Issues and challenges
To what extent is the government policy toilets for community and for girls in schools being implemented?
What is the quality, nature of such facilites?
What are the issues and challenges in implementation and maintainance?
How can these be addressed and solved?
The Swatch Bharat Abhiyan Project aims to eradicate open defecation in urban and rural areas.
Total fund mobilised under Swachh Bharat Kosh (SBK) as on 31 January 2016 stood at ₹3.69 billion(US$55 million). An amount of ₹90 billion (US$1.3 billion) was allocated for the mission in 2016 Union budget of India.
Government and the World Bank signed a US$1.5 billion loan agreement on 30 March 2016 for the Swachh Bharat Mission to support India’s universal sanitation initiative. The World Bank will also provide a parallel $25 million technical assistance to build the capacity of select states in implementing community-led behavioural change programmes targeting social norms to help ensure widespread usage of toilets by rural households.
The government launched a “realtime monitoring” system of toilets constructed under ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (Mission).
People across the country will be mobilised to check and verify the use of toilets in the rural areas through mobile phones, tablets or iPads and upload the same in case of any discrepancy on the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation website in tune with the online citizen monitoring. (http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/realtime-monitoring-system-of-toilets-to-be-launched-on-january-1-72087). This was in 2015.
However, a search on the website (http://sbm.gov.in/sbmreport/home.aspx) found no evidence of such a system.
Though the importance of grass roots participation in monitoring has been understood, the software, the ways of recording the data, the training for grass roots investigators is still to be developed.
It is essential to develop the framework, the process, the software, a research methodology to make this into a reality. This requires the coordination of social researchers, analytics, and computer developers.
Shakti along with Ecotecch is developing a mobile app for this project. Talks with the National Science Scheme (NSS.. the government scheme for essential community work in India) are underway. We need to develop contacts with the education and sanitation departments under which we can get permissions to do this project.
We are looking for creating a network of interested parties on this ambitious and groundbreaking work on increasing participation in implementing public policy.