WASH in the 2030 Agenda

Access to safe water and sanitation are human rights, as recognized in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly. For universal fulfilment of these rights, we need the right systems: Capable of delivering services and changing behaviour in resilient and appropriate ways.

Water directly touches 7 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and moves forward other SDGs. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) at its core. The focus will be on ensuring universal availability of water and sanitation, with its sustainable management.

The Decade of Change (2020-2030)

The year 2020 kicked off the Decade of Action for Global Goals – a ten-year countdown to achieving SDGs. SDG 6 envisions universal, sustainable, and equitable access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. It will also emphasise eliminating open defecation by 2030, especially for women, girls and other vulnerable groups – leaving no one behind. Water For People India has a strategy to make this goal a reality.

The Strategy to Achieve Everone Forever

Water For People India’s strategic plan outlines four key priorities for the period 2018-2023.

  • Everyone Forever at District Level

The EF program will focus on creating sustainable access to WASH services at the household and public institution level. Collaborating with local institutions mandated to provide these services at the community, gram panchayat, and district levels will be pivotal.

The EF programs will reach out to approximately 1.5 million people in Bihar (Sheohar), West Bengal (South 24 Parganas – Sagar, Patharpratima and Namkhana) and Maharashtra (Chikhaldara).

  • Safe and Locally Sustained Drinking
    Water Services

Aligned with the government’s vision, the programs will ensure sustainable, efficient and equitable management of local water resources. The central aspects of the initiative will include water facilities creation, facility management, safe water storage and handling; and water safety and security plans.

Cumulatively, the initiative has the potential to benefit 14 million people through capacity-building and outreach initiatives.

  • Safe Sanitation Services and
    Sustaining Behaviour Change

Initiatives will focus on sustaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) status among households and communities ensuring last mile coverage. Additional emphasis will be put on pilot ODF+ initiatives, such as monitoring and usage of toilets, with specific attention on the needs of women, girls and other vulnerable populations. WASH facilities will cover Anganwadi centres, School WASH, WASH in health centres, and community WASH facilities for urban slums and floating populations.

Cumulatively, these initiatives will reach 215,000 people, covering both rural and urban areas in Sheohar and Patna (Bihar); one urban local body in Amravati district (Maharashtra); Hinjilicut block (Odisha); Hooghly, Howrah and Kidderpore (West Bengal).

  • Sustainable Sanitation at Scale Through
    Market System Development

Rural latrine-building and Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) initiatives will be implemented in Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha.

The latrine-building initiative, focused on rural areas, will be implemented in Muzaffarpur and Sheohar (Bihar), North Dinajpur and Birbhum (West Bengal), and Ganjam district in Odisha. Together, these efforts will reach 250,000 people, adding 50,000 toilets promoted through sanitation financing, enterprise development, and new toilet technologies.

The FSM initiatives will be implemented in Bihar and West Bengal, reaching 750,000 people, with emphasis on peri-urban areas.

During the five-year period, all programs will be monitored and aligned to national indicators committed to SDG 6. Further, a strong result-based framework and a decentralized program monitoring system will be implemented. The latter will help track our progress toward each strategic objective and measure the impact of financial allocations.

Pilot and Innovations

Experimenting across the areas of social, technical, financial, and environmental sustainability. We will engage with civil society organizations, academia, businesses, and the government in these initiatives as appropriate.

Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC)

Integrating following key behaviours across all WASH programs: Toilet construction and usage; Safe water storage and handling and; Handwashing at least five times in a day. Efforts will be made to upscale the above SBCC processes and tools in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and government WASH programs.

Institution Building

Educating local frontline teams, service providers, and service authorities on the management of drinking water and sanitation services. Building entrepreneurship models, engaging micro-finance institutions on accessing capital, and advocating for services like safe sewage disposal.

Gender and Social Inclusion

Engaging all genders and age-groups to bring about changes in the social norms and practices that create exclusion, inequalities and power imbalances. Gender disaggregated data, and data on coverage, engagement, and impact on excluded groups will be collected, analyzed, and used for better impact.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning

Continue implementing the current monitoring mechanisms and tools such as Field Level Operation Watch (FLOW), assessment of service providers and service authorities, tracking hardware progress and conducting feasibility studies and evaluations.