How can companies incentivise sanitation

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  • ossai
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Re: How can companies incentivise sanitation

This presentation is insightful and timely for us that are focusing on Water Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools. My addition is that besides encouraging companies to institute volunteers corps as a CSR component, the program implementers should ensure that they design a platform that companies can also leverage on their contribution on WASH to improve their bottom lines. For instance, in our proposition to some states in Nigeria to tap into the power of the private sector to improve water hygiene and sanitation in their states, we are proposing that the institutions provide companies that contribute to the improvement of WASH in schools to brand and endorse their products.

This will be an encouragement for other companies to follow.
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  • magdalenabauer
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Re: How can companies incentivise sanitation

Dear all,

thanks for this fruitful discussion. The SuSanA Indian Chapter compiled a synthesis document for this online discussion from all your comments.
It also includes further readings and links.

Read it here:
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Kind Regards,
Maggie
on behalf of SuSanA Indian Chapter
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  • SophieSeptember
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Re: How can companies incentivise sanitation

Dear all,

Thanks for an interesting discussion forum.

I agree that company incentives for sanitation must, and do, go beyond CSR/volunteering.

I thought you might find these materials useful, which highlight the role of mobile technology and mobile network operators (private sector) for provision of sanitation services:

www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/wp-con...es-Annual-Report.pdf (July 2016)

www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/wp-con...anitation-Access.pdf (Aug 2015)

Best wishes,

Sophie

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  • nityajacob
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Re: How can companies incentivise sanitation

Dear all,

Thank you for an interesting discussion. I did hope for more inputs from companies but despite that, we got plenty of examples from people who have worked with CSR projects.

Incentives work better than punitive measures for long-term behaviour change. These incentives can be at the individual or collective levels. Careful preparation is needed before rolling out any incentives or awards to ensure they are not misused, are well-directed and achieve the goal of sustainable sanitation.

Micro-finance institutions can incentive sanitation by providing low interest rate loans and promoting sanitation entrepreneurs. Governments can also take the lead, instead of waiting for a company to approach it, by identifying and tying up with a private or public sector company for a specific service. This has happened in Tamil Nadu and other states.

There are many social business models that are for-profit. Svadha, an India social enterprise has been executing a pioneering model since 2013. They designed a more comprehensive package comprising an attractive shelter, which answers consumer wants (versus needs) and is sold at around $200. Svadha sources materials from national manufacturers and resells them to entrepreneurs with a margin to cover its market activation costs. Svadha has distributed 10,000 toilets.

Guardian was set up in 2007 as a non-banking financial corporation. Since then, it has provided 30,000 loans for toilets, with a 96% repayment rate. Cash-at-hand availability is often the main obstacle for households to actually invest in an improved latrine. In Cambodia, WaterSHED and iDE mediations directly resulted in 60,000 and 80,000 latrine sales respectively at the price point of $30-50, over the past 3 - 4 years, contributing to an additional 5-15% sanitation coverage in their areas of operation.

These successes can inspire and draw in other companies. If one department within a company works on sanitation, its success can prompt other departments also to do so. This also holds true for companies belonging to the same group.

We hope you enjoyed the discussion. If you would like to continue posting, please do so here. It would be great if companies who are members of the India Sanitation Coalition could also contribute as it would be great to hear from them.

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  • nityajacob
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Re: How can companies incentivise sanitation

Hi Diana

This is not really what companies can do to incentive sanitation. However, I will try to respond.

There are examples for a few states in India where self-help groups have been promoting sanitation and reaping business from service provision. The women are community motivators and are paid from government funds for the days they work towards behaviour change in their communities. Some have been trained as masons and earn an extra living making toilets. A few groups have also set up hardware depots and earn a small profit selling cement, bricks and other material.

The Government of India also provides loans to some sectors are low rates of interest, in this case 4%. Entrepreneurs can get these loans for sanitation-related work.

SHGs work in tandem with the government sanitation machinery at the grassroots. They do not directly build hardware, leaving that to end-users, but do behaviour change work and sometimes provide material. Individual SHG members may work as masons.

Companies have not tried this route to my knowledge. Most SHGs are promoted by micro-finance institutions or government programmes. They are a readymade grassroots network for initiating any social development activity.

