Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

The role of social identification for achieving an open-defecation free environment: A cluster-randomized, controlled trial of Community-Led Total Sanitation in Ghana

Authors
  • Harter, Miriam1
  • Contzen, Nadja2
  • Inauen, Jennifer3
  • 1 Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland
  • 2 University of Groningen, Department of Psychology, the Netherlands
  • 3 University of Bern, Department of Psychology, Switzerland
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Environmental Psychology
Publisher
Academic Press
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2019
Volume
66
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2019.101360
PMID: 31885413
PMCID: PMC6919339
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Unsafe sanitation practices are a major source of environmental pollution and are a leading cause of death in countries of the Global South. One of the most successful campaigns to eradicate open defecation is “Community-Led Total Sanitation” (CLTS). It aims at shifting social norms towards safe sanitation practices. However, the effectiveness of CLTS is heterogeneous. Based on social identity theory, we expect CLTS to be most effective in communities with stronger social identification, because in these communities individuals should rather follow social norms. We conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial with 3,216 households in 132 communities in Ghana, comparing CLTS to a control arm. Self-reported open defecation rates and social identification were assessed pre-post. Generalized Estimating Equations showed that CLTS achieved lower open defecation rates compared to controls. This effect was significantly stronger for communities with stronger average social identification. The results confirm the assumptions of social identity theory. They imply that pre-existing social identification needs to be considered for planning CLTS, and strengthened beforehand if needed.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times