Sanitation in the community

Location: Rural areas of Bolivia
Duration: 3 years
Total cost: USD 1,435,500

Improving equitable and sustainable sanitation in Bolivia’s most vulnerable communities

Problem statement

Only 32% of Bolivia’s of rural population uses adequate or “improved” sanitation facilities and 54% still practice open defecation. This directly affects the health of communities, especially the most vulnerable populations, which include indigenous groups and children living in rural areas.

According to the 2012 census, in Bolivia 3.5 million people live in rural communities with less than 2,000 inhabitants and 28,000 communities have less than 500 inhabitants. In recent years, the Bolivian Government has made significant efforts to increase access to better sanitation options, but the national sanitation programmes and policies do not always reach rural areas or the poorest families.


The gap in sanitation coverage between urban and rural areas is widening in Bolivia. To address this gap, national partners working to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are initiating Community Led Total Sanitation projects to increase sanitation coverage in rural communities with less than 2,000 inhabitants. UNICEF is one of these partners and has signed a Country Programme Action Plan covering 2013-2017 together with the Government of Bolivia. Through it, UNICEF has committed to provide technical assistance in sub-national (regional) governments to optimize rural sanitation programmes.

Programme strategy

This strategy seeks to sustainably scale-up community and participatory approaches to improved sanitation in rural Bolivia. It is based on equity principles , including a social commitment to the vulnerable populations living in rural areas.

The proposal specifically focuses on the following areas:

  1. Institutional strengthening and capacity building at national and subnational level and optimizing strategic planning for sanitation.
  2. Accelerating rural sanitation coverage through Community Led Total Sanitation initiatives to ensure the generation of demand and incorporation of community incentives (subsidies) to improve the sanitation facilities built by the community.
  3. Strengthening the sustainability of sanitation services through a specific follow-up and monitoring protocol.

This project will include a concrete strategy to progressively leverage economic resources from Departmental and Municipal Governments of up to 42% (USD 1,039,500) of the total budget.

Objectives of the Action

The overall objective is: To provide sustainable access to improved sanitation for 10,300 people (2,100 families) living in rural areas of Bolivia, through the implementation of Community Approaches for Total Sanitation with equity.

The specific objectives are:

  1. National and subnational (departments and municipalities) governments recognize sanitation as a priority and optimize plans, policies and programmes based on a bottleneck analysis for provision of sanitation services with equity.
  2. Children and their families living in disadvantaged conditions in rural areas of Bolivia obtain access to improved sanitation through Community Led Total Sanitation initiatives complemented with community incentives, with socio cultural and economic relevance, and by improving technological solutions to move up the sanitation ladder.
  3. Departmental Services and Municipal Governments adopt Community Led Total Sanitation and community incentives and undertake follow-up and monitoring procedures to ensure the sustainability of rural sanitation services.


  • National Government: Ministry of Environment and Water and Vice Ministry of Water and Sanitation
  • Subnational Government: Departmental Governments and Municipalities
  • Strategic implementation partners: Non-governmental organizations

Target groups

  • Children and their families living in rural areas of Bolivia
  • National and subnational authorities

Main activities

  • Institutional strengthening and capacity building.
  • Implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation with community incentives.
  • Follow-up and monitoring to ensure sustainability.


Output / Line of Actions Expresed in USD
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Total
1. Institutional strengthening and capacity building 30,00015,00015,00060,000
2. Increased rural sanitation coverage
CLTS + community incentives (subsides)
Logistical assistance
3. Follow-up and monitoring to ensure sustainability
Follow-up and monitoring
Evaluation (mid-term)
Systematization of results and final evaluation to ensure the sustainability of the project
4. Indirect and operating costs (10%) 42,70034,40031,650108,750
5. Technical assistance (20%) 85,50068,80063,300217,500
6. Visibility (2%) 8,4506,8806,33021,750
Total required budget 563,640454,080417,7801,435,500
Pedro Pablo Palma,
Chief Child Survival and Development,
Tel: +591.2.2623.220