Leadership Training for CBSE’s in Vanuatu

CBSE Leaders 1
Leaders from Samapeta Cooperative and Tuburah Cooperative at the Leadership Training

A core strategy of the Western Pacific Sanitation Marketing & Innovation Program is to enable local communities to establish Community-Based Sanitation Enterprises to sell affordable toilets and other hygiene products to families in the community. In Vanuatu we are working with cooperatives in informal urban settlements in Shefa Province, and in future will expand to Sanma Province. During April representatives of Samapeta Cooperative Association and Tuburah Sanitation Cooperative participated in training to develop their skills in leadership, conflict resolution, decision-making and planning.

The two Community-Based Sanitation Enterprises come from Blacksand and Ekasup communities. Blacksand is comprised of six communities – Nikinipin, Olwie, Chief Silas, Ifira, Devine and Sorovang – all different island groupings living in one peri-urban area of Port Vila. The area has a combination of flat and hilly land with rocky soil, and lower land with a high water table. A creek runs through the community and heavy rains generate flooding. The population of the area is growing. Ekasup is a new settlement area located in the peri-urban area of Port Vila, situated between Erakor Bridge and Erakor Village. The community is located in a hilly area with rocky, hard soil that may create challenges when constructing toilets.

Defining Roles and Responsibilities

The participants discussed their overall business plan, and then worked together on detailed planning to write what they called a “mini business canvas” to identify in detail the key partners for each business, target customers, resources required and marketing activities. The cooperatives also worked through their governance structure, payment options the cooperative will provide, and managing the supply and delivery chain. Each cooperative identified the key roles for cooperative members and wrote down the knowledge and skills that each role required, and the training that is needed for each person in their specific role. Training that was identified included business and financial management training, computer training, and health and hygiene training.

CBSE Leaders 2
Discussing roles and responsibilities of leaders

An example from one of the groups is below:

Role Knowledge/Skills Training Needs


Should respond anytime

To know all members of the committee

Someone who is trustworthy

Know how to communicate well with everyone and bringing all community together

Should be the face of the CBSE committee


  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills
  • Health and hygiene training
  • Business management training


Knows how to read

Computer literate

Knows how to take down meeting minutes and write down the meeting minutes

  • Secretary training (taking notes etc.)
  • Computer training
  • Communication skills
  • Health and hygiene training


Knows numbers and to be able to count

Knows how to keep a ledger book

Knows how to read

Computer literate

Knows how to handle money

  • Business and Financial Management training
  • Computer training
  • Health & Hygiene training


CBSE Leaders 4
Presenting definitions of CBSE leadership roles

Conflicts Resolution and Risks

Conflict resolution skills are vital for each cooperative, as conflict between cooperative members is one of the highest risks to the success of the sanitation business. To explore the potential for conflict and different ways of working together the cooperative members worked through a role play exercise that involved saving a “family” from burning lava spreading from a volcano. The activity resulted in lots of laughter, ending with powerful lessons about the importance of communicating clearly and working together to make plans. Building on the conflict resolution activity the participants then conducted a risk assessment of their sanitation businesses, and wrote down strategies to address or minimise these risks. Some of the strategies included maintaining monthly budgets and doing monthly reconciliation of expenses against income.

CBSE Leaders 3
Playing the “Lava” conflict resolution game

An example from one of the groups is below:

Risks Possible Solutions Strategy Knowledge/Skills
Misuse of money

No profit


  • Refund the money
  • Police can be called to help
  • Always Use receipt book
  • Fundraising
  • Strengthen marketing
  • Alternative products like Hygiene
  • No mark-up price after buying form suppliers


  • Keep enough money to use monthly
  • Reconciliation
  • Must a receipt book
  • Proper budgeting
  • Must have a cash box to keep money
  • Set targets
  • Review performance of CBSE staffs


  • Proper financial planning with Budget activity
  • Business and financial management training
  • Marketing training of the CBSE staff


CBSE Success Tree

CBSE Leaders 7
Leaders from Samapeta Cooperative and Tuburah Cooperative at the Leadership Training

Every CBSE needs to identify their skills and training needs. The activity to help them do this is called a Success Tree. Participants were given a strip of coloured paper and were told to write down their TRAINING NEEDS. After writing down all the selected trainings each participants came up and stick their strip of paper on the tree outline that was pasted on the wall.

Next the participants identified the SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE they would gain from receiving training in the areas identified. This was done as a brainstorm and the facilitator noted all the comments on the trunk of the tree. After the trunk was completed each participant wrote on a piece of paper with a leaf outline the ACTIONS that the CBSE needed to take to make a successful business. Each participants then came up and pasted their leaves on the tree outline. Lastly, participants were given another set of coloured paper with the fruit outline and were told to write down on the piece of paper the OUTCOMES of those actions that they have identified earlier on the leaves. Each participants pasted their fruits beside the leaves on the ‘tree’.

The workshop ended with a final activity to plan future training needs for each cooperative. In planning their training needs each cooperative was asked to identify the outcome of training so that they could clearly see the link between the outcome for the business and the training activity. This plan will help Live & Learn staff work with the Samapeta and Tuburah cooperatives on future training that is specific for their needs.

This Community-Based Sanitation Enterprise Workshop was conducted between 5-6 April 2016. This article was prepared from an excellent report on the training provided by Live & Learn WASH team in Vanuatu.

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