Field Research in Chitwan, Nepal
In mid-May, I traveled to central Nepal to carry out field research on the School-Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) program. When in Chitwan, I met with the four organizations implementing SLTS projects and identified 1 project village of each organization to include in my study. During the research period I stayed at the local agricultural university, from which I hired 1 primary research assistant and 3 secondary assistants. Together, over 8 days we held 17 key informant interviews with the implementing organizations, schools, local government offices and district government offices. We carried out 123 household surveys in 4 villages. We also had time to attend a few sanitation events with the district water and sanitation officials including a school celebration declaring the school catchment as Open Defecation Free (ODF – when every household has a toilet, which is the initial goal of the SLTS program). We also attended a sanitation planning meeting at one of the main municipalities in the district at which all stakeholders (political party leaders, government officials, the mayor, NGOs, community organizers, etc) were determining how to assist 1200 households construct toilets by the end of 2010. Overall the trip was very successful due to weeks of preparation, extremely efficient and hard-working research assistants, and very professional supporting organizations.