Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene in Eastern Indonesia

Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene in Eastern Indonesia

Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world with 252 million people spread over a vast equatorial archipelago of 17,504 islands that extends nearly 8000 kilometres east to west and across three time zones. This geographic and socio-cultural situation offers many challenges to development, especially inequalities in access to sanitation and hygiene. For example, Indonesia has the second highest number of citizens still practicing open defecation in the world.

To improve access to sanitation, the Government of Indonesia, through its Ministry of Health, issued a national policy called STBM (Community Based Total Sanitation). This is a sanitation and hygiene strategy based on behavioural change. SBTM has 5 pillars: 1) no open defecation; 2) hand washing with soap and running water; 3) household drinking water and management; 4) household solid waste management; 5) household liquid waste management. In addition, through the Ministry of Public Work, the Government of Indonesia also issued a Universal Access Goal, which states that the government has to achieve 100% access to water supply, zero slum areas and 100% access to sanitation.

Although they had been legalised as a regulation at ministerial level, the implementation of the 5 STBM pillars and the Universal Access Programme still faces many challenges in Indonesia. When though access to improved sanitation grew 6.5% annually up to 2017, there are still 47 million people practicing open defecation and 52 million people using sanitation that is considered unsafe.

This situation is caused by too much focus on constructing new infrastructure, especially toilets, and prioritising the quantity of the facilities rather than their quality and suitability for long-term use. Similarly, weak commitment on the part of local government contributes to a lack of plan and budget in implementing STBM or any other sanitation and hygiene related programmes in their area of jurisdiction. Equally importantly, there is not enough emphasis at national and provincial level on developing capacity at local level to translating national strategies to local level. Therefore many sanitation and hygiene related programmes are not sustainable at community level.

Since 2016, Simavi together with 5 local partners has implemented the SEHATI (Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for Eastern Indonesia) programme in 7 districts. The five local partners are Plan International Indonesia, Yayasan Dian Desa, Yayasan Rumsram, CD Bethesda YAKKUM and Yayasan Masyarakat Peduli NTB. This programme attempts to increase the capacity of local government in taking a lead in implementing of the 5 STBM pillars. SEHATI focuses on two key elements:

  1. WASH governance elements, namely: leadership and commitment, strategy planning, monitoring, financing, and supporting legislation.
  2. Service delivery elements, namely: demand creation, sanitation supply and marketing, hygiene promotion and post triggering – follow up actions.

The programme is designed on the basis of Simavi’s Financial, Institutional, Environment, Technical and Social (FIETS) sustainability framework. Simavi believes that when capacities of local governments are enhanced and key elements are embedded in government systems and processes, local actors will be enable to replicate and scale up the STBM throughout Indonesia.

continue to objectives

Overall Goal

To achieve district-wide access to, and utilisation of, sustainable and improved sanitation and hygiene facilities, and to contribute towards Indonesian Government’s target of providing universal access to water and sanitation for all population by 2020. Within the foreseeable future we want all communities within the selected programme districts to have access to and utilise sustainable and improved sanitation and hygiene facilities.

The ultimate aim is to develop a workable model that can be applied anywhere in Indonesia with the potential to accelerate progress towards achieving the goal of universal coverage of water and sanitation in Indonesia. This supports the Government of Indonesia’s vision of achieving universal access to sanitation.

Specific Objective

The specific objective is that by 2020, local government authorities (at district, sub-district and village level) in seven districts in Eastern Indonesia have ensured sustainable sanitation and hygiene through the successful implementation of the STBM 5-pillars.

At the end of the 4 years programme, we expect the seven districts to be able to independently continue the implementation of the 5 STBM pillars in all the villages that have not yet been reached with interventions. It is also expected that by further refining the implementation model of the programme it will be suitable to roll out STBM to other districts. The ultimate aim is to develop a workable model that can be applied anywhere in Indonesia with the potential to accelerate progress towards achieving universal coverage of water and sanitation in Indonesia.

continue to approach

To address the challenges in Indonesia, Simavi, supported by IRC, has developed a Theory of Change that formed the basis for SEHATI. This programme has been designed on the following principles:

  1. Sanitation and hygiene service delivery models must result in sustained change and must be scalable to support and contribute to the Government of Indonesia’s goal of ensuring universal access.
  2. Local government authorities with strong and committed leaders must be in the lead as they are the duty bearers, and thus responsible for WASH service delivery within their jurisdiction.
  3. The 5 local implementing partners should stay away from direct implementation and instead facilitate, innovate and in particular strengthen organisational and institutional capacities at district and lower levels.

