Brief description of the project
Sanitation Marketing (SM) pilot project in Kenema District that will detail lessons learnt for possible future scaling up nationwide: “ALAFIA: A sustainable and innovative answer to sanitation challenges.”

What problem is the project addressing and what solution does it propose?
This SM pilot project builds on existing formative research, based on GOAL’s rural Community Let Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme, and recommendations by Nest Builders, UNICEF, and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS). Since 2008, GOAL’s CLTS programme in the Kenema District has helped 528 communities (74% of targeted communities) achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, and establish a foothold on the sanitation ladder.

To support communities to maintain their ODF status and prevent households from reverting to open defecation when their self-constructed temporary structures collapse, GOAL designed a SM project aimed to improve household sanitation facilities through the creation of a range of newSanMark GOAL Alafia pilot project, cost effective, and easy to access sanitation and hygiene hardware products. Public health issues were also discussed, and recommendations incorporated, during the product design phase. Ultimately, this pilot project seeks to support households to move up the sanitation ladder, while at the same time ensuring sustained behavioural change in sanitation practices. The pilot project is on-going and shall end in June 2014.

How was the solution implemented?
GOAL selected Lower Bambara and Nongowa chiefdoms in Kenema District as the pilot locations, and these chiefdoms were previously triggered for CLTS by GOAL and CORD respectively. GOAL worked with a Private Partner Enterprise (PPE), a technical working group, and the relevant Government ministries in the five stage product development cycle. The communities were also greatly involved in the user-testing sessions at every stage of the product development cycle. A line of eight sanitation products, named under the promotional brand name, Alafia, was officially launched by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) on the 31st of October 2013.

In November and December 2013, InterPersonal Communication (IPC) materials were designed, developed, and used to promote the Alafia sanitation products. These included:

  • Radio jingles- two minute jingle in vernacular languages (Krio and Mende) were designed and aired on two radio stations in the two chiefdoms and beyond.
  • Street theatres- A script was written for the thirty-minute drama session. The script was based on a behavioural change technique that portrayed the importance, reduced health costs, and increased social benefits associated with using the Alafia products. A total of 20 community sessions were conducted by a professional drama group across the 13 sections in the two chiefdoms. After each play, at least 20 households ordered a latrine product.
  • Demonstration sites-Twenty demonstration sites were constructed in the sectional towns across the two targeted chiefdoms where customers can see the Alafia products on display.
  • Masons- 40 local masons were selected and were provided training on how to make the Alafia line of eight SM products.
  • Sanitary representatives-GOAL trained village based sanitary representatives on how to market the product range in their respective communities.

Since the product was available for sale in December 2013, up until March 2014, 435 sanitation products were sold and additional 600 orders have been placed.

Who are the key stakeholders or partners involved in this intervention and what are their roles?
The diagram below explains the relationship between key stakeholders in the SM business:

Figure 1

 

Alafia masons casting moulds

Local masons casting moulds for one of the Alafia products

What learning has emerged from the project? And how do you ensure learning across the project?
Two sets of enterprises are involved in the production of the Alafia products. A PPE was initially engaged at the start of the project to support the product development phases and production throughout the duration of the project. However, as a result of overwhelming demand raised through the myriad of promotional tools, two Self-Starter Enterprises (SSEs) were also engaged to meet the consumer demand. Since the SSEs joined the project later, GOAL and the PPE provided them with technical support to help with the production and promotion of the product line. The PPE and the SSEs supply the locally trained masons with materials for the production of the slabs on commission basis. The local masons are involved in the production of the products for the households, and get a share of at least 25% profit for every slab made. Although GOAL is facilitating the process, the production of robust and locally available sanitation products lies solely with the enterprises and local masons.

In addition to this, and as part of the SM project, GOAL and the MoHS are co-chairing a SM Sub Working Group (SWG) that brings together implementing partners and key stakeholders on a regular basis (about one meeting every 2 months, or whenever an important issue needs to be discussed). The SWG is designed has a coordination platform to share and disseminate lessons learnt, based on the experiences of stakeholders who are implementing their own SM projects, as well as to discuss scalability and sustainability issues. GOAL will co-chair the SWG until June 2014; management and leadership of the group beyond June 2014 still needs to be defined.

 

The Alafia product range

The Alafia product range

What is innovative and significant about the project?
The project builds on from CLTS’s approach of zero material inputs while empowering households to move up the sanitation ladder. A participatory design process resulted in a line of eight products, of variable design and cost, which have unique appeal to consumers who would not have otherwise prioritised spending money on sanitation products in the past.

 

What learning materials or products have been produced?

  • Blog on the initial stages of GOAL’s SM pilot project published on the SanMark Community of Practice website: www.sanitationmarketing.com/sanitation-marketing-blog/sierra-leonean-stimulating-sanitation-success
  • A summary of the sanitation marketing project, shared with prospective donor agencies and NGOs interested in our project;
  • Msc study by Ben Kirley from Cranfield University: Rural sanitation marketing in Eastern Sierra Leone-Potential challenges to scale up and opportunities for success based on the approach taken by MoHS;
  • Sanitation Marketing in Kenema, Sierra Leone: Challenges to scale-up and opportunities for success- Paper to be presented at the 37th WEDC International Conference, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2014;
  • GOAL: Sanitation products market and demand research for Kenema district.

Documents and learning materials can be obtained by contacting GOAL directly (see contact details below).

Is there any further work necessary to solve the problem? What are the remaining gaps?

  • Scale-up SM throughout Kenema district,
  • Link with CLTS post-triggering activities,
  • Link with VSLA/ Osusu groups,
  • Enter the urban market,
  • Introduce superstructure services for sales (VIP latrines),
  • Pilot mobile phone applications and systems for product sales,
  • Produce a SM tool-kit for other implementing agencies to use in Sierra Leone,
  • Build an evidence base for clear business, marketing strategy, financial and corporate governance models for Alafia business.

 

Project Contact
Name:  Wonder Mafuta
Organization: GOAL Sierra Leone
Position:  Program Manager Sanitation Marketing
Email:  wmafuta@sl.goal.ie
Telephone: +23 279 250 232