Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

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Re: Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

Dear All,
Sharing an update in this thread after a long time. 

In the meantime, I have been analysing and comparing various frameworks like Eawag's enabling environment framework (included in the CLUES guidelines and HCES earlier). I've found them to include many common components that point to key elements of such a framework. They all agree on the multi-faceted and the interconnected nature of sanitation (and WASH), attempt to identify the root causes both within and outside the sector to enable improvements and aim for more sustainable interventions.

The differences arise for numerous reasons, including the purpose (service provision, planning, selection of a particular technology, etc.) the orientation and work of the organisation, including its legacy, theoretical underpinnings, etc. I think an integrated framework that incorporates key components and interactions from an analysis of numerous such frameworks could be handy, both for research and practice. 

I presented the first iteration of this framework at the 2023 annual conference of the International Society for Sanitation Studies (announced  here ), an edited presentation is attached for reference. It includes eight dimensions,viz., (i) Policy (ii) Legal framework (iii) organisational arrangements (iv) Monitoring (v) Regulation (vi) Financial arrangements (vii) Knowledge Management and (viii) Socio-cultural acceptance. Definitions of each of these dimensions are included in the presentation.

It would be great if you could help me with two questions that I am currently trying to answer.
  1. Do these eight dimensions cover all the challenges that the sanitation planning process faces in varied contexts? Or does it leave out or not consider an important factor in many LMIC cities?
  2. What advantages do you think such a unified or integrated framework would offer?
Kind regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
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  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions , Designation- Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, NGO, New Delhi, INDIA , Consultant located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

Dear Pareshji n Depinder Sir.
Any new intervention needs to firstly be on implementation and smothering or modification happening on regular basis.
There will never be a perfect field apt to take care of it all.
Be it be setbacks due to political, administrative,  commercial angle, all need to be attended and kept in order
Keep up the task of implementation on and in regular mode and duly sustained.
All the best for Services to communities.. 
Ajit Seshadri 
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Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India

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  • Depinder Kapur is currently Director Water Programme at Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi.
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Re: Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

Hi Paresh,
Sorry for responding late in your thesis.
Thanks for sharing the abstract on Enabling Environment Framework that you put into practice and discovered some shortfalls in application/explanation of reality on ground in 2 cities of India.

A Political Economy Framework I believe will better explain the failure of application of FSM solutions in all the cities of India, including Kerala cities(where it is clearly more political than economic) and Gujarat(where it is clearly political and economic).
Depinder Kapur is Director Water Programme at Centre for Science and Environment. He has taight at Shiv Nadar University and has lead the Sanitation Capacity Building Platform(SCBP) of National Institute of Urban Affairs. His professional engagements have been with AKRSP(Program Officer Forestry), SPWD(Sr. Program Officer), CARE(Director NRM), Oxfam(Program & Advocacy Director), WaterAid India(Country Head) and WSSCC(National Coordinator) and as an independent consultant.

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  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions , Designation- Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, NGO, New Delhi, INDIA , Consultant located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

Dear Ccleuthi.
My well wishes for your pursuing PhD.
Pl feel free to discuss, certain aspects with my resources also.
Will try to do justice in providing you E, S and G concepts wherever possible.
My email ID is
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Pl feel free to be in touch,
Will join up with Ar. Paresh Sir also..

Well wishes 
Prof Ajit Seshadri 
Vels University Chennai 
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India

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Re: Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

Hi Paresh,

Sorry for my late reply - I suggest we set up a skype or zoom meeting this Friday to discuss in more depth!
Here is my link:
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Re: Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

Thank you Prof. Luthi for pointing out this useful set of papers. I've already referred to a few in the paper I shared earlier in this thread.

I am getting to like the sanitation city-scape framework as it helps put sanitation in perspective from demand and supply sides. I am curious to know if you agree with this view? 


Also wondering if you'd agree with the authors about leaving out 'socio-cultural acceptance' from the enabling environment framework introduced by CLUES and used in a few studies by Sandec? 

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
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Re: Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

Hi Ajit,

Great stuff. If you haven't seen this yet, some recent papers covering various aspects o CWIS, including FSM here:
www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/9491...ainability-challenge

Cheers Christoph

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  • Marine Chief Engineer by profession (1971- present) and at present Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, Chennai, India. Also proficient in giving Environmental solutions , Designation- Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Head- Environment, The Vigyan Vijay Foundation, NGO, New Delhi, INDIA , Consultant located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

Dear Ar Paresh and Susana Members, 

Nice creditable work on FSM SWM FSD have been done.
I offer my appreciation in realising fruitful returns to communities as sustained outputs and realising SDGs insitu, in the project.

