Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

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  • Sowmya
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Re: Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

Dear Dennis and Chris and Everyone, I really apologize for not continuing with the discussion on this thread. I was trying to get to it but could not do so.

Dear Elisabeth, I have not worked with women's CHGs in India. Prakash's post is very interesting, thank you very much for pointing me to this post. I have some prior work commitments which will require around 3 weeks' time and hope to get back to this discussion and Prakash's post after that.

Thank you Everyone for having participated in this discussion / continuing with it. I just wanted to post this quick note to thank and to let you know when I can get back to this discussion.

Warm regards,

Sowmya
Sowmya Rajasekaran
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Re: Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

Dear Dennis, Sowmya and all,

I just posted something about community health clubs in Rwanda elsewhere on the forum and it occurred to me that this is a good example of inter-sectoral collaboration which we have spoken about in this thread.

See my post here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/5-clts...alth-in-rwanda#12349

I copy the part of Juliet Waterkeyn's poster which I mentioned in my other post which reminded me of this issue of inter-sectoral collaboration:

Community Health Club = An Engine for Change

The programme in Rusizi to-date, as described above, is only the 1st stage of a 4 year process of development which could -if the CHC Model is used to its full extent -proceed into other Sectors so achieving ‘Applied Health Education and Development’ –AHEAD. The CHC becomes the engine for change, a structure at community level which can be used to address most development challenges. In Zimbabwe, CHCs have been used for Water, Sanitation, Nutrition, Livelihoods and Energy saving programmes. They are useful for saving/loans schemes and empowerment of women generally. For more information on this integrated and holistic approach to development using health promotion as an entry point to full community development. www.africaahead.com




Just thought I should bring this to your attention.

Sowmya, do you have any experiences with community health clubs in India?
I guess perhaps a similar thing is the "women self help groups" in India that Prakash spoke about here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/5-clts...s-to-help-themselves

This is bringing together three sectors: WASH, nutrition, health

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • denniskl
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Re: Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

Hi Sowmya

I thought it was worth setting up a separate thread for the project.

Please see here:

forum.susana.org/forum/categories/5-clts...y-sanitation-project
Creator of the RealChange Global Impact Fund and MCM GREENMAN GROUP

Solving housing quality , power reliability, water supply and sanitation management in developing countries with private sector impact investors money

Philosophy

* See a problem.
* Make sure it's the real problem (by talking to the people with the problem).
* Find people who are solving this problem somewhere in the world and collaborate - and learn from them to solve the problem
OR
* Create a new solution where none exists
* Find passionate people who care about the problem to help implement solutions

Our solution approach - what's yours?

Dennis McMahon
From Australia; based in Malaysia
www.mcmgreenmangroup.com (R & D and project implementation)

www.RealChangeImpact.com

Funding from the private sector, giving market level returns

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Re: Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

Sowmya, yes I am ready and I am sure there are many on the forum that will participate - let's make sure the in-need community is too.

This should be a case of the "experts are on TAP, but not on TOP" so there will need to be deep community involvement, which a specific community go-to liaison person, who is taking responsibility from that end (let's see if we can do a sanitation project WITHOUT the costs of experts flying in / flying out etc:)

I will post the type of commitment soon that I think is needed from the community to show they are serious.

Then, if they get over that hurdle, we can start scoping the project to:

a) get the data the community needs to establish the solution options suitable for them (problems faced now, solutions tried before this, challenges discovered during those trials, environment - urban, peri-urban or rural, tech options, cost levels, availability of water, space availability, etc etc)

b) define the project timelines and activities and get agreement from the community for those

c) establish the likely costs and what sweat equity can be provided from the community to offset the estimated costs

d) define what materials and services we need beyond the communities resources (and then go looking for them close by - there's bound to be an NGO crew doing something like this somewhere to be found nearby:)

e) define exactly what shortfall we will / are likely to have on the cash front

f)find the rest of the cash

Is that a process you are happy to coordinate with a community you know of, Sowmya?

