Innovative sanitation social movement: experiences from Nepal

Sanitation sector in Nepal remained a low priority till 2010. From 2010, the Government of Nepal prioritized sanitation and hygiene through creating enabling policy environment, inclusive planning, decentralized service delivery arrangement, and transforming sanitation promotion to social movement. The sanitation and hygiene master plan developed in 2011 provided a clear road map as well as set a national target of achieving universal access to improved sanitation by 2017. Social sanitation movement included triggering through school and community led interventions, socio-cultural festivals, sector triggering, decentralized governance, multi-sector collaboration and pro-active engagement of grassroot level actors. As a result access to improved sanitation increased dramatically from 43% in 2010 to 87% in 2016. Despite the huge progress, Nepal has to address a number of issues related to disparity in sanitation coverage and poor hygiene behaviors. There is a strong need of social norms for eliminating certain cultural dogmas especially around menstrual hygiene.