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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

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

Executive summary


UNICEF has put efforts in Nepal since the decade 1990s to improve the hygiene and sanitation of the country and has introduced several programmes responding to the changed socio-political context. In 1990, the national sanitation coverage of Nepal was only 6 per cent. In 2011, as per the report published by Central Bureau of Statistics, the sanitation coverage has increased to 62 per cent. Evidences reflect Nepal’s sanitation coverage took a speed after 2006, which is also the year when Community Approaches for Total Sanitation were introduced and its elements were replicated and diffused across the country.

Read more Section A, page 5 of the report.


The main purposes of the evaluation are:

A. 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;

B. To contribute to 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.

C. 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 the evaluation aimed to assess more of the qualitative aspects of the approach and less of the quantitative, a complete range of methods that the nature of the work demanded have been employed.  The details of the methods followed can be found in Section B, page 8 of the report.

Findings and Conclusions:

  • As increased coordination proved instrumental in leading a village or a district towards the destination of open defecation free, the strategy gained more priority from government agencies, development organizations and stakeholders. Nepal’s Master Plan on Sanitation, Aligning for Action and International Year of Sanitation created enabling environment in pulling stakeholder’s support for standardization, harmony and unity.
  • Nepal’s sanitation movement began to take course from schools and stayed as effective up to now as it was when it began in 2006. The effects are positive since schools are the smallest unit of a community which can pay close attention to each household while monitoring the maintenance and sustainability of the sanitation facility such as toilets. Nepal is unique with respect to the role public schools can play in drawing disadvantaged people into the pool of initiators since schools are the places where mostly students’ poor and disadvantaged community come from. Regardless of Terai or Himalayan region, schools have played key role in making community people aware of the importance of sanitation.
  • In the country, providing access to poor and disadvantaged is no longer an issue since a necessity to help them first has been established as a norm and hence the equity issue has moved to communities, village and districts having and not having subsidies.
  • Up to now, 5 districts, 6 municipalities and 748 Village Development Committees have declared their area open defecation free and the trend is increasing day after day. A large chunk of these achievements were driven more by the dedication to meet the national goal of total sanitation by 2017, and less so by the motivation to meet the ultimate state of sanitation. While emerging speed of declarations have drawn admirations, the same has also posed challenges to areas where districts and villages have hurried up and escaped vital elements of the CATS approaches.
  • Sustainability is in the mind of majority of implementers, government, development agencies and UNICEF. Efforts are also made to attend to the challenge, such as development of code of conduct, however efforts to address these challenges are not in place in a systematic way. And efforts in place are incomplete. So far, no enforcement measures or implementable policies are in place which would help sustain results.

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