I think it will be very cool to do (and actually get a great result for a community who truly wants it)!!
Creator of the RealChange Global Impact Fund and MCM GREENMAN GROUP

Solving housing quality , power reliability, water supply and sanitation management in developing countries with private sector impact investors money

Philosophy

* See a problem.
* Make sure it's the real problem (by talking to the people with the problem).
* Find people who are solving this problem somewhere in the world and collaborate - and learn from them to solve the problem
OR
* Create a new solution where none exists
* Find passionate people who care about the problem to help implement solutions

Our solution approach - what's yours?

Dennis McMahon
From Australia; based in Malaysia
www.mcmgreenmangroup.com (R & D and project implementation)

www.RealChangeImpact.com

Funding from the private sector, giving market level returns

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  • Sowmya
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Re: Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

Dear Dennis,

Then our discussion simply comes to this: (a) how much marketing is required (to close the gap from status quo of inaction to actually getting the toilet) and (b) do we have the right technology that the users will want (not limited to only understanding sanitation-health linkages). To resolve the marketing-technology puzzle, maybe we should simply start mapping geographical areas and find out what is happening in each community - data at the grassroots level - get into the details, go to the quantum level.

If you are willing to drive the campaign and help them find the suitable funds (in case the families cannot finance them fully), it would be really great. Regarding the village in which there were more families willing to co-finance the toilets, I will first take permission from the founder of the NGO and then post information about him and his NGO's work. I will also send a personal email to both of you as introduction so both of you can take it further. If you really mean this, thank you so much for your offer. It would be a real pleasure to introduce the two of you to each other. And, the next time you visit India, I hope you will visit this project because it was really good. (It will take a 2-3 days to send the email - pull out my notes and write properly about what I saw of the project - but I will certainly do it.)

As for my own venture, there is still some work to be done before I have the product for demonstration. When I come to that point and find families that need financing, I will write to you and we can discuss in case you are interested. Irrespective of that, it would be really great if you can take it up further with the NGO I had written about.

Warm regards,

Sowmya
Sowmya Rajasekaran
Director
Verity SmartLife Solutions
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Re: Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

Hi sowmya

Pretty sure if we took a poll of susana forum members, we would have at least 40 different types of tech available, all suitable for most situations and not requiring anybody to get their hands dirty:)

There are some pretty nice low cost, well designed toilet systems that can be supplied if communities and households truly want them - and funders to help them if needed

But the first job is to generate the desire - and in my view, thats more a marketing job than a tech one

If anybody knows of a community with a true desire and demand for a hygienic sanitation system, because they recognize that the lack of one is causing their families to be sick and that is costing them money they could use for better things, i will drive a campaign to get them a suitable system - and help them find the funds if they need financial support

But if communities dont "pull" for change, all the "pushing" from the developments sector wont help
Creator of the RealChange Global Impact Fund and MCM GREENMAN GROUP

Solving housing quality , power reliability, water supply and sanitation management in developing countries with private sector impact investors money

Philosophy

* See a problem.
* Make sure it's the real problem (by talking to the people with the problem).
* Find people who are solving this problem somewhere in the world and collaborate - and learn from them to solve the problem
OR
* Create a new solution where none exists
* Find passionate people who care about the problem to help implement solutions

Our solution approach - what's yours?

