RANAS) model of behavior change, which are crucial for latrine ownership and analyze how participation in CLTS is associated with those determinants.

Methods: Structured interviews were conducted with 640 households in 26 communities, where CLTS had been completed before and compared to 6 control communities, all located in northern Mozambique in 2015. To identify crucial factors for latrine ownership, logistic regression analysis were conducted and mediation analysis were used to analyse the relationship between CLTS participation and latrine ownership mediated by factors identified by the logistic regression analyses.

Results: Mediation analysis reveal that the relationship of CLTS participation with probability of owning a latrine is mediated by social context factors and psychosocial determinants. Data analysis reveal that the probability of building a latrine depends on existing social context factors within the village, the behavior of others in the community, the (dis)approval of others of latrine ownership, personal self-confidence in latrine building, and a precise communication of the benefits of latrine ownership during a CLTS triggering event.

Conclusions: By including activities to focus on the mentioned factors, CLTS could be improved. Exemplary adaptations are discussed.

Keywords: Behavior change; CLTS; Psychosocial determinants; RANAS; Social context.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Participation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mozambique
  • Ownership / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sanitation / methods*
  • Toilet Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult