Timely, relevant and action-orientated research for Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)


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  • Co-founder and former staff member of the CLTS Knowledge Hub (now Sanitation Learning Hub) at IDS, now consultant with 14 years' experience of knowledge management, participatory workshop facilitation, communications and networking. Interested in behaviour change, climate justice and embodied leadership
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Timely, relevant and action-orientated research for Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)

The momentum and scale of the Swachh Bharat Mission – Gramin (SBM-G) is unprecedented. The speed of implementation means that the identification of gaps and finding answers to these in ways that provide practical ideas for policy and practice can have exceptionally widespread impact provided they can be timely, relevant and actionable. The trade-offs between timeliness and the time required for conventional academic rigour are vast. Fortunately, a range of innovations and approaches have recently been developed and applied in India for timely and practical learning on sanitation. Therefore, WaterAid India and the CLTS Knowledge Hub at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex commissioned four consultants to conduct a rapid review of accessible literature combined with key informant interviews and field visits on four key topics. They were given freedom to be highly flexible in their approaches. The topics and headline findings were:

1) Twin-Leach Pits: There is a lack of knowledge on technical aspects of costs and construction and technical information on toilet designs and functions.
2) Septic Tanks and Faecal Sludge Management: There are variations in the number of septic tanks in each state. Faulty construction and careless treatment of faecal sludge are second generation challenges that need attention.
3) Men and Open Defecation: Several studies have found a clear gender gap in toilet usage. Many campaigns have focussed on women leaving men’s open defecation as a major problem. Examples of national and local efforts to stop men openly defecating have revealed promising approaches.
4) Sanitation Coverage, Usage and Health: Partial usage varies widely across studies which have methodological inconsistencies. Current knowledge points to the need for a high coverage and usage to achieve major benefits in health and nutrition.

Read the reports here www.communityledtotalsanitation.org/reso...tionable-reports-sbm
Petra Bongartz
independent consultant
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