Dennis McMahon
From Australia; based in Malaysia
www.mcmgreenmangroup.com (R & D and project implementation)

www.RealChangeImpact.com

Funding from the private sector, giving market level returns
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  • Sowmya
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Re: Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

Dear Michel,

A warm welcome to the SuSanA Forum, thank you for your message and congrats on the technology that you have developed. By "inter-sectoral collaboration", I meant working with sectors other than sanitation (for example, gender, education, etc.,). Regarding your product, it sounds very good. If I may suggest, can you consider having a technology assessment done for your product (see, for instance, WASHtech's technology assessment - will post the URL later)? Regarding all my sanitation related work and SuSanA posts, there are two separate tracks: (1) collaborating with others for achieving sanitation and other development goals and (2) my own venture. It would be great if you can send me / post on SuSanA further details about your product. When I come across a context where your product would be the best fit, I would be glad to recommend it. It is simply something I would like to do. I had done it earlier for Ruby Cup (menstrual hygiene product for women) - though I need to follow up on it - and would like to do the same for yours. I am sure other SuSanA members would love to do the same too. So, looking forward to learning more about your product and best wishes.

Warm regards,

Sowmya
Sowmya Rajasekaran
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Verity SmartLife Solutions
www.veritysmartlife.com

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  • Sowmya
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Re: Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

Dear Dennis,

Maybe we should look at the intersection between technology, behavior (extant and desire to change it) and priorities all of which are important dimensions and to some extent inter-dependent. Again, these need to be seen against the backdrop of KAP (Knowledge Attitude and Perception). KAP addresses whether a photo of a toilet is adequate to get people to build toilets.

Are we sure "tech" is not missing? An example. We would not expect 5-star hotel guests to accept a toilet where they have to see/touch/smell feces. Why should we expect that families in rural areas should accept it - because they are poor and cannot afford better? If we cannot give them a user experience that a 5-star hotel guest would have, we should perhaps not expect them to do what we think they should be doing.

Further, at least in India, families in rural areas are used to things that last for a long time. From the house to furniture to customs and traditions, they have been handed down generations. Adding an in-house toilet is adding another room - an expansion of their house. Even if they cannot afford something better, they might not want to invest in something that they are not sure they will want for a long time. Further, adding another room and that too a toilet when the entire community does OD - in a village where relationships and consensus matters, the family has to justify its decision in front of their community - a smelly toilet (if the O&M is not proper and they might not have been provided with adequate training) is what they are going to hold up to their peers? Does this point matter? Perhaps yes. I remember a study which found that families in India did not want a "low-tech" option and so uptake was lesser - for precisely this reason. So, why should we think that they should change their attitude and behavior? Maybe we should find a good tech that they find appealing - from aesthetics to being culturally acceptable to user experience. Would we not do this for our customers who can afford to pay more? Is it their attitude or ours that has to change? If we cannot reduce costs further, let us say so but should we say that they have an attitude problem because they do not want to settle for less - and only because they are poor?

Last year, I visited some of the families in Tamil Nadu, India, that had co-financed composting toilets built by a NGO. The quality of construction was really good, the NGO spoke with the families (found that they preferred to have bathroom privacy more and built a bathroom-cum-toilet) and there was a lady in the village who took it upon herself to visit the families regularly and ensure it was not repurposed until it has become internalized. When I visited them, the first batch of soil amendments were ready and they were enthusiastic about using it in the fields. I touched it, it was flaky, dry, did not smell and did not look like feces. It was really wow - and more families wanted this bathroom-cum-composting-toilet. It shows that the right programme design can bring in the change and increase uptake. If we can develop technologies that can bring about higher sanitation uptake with reduced time period and involvement by programme team, it is a win-win situation.

So, maybe we should simply ask ourselves what we can change about our programme design and our technologies. If it is not priority, why is it not priority? I always remember something my professor said about change management: every system is perfectly designed to get the results it does. So, if something is not working, maybe we need to see what can be changed about the system to make it suitable. This I am writing with due and sincere respects to all the people who have spent so much time thinking of and designing toilets and researching every aspect of sanitation - we would not have come so far if not for them - and yourself because I have read your posts and have found them genuine and insightful. Also, as I had written in my first SuSanA post, I have designed a toilet which I hope will address the sanitation issue. But, there is no conflict of interest in motive.

Let us look at it this way: if there is a technology that does solve (at least largely) the behavioral / attitude challenges, what is our next step?

