Technical assistance to Government of Tamil Nadu (India) to establish Technical Support Unit for urban sanitation in two model cities

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Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP) -Technical Support Unit

TAMIL NADU URBAN SANITATION SUPPORT PROGRAMME (TNUSSP)

Background

Lack of adequate sanitation poses one of the greatest barriers for Tamil Nadu in achieving her full development potential, and ensuring high standards of public health for her citizens. While sewerage and treatment plants have received policy attention and investments in larger cities of the State, on-site systems that are the predominant household arrangements across the State, have received limited attention.
The Govt. of Tamil Nadu (GoTN) has been a pioneer in the sanitation sector by not only recognising the importance of full sanitation coverage as core to improved standards of public health, but has also prioritised the full sanitation chain, including the strengthening of septage management as an economical and sustainable complement to network-based sewerage systems. The State articulated the need to address total sanitation, and the “Namma Toilet” (“Our Own Toilet”) or Public Toilets were rolled out in urban areas in 2013. The GoTN was also the first Indian State to issue the Septage Management Operative Guidelines in September 2014.

About TNUSSP

In order to achieve the Sanitation Mission of Tamil Nadu, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is supporting the GoTN by setting up a Technical Support Unit (TSU) within the Municipal Administration and Water Supply (MAWS) Department. The TSU implements the TNUSSP, a state-wide programme to make improvements along the entire urban sanitation chain in their planning, implementation and monitoring processes in Tamil Nadu. An Advisory Committee in MAWS Department guides the TSU, that works closely with State Agencies, ULBs, private enterprise and communities, to enable considerable experimentation on ground and testing of innovations especially in two model cities, while assisting State-level scaling up.

Programme Aim and Strategy

The TNUSSP supports the sanitation mission of the State by effecting improvements along the entire urban sanitation value chain in the State of Tamil Nadu, and by demonstrating innovations in two model urban locations.
A two-pronged approach is being adopted, focusing on two model urban locations to demonstrate on-ground city-wide sanitation transformation, while simultaneously creating a state-wide enabling environment, for the roll-out and scaling-up of innovations.
Scope of Programme Implementation
The programme is being implemented in Trichy and two town panchayats in Coimbatore – Periyanaicken-Palayam (PNP) and Narasimhanaicken-Palayam (NNP), that represent the two most significant typologies in the State for scaling up – the first, a large city that is partially sewered; and the latter, a cluster of smaller town panchayats.
In both locations, the programme is implementing projects and interventions along the full sanitation cycle, and city sanitation and investment plans are being prepared, in consultation with all stakeholders.
At the State level, there is substantial work being done towards creation of an enabling environment that across different components listed below.

Focus Areas

The TSU provides support for improved sanitation via the following programme components that are being implemented at the State level in the two model urban locations.
1. Improved Enabling Environment and Governance
2. Engineering and Planning
3. Implementation Support
4. Behaviour Change and Communication
5. Enterprise Development
6. Capacity Building and Training
7. Knowledge Management
8. Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation

The first phase of the programme is for two years (Nov 2015 – Oct 2017).

PARTNERS

TNUSSP is being implemented by a consortium of organisations, led by Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), and comprising IIHS, Gramalaya, Keystone Foundation, CDD. It is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)

The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) is a national education institution committed to the equitable, sustainable and efficient transformation of Indian settlements. IIHS aims to establish an independently funded and managed National University for Research and Innovation focused on the challenges and opportunities of India’s urban transition. The proposed IIHS University will host an integrated programme of quality campus-based education and research, training and lifelong learning for working professionals, distance and blended learning, as well as a whole array of practice and advisory services. The university will have a strong interdisciplinary orientation bringing together theory and praxis that is grounded in the South Asian context and also engages with and draws from knowledge across the globe.

Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination (CDD) Society
The CDD Society is a non-governmental organisation, started in 2002 and registered formally as not-for-profit society in 2005. The consortium was formed with an agenda to find solutions to the existing sanitation challenges in India. This fulfils the aim of reducing the environmental burden due to pollution as a result of poor sanitation. To deal with untreated sewage, the consortium advocated the use of natural, biological treatment using as set of anaerobic and aerobic treatment technologies. The unique feature of Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS) was that it mimicked nature without the intervention of chemicals and mechanical elements.

Gramalaya

Gramalaya is a non-governmental organisation that has been operating in Thottiyam and Thathaiengarpet and Thuraiyur Block in the rural areas and in the slums of Tiruchirappalli City Corporation in Tiruchirappalli District since 1987. Health and hygiene education, promotion of Self Help Groups among rural, urban and tribal women, construction of low-cost latrines and safe water supply through micro-credit are the major activities of Gramalaya. The Government of India has approved Gramalaya as one of the National Key Resource Centres of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for providing training to Government officials in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Keystone Foundation

Keystone Foundation has been working in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR) since 1993 with indigenous communities on eco-development initiatives. During the last couple of years, seven thematic areas have taken form, derived from the original idea of a holistic approach to the issues of livelihoods, conservation and enterprise. There are: Conservation, Livelihoods, Indigenous Peoples Programme, Appropriate Technology, Research, Information and Communication, Knowledge and Capacity Building, Finance and Administration and the Crosscutting Programmes of Pollination, Human-Wildlife Conflict, Water Resources, Health and Nutrition and Environmental Governance.

