Focus on Swachh Bharat (India) - Water Currents, October 2, 2017

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  • Dan Campbell, USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project
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Focus on Swachh Bharat - Water Currents, October 2, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

Below is an excerpt from the Water Currents issue on Swachh Bharat and here is the link to the complete issue .

The Prime Minister of India launched the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission on October 2, 2014, to improve the level of sanitation and cleanliness by October 2, 2019, marking the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Swachh Bharat has two components: Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) for rural areas and the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) for urban areas. To date, this campaign has rallied all corners of Indian society toward its ambitious sanitation goals, including enlisting Bollywood stars and prominent athletes to create awareness.

USAID partners with the Government of India to help drive changes in water and sanitation that make cities cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous by harnessing expertise and innovation. For example, USAID/India and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation support the Government of India's efforts to eliminate open defecation and sustainably provide sanitation services. This collaboration has resulted in 1078 out of 4041 cities being certified as open defecation free (ODF), helping improve the living conditions of more than 150 million people. USAID also partners with local civil society, U.S. universities, and the private sector, including the Coca-Cola Company, Google, and the Gap Inc. to address India’s water and sanitation challenges.

Featured below are select presentations, blogs, videos, and articles that highlight the wide-ranging accomplishments, trends, and challenges of Swachh Bharat.

Dan Campbell
USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project
ECODIT
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  • arno
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Re: Focus on Swachh Bharat - Water Currents, October 2, 2017

The Swachh Bharat program in India is in full throttle. www.swachhbharaturban.in/sbm/home/#/SBM

Homes with toilets in India more than doubled from 38.7% at the start of the Swachh Bharat Mission on October 2, 2014, to 78.98% in March 2018. The grand design is to ensure all households have access to a toilet so that India becomes open defecation free (ODF) by October 2, 2019. www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/workin...gn33rmqSJu6wK0L.html

And this needs to go beyond the building of toilets that may or may not function properly. It needs to be about functional sanitation systems. People will not use toilets near or in their houses that smell. So appropriate and sustainable systems with functioning sewer connections, odor locks, onsite containment and treatment with septic tanks, soak pits, twin pits, or ventilated dry systems are just as important.

The Swachh Bharat Toilet Finder App is an impressive tool to find public toilets. www.zeebiz.com/india/video-gallery-all-y...aunched-by-bmc-39626
And these apps are now popping up in various places around the world. www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-...-tells-free-use.html

But what about functionality and cleanliness? Will people use all the new toilets being installed in India?

This leads one to the central question of behaviour change. And this is a complicated subject. And it can be a touchy subject as well when people start making comparisons between India and its neighbors eg Bangladesh and Pakistan that appear to be more successful at adopting toilets. In deed there are significant differences in uptake and this may be more about attitudes than anything else. What a household sees as a pure or safe sanitation solution will have an impact on whether a toilet will be used or not. theprint.in/governance/hindus-are-less-l...lims-in-india/44959/

And the impacts of these attitudes about what is hygienic and not will have a clear impact on diarrhoea frequency, nutrition and stunting in children. In deed, there is a signficanct difference between Bangladesh and India. arstechnica.com/science/2014/06/open-def...mong-indian-muslims/
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/What-B...cleshow/50620503.cms

So the question is whether the Swachh Bharat program will also change people's attitudes in urban and rural areas of India?
swachhindia.ndtv.com/behaviour-change-co...dsets-swachhta-6410/

Enter the methods of change like CLTS. www.theguardian.com/global-development-p...ion-world-toilet-day
And the whole question of how sustainable this powerful triggering process has been? In deed, there is more to it for it to stick. www.theguardian.com/global-development-p...n-defecation-by-2030

What role then can SuSanA play in this dialogue? We can do many relevant things such as monitor progress, share knowledge about what works and what does not and provide a place for in depth analysis.

Welcome on board!
Regards

Arno Rosemarin PhD
Stockholm Environment Institute
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  • campbelldb
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Re: Focus on Swachh Bharat - Water Currents, October 2, 2017

Hi Arno

Thanks for your comments and suggestion and I will share them with USAID.

Could we set up a category on SuSanA to post and share updates on Swachh Bharat (SB) or have an online discussion forum that focuses on SB?

I would be interested to hear any ideas and suggestions you may have.

Regards,
Dan

Dan Campbell
USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project
ECODIT
1901 N. Moore St, Suite 1004
Arlington, VA 22209
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  • arno
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Re: Focus on Swachh Bharat - Water Currents, October 2, 2017

Hi Dan
Elisabeth suggests we set up a sub-category to SBM on the Forum to give it more visibility. It could be here under “regional processes”:
forum.susana.org/80-global-and-regional-political-processes
Suggested title: monitoring the progress of SBM in India.

We’ve already had quite a few discussion threads about SBM – they could be moved into that new sub-category so that it’s easier to find them again.
See here two thematic discussions that were run by the India Sanitation Coalition:
forum.susana.org/259-on-the-way-to-a-cle...usana-indian-chapter
forum.susana.org/from-missing-market-inc...susana-india-chapter

Another initiative: How about we get a small team together, pick a deadline and set up an improved Wikipedia article about SBM? The current one is OK but could do with an overhaul and additional references:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swachh_Bharat_Abhiyan

See forum.susana.org/discussions-about-speci...wachh-bharat-abhiyan

Regards

Arno Rosemarin PhD
Stockholm Environment Institute
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www.sei.org
www.ecosanres.org
Current project affiliation: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127
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  • campbelldb
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  • Dan Campbell, USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project
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Re: Focus on Swachh Bharat - Water Currents, October 2, 2017

Hi Arno

The new sub-category idea sounds good and I would be glad to help out on updating/improving the SBM Wikipedia article.
I am sure the USAID Water Team and USAID India will be glad to have SBM lessons learned shared with the SuSanA community so many thanks for your suggestions and ideas.

Just let me know when you want to discuss the Wikipedia idea and I look forward to contributing.

Best regards,
Dan

Dan Campbell
USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project
ECODIT
1901 N. Moore St, Suite 1004
Arlington, VA 22209
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