|The PHAST Initiative - Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation: A New Approach to Working with Communities (UNDP - WB - WHO, 1997, 43 p.)|
PHAST stands for Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation. It is an innovative approach designed to promote hygiene behaviours, sanitation improvements and community management of water and sanitation facilities using specifically developed participatory techniques. This document describes the underlying principles of the approach, the development of the specific participatory tools, and the results of the field tests done in four African countries.
PHAST is unique because the underlying basis for the approach is that no lasting change in peoples behaviour will occur without understanding and believing. To summarize the approach, specific participatory activities were developed for community groups to discover for themselves the faecal-oral contamination routes of disease. They then analyze their own hygiene behaviours in the light of this information and plan how to block the contamination routes.
The approach was field tested in four African countries: Botswana, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe in both rural and urban areas. The results were very encouraging. The approach involved community groups in a way never before possible. Groups planned ways to improve hygiene behaviours in the community, to build or improve facilities and they made plans for operation and maintenance of facilities. The PHAST initiative laid the ground work for communities to take their own development forward. Even though the approach was tried in different countries and different types of communities, the results were equally inspiring. The approach can be replicated successfully provided a number of supporting conditions exist.
This report documents:
· the principles which underlie the approach;
· how the methodology was developed at workshops in the African region;
· the impact that PHAST made on communities and extension workers that were part of the field test;
· the lessons learned during the field test;
· how the approach can be adopted more widely and what the enabling factors for this are.
PHAST generated a ground swell of motivation and enthusiasm which we would like to share with others. This document is a start in that direction. It will be followed by a guide for extension workers on how to implement the approach at community level, a sample tool kit of graphic materials which accompany the approach and a managers guide.