Topic 4 - Is the current monitoring system under DISE adequate and how can it be improved and tied to the SDGs

  • vedala
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Topic 4 - Is the current monitoring system under DISE adequate and how can it be improved and tied to the SDGs

Dear friends,

I am Srinivas Chary, working with the Administrative Staff College of India. The Unified District Information System for Education (U-DISE) is a database of information about schools. The school is the unit of data collection and district, of dissemination. It is updated annually, covering all recognised and unrecognised schools from Classes I to XII. It captures data on school infrastructure (including WASH), teachers, enrolment and examination results.

The guidelines of the National University of Educational Planning and Administration, state objective of data collection is to improve education by better planning, resource allocation and monitoring. The information is being used for planning and implementation of education-related programmes and assessment of progress.

WinS information in U-DISE

U-DISE covers the following indicators /attributes on WinS:
  1. Number of toilet seats constructed/available for boys and girls
  2. Number of toilet seats functional, defined as minimal odour, unbroken seats, regular cleaning and dry, working drainage system, accessible to users, closable door
  3. How many of the toilets have water for flushing and cleaning
  4. Number of urinals for boys and girls
  5. Availability of a toilet for Children with Special Needs (CWSN)
  6. Availability of hand-washing facility near toilets/urinals
  7. Source of drinking water
  8. Whether drinking water facility is functional

The indicators captured through U-DISE are useful for assessing WinS infrastructure and to some extent, its functionality. The focus is largely on access and not on adequacy or safety, and therefore incomplete; the data do not support effective decision making nor align to SGDs 4.a, 6.1, 6.2 on WinS.

Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidhyalaya (SBSV)

In 2014, the SBSV initiative was launched to ensure that all schools in India have access to separate functional toilets for boys and girls. It also emphasies promoting safe and appropriate hygiene practices in schools and behaviour among children. SBSV defined the essential elements of WinS, categorized under Water, Sanitation, Hand-washing with Soap, Operations and Maintenance, Behavior Change Activities and Capacity Building (Source: Swachh Vidyalaya Handbook).

Given the importance of adequacy, quality, O&M and behaviour change, MHRD with the support from UNICEF and Administrative Staff college of India introduced a monitoring framework (5-star rating system, Modest to Advanced) for schools in 2016 to self-assess their performance on WinS. It has 39 indicators under the five categories of Water, Toilets, Hand wash with Soap, O&M and Behaviour Change. A mobile app for self assessment was developed and operationalized. An annual award scheme at District, State and National levels (Swachh Vidhyala Puraskar) was instituted ( www.swachhvidyalaya.com/SVP%202017-18_Survey_format.pdf ). Over 2.5 lakh schools have participated in this initiative. Third party validation of data is conducted.

This monitoring system has:
  • Emphasis on both availability and adequacy and safety of drinking water
  • Water quality testing
  • [Adequacy of gender segregated functional toilets and urinal facilities in terms of the ratio of students to seats
  • Safe disposal of faecal waste and waste water
  • Availability and usage of soap for hand washing after use of toilets
  • Hand washing with soap prior to mid-day meal
  • Access to menstrual hygiene management facilities and knowledge
  • Trained teachers in WASH to ensure sustained quality and knowledge dissemination to promote hygiene practices
  • Involvement of child cabinet members in monitoring WASH activities
  • Educational and behaviour change activities to promote safe WASH practices

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and WinS
WinS has been included in the SDGs (targets 4.a, 6.1, 6.2) as a key component of a 'safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environment' and part of 'universal' WASH access. A service ladder approach is recommended for progressive realization and greater aspiration of WinS indicators ( washdata.org/monitoring/schools ).

Given this context, I request the Forum member to deliberate on the following issues:
Q.1 Do you think indicators and monitoring system under SBSV is harmonized with SDG for WinS?
Q.2 Do you think the UDISE should be modified to include the indicators in SBVP?
Q.3 Do you think adding qualitative indicators in UDISE would bring in challenging capacity building requirements for credible data collection and analysis?
Q.4 How do we build advocacy for better monitoring (and harmonized with SDG) of WinS in India?

Regards
V. Srinivas Chary
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  • AjitSeshadri
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Re: Topic 4 - Is the current monitoring system under DISE adequate and how can it be improved and tied to the SDGs. Thematic discussion on WASH in Schools

Kind Attn. Dr. Srinivas Chary. ASCI.

1. In schools and edu-institutions. when/ where there are problems on a/c.. free flowing water, privat spaces, to make toilets and ODF concept etc. , it would be in order to have Controlled open defecation - COD with areas being used alternative to similar areas nearby.

2. We have been suggesting to have an used area cordoned off after say 3-4 weeks and used for ODF. This is shut down & another similar area is alternated for the next 3-4 weeks..or could be ideally done as monthly routine as a 4 week routine.

3. Now the shut down area is maintained.. ie have all the sludges consolidated & taken up for co-compostng with bio-wastes & cow dung and created manure can be used in agri-farms.