Warm regards,

Sowmya
Sowmya Rajasekaran
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Verity SmartLife Solutions
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  • MGuenard
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Re: Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

Dear all

This is my first post on SuSanA blog, which I discovered only recently.
Not read every post and comments ; however I feel to have landed onto a right place !

Like you all, I am convinced of the need for the Inter-sectoral collaboration you are seeking for.

Some words on my experience :
I am speaking as the manager of a small private company named Sanbiotechs France.
The sole objective of this company is to address the « fecal peril » as described by the OMS (Dakar conference 2008).
Sanbiotechs France has 3 co-founders - each individual person - and one of them, Mrs Catherine Galtier – a biologist – is the head of a french company which activity is mainly directed toward Sanitation by biotechnologies. (apbenvironnement.com).

Amongst the whole set of products currently setup and traded by Apb Environnement, one is directly designed to the pit latrins.
BIOLATRINES 620.120 is a biological cocktail of specific micro-organisms with the following effects (in french)
BioLatrines 620.120 contient des micro-organismes à action dirigée, fixés sur supports minéraux, rendus actifs en présence de l’eau. Il permet de recréer la flore microbienne nécessaire pour dégrader les graisses, la cellulose (papier toilette) et les matières organiques (dont les fécales) dans les fosses étanches.
• Est sans danger pour l’homme, la faune et la flore
• Agit rapidement (quelques jours en Action Curative)
• Stabilise l’activité biologique des latrines
• Fait disparaître les nuisances (odeurs, insectes divers)
• Réduit la surface construite dédiée aux latrines
• Respecte l’environnement
• Représente un faible coût pour le ménage.

Sanbiotechs France is currently supporting a project in the city of Bamako, with the objective to provide Biolatrines for the vast majority of households, specifically for the poorest.

So far several hundresd of families have adhered to the program which is sponsored by the city authorities. They started during the last autumn the periodical treatment of their latrines.
As mentionned elsewhere in this blog, one of the major difficulty consists in convincing the families – not only the poorest ones – to pay for this sanitation service.

One of the advantage of our biotechnological product is that it is cheap, and does not require any capital investment from the families.
Currently the costs amount to 21600 fcfa per year for each latrin pit. (say for 8 to 12 individual regular users)
In addition the families are no more expensing for chemical products they are used to bring into the latrines, like Gresyl, Javel... and they will have a reduced need for emptying.

All these quick explanations are not given here to promote our project, nor to ask any kind of help.
We do not say that biolatrines is solving the whole latrin issue for ever.

But to feed the inter sectorial cooperation call , we could provide some organizations engaged into effective sanitation programs for latrins with samples of Biolatrines in order to test it on their own side.
Let me know if this proposal meets your collaboration needs.

Regards to all and thanks for this blog.

Michel
Biotechnologies for household sanitation
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Re: Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

Hi sowmya

Its been pointed out many times that its not the tech thats missing, its the behaviour change and the desire to change

If it was just the "toilet" missing, just lend everybody a shovel and a picture of a double vault pit

They could dig it today and be using it tomorrow (at least in villages outsude cities where you have room)

So why does this not happen?

My guess is that other things take priority and this issue just doesnt rank high enough, notwithstanding billions of $ spent on studies, pilors, research and actual installations (and the multitude of concerned Northern ngo's - and now a concerned indian pm)

Thoughts?
Creator of the RealChange Global Impact Fund and MCM GREENMAN GROUP

Solving housing quality , power reliability, water supply and sanitation management in developing countries with private sector impact investors money

Philosophy

* See a problem.
* Make sure it's the real problem (by talking to the people with the problem).
* Find people who are solving this problem somewhere in the world and collaborate - and learn from them to solve the problem
OR
* Create a new solution where none exists
* Find passionate people who care about the problem to help implement solutions

Our solution approach - what's yours?