TSU-TNUSSP
7A, Chaitanya Exotica, 24/51, Venkatnarayana Road, T.Nagar, Chennai 600 017. INDIA.
Phone: +91 44 6630 5500/6555 6590 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Senior Specialist- Knowledge Management
Tamil Nadu Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP)
Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS)
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Re: Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP) -Technical Support Unit

Dear Harini,

Thanks for introducing this interesting project to us here on the Forum!

I looked it up a bit further and updated its entry in SuSanA's project database which now looks like this:
www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/295

I saw that the grant size by the Gates Foundation is close to 5 million USD. This sounds like a lot, although if you are doing full-scale implementation in two cities then it's not so much.

You told us that:

"The programme is being implemented in Trichy and two town panchayats in Coimbatore – Periyanaicken-Palayam (PNP) and Narasimhanaicken-Palayam (NNP), that represent the two most significant typologies in the State for scaling up – the first, a large city that is partially sewered; and the latter, a cluster of smaller town panchayats.
In both locations, the programme is implementing projects and interventions along the full sanitation cycle, and city sanitation and investment plans are being prepared, in consultation with all stakeholders."


Could you give us an update on the current status (the project started October 2015)? What are the main achievements so far? What are the main frustrations?

Which technologies are you looking at? Since CDD is one of the partners, I am expecting to see some DEWATS-type wastewater treatment systems... :whistle: (information for Forum newbies: We have a section on DEWATS here: forum.susana.org/35-anaerobic-treatment-...s-sanitation-systems )

Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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Re: Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP) -Technical Support Unit

Hi Elisabeth,

Thank you for your interest in the TNUSSP. I have attached our brochure and programme leaftlets that provide the latest updates on the activities that we have been engaged with. We will be happy to answer any specific questions or queries.

Regards

Harini

Senior Specialist- Knowledge Management
Tamil Nadu Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP)
Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS)
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Re: Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP) - Practice Briefs

Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP) supports the Government of Tamil Nadu and cities in making improvements along the entire sanitation value chain. The TNUSSP is implemented by a consortium of organisations led by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), in association with CDD Society, Gramalaya and Keystone Foundation. As part of the knowledge management initiatives of the project, three practice briefs has been produced that showcases the findings, learnings, and best practices from our work. These briefs are targeted mainly at FSM practitioners, researchers and academic institutions. All practice briefs and the full reports are available in the resources section of the TNUSSP website ( www.tnussp.co.in ).

TNUSSP PRACTICE BRIEF #1: Legal and Institutional Arrangements for Sanitation in Tamil Nadu - In order to achieve 100% sanitation and improve the public health outcomes in urban Tamil Nadu, TNUSSP undertook a legal, regulatory and institutional review across the sanitation value chain. This review mapped the institutional arrangements, laws, and regulations that govern sanitation in the State. Our findings show that the current legal and institutional arrangements take a technocratic view of the challenges in the full cycle of sanitation rather than a public health approach where the State is the ultimate custodian of ensuring environmental sanitation.
This practice brief, provides a summary of this review along with the key areas of improvement, and a road map to achieve 100% safe sanitation and improved public health outcomes.

TNUSSP PRACTICE BRIEF #2: Capacity Building for FSM in Tamil Nadu - Capacity building has come to occupy a pivotal position in the water supply and sanitation sector, as a means to achieving overall improvements. At present, the public sector and more specifically the sanitation sector in India today, is fraught with i) poor domain knowledge and capacity; ii) lack of established precedence for implementation of operational procedures by government agencies; and iii) lack of systems for orientation and incentives to implement positive changes such as enforcing the full-cycle of sanitation from containment to disposal/re-use on a regular basis instead of engaging in a one-time campaign on sanitation.
This practice brief, provides TNUSSP’s multi-pronged approach towards addressing the capacity building gaps along the full cycle of sanitation. Findings from our Training Needs Assessment of Masons and ULB officers, and capacity building efforts such as the domestic and international exposure visits, and orientation programmes for officers and de-sludging operators are also discussed in detail.

TNUSSP PRACTICE BRIEF #3: A Behaviour Change Communication Strategy - In Tamil Nadu, currently, a range of behaviour deficits exist along the full cycle of sanitation, at the stages of capture, containment, emptying, transport and re-use/disposal. However, communication strategies in the sanitation sector have been largely limited to promoting hygiene behaviours such as handwashing or stopping open defecation by promoting the use of toilets. While these efforts are important, there are several other behaviour modifications along the full cycle of sanitation that need similar, if not more attention.
This practice brief, summarises TNUSSPs Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) strategy, consisting of campaigns, events and materials to address multiple behaviour deficits along the sanitation value chain. The strategy has been conceptualised to include segmentation and targeting of those who tend to embrace changes and newness (innovators and early adopters), evoke the benefits of new behaviour and the cost of current unsanitary practices, as well as promote a positive, aspirational position to evoke adoption of the ‘new way’.