4. Stress on OM- operation & maintainance principles & processes.

5. Student with Teachers as mentors would make an ideal pair for both awareness and participate in practices.

Wishes,

Prof.Ajit Seshadri. Vels University. Chennai.
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  • APROSAN
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Re: [WG7] WASH in Schools - Join our discussion about Monitoring!

Hi everyone Hope you all well. I have been following most of your comments but my issue as A business man in the industry trying to make money and offer our type of sanitation which we build has been a problem due to lack of finance in school an other government departments. So I am wondering what can be done.i will have more questions about this in the future

Thanks for your responses

HARARAWE Delphin
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.aprosan-burundi.com
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  • nityajacob
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Re: SuSanA India Chapter Thematic discussion on WASH in Schools

POSTED ON BEHALF OF Dr. SRIKHANT LIMAYE.

Dear Nitya:


Thanks for the message.

The questionnaire given below is very appropriate. My special thanks to the person who prepared it.
  • Number of toilet seats constructed/available for boys and girls
  • Number of toilet seats functional, defined as minimal odour, unbroken seats, regular cleaning and dry, working drainage system, accessible to users, closable door
  • How many of the toilets have water for flushing and cleaning
  • Number of urinals for boys and girls
  • Availability of a toilet for Children with Special Needs (CWSN)
  • Availability of hand-washing facility near toilets/urinals
  • Source of drinking water
  • Whether drinking water facility is functional.

I have visited several rural schools in Maharashtra and their conditions are pathetic. The girl students usually drop out after they reach puberty. And no politician is interested in improving the conditions. When the Villages don't have adequate drinking water supply for houses, who is worried about drinking water provision at schools?

It is up to the elected Village council and Sarpanch to look into this. The infrastructural improvements in rural schools (apart from the poor quality of education) is an arduous task. It needs funding and devoted workers to see that the funds are not misused.

Politicians in Maharashtra have re-named University of Pune at Shrimati Savitribai Phule University of Pune. Savitribai was Mahatma Phule' s wife.

She had nothing to do with University Education. Her work was in primary school education for girls. But instead of improving the conditions at rural schools especially for girls, our politicians preferred to change the name of the University, obviously because the former task is much more difficult.

Changing the name is much easier. Moreover, it gets publicity and votes.!! This is the scenario of rural schools in Maharashtra. Conditions in northern India could be better.

Kind regards

Shrikant Limaye
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  • vedala
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Re: [WG7] WASH in Schools - Join our discussion about Monitoring!

My response to colleague from APROSAN:

What are your sanitation offerings ? Please share and we can find piloting opportunities. CSR money can also be tapped.

Regards

Chary, ASCI
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  • nityajacob
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Re: Topic 4 - Is the current monitoring system under DISE adequate and how can it be improved and tied to the SDGs

Dear all,

Two concerns over monitoring and its uses:

While the data collected by SBSV exceeds what is needed to conform to the SDGs, I would question the method of collection. Self-reporting has undermined the data quality in other fields, notable water and sanitation, and I have little reason to believe it is different in the case of education. What can be done to rectify this? There are mandated village/panchayat institutions that can be operationalised to monitor WinS using the same mobile applications. There are other government staff in villages who could be authorised to do so. There are village institutions as well which could be tasked with monitoring. These would act as a useful check on schools and prevent false or over-reporting. Over the course of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, many have been exposed to sanitation concepts. It would be relatively easy to engage these individuals or organizations in monitoring with some amount of additional training.

The other aspect is what to do with this data. It is to be used for better planning and implementation, but an analysis of how it is actually used would be good to have. At what level are these decisions taken, is the data accessible and understandable to people at that level, do they have the ability to implement or take these decisions, etc., would be some more questions.

Regards
Nitya Jacob
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  • Bellamonse
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Re: Topic 4 - Is the current monitoring system under DISE adequate and how can it be improved and tied to the SDGs

dear Dr Chary, thank you for your excellent post and statement. The achievements of India are very impressive and encouraging for other countries.

As I understand the UDISE and SBSV have different purpose and cannot be exchanged.

The UDISE is the equivalent to the Education Management Information System and contains all areas to be managed and monitored within the education system. Wash in Schools (WinS) is a very small one, but it should be included as it is one of the responsibilities of a school head to manage WinS. By inclusion of WinS in the UDISE the responsibility for WinS is clearly a task of the education sector. The monitoring should apply the globally agreed few core questions so that countries can be compared and the government can monitor the progress of the SDGs (taget areas) . The analysis of the EMIS takes oftentimes more than a year.

Your SBSV system sets benchmarks and recognises achievements of schools. It provides incentives and recognition and provides immediate Feed back to the school. By doing so, it is guiding the implementation and is triggering action and engagement. Schools are competitive and reaching benchmarks is important for them. (this is different from monitoring in the EMIS) The SBSV is a great advocacy tool and the fact that more than 250 000 schools have participated show the success of this great tool.