Dennis McMahon
From Australia; based in Malaysia
www.mcmgreenmangroup.com (R & D and project implementation)

www.RealChangeImpact.com

Funding from the private sector, giving market level returns
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  • Sowmya
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Re: Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

Dear Dennis and Everyone,

This post is about using a PICK Chart. Just wanted to post this. Sorry, there is no time to do more work on this post.

The above IPD discussion opens up a lot of possibilities and so we could focus our discussions / cause the discussions to result in a few key thematic discussions. For instance, we could start with brainstorming, follow it with identifying topics and map these topics on a PICK chart. The PICK chart will give at-a-glance map of status of the various topics with a supporting document / annexure stating the rationale for putting some topic (favorable or unfavorable) on the different quadrants of the PICK chart. The annexure is important as well to facilitate further discussions and, later on, lets say we find some solution / data that can shift position of a particular topic on the PICK chart, we will need to state rationale for the shift so that we can have detailed discussions on wide-ranging topic but there is always excellent control over all discussions, can present a 1-to-4 page progress reports (useful for those not involved in the everyday discussions as well as keep reiterating discussions thus far as well as have a quick way for newcomers to understand the discussions & action till date).

Sanitation is a solution for achieving goals in other sectors (gender, education, for instance) and sanitation itself has several dimensions that can hinder fully realizing the benefits of sanitation (technical, operational, institutional, financial, governance, customer experience, other). So, putting together the national campaign document quickly with an IPD dimension also (we might not want to leave IPD for later; the IPD focus can be lesser but something should ideally be there from the beginning, otherwise, it might never take off later on and we have SDG milestones / commitments made and, quite frankly, with the national sanitation campaign starting, I do not wish to lose out on the opportunity for India to play a larger role in IPD, this is a necessity from global perspective and we have been wanting this for decades now) will require this structure.

We could even complete the Annexure first listing all the points said about a topic to help place it on one of the quadrants in the PICK chart, follow it up with a paragraph stating the most likely quadrant and data/questions to be answered to take the decision. The Annexure will also be helpful to quickly add inputs from previous SuSanA discussions threads so that we do not have to reinvent the wheel.

This document will also be helpful when we come to financing models. I have some thoughts on a conceptual framework for SDG / IPD projects financing and we want to use MCDA for resource allocation - MCDA is the most scientific way and it will also help show why it is fair so that all stakeholders are satisfied and avoid time waste due to some stakeholder group trying to push some agenda. We will also need to elicit decision criteria like the EVIDEM Collaboration had done for healthcare resource allocation. Completing the Annexure will help achieve all this (essentially, significant parts of work to be done later will get completed with the Annexure itself but without simply doing work that is not required at that time). For instance, the time period for each project (and have a multiple-period perspective viz., what can be completed within 5, 10, 15, 20 years time), how self-supporting is it from a financial perspective, financing requirement, etc., need to be assessed at least in broad terms. If a project is really valuable but will take 15 years to complete (for instance, harmonization of law - does not have to be so though if we can find / develop quick solutions), these need to be risk-proofed against changes in political commitment (this is a worldwide project, so we need commitment from everywhere, the UN leading the initiative will give it continuity but we will still need some institutional arrangements to not let it stall because of changes in political commitment in member states - the sense of enthusiasm should not go down and there is also the risk of 'change fatigue').]

My apologies, this post is far from completion but I just wanted to post this. Would love to know your thoughts on the same.

Warm regards,

Sowmya
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Re: Inter-sectoral collaboration - how to increase it and why?

Dear Dennis and Everyone,

This post is intended as a starting point for discussing and exploring how the International Peace and Development (IPD) efforts can be contextualized for each country with India as an example.

India has over 1 billion and a favorable population pyramid, a globally recognized highly skilled / knowledgeable workforce and economic environment along with an excellent science & technology infrastructure and a favorable political scenario with a stable government in power led by a PM with demonstrated development track record. India has a long history of peace with strong values rooted in fairness and justice and has huge potential to become IPD Champions.

