Five Pillars Innovation on Community-Based Total Sanitation

Five Pillars Innovation on Community-Based Total Sanitation

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

This is the work to combat against diarrhea incidences in eastern Indonesia. Implementation of 5 pillars sanitation at a time shall bring the greatest result!

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In NTT province-Indonesia, people live with poor sanitary practices. 63% of its populations have no access to toilet, thus practicing open defecation. Only approximately 30% of its people washing their hand before eating and before feeding a baby. Most of people drink untreated water containing coliform bacteria. Besides, only 27% of people managing their domestic solid waste and wastewater. The consequent health impact of poor sanitation practices is evidenced by 2007 Indonesian Ministry of Health data recording that over 100,000 children die each year due to diarrhea, making it the leading cause of infant mortality and the third leading cause of overall morbidity population-wide. Project that we implement is aimed to improve people sanitary behaviour to reduce the diarrhea cases.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

A Ministry of Health's 2005 systematic review concluded that diarrheal episodes can be reduced by 25% through improving water supply, 32% by improving toilet access, 45% through hand washing, and by 39% via household water treatment and safe storage. These facts became the strong reason of why Plan Indonesia implements Community-Based Total Sanitation, or locally known as "STBM". The core of STBM implementation is to encourage communities to improve their sanitary practices by adopting 5 pillars of hygiene behaviour. 5 Pillars are: (1)stop open defecation, (2)handwashing with soap, (3)drinking water treatment, (4)safe solidwaste management, and (5)wastewater management. Plan Indonesia is working with communities to help them adopting these 5 pillars. Plan Indonesia raises community awareness of the importance of hygiene behaviour to their health. As communities slowly start practicing each pillar, one by one, it is proven that the number of diarrhea cases has significanly diminished.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Primary activity of this project is conducting triggering session at village level that will be useful to realize the communities about the importance of the use of toilet. Most of villagers remain defecating on the farm, river and other open places, hence it is endangering their health. Through this project, we are assisting communities to stop open defecating and start building their own latrine. The assistance is not in term of giving money, but to teach them how to build simple and costless latrine. After communities build latrines, then we are setting up a “sub-district team” that will monitor the sustainability use of the latrines. Once we are certain that no one reverts back to open defecation habit, the team will carry out hygiene promotion activities to the villagers. People are informed about the importance of washing hand with soap, treating drinking water, and managing solid waste and waste water. These are all hygiene practices that need to be done by communities as a complement of latrine construction. Communities need to understand that by adopting those hygiene practices they can reduce the diarrheal cases, and further can improve their economy status. Typically, 2-3 months after sub-district team introducing hygiene practices, communities will start making hand-washing facility on their backyard. They will also boil drinking water before consuming it. In addition, communities will start dumping their solid waste in appropriate place and channeling their domestic waste water into proper place. Plan Indonesia facilitates community in doing so.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Some other International and local NGOs are working to implement similar activities. However, some of them are giving assistance in term of money subsidy to the community, thus creating dependence within community. Once the project is over, communities are unable to sustain the hygiene practices because they are no longer receiving money. Some NGOs only give latrines and hand-washing facilities to the communities; hence there is no sense of belonging within communities toward those facilities. They prefer not to use those facilities eventually. Plan Indonesia understands that such physical construction and direct subsidy will not change people’s habit. What we do is giving education regarding hygiene practice and facilitating the communities who want to improve their hygiene behavior.

Founding Story

It was back to 3 years ago where diarrheal outbreaks occurred in island of Lembata, eastern of Indonesia. People, and pigs, defecated just wherever they wanted. Communities, children in particular, became the victims of diarrheal disease caused by bad behavior of open defecation and unmanaged human and animal feces. This issue was officially announced by local district health office. Based on that reason, Plan Indonesia worked in the ground to raise communities’ awareness about how crucial to defecate in latrine and to manage their animal waste. Soon after the raising awareness sessions were conducted, most of communities started constructing and using latrine to defecate. They also began to manage the livestock wastes. Therefore, no longer open defecation and unmanaged dung were visible in the villages. The good news then followed: in 2009, there were 300 cases of diarrhea, in 2010 it was remarkably down to 100. In fact, until March 2011, the diarrhea was recorded to be only 16 cases.
About You
Plan Indonesia
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Plan Indonesia

