Ending Open Defecation in Eritrea: An Analysis of the Extent of Community Participation

This paper argues that the contemporary community development approach to eradicating open defecation must involve not only those who represent the community traditionally or on a political level, but must be truly inclusive of all community members. To come to this conclusion, the paper first reviews Community Led Total Sanitation as an approach and assesses it suitability to end open defecation through the lens of collective action theory and Asset Based Community Development. Second, the paper considers the case study of Eritrea, where the government launched the above-mentioned approach in 2008 in collaboration with UNICEF. Finally, the case study of Eritrea is used to understand how gender and power issues ought to be better integrated into eradicating open defecation.