I think SuSanA is the perfect forum for this discussion. With collectively 12113 views and 64 posts across the 3 recent discussion threads on the sanitation status in India and the valuable insights and inputs from a broad range of stakeholders, experts from different sectors and hailing from different geographical areas, I am hoping we can come together yet again and explore the way forward to enabling the national sanitation campaign to build a strong foundation for Indians to become IPD Champions.

INDIA's NATIONAL SANITATION CAMPAIGN

A 'greater than each of us' campaign:

The current national sanitation campaign is an electoral promise kept. The Prime Minister said, "toilets first, temples next" and kept the promise immediately upon coming to power and, on Independence Day, spoke of the need to achieve total sanitation - a first I think in India's Independence Day speeches, and special particularly considering that toilets are taboo topic even as living room conversation.

I sincerely hope that the current gesture sets a powerful precedent everywhere - that of electoral candidates keeping their promise and it becomes something greater and starts a virtuous cycle. We have an international community that has led the global sanitation movement through all the rough ride that sanitation means - sustained commitment over several decades and also intensified its efforts. We have a PM who has kept his electoral promise. And, we have corporates coming together to support the government's national campaign

It is our opportunity to take India's national sanitation campaign to the next higher level and set the foundation for strong IPD contribution in the future.

It is also critical to recognize global processes, the international community and national stakeholders in this, hopefully, collaborative campaign. Contextualizing IPD efforts to the country means recognizing and pivoting the campaign around a cause that can be linked to the national identity which is and has to be dear to a billion people. In this 'greater than each of us' campaign, neither (global processes and national stakeholders) needs to overshadow each other - instead, each can simply magnify the other. Just like synergy viz., 1+1>2 and means >1 for each. This is a very important design goal for the joint campaign the result of which could inspire countries around the world to enthusiastically join the IPD movement - it is our opportunity to walk hand-in-hand in happiness to the world we want viz., the One World.

So, here is hoping that we can work together in this campaign to create something greater than each of us - for the sake of all of us together - and create a whole new world.

REALIZING THE IPD OPPORTUNITY - THE CONCEPT:

India is gearing up for achieving significant economic development. The focus of economic development should be to create an enabling environment for each stakeholder group (the government, media, corporates, NGOs, civil citizens, others) that enables them to contribute to IPD. Three key building blocks for India to play an important role in IPD are: (a) civil citizen engagement (people of the country have to support their country doing IPD work and direct participation can have significant impact - for instance, Charlie Hebdo's stand has united people across the world to join the battle against religious extremism), (b) participation in world affairs (to positively engage in specific issues at a regional and/or global level in non-economic matters such as resolving border issues, human rights violations and other IPD matters) and (c) develop significant expertise in developing and implementing blueprints that can be adopted across countries (India has the opportunity to develop and implement development within its own borders, so it can be done as demonstration projects and share expertise & lessons learnt with other countries / in other geographies).

The national sanitation campaign could be the first demonstration project for exploring and strengthening in all the three building blocks stated above. From this perspective, the principal areas for collaboration could be funding and technical support. The requirement for external funding might not be huge - I do not have the numbers but we can work it out. What I would really love to have for IPD and India is collaboration for technical support.

From a design perspective, it is best if all the efforts to strengthen the building blocks for India to play a greater role in IPD are brought under an overarching theme, a vision, that has meaning to the people of India, something that appeals to their values, emotions and logic. An overarching vision that combines strong contribution to IPD with their sense of patriotism and national pride. We will have achieved our objective when people see IPD and international citizenship as a way of celebrating their patriotic values and upholding national pride - then there will no dichotomy and we will have smoothly transitioned into an rights-based society committed to self-improvement and contributing to IPD.

