RSPN-UNICEF Capacity Building for UNICEF’s Sanitation Program Phase II

More than 43 million people defecate in the open in Pakistan. With just 45 percent of the population (29 percent rural and 72 percent urban) having access to improved sanitation, Pakistan faces a major challenge in achieving the MDG target of 64 percent access to improved sanitation by 2015. Diarrhoea remains the leading cause of mortality for children under five where 116,013 children under the age of five die due to diarrhoea each year, translating into the loss of life of 13 Pakistani children per hour.

The Sanitation Program at Scale in Pakistan (SPSP) is a UNICEF program designed to achieve the Millenium Development Goals for sanitation. The first phase of this program was implemented in 14 districts across Pakistan, including FATA agencies.

In 2013, RSPN was tasked with building the capacity of UNICEF’s implementing partners, using Pakistan’s Approach to Total Sanitation (PATS). The Pakistan Approach to Total Sanitation is a unique compilation of ideas, services and products designed to achieve the goal of total sanitation. Ranging from sanitation products; services and behavior change to linking communities with technical service providers at the supply side and micro finance institutions to access loans, the approach ensures that people have the knowledge, technical skills, and the resources to access modern sanitation.

Owing to the successful implementation of the project’s first phase, phase II of the project has now been launched, bringing together RSPN and UNICEF’s experiences from the implementation of phase I. Through a team of experts who RSPN has trained on Pakistan’s Approach to Total Sanitation, RSPN is building the capacity of UNICEF staff and the government at the provincial and national levels, and of social organizers and community resource persons in 18 districts to understand sanitation issues and lead their communities to achieving open defection-free status. RSPN is also training school teachers on school-led total sanitation, and entrepreneurs on how to set up sanitary markets to sell supplies, using the same step-down approach of training master trainers who then train these groups across 18 districts. These various groups are being trained using modules developed by RSPN in Phase I, supplemented by targeted a behavior change framework and accompanying communications material developed in Phase II.

In addition to training various cadres of community on the demand and supply side aspects of sanitation, RSPN is also linking communities to micro-finance institutions to that they can access loans for the construction of latrines, once they have been made aware of the need for modern sanitation. Entrepreneurs will also be linked to markets from where they can procure the hardware and raw material needed to construct latrines, to meet the community’s demands.

This is a nine-month project, which began in April 2014.

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