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two


Social Impact
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

The goal of this project is to realize the condition in which Communities –children, women and people with disability in particular– have access to reliable and affordable hygienic sanitation facilities, and to live in a clean environment. This project also emphasizes to the wider stakeholders that providing latrines alone is insufficient to optimally reduce the diarrhea cases. Therefore, within this project Plan Indonesia aims to achieve communities in 430 villages to totally adopt 5 pillars of hygiene practices, which are: free open defecation, hand-washing with soap, drinking water treatment, solid waste management, and waste water management. Once communities have adopted these five pillars, the expected impact is 1.2 million people will be less threatened by diarrhea.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Up to August 2011, 37 villages declared themselves as “Total Sanitation” village, which means all people living in the village have been adopting 5 pillars of hygiene practices. It is virtually seen that the villages are now cleaner in term of no longer unmanaged waste and openly abandoned feces are exist. Almost all houses now have hand-washing facilities that are proven to be used by communities. There is no longer smoke emitted to the open air since nobody burns their solid waste on the backyard. If we come to each house, we will see a simple pit latrine that has been built by community using local resources, no subsidy from Plan Indonesia at all. Come to inside their house, in the kitchen we will find drinking water safe storage provided by mother as their aware about bacterial contamination into the drinking water. It is absolutely seen that people are now living in more hygiene and healthy way. As well, village environment is now cleaner and livable.

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

The threat of environment-based diseases has been decreasing significantly since more villages are adopting hygiene practice. If in 2009, there were 300 cases of diarrhea, in 2010 it was remarkably down to 100. In fact, until March 2011, the diarrhea was recorded to be only 16 cases. Hence, it is predicted that zero diarrhea case could be achieved by 2014. At the same time, less diarrhea cases would lead to more saving for community since they no longer need to spend money for diarrhea medicine/treatment. Healthy condition and environment would lead to more effective time for villagers to work and earn income, thus will improve economical condition. For children, less diarrhea case will increase children time to study as well as school detention would also be increased.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

The primary barriers in this project are geographical challenge and disaster threat. The project areas are so scattered and isolated making the Plan Indonesia’s intervention is somehow challenging. Moreover, some areas are also prone to disasters, particularly flooding and earthquake. Once disaster occurs, most of hygiene practice facilities are broken and community will be reluctant to replace with the new one. As a result, they will revert back to the old unhealthy habit. In anticipating these issues, we train local villagers to be our “helper”. They are able to stay permanently in the village to do the intervention when we are unable to reach the village. We also works with disaster reduction persons to facilitate communities to build strong facilities that can resist any disasters

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

At least communities in 50 villages are triggered to stop open defecation and build their own latrine

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Form sub-district team and give socialization about the program and their goal and objectives

Task 2

Recruit and train village caders as a persons who will available to perform hygiene promotion campaign at community level

Task 3

Conduct hygiene promotion campaign simultaneously in 50 villages untill communities are triggered to stop open defecation

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Communities in 50 villages have their own latrines equiped with hand-washing facilities and adopt 5 pillars hygiene practice

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Conduct hygiene promotion campaign simultaneously in 50 villages untill communities are triggered to stop open defecation

Task 2

Carry out intensive campaign and approach at community level to encourage them to adopt hygiene practice

Task 3

Working with broader stakeholders to monitor communities at each village so they won't revert back to their old unhealthy habit

Tell us about your partnerships

Since the beginning this project has been supported by our main partner, Simavi, an INGO from Netherlands. Simavi is our main partner that provides technical and financial assistance mainly at the start up phase. They came to the field to monitor the progress and fed us back with number advises and suggestions on how to gain optimal benefits during the project implementation. At the present, we’re now working closely with local government, local NGO, and CSO as their actually see that this project able to make changes despite its low cost approach.

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your innovation? If so, where and why?

The highest diarrhea cases in Indonesia occurs in eastern part of the country, hence this project targets communities living in eastern province. The province is called NTT, while Soe and Kefa is the two poorest districts in NTT. While working at community level, Plan Indonesia pay more attention on how women, children, and people with disabilities adopting hygiene practices and having access to the hygiene facilities. In other words, within thin project Plan Indonesia targets the most marginalized people to have greatest benefits of the hygiene practices and facilities construction

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

Plan Indonesia has been working to improve health condition of poor people in Indonesia since 1969. Our works emphasize direct implementation at community level to gain the greatest impact. Our strong experiences in community-based health improvement, supported by reputable staffs and sustainable funding, are the major factor of our success in implementing such innovation. Plan Indonesia receives considerable support from government as our works align to the Indonesian Government’s agenda to improve health status. At the global level, Plan Indonesia has its own networking with other Plan in various countries, such as Plan India, Plan Vietnam, Plan Ghana, etc. Lessons learned and best practices in one country would be replicated to the another one.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

Our approach is like social investment of the community. They need to spend their resource to build their own hygiene facilities and to maintain them. Communities also need to develop media that fits with local context to encourage more people to adopt hygiene practices. New innovation and ideas are also need to be brought by communities so they not merely use old method to adopt hygiene practice