Best regards
Bella
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  • seshadri
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Re: Topic 4 - Is the current monitoring system under DISE adequate and how can it be improved and tied to the SDGs

Q 1 Do you think indicators and monitoring system under SBSV is harmonized with SDG for WinS?

To my knowledge SBSV also carries points equal to SDG for WinS.

Q.2 Do you think the UDISE should be modified to include the indicators in SBVP?
It is good if UDISE is modified giving provision for SBSV so that the school system takes this also seriously for implementation

Q.3 Do you think adding qualitative indicators in UDISE would bring in challenging capacity building requirements for credible data collection and analysis?
Yes
Q.4 How do we build advocacy for better monitoring (and harmonized with SDG) of WinS in India?
Its good we have UDISE - Unified District Information System for Education. But the implementation of WinS also depends on very many external factors including state / district / Taluk / panchayat administration. Hence I suggest a parallel programme should be implemented in the lines of UDISE called Unified District Information System for Administration and Governance (UDISAG). Like UDISE UDISAG also can have all administration related information and the UDISE with WinS could be made part of that to link the activities to the external factors beyond education.

Added to this, a Third party level monitoring viz. Villages level, District level, independent of Government will help to monitor the activities.

Also the usage of the WinS facilities are to be monitored using a CCTV camera based monitoring system and functioning of the CCTV should be monitored by an agency continuously (linking the data to satellite and solar systems).
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  • vedala
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Re: Topic 4 - Is the current monitoring system under DISE adequate and how can it be improved and tied to the SDGs

Dear all

I think UDISE and SBSB have different purposes that can be harmonised to work towards the SDGs. The first is an on-going annual exercise that is well-established, while the other appears to be a recent one to recognise good work. Both can be complementary, as awards can accelerate progress that is in turn monitored by UDISE. UDISE's data collection can be enlarged to reflect functionality and usability so it reflects the situation on the ground better.
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  • vedala
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Re: Topic 4 - Is the current monitoring system under DISE adequate and how can it be improved and tied to the SDGs

Dear all,

I feel the monitoring system developed under SBSV including the core WASH questions lends itself to SDG monitoring at the unit level in 4.a, 6.1 and 6.2. In fact, the SBSV monitoring system captures much more than SDG monitoring requirements. A mobile based monitoring system introduced under SBSV enables District, State and National government to periodically monitor WinS performance as against annual monitoring under U-DISE system. However, the monitoring system under SBSV is optional. Monitoring system including indicators under UDISE is not totally compatible with the SDG indicators and definitions of WinS. Hence, there is a need for harmonizing UDISE with the SDG for WinS. The SVP framework and indicators attempt to address the gaps in UDISE and completely harmonizes with SDG for Wins. Further, the framework and indicators are designed to act as a self- assessment guide to be used periodically and use as a benchmarking tool.

Regards
Chary
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  • vedala
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Re: Topic 4 - Is the current monitoring system under DISE adequate and how can it be improved and tied to the SDGs

Dear Dr Bella,

The core questions and indicators for monitoring wash in schools in SDG (see attachment) are covered in SVP initiative. MHRD has instituted this initiative as an annual exercise and tools and methodology for data capture are well tested. The data is also validated through a third party agency.

NITI Ayog, the nodal agency to monitor and report India's progress towards SDGs, should take advantage of SVP initiative and fine tune the process for global comparison and reporting. SusanA is requested to initiate a dialogue with NITI Ayog.

Regards

Chary


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  • cchatterley
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Re: Topic 4 - Is the current monitoring system under DISE adequate and how can it be improved and tied to the SDGs

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this interesting discussion.

The DISE questions seem to be nearly aligned with the SDGs already. A response option to report mixed use toilets would help clarify if toilets for "boys" and for "girls" are actually single-sex, and the presence of water and soap at the handwashing facilities would enable reporting on basic hygiene.

One challenge lies in actually finding the resulting data: I have struggled to find DISE results for water point functionality and handwashing facilities as those data seem to be left out of reporting for some years.

An estimate for basic water would be possible if information on water availability (or functionality as a proxy in the absence of data on availability) is included in DISE reports; an estimate for basic sanitation would be possible if the proportion of schools with single-sex toilets is clarified; and an estimate for basic hygiene would be possible if handwashing facilities data are included in reporting with additional information on water and soap at the handwashing facilities. There might also be an opportunity to clearly report these data by school level as data for secondary schools seem more challenging to find.

Aligning with the SBSV would provide a nice opportunity to validate DISE data, but I wonder if including all the SBSV questions (e.g. water quality) would overload DISE which collects data on many other aspects of education. One idea might be to align the core questions between SBSV and DISE (and maybe 1-2 critical expanded questions, such as disability accessible toilets) to maintain the simplicity of DISE, but still provide an opportunity to validate results through the SBSV.

All in all, from my perspective, both the DISE and SBSV systems are already impressive for the purposes they serve! The DISE could be aligned with the SDGs with only minor changes to the questions and reporting, with lessons from the SBSV serving as a guide while keeping the WASH in schools questions in DISE simple and smaller in number.
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