Senior Specialist- Knowledge Management
Tamil Nadu Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP)
Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS)
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Re: TNUSSP's World Toilet Day 2017 Celebrations

The Sustainable Development Goal No 6 , as envisaged by the United Nation, promises clean water and sanitation to all member nations by providing universal access to sanitation and reducing the proportion of untreated wastewater by 50 per cent. In keeping with this broader aim, the International World Toilet Day celebrated across the world on November 19, was pegged around the theme of wastewater and its effective treatment.
The Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP), which works in the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu, observed the World Toilet Day with celebrations in three of its project sites – Tiruchirappalli, a tier-2 city and a cluster of two smaller towns Periyanaicken-palayam and Narasimhanaicken-palayam.
As part of the daylong celebrations, a Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) campaign was organised in the three locations. This included a travelling musical film on the full cycle of sanitation, public outreach programmes, release of communication material and pop quiz competitions.
A formal event was organised by the local government in Tiruchirappalli, while government officials along with the project staff flagged off a rally in Periyanaicken-palayam. The question ‘where does your poo go?’ was at the heart of the campaign and messages on safe handling and safe disposal of fecal matter were repeatedly broadcast to the public. The local media as well as the radio stations were roped into the programme and were effectively used to spread the message of safe sanitation and its impact on public health.
The campaign raised the curiosity of the public in the three locations who had not engaged with the question of what happens after one flushes the toilet, and helped in mitigating the sense of shame and disgust that is traditionally associated with issues around sanitation. The campaign also gave an insight to the project staff on the importance of dealing with different sections of stakeholders and making communication campaigns interesting and accessible to the target population. It also showed that positive messaging – in this case linking public health to safe sanitation – works better as a tool of motivation and follow-up action and goes a long way in creating an enabling environment which can facilitate behaviour change.

Senior Specialist- Knowledge Management
Tamil Nadu Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP)
Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS)
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Re: Scoping Exercise to Support Sustainable Urban Sanitation in Tamil Nadu: Secondary Review - Draft Report

The Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP) has completed the Phase One of its intervention and is moving towards the Second Phase of the programme. Several interesting initiatives were undertaken during the course of the two years which included surveys, research studies, capacity building initiatives, behavior change and communication programmes, production of audio visual material etc. We will be sharing these reports, documents and audio visual material from these initiatives on SuSanA over the course of this month. These materials can also be accessed on our website: www.tnussp.co.in

The first in the series of reports is the secondary review of urban sanitation in Tamil Nadu. This review provides a situational analysis of water and sanitation in urban areas of the State of Tamil Nadu, India. This study draws mainly from available secondary literature and data from the government and other public sources. The report also has details on the legal and institutional framework, the administrative structure of urban governance, and an analysis of the State finances, and the finances of the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in Tamil Nadu.

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Re: TNUSSP -Scoping Exercise to Support Sustainable Urban Sanitation in Tamil Nadu: Primary Study Report – Vol I & II

With a view to scope the tasks under the Tamil Nadu sanitation mission, Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) carried out a scoping exercise (study) in 2015 to gain an in-depth understanding of the current arrangements and practices in the full cycle of sanitation. The factors incorporated in the study ranged from design and construction practices of on-site sanitation systems to septage collection and waste disposal in Pammal Municipality and two town panchayats of Periyanaicken-palayam and Narasimhanaicken-palayam in Coimbatore. This report is based on primary data collection including in-depth interviews with select households, masons and contractors, private business operators, as well as government officials, supplemented by secondary sources like the Census of India. The study shows that there is considerable divergence between prescribed standards and actual practices with respect to toilet design, construction and containment structures. In the study locations, regulatory measures for de-sludging and conveyance have been lax leading to unsafe disposal in non-designated areas. Also, the lack of sewage treatment plants (STPs) or emptying points nearby seems to be the biggest constraint to safe treatment and disposal. The study also found that the institutional capacities of the urban local bodies (ULBs) are limited to address the deficits in the full cycle of sanitation.

Senior Specialist- Knowledge Management
Tamil Nadu Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP)
Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS)
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Re: Scoping Exercise to Support Sustainable Urban Sanitation in Tamil Nadu: Exposure Visit Report

In India, there is lack of demonstrated successful models with respect to Fecal Sludge Management (FSM). As part of the scoping exercise to support sustainable urban sanitation in Tamil Nadu, it was essential that exposure visits are organised for the Government of Tamil Nadu (GoTN) officers to locations where there were demonstrated successful models in implementation of FSM practices. Government stakeholders gaining exposure to robust FSM models in another developing country, was therefore, envisaged as one of the key preparatory steps for the development and operationalisation of effective FSM systems in Tamil Nadu. Based on secondary review, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Dakar in Senegal were proposed as sites for the exposure visit. This report presents key learnings from these two locations with respect to effective implementation of FSM systems, which can be operationalised in Tamil Nadu. For instance, in Malaysia, regulatory frameworks are efficient and there is a clear allocation of roles and monitoring system across the sanitation value chain. In Senegal, the collaboration between the government agency and the private and informal service providers to sustain FSM is noteworthy.

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