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  • sunetralala
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Re: How can companies incentivise sanitation

Dear members,

Market-based solutions add an encouraging aspect to the sanitation sector. Yet, they face challenges in reaching sustainability and in scaling up, particularly with regards to the intricacies of the sanitation value chain.

Svadha, an India social enterprise has been executing a pioneering model since 2013. They comprehended that people were more attracted by the visible shelter than the toilet itself and redesigned a more comprehensive package comprising an attractive shelter, which answers consumer wants (versus needs) and is sold at around $200. Svadha sources materials from national manufacturers and resells them to entrepreneurs with a margin to cover its market activation costs. Svadha has distributed 10,000 toilets, proving that its entrepreneurs can be maintainable, and aims to breakeven by 2018.

Guardian, a spin-off of Gramalaya, is also one of the successful sanitation financing projects in India. Guardian was created in 2007 as a non-banking financial corporation, under a status that allows providing loans that are not income-generating. Thus far, Guardian has made more than 30,000 loans for toilets, with a 96% repayment rate. Cash-at-hand availability is often the main obstacle for households to actually invest in an improved latrine. Guardian manages to reach over 50% coverage in most villages in which it operates, owing to a blending of cash sales (5-10% of households), microcredit through a partner MFI and financing through SHGs.

Internationally, some market-activation projects have generated considerable sales within a couple of years. For instance, in Cambodia, WaterSHED and iDE mediations directly resulted in 60,000 and 80,000 latrine sales respectively at the price point of $30-50, over the past 3 - 4 years, contributing to an additional 5-15% sanitation coverage in their areas of operation.

These projects allow households to access attractive, quality sanitation products, in a way that is suitable. They use marketing material that influence both community dynamics (issues of having the household’s women defecate in the open, etc.), and more aspirational messages for households (status and dignity). Without these interventions, households would have to purchase and transport the various materials needed themselves, and rely on local masons for assembly and construction. Thus, they would often end up with sub-standard structures for a fairly high price. In contrast, as a result of the above mentioned projects, customers can purchase quality latrines at their doorstep (with installation included) for a fraction of what they would pay otherwise (typically 30% less). On the supply side, these projects have efficaciously engaged construction entrepreneurs, helping them to expand their product range to toilets or toilet components.

A few recommendations could be as follows:
• Change to the social business model, by generating revenue out of the sale of products or services
• Advance the relationship with local hardware stores from that of a supported entrepreneur to a preferred supplier
• Enable household purchases with a savings programme
• Deploy a full-time dedicated sales force running sales events and leveraging village-based activities (CLTS events).

Regards,
Sunetra Lala

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  • sandhyat
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Re: How can companies incentivise sanitation

Thank you Sanjay and Srikanth- it's good to understand what are the services different organizations are providing across the WASH value chain.

Thank you Ms. Kidwai- you've shared a very comprehensive view of how corporates can incentivise sanitation, delving into pros and cons of the different approaches.

I think right in the initial stages of the discussion, as a community we were looking for pragmatic roadmaps as compared to "wishful thinking" (as a member put it). In that context, I think the action plan you've outlined about how the award system can be instituted and monitored to prevent slippage , is helpful. The difference between local and national level awards further clarifies the different ways companies can incentivise sanitation.

I think we can see from the discussion that incentivisation can take myriad forms. Crucial to this is the aim of the company's initiative, a clear purpose. The structure and approach of the incentivization program will flow from that. Also, there is a demonstrated benefit in partnering with multiple stakeholders that bring to the table key competencies to accelerate the programs.

In case you are interested, I am adding a link of a report that Samhita has done in this area: www.samhita.org/csr-in-wash-what-are-ind...top-companies-up-to/

Regards,
Sandhya

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  • bankabio
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Re: How can companies incentivise sanitation

WaSH4Work is another area for companies - providing sanitation to their own employees and ensuring the same in their supply chain wateractionhub.org/wash4work/

Happy to provide more details.

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Banka BioLoo
providing sustainable sanitation across India
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  • nlkidwai
  • Naina Kidwai, Chairperson of the India Sanitation Coalition
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Re: How can companies incentivise sanitation

Dear members,

Companies can incentive sanitation in several ways going beyond corporate social responsibility. I am saying incentivise as sanitation needs positive drivers as much as negative drivers. The latter are used commonly during ‘triggering’ exercises to prompt quick action such as construction of new latrines or renovation and use of older/defunct ones. However, rewards are a more powerful force for long term change.