Our well wishes 
Ajit Seshadri 
Prof. Ajit Seshadri, Faculty in Marine Engg. Deptt. Vels University, and
Head-Environment , VigyanVijay Foundation, Consultant (Water shed Mngmnt, WWT, WASH, others)Located at present at Chennai, India
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Re: Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

Hello folks!!
Happy to share a  link  to our publication based on the process of preparing an SFD of Alleppey. The paper is titled Refining the shit flow diagram using the capacity-building approach – Method and demonstration in a south Indian town and is published in the Journal of Environmental Management by Elsevier. I had submitted this for the special issue on FSM as announced by FSMA  here

This paper builds on an earlier publication by my supervisor and co-author for this paper. We make the following two arguments here:
  1. The capacity-building approach (introduced in the earlier paper), that is, to engage local college students and civil society, is a cost-effective way to overcome the two challenges of lack of data and lack of capacity at the local level. We demonstrate how the approach can be employed to collect the required data. Subsequent batches going through such exercise, we argue, will build local capacity in the long term and also make the local government more accountable.
  2. The SFD needs to be refined and the output contextually adapted. We demonstrate how it can be done using the data collected by employing the capacity-building approach. The data was collected by 150+ university students, participants of a summer school we organised. 
Critical comments and feedback are welcome. If you prefer, you could also reply to my twitter thread   

Copying the abstract below for your easy perusal. Till the 1st of August, the publication is openly accessible here:  authors.elsevier.com/a/1dE0H14Z6thOIR

Regards
paresh

Abstract:
In cities of the Global South, faecal sludge management (FSM) has arisen as an acceptable and economical alternative for managing excreta. Shit flow diagram (SFD) has emerged as the preferred tool for the planning and advocacy of FSM services. Besides context-specific challenges, FSM planning, especially the use of SFD is impeded by the lack of data related to on-site sanitation systems (OSSs) and lack of capacity at the local level. This paper sets out to demonstrate how the capacity-building approach can be extended to overcome these two challenges in planning FSM with a substantial share of the information collected through household surveys. We argue that even the resource-constrained towns in the Global South have access to college students, smartphones and open source applications and demonstrate how they can be harnessed to collect the data in a cost-effective manner. Using the data collected by 150+ university students, participants of a summer school, we prepare a SFD for Alleppey, a town in Kerala, India. We argue such repeated exercises by subsequent batches of students can help understand local problems, arrive at context-specific solutions and monitor them to instil better accountability of local governments. We also identify two issues with the current SFD preparation process and find it is necessary to contextualise the output of the tool to use it for planning. We suggest that the methods demonstrated here be incorporated in future refinements to the SFD tool to make it more useful for planning city-wide FSM services. 
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
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Re: Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

Dear Kene,
Thank you for your kind words. Glad that you find my work interesting. I shall keep posting updates here. 
That is an interesting transition you mention. I know of some professionals who transitioned from drinking water supply to sanitation (mostly due to a shift in focus). I am curious to know more about sanitation related work at your department. 

Regards
paresh
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Re: Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

Dear Paresh,

Great to hear about the great work you started in 2016 to study the FSM services in small towns in India 🇮🇳. Your study is very interesting and the methodology you chose is very appropriate for a topic that is not widely researched. I believe your findings will help to improve Sanitation planning in India especially the FSM. I am interested in your work and would like to follow your research to learn from the India experience. We have just assumed the responsibility of Sanitation management in our Department to transform from water resources management to the Department of Water & Sanitation.
Regards;

Kene

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Re: Discussions about my PhD work (hoping to complete by mid 2024): Planning city-wide FSM services in small towns in India

Thanks Dorothee for responding. 

I am looking at enabling environment from the perspective of provision of services, and lack of treatment facilities tends to be the bottleneck in many towns. I know for certain that lack of land where treatment facilities can be easily located (many reasons can impede identification of such a land parcel) has been one of the reasons that has delayed construction of  treatment plants and hence provision of services itself. The CPHEEO manual (considered as their holy Grail by Engineers in India) also considers land (along with capital) as a key factor that determines selection of treatment technology. It is for these reasons and my training in urban planning that I tend to think physical characteristics should be an attribute. 

What I meant by knowledge management was limited to the process through which local stakeholders learn about new ways of service provision or new technologies. They can be through institutional arrangements already in place or through an individual's exploration or because of a private vendor interested in expansion, etc. In this sense, I agree that skills and capacity subsumes knowledge management. 

I am now better informed and hence in a better position to distinguish between the context and the case. As I mentioned earlier, decisions taken by local governments in small towns are often influenced by experience of large cities. They are also contingent on decisions of state (provincial) government which may also be influenced by experience of larger cities. It is in this context that I was finding it difficult to define the case. As you mention, some components of the enabling environment are common for all cities, large or small within a state (province) and that also needs to be clearly distinguished.

Thanks again for responding. Your comments (and your paper ) have been very helpful.  

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
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