What could possibly be the overarching theme? One possibility is India joining the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). We Indians have wanted this for a long time now and I think it will have meaning for the people of India. Further, this is the first government-backed, nationwide synchronization of voluntary corporate action through Corporate Social Reponsibility (CSR) initiative. This is also the first time that several mid-sized corporates and smaller conglomerates are getting involved in CSR. Therefore, it is vital to ensure a beautiful, wonderful experience for all corporates. An economic opportunity might not reach out to or matter so much to all corporates but something like UNSC membership would have meaning and unite all corporates to work together and participate in nation-building.

Should UNSC membership be the theme for all countries? Maybe, maybe not. While our objective is to galvanize countries to becoming 'IPD Champions', the efforts have to be contextualized for each country - whatever is meaningful for the people of each country. By developing a process, milestones and supporting India in moving towards UNSC membership, we would be setting a powerful precedent - we would be sending a strong message backed by constructive action to all countries: if a country puts in sincere and real commitment towards improving lives of people and is willing to play a greater role in IPD, we will support you and help you reach higher levels which have meaning to you and your people. So, let's join hands and create a whole new world. Our One World, the world we want.

What does it mean:

We (the international community and the national sanitation campaign) could work together on a 'greater than each of us' campaign and develop the blueprint for India to emerge as a leader with potential to contribute significantly to IPD and eventually becoming an UNSC member.

The IPD opportunity is to (a) contributing towards achieving something meaningful for Indians and (b) the collaboration should also help facilitate India moving from "beneficiary/spectator" status to "champion" status. This translates into: (a) making the national sanitation campaign a huge success and (b) getting ready to playing an important role in world affairs as a step towards becoming a member of the UN Security Council. Part (b) will include at least one milestone that demonstrates India's capability in becoming a member of the UN Security Council.

India emerging as a leader with potential to contribute significantly to IPD:

Supposing we can find a low-cost sanitation technology that vastly reduces sanitation campaign costs. With vastly reduced cost of achieving total sanitation, CSR contribution and government's commitment for sanitation, the requirement for international grant might not be high. We would love to work out a financing mechanism that enables the campaign to not have to depend on grants. Then, we can say that India can fund its own sanitation campaign - that makes a very strong statement of economic strength which is a requirement to be recognized as a leader. What we would love to have from the international community is technical support, with some specific examples given below:

(a) Share experience in managing aided projects: The international community has huge experience in aid across communities & geographies - from managing the project to exit management etc. This expertise is important because this is the first time a lot of corporates are getting involved in CSR, it is a government-backed national campaign and it is vital that corporates feel that their contribution has meaning, value and happiness for real - and how we design and implement the campaign is, therefore, vitally important.

(b) Co-create and support the campaign: We would like the international community to recognize India as leader, rising regional star or its equivalent.

No more 'land of snake charmers', no more 'can the elephant dance'. Instead, we move forward to co-create a process and dialogue that results in (a) promoting the concept of India as rising economic giant and (b) stating that, we hope India will henceforth play a larger role in world peace and international development. The first step in this regard could be working together on a 'greater than each of us' campaign (a note about this campaign is given below).

This could be followed by India saying 'we would love to do so and we look forward to working with you and here is what we can offer'. Ideation for what can be offered could pivot around (a) showcasing India's strengths so that people understand what can be explored further, (b) create a failsafe Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) list. Essentially, list India's strengths in manufacturing, services and research and develop the ODA list from there. For instance, we could say, we have 1000 higher education institutions and we can offer 1000 scholarships / we can offer 1000 scholarships in medical training at academic institutions and health systems facilities (which can help rapidly increase para-medical staff force in countries where training needs exceeds supply or quickly provide advanced medical training) / we have 1000 ISO certified manufacturing and IT facilities and we can offer 1000 vocational training fellowships, etc.,). That gives a really solid image, shows real commitment and can form the basis for recognizing India as a rising economic giant, conviction in India's commitment towards democracy and international development and, hopefully, enthusiasm in the international community for collaborating with India to further the cause of IPD.

