Stakeholder involvement is a prerequisite in urban strategic sanitation planning, particularly in low-income countries. This paper investigates the experiences and lessons learnt in terms of effective stakeholder involvement gained from a case study on strategic sanitation planning in a peri-urban sub-district in the city of Darkhan, Mongolia. Conceptually the Darkhan case study builds on a participatory sanitation planning approach known in the literature as community-led urban environmental sanitation (CLUES) planning. Firstly, a brief introduction to the CLUES approach, its basic principles for effective stakeholder involvement and its adaptation to the Darkhan case study is given. Secondly, two relevant planning steps including the building and testing of pilot facilities are described and assessed in terms of effective stakeholder involvement. It is shown that even if not all basic principles could be fulfilled adequately, the participatory planning framework helped to improve the scientific outputs of the project – mainly the technological research and development – and to smooth the way for further actions towards the sustainable implementation of measures on a larger scale.