We’re building a new UNICEF.org.
As we swap out old for new, pages will be in transition. Thanks for your patience – please keep coming back to see the improvements.

Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2013 Mozambique: Evaluation of the WASH Sector Strategy “Community Approaches to Total Sanitation” (CATS)

Executive summary


Community Approach to Total Sanitation (CATS) is a generic name given by UNICEF’s sanitation practitioners to cover a number of new approaches turning away from former supply-driven, facility-oriented programmes targeting households, and moving towards demand-driven sanitation aiming at eradicating open defecation within entire communities.

In CATS, the goal is not to convince households to construct latrines, with the possible help of a subsidy, but to obtain a community commitment towards behaviour change around defecation (stopping open defecation and keeping a clean and healthy environment) and leave the lead to the community on how to reach that goal. It usually requires that households construct latrines, but they have to find the most suitable way for them to solve what has been acknowledge by the community as an issue for all.

Innovation from the community is welcome, while external subsidies are excluded, as well as predefined standards or designs.

CATS include a number of approaches such as Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), School-Led Total Sanitation (SLTS), Total Sanitation Campaigns (TSC), etc.

Initially developed in South Asia countries, most common CATS were more recently introduced in Africa (around 2008), but spreading quickly and with very interesting perspectives in many countries. Over the last five years, many sector stakeholders (including central governments and partner NGOs or agencies) have been engaging with or are aware of the “total sanitation” approach and some countries are in a position to adopt CATS principles as their sanitation sector strategy (at least for rural areas).

CATS are now one of the 14 focus of 2012-2013 corporate evaluation priorities for UNICEF. As part of UNICEF’s evaluation policy, 2012-2013 scope of work The UNICEF Executive Board now wants to evaluate CATS and its possible roll-out in more UNICEF-supported country programmes. At this stage an evidence-based evaluation is needed to acknowledge the efforts made to date, assess the impact and contribute to global learning to be fed into the design of future interventions. After 5 years of developing the CATS concept and implementing CATS programmes, this corporate evaluation is a very important moment to look back at what has already been done, draw all the possible lessons and prepare the ground for a possible standardization of CATS.


The evaluation will examine, as systematically and objectively as possible, the effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and outcomes of the efforts in CATS supported by UNICEF. While it will be based in national and sub-national level experience, it is expressly called upon to deliver global level findings.

The main purposes of the evaluation are:

1. To enable evidence-based decision-making: to link attained CATS results back to the inputs, activities, and performance by UNICEF and other stakeholders, and thereby to determine any changes needed to make national partners and UNICEF more effective at CATS programming and to guide decisions about scaling up or not of the strategy;

2. To contribute ta global learning: to make available to the global communities interested in WASH, Education, and other topics the understanding about effective hygiene programming that will emerge, in order that they may alter the programs they support in light of the CATS evidence.

3. To promote accountability: to verify the accuracy of claims made about CATS performance, and to examine the reliability of data used to assess CATS performance, in order to assure internal and external stakeholders of the accuracy of the evidence that is presented and the efficiency of the program they support.


As planned in the country visit protocol, the evaluation team used several complementary tools to carry out the country visit:

1. A vast document review. We collected all the relevant documents related to UNICEF’s CLTS programme in Mozambique, as well as national documents linked to sanitation.

2. Individual meetings with key partners and stakeholders at national and sub-national level. The most relevant actors of the sector have been met and interviewed, on the Government side (DNA, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education…) as well on international agencies side (WSP, SDC, EU…) and other NGOs (WorldVision, WaterAid…) see Annex 2, page 21 for details

3. Community visits in the field. We visited five communities that were targeted by the programme. Two of them were ODF, another one was triggered but not yet ODF, and the last one had been ODF but is no longer.

4. One subnational workshop was organised in Tete. Local District officers from DPoPH and a number of implementing partners attended the meeting and provided their feedback on their experience with CLTS (PowerPoint presentations). A significant part of the workshop was dedicated to group working of the participants on specific topics (related to the 18 evaluation questions). As a result, we collected some very interesting feedback on the main topics of the evaluation.

5. One national workshop was organised in Maputo on the last day of the mission. It enabled us to make a presentation of the early findings and have a discussion with national stakeholders to confirm or amend our findings. The implementation of the mission followed most of the initial plan with no particular obstacle. It has to be noted that some visits and interviews took longer than expected because of translation (local languages to Portuguese, then to English). Both workshops (national and subnational) were held in Portuguese with translation into English for the consultants.

Findings and Conclusions:

See Section D, page 18 of the report.

Full report in PDF

PDF files require Acrobat Reader.



Report information


Republic of Mozambique


Water and Environmental Sanitation



New enhanced search