Rewards can function at several levels, from the local to the national. At the local level, a rewards system could have recognition of good work on sanitation by individuals, communities, panchayats, blocks and districts. These can take the form a sanitation melas, or fairs, where champions from newly-ODF panchayats are felicitated and the fact is celebrated by the community. Companies can sponsor such melas that are organized jointly by a development partner/NGO and the government.

At all levels cash or certificates are another way to recognise contributions of individuals and organizations. Designed and executed jointly by the government and a development partner, these can be another good incentive.

I would add that these awards need a long preparation time that can be used to promote awareness about sanitation and ensure sustainability of behaviour change. Usually panchayats or districts declare themselves ODF, followed by a verification a few months later. The awards can be a third step and designed to be given several months (up to 6 months) after the verification. Before finalising the awardees, I would suggest a visit by another team to check how well the ODF areas are doing so there is reinforcement of use and maintenance of toilets.

Corporates can run volunteering programmes internally too - rewarding employees who participate and demonstrate commitment. Hindustan Unilever is running the swachta doot program for its employees where individual factory workers volunteer their time to spread the message of cleanliness armed with a mobile phone and software provided by the company . Felicitating them at company town halls and encouraging all to participate in such programs further wed employees to the company as people like working for a company which aligns with important national movements and gives individuals a role they can be proud of.

The India Sanitation Coalition is taking forward initiatives on these fronts with a view to creating a national movement of messengers of behaviour change pushing all to embrace sanitation and cleanliness .

Regards
Naina Kidwai

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  • msrikanth
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Re: How can companies incentivise sanitation

Hi all,

Many thanks for your valuable and insightful contribution to the much needed topic for thought and action.

Myself, Srikanth Meesa working for a green technology firm Vision Earthcare incubated by IIT Bombay. We have a green technology called CAMuS SBT ( Continuous Advanced Multi Stage Soil Bio Technology) to treat the wastewater and produce a high quality water for reuse.Till date, more than 80 projects were executed across India and more than 30 are in pipeline. For more information our firm and projects, please refer to www.visionearthcare.com.

Encourage you to go through the blog on one of CSR projects done by us to improve the sanitation conditions for a tribal village in Gujarat. www.visionearthcare.com/social-media/blo...ojectintribalvillage

@ Sanjay sir

Many thanks for sharing the interesting case study in Kenya. I will connect to you to know more about it.

@ Maggi

Would also like to connect to you to know more about the activities of SUSAN A India chapter.

@ Diana

From 6-9th Dec, I have attended a course on Green Climate Fund projects design and implementation conducted by ACTS, ICCA at Nairobi University. I realized the need for sustainable and green sanitation solutions for Nairobi and Kenya. Would love to connect to you to discuss and share the information that you need.

BR,
Srikanth
email : msrikan@gmail.com/srikanth@visionearthcare.com
skype : srikanth.meesa

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  • sanjayg111
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Re: How can companies incentivise sanitation

Diana

You can look at the role of MFIs in Kenya in Sanitation here. I was part of the team that did the evaluation of a program called WaterCredit supported by MasterCard Foundation.

rwsnforum7.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/f...335_gupta_sanjay.pdf

If you need more detail, you can write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  • sandhyat
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Re: How can companies incentivise sanitation

Hi Everyone,

This is turning out be a very informative discussion. Hopefully, someone from the corporate sector can share their insights.

I agree with Nitya- for incentivisation, we need to reward companies for their behavior rather than adopt a "shame" approach.

Our experience with corporates is that many of them are not well versed with what sanitation programs entail per se. also in the rish top achieve certain certifications, programs run the risk of slippage.

Found Sanjay's contributions very interesting and that has been our experience as well. The Tamil Nadu government has been an especially responsive government. I was speaking to an official with the Tamil Nadu Urban Development Fund (TNUDF) and they informed us that the basic infrastructure for sanitation programs exists in most cities in TN which makes the implementation of programs smoother and easier. We've been also told by others that such a case may not exist in other states per se.

Diana- your comments on MFIs was very insightful. While we have not worked with MFIs per se, we have worked with a media and fim production company here to leverage something similar as what you had mentioned BBC is doing. It's interesting that organizations are trying to find how their core competencies can be leveraged to push initiatives through.

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