In January 2015, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India (GoI) came together for a knowledge partnership in urban sanitation under the ongoing Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U). A memorandum of understanding was signed between both bodies to share and support with their respective strengths, experiences, technologies, methodologies and resources in the realm of urban sanitation.
To develop the capacity of relevant government bodies at the national, state and city levels as well as the private sector, in order to lead to a successful outcome of the SBM-U. This will require a systems approach to address the challenges of urban sanitation.
Project Objectives & Outcomes:Objective 1: Knowledge Exchange and the Identification and Sharing of Best Practices
In accordance with the stated priorities of the SBM-U, the National Urban Development Mission and the Smart Cities initiative, Objective 1 will focus on the aspect of capacity building and technical support for national sanitation bodies. Knowledge exchange is being facilitated at both the national and international levels to review best practices in urban sanitation across India and globally as well as to determine how these practices can be shared and replicated in the Indian context.
- There has been effective knowledge transfer and capacity, enabling more rapid delivery of results.
- The objective has also resulted in greater skill-building of national-level staff members of sanitation bodies and cities to effectively assist in the SBM-U and the National Urban Development Mission.
Objective 2: Provision of Targeted, Demand-Driven Technical Assistance
The key objective of the SBM-U is to strengthen Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to design, execute and operate systems efficiently for better urban sanitation. It is important to ensure that there is adequate capacity embedded among state and city level service authorities to implement the SBM-U successfully and to deliver its objectives.
Under the project, technical assistance will be provided to one pilot city Visakhapatnam the largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh with a population of two million people. The WSUP Advisory India (WAI) is working with the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) to enable it to become Open Defecation Free (ODF) as soon as possible. In order to do this, the WAI has:
- Created an ODF strategy at a city level and for all 72 wards;
- Developed processes to get more toilets installed in more homes, as quickly as possible;
- Identifying finance mechanisms that can enable households to buy a toilet;
- Supporting the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) on training its staff.
The learnings from the experience in Vizag (alternate name for Visakhapatnam) will be documented to formulate by-laws on faecal sludge management among other subjects, for their potential use at the state and city levels. This will include establishing an approach for reinforcing sanitation-related standards as well as on city-level monitoring and evaluation systems by the end of the project.
Our work is already showing positive results. In the Swachh Survekshan 2017, the National Sanitation Ranking Survey organised by the MoUD, Visakhapatnam was ranked third among 500 cities, a significant achievement.
- Service authority staff members at the state and city levels in the pilot city of Visakhapatnam have gained significant skills and capacity to deliver the results as mandated in the SBM-U.
- A successful model has been created, showing a complete systems approach to sanitation in an initial pilot city.
- There has been increased participation and effort from various cities and states to deliver the SBM-U results.
Objective 3: Support of Public-Private Partnerships
There are two sub-objectives under this objective one relating to the household level and the other to the engagement of the private sector.
Objective 3.1 - Household level. State and city level authorities will be assisted to bring about behavioural changes in people regarding healthy sanitation practices. This would be done in order to contribute to the aim of the SBM-U and concur with other urban development initiatives, such as eliminating open defecation and providing universal sanitation coverage in the city of Visakhapatnam.
Objective 3.2 - Private Sector Engagement. An enabling environment would be created for the private sector to undertake capital investments and operation and maintenance expenditures for household and community toilets as well as toilet-related services.
- Under this objective, the project aims to create a strong public-private partnership in the city of Visakhapatnam by improving both demand from the residents and supply, and shall include:
- Profiling of consumers and identifying the best consumer messages to encourage people to stop open defecation;
- Establishing partnerships with existing womens self-help groups to improve the monitoring of sanitation practices;
- Making credit and investment options more widely available and accessible as well as encouraging private sector contributions, whether through corporate social responsibility or commercial investments.