Organisational and institutional capacity building should include interventions that will help the realisation of the 5 STBM pillars in government planning, budgeting and service delivery systems and processes. This will then enable local authorities to replicate and scale up the implementation of STBM to other, non-SEHATI villages.

SEHATI strengthens the capacity of local government actors (at district, sub-district and village level), private sanitation entrepreneurs and other local stakeholders by equipping them with local approaches and skills to enable them to achieve full coverage in their districts.

The main capacity strengthening activities are summarised as follows:

  1. District level – lead and steer; incorporate 5 STBM pillars in plans and budgets; develop district supportive legislation; implement and sustain STBM; and monitor STBM achievements in all villages.
  2. Sub-district level – implement and sustain 5 STBM pillars and monitor the achievements in all villages.
  3. Village level – incorporate 5 STBM pillars in plans and budgets; develop supportive legislation at village level; implement and sustain STBM at community level; and monitor the achievements in the village.
  4. Private sector – harness technical knowhow to build qualified sanitation and hygiene facilities and sanitation marketing strategies.

As district-wide access to sanitation and hygiene facilities and improved hygiene practises is one of SEHATI’s main goals, the programme also focuses on lobbying and advocacy at provincial and national level. This is to ensure the holistic implementation of the 5 pillars and that national and sub-national government can conduct regular monitoring in the districts, both during the programme and after it ends, so that the programme interventions will be sustainable.

Just as importantly, a gender-equal and pro-poor approach is internalised in all components of the programme. For example, this can be seen in SEHATI’s gender-responsive budget and plan and STBM teams with equal numbers of men and women at all levels. Simavi conducted a gender and pro-poor analysis in STBM in its 5 local implementing partners in 2016 and the partners have translated its results to their respective districts in the following years.

To further ensure the future sustainability of the programme, SEHATI partners are not directly responsible for the implementation at community level. This is to avoid problems with phasing out and handing over responsibilities to the local authorities, at the end of the programme. Furthermore, the level of the local partners’ involvement will gradually diminish over the course of the programme, with local authorities taking up increased roles and responsibilities for leading, steering, implementing and sustaining the programme activities.

Programme duration and geographical coverage

SEHATI began in April 2016 and will finish in August 2020, a total duration of over 4 years. There are 210 target villages in 51 sub-districts of 7 districts in Eastern Indonesia. As the SEHATI consortium is established from a previous programme (SHAW) it was crucial for three local partners to continue in previous SHAW locations until August 2018, so they could finish their previous targets. In addition, they expanded to new villages in line with their SEHATI target.

The three partners working in SHAW locations are 1) Yayasan Rumsram in Biak Numfor, 2) CD Bethesda YAKKUM in Central Sumba and South West Sumba, and 3) Yayasan Masyarakat Peduli NTB in East Lombok. The two other local partners are Yayasan Dian Desa and Plan International Indonesia. Yayasan Dian Desa works in Manggarai Barat, and Plan International Indonesia still works in Northern Lombok and finished its programme activities in Dompu by August 2019.

continue to result

In its first 3.5 years of implementation, SEHATI has reached out to over 500,000 people in 401 villages.

The follow results sum up our achievements until December 2019:


  • 112,369 households are using improved sanitation services.
  • 117,463 households are using improved drinking water services.
  • 339,498 people using hand washing facilities with soap and running water.
  • 85 villages are declared to be free of open defecation.

Output level:

  • 4,181 people trained in 5 pillars of STBM at all level (district, sub-district and village level).
  • 1,293 women working for 5 pillars of STBM at all level (district, sub-district and village level) : 1,293 people.
  • 199 sanitation entrepreneurs trained and supported to produce, sell and market sanitation products and services.
Situation Approach Result

Programme information

  • Simavi Budget

    € 3,450,000

  • Overal Budget

    € 3,450,000

  • 4 years

  • Location

    7 districts in Eastern Indonesia: Lombok Timur, Lombok Utara, Sumba Tengah, Sumba Barat Daya, Biak Numfor, Manggarai Barat and Dompu

  • Target groups

    7 district governments.

  • Implementing partners

    Yayasan Dian Desa, Rumsram, PLAN International Indonesia, CD-Bethesda, Yayasan Masyarakat Peduli.

  • Donors

    The Dutch Embassy in Indonesia (EKZ), the NGO partners and the communities themselves. 

  • Role of Simavi

    As EKN’s contract partner, Simavi will manage this consortium and will be responsible for overall planning, coordination and capacity strengthening of the five Indonesian NGOs.

Do you want to know more about SEHATI?

Please contact our colleague Paul van Essen
+31 (0)88 313 15 87

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