Once we reach this consensus for working together, we can follow-up with a real discussion on a larger role for India to contribute to IPD, supported by the international community. Then, we can develop a plan of action, a plan that is One World path (with some specific examples listed in the previous post # 11629) as well as strengthen the building blocks for becoming IPD Champions. The plan of action could be structured as gradually increasing involvement in global IPD efforts. Probably start with playing an active role in the SDG discussions scheduled to commence in September this year, then start collaborating in peace negotiations or development negotiations and later do a secondment for an international campaign, follow it up with co-leading/leading an international campaign on some humanitarian issue and grow in strength in our ability to forge peace and development at the regional and international level. That creates a strong foundation for a strong bid at a future point of time for UNSC membership.

A gradually increasing involvement might be preferable as it gives us the time to explore different strategies to strengthen the three building blocks for becoming IPD Champions. For instance, we will need to run campaigns and create permanent structures for engaging civil citizen / media participation and support for India's IPD work. Further, pivoting international relations around IPD could probably require developing a new vision statement for our external affairs ministry and diplomatic circles and identify focus areas for capacity development from the perspective of preparing to play a greater role in world affairs. This would span increasing the influence that these institutions have within the country as well as managing relationships abroad.

For instance, increase engagement between diplomatic missions abroad and students and unskilled / skilled laborers - help them become international citizens by providing support right from when they plan to go abroad. We could require all recruitment agencies for overseas employment to register with Ministry of External Affairs, all recruitees should go through 1 week to 2 months training - preferably, at free or nominal cost - to become good international citizens, avoiding legal / social trouble, what to do in case of trouble, etc., as well as have agreement with diplomatic missions and embassies in India that issue visas to request applicants to take up the course. We can develop the course content together with diplomatic missions in India to ensure greater cultural fit through greater understanding and appreciation of other cultures. We could offer these courses to other Indians going abroad for study / work as well. We need to see Indians going abroad as ambassadors who strengthen the bond and shared history between India and other countries as well as promote cultural exchange and greater understanding. This role should be led and supported by the Ministry of External Affairs and will involve working with educational and institutions in India and abroad. Thus, the Ministry of External Affairs is a very key ministry that can contribute significantly to the national and world economy as well as IPD.

(c) Quality certification: We could also expand the scope of technical support to result in specific and tangible economic benefits in the immediate term. For instance, large scale preparation and training for ISO certification. In India, we need to establish a country-level self-image and brand equity of 'no compromise on quality'. We need to reach this point to be taken seriously and for our negotiations to be based on the value-add of the product instead of only low margins. Low margins do not necessarily mean value to customers even if they might not understand it consciously - we create value to the customer both by the product's functionality as well as its linkages to the higher values that really makes a person have the pride of ownership.

India has a INR 3 billion loss due to inadequate sanitation and some of it relates to lost tourism revenues, reduced livelihood opportunities, etc. Solving the sanitation challenge is only the first step in unlocking this huge revenue potential. This has to be followed by measures at the institutional and individual level to create an enabling environment that unlocks the economic potential of India.

Starting with the government's 'Make In India' Campaign, India is gearing itself to become a global hub for manufacturing, services and research. At this juncture, it is critical to reflect on the quality of work environment we are creating for ourselves in India and take action now. What is our vision? That of India as a high-quality manufacturing / service destination in an environment that guarantees best and most conducive situation for human development. We already have a great cultural heritage, great history of trade and international relations, of having held power in our hands and did great things, including spreading peace and fulfillment and science and technology. Let us win back our history and give something beautiful for our future generations.

I sincerely hope that we can explore/discuss the involvement of the international community in Indians transiting to becoming IPD Champions. Would love to know your thoughts and that of the others regarding the above.

Warm regards,

Sowmya
Sowmya Rajasekaran
Director
Verity SmartLife Solutions
www.veritysmartlife.com

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