The two day consultative workshop, organised by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) in partnership with Tata Institute of Social Sciences, concluded here with a series of recommendations to MoUD for scaling up citizen participation in order to make Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), a full-fledged Jan Andolan. The consultations culminated in a consolidated report, which was presented towards the end of the workshop to Shri Praveen Prakash, National Mission Director, Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).
Shri Praveen Prakash assured that every word of the report will be looked upon and incorporated into the national policy framework. He also informed that the centre would request the States to hold similar workshops at the city level for greater participation.
A key point that emerged from the workshop is that the onus of participation does not lie just on the people/ community, but across different stakeholders. Moreover, the participation would take different forms when it comes to sanitation or solid waste management – the two main components under SBM.
As per the report, some of the key recommendations for scaling up citizen participation in urban sanitation include the following:
• Developing new set of rules/ norms at the community level, for engaging the community and inturn, taking the ownership in their development.
• Information, Education and Communication (IEC) for creating demand – this might require ‘triggering tools’, especially in ecosystems where sanitation does not rank high. Triggering may also be needed for Governments across different departments;
• IEC/messaging from different sectors – media, Government, religious leaders, community institutions, thought leaders and key influences.
• Extension workers from the health department, school children and community volunteers, NGOs could be a possible implementing partner, with Government enabling and supporting the process.
• Community expectations should be understood and met at the beginning so as to sustain participation
• Positive reinforcement through awards, payments for sustained service.
• Participation in planning and design (all stages including type of facilities, emptying/ collecting services, location, direction, colour of toilet seat), including the informal sector and the field employees/garbage workers in designing systems.
• Engagement of community in decision-making processes.
• A mix of short-term and long-term initiatives – Short-term initiatives with long-term goals.