Consultation with communities is extremely important at all stages of a community toilet project, from before construction starts to many months after the facility opens. While training and handholding of managers and facility staff is important, active engagement with users and other community members should be given equal attention because it helps with the long-term sustainability of the facility. The ideal version of community mobilization can take many months of concentrated effort in a single community. This level of effort takes resources and is difficult to do at scale.
This section looks at some of the efforts the Sammaan team made to implement a community engagement strategy at scale, what we learned from the difficulties we faced, and outlines a model that can be adapted to many contexts.
We’ve classified these efforts into three broad categories:
Mobilizing entire communities to gain support for the project
Identifying managers, facility staff and standing committee members to take responsibility for the project
Engaging with users of the facility to ensure that their voice is heard and they have information about facility operations
Touchpoints of community engagement
This graphic shows and ideal timeline of community engagement major activities.