PhD Completion Seminar: Naomi Francis 4 April 2018 at 12pm

Community-Led Total Sanitation in Timor-Leste

Naomi Francis has a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering and Arts with honours in Development Studies from the University of Melbourne. She worked for several years conducting flood studies with engineering consultants BMT WBM. Currently, Naomi combines her studies with water, sanitation and hygiene research consulting in South Asia and the Pacific as well as tutoring and lecturing at the University of Melbourne and RMIT

In 2015, around one-third of Timor-Leste’s rural population still did not have access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); however, there is sparse research about the nature and outcomes of the many interventions implemented in Timor-Leste to address this.  As part of an NHMRC-funded trial entitled ‘WASH for Worms’, this PhD research explored a WASH program implemented in remote parts of Manufahi Municipality, Timor-Leste with particular focus on the sanitation component which was based on ‘Community-Led Total Sanitation’ (CLTS).

Using a mixed-methods approach, Naomi’s thesis investigates the tension between stakeholders’ preference for ‘community-driven’ approaches and the expectation of beneficiaries to receive subsidies and infrastructure from implementers. Despite this tension, the intervention succeeded in reducing open-defecation rates substantially; though not for reasons normally expected by proponents of CLTS. ‘RANAS’ - a behaviour change model for WASH interventions - provided a framework for examining these reasons, as well as barriers and enablers for becoming open-defecation-free, which it is intended will assist implementers to deliver more effective WASH interventions in Timor-Leste.


  • Dr Jim Black Director at FREO2 Foundation and Honorary at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
  • Dr Matt Bond Director at FH Designs and Honorary at the Department of Infrastructure Engineering
  • Dr Martha Morrow Honorary at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health


More Information

Nossal Institute - Arole Room L5 333 Exhibition St

8344 8769