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  • Author: Shubhagato Dasgupta, Neha Agarwal, Anindita Mukherjee
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: As per the National Sample Survey 2018, nearly 60% of urban India relies on On-Site Sanitation (OSS) systems, like septic tanks and leaching pits, for the management of faecal waste. Augmentation of toilet access over the last five years under the Swachh Bharat Mission has only served to entrench this dependence, despite a push for centralized sewerage systems underwritten by schemes like AMRUT in Class I cities during the same period. Notwithstanding their scale and criticality to public health outcomes, OSS systems are poorly regulated and consequently ill-constructed in India. Therefore, it is vital to address the deficiencies in the downstream sanitation service chain beyond the toilet – beginning with the OSS system - to ensure that India meets its targets toward providing ‘Safely Managed Sanitation Services’ under the Sustainable Development Goal 6. The present study is a novel attempt to systematically analyse the state of OSS in urban India through a sample survey of 3000 households and more than 50 key informant-interviews across ten cities in four states. It shows that septic tanks, confused in common parlance and practice for a septic tank system, comprise the majority of all OSS systems at over 90%. However, in meeting household-level preferences, these systems exhibit variations along each of the principal design parameters, which cumulatively result in less than 2% of all surveyed septic tanks meeting the major requirements of the national governing standards. It finds OSS fraught with several compelling needs, including the inefficacy of septic tanks as primary treatment units, the lack of secondary treatment and safe disposal of pathogenic effluent, their delayed maintenance, and the lack of greywater management. In systematically identifying these issues, the report also recommends interventions in design, planning, and governance for safer and more sustainable on-site sanitation.
  • Topic: Water, Infrastructure, Urban, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Sanjana Malhotra
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban (SBM-U) is the Government of India’s (GoI) flagship programme targeting universal sanitation coverage in urban areas. Using government data, this brief reports on: Allocations, releases, and expenditures, State-wise and component wise trends in releases, Progress on toilets built, Progress on Solid Waste Management (SWM), and Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
  • Topic: Government, Infrastructure, Budget, Urban, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The event was organised as a part of ‘Dialogues on Sanitation’ series and specifically focused on the legal and regulatory regime pertaining to urban sanitation. The event brought together senior policymakers, city and state level implementers, technocrats, members of the civil society and legal experts to brainstorm towards bettering the regulatory regime on urban sanitation. Several aspects such as the role of law and regulation in Faecal Sludge Management, rights of sanitary workers, and public-private participation in Urban Sanitation were discussed during the course of the workshop.
  • Topic: Government, Law, Regulation, Urban, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Aditya Bhol, Shubhagato Dasgupta, Anindita Mukherjee, Aastha Jain
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The aim of this white paper is to explore the nuances of the prevalence of on-site sanitation systems in large and dense villages of India. Villages which have a population of 1000 persons or more and a density of greater than or equal to 400 persons per square kilometre were classified as large and dense villages in an earlier research – Towards a New Research and Policy Paradigm: An Analysis of the Sanitation Situation in Large Dense Villages. Stimulated by the findings revealing a preferential pattern for selection of on-site sanitation systems in these settlements, a primary household survey was conducted in large and dense villages from five Indian states - Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The survey also included qualitative components – stakeholder interviews and transect walks. In this study the survey data has been canvassed to explore the preference patterns of households and the factors guiding them in their decision making for the construction and maintenance of on-site sanitation systems. We find that these large and dense villages exhibit a higher preference for septic tanks over pits in all states except West Bengal where pits are preferred. A majority of households have reported their toilets were private constructions. We find the preference patterns are manifested not only by the choices of building septic tanks or pits but also through the large variations in their design and sizes which are influenced by socio-economic, technical and behavioural factors. We also find specific trends in demand for desludging services by households which are influenced by internal factors such as their social status and economic well-being and by external factors such as availability of mechanised operators or continued reliance on manual cleaning and their costs which cumulatively constitute the supply side of sanitation services.
  • Topic: Government, Water, Infrastructure, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Maanav Kumar, Parag Mohanty
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This study looks at the development of legal and regulatory framework governing drinking water and sanitation services in South Africa, England and United States. Around 780 million worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water and almost 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation according to data published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In such a situation, it becomes extremely important to study the legal and regulatory measures used internationally to control, manage and improve these resources. This study, covering South Africa, England and USA, sets out to identify, comprehend and analyze these legal frameworks and structures; examine the control exercised by national, state/provincial as well as municipal governments over water and sanitation-related questions; and the responsive measures being taken by them to preserve the water resources and their quality for future generations. The authors have observed that in presence of varying geographical, historical and social factors, while it would be impossible to compare each model against the other on the basis of merit, it becomes increasingly important for governments to balance the individual’s right to water with the planet’s ecological balance.
  • Topic: Environment, Government, Natural Resources, Water, Law, Regulation, Legislation, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Arkaja Singh
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Getting approvals under the various building regulations applicable to any particular jurisdiction is often the first step in construction and development. The Report ‘Building Regulations for Faecal Sludge Management: Review of Building Regulations from Indian States’ seeks to understand how these building regulations address on-site sanitation, what kind of standards do they impose on developers, and how well do they incorporate mechanisms to enforce these standards. In this report, we look at six states: Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. We also look at other standards that are applicable to on-site containment of Faecal sludge, and the manner in which these standards get incorporated into the building regulations. We find that context-specific attention to On-Site Containment of Faecal Sludge is only given in very few states, at least within our sample size. Usually, Building Regulations seem to rely on already existing standards such as the National Building Code, 2016. Additionally, the inconsistencies within the bye-laws exhibit a lack of understanding on the issue of FSM, amongst the policy-makers. As Faecal Sludge Management is an issue at the interface of environment, sanitation, and public health, a lack of convergence between various departments of the government is also noticed.
  • Topic: Environment, Government, Health, Regulation, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Ranjita Mohanty, Anju Dwivedi
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In the current sanitation policy discourse, cultural norms of purity and pollution are considered as major obstacles to toilet behaviour leading emphasis on behavioural change to orient people to use toilets. This study conducted in 21 slums in Angul and Dhenkanal, two small towns in Odisha, explores the sociocultural norms, behaviour and practices that influence sanitation in small towns. The study shows that culture doesn’t operate in isolation. Cultural interacts with multiple factors such as physical space in urban areas, resources people have to invest in toilet, essential infrastructure such as water, and cost effective technology that people can access. Culture influences these aspects of sanitation as well as gets influenced by them. The study highlights that people adapt in various degrees to their physical environment, thus compromising on cultural norms and beliefs but there are certain non-negotiable norms that are not compromised. This calls for decoding the cultural determinants of sanitation. The study suggest that for effective governance of sanitation, policies need to take the above mentioned factors into consideration, and create scope for understanding how culture works in a particular context and influences sanitation behaviour, choices, and practices of the poor. The study was conducted by the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, under the Scaling City Institutions for India (SCI-FI) Project on Urban Sanitation, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Topic: Social Policy, Ethnography, Urban, Sanitation, Pollution
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Shubhagato Dasgupta, Anju Dwivedi, Ambarish Karunanithi, Swati Dhiman, Deepti Raj, Neha Agarwal
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Odisha, while being among the relatively less urbanized states in the country, has registered a significantly high decadal urban growth rate of 27%, with the urban population growing from 37 million to 42 million during the decade 2001-2011. With the addition of small towns in the Census, the Government of Odisha has committed itself to address the challenges of poor sanitation and inadequate infrastructure related to sanitation in urban areas. The Government of Odisha has undertaken significant efforts towards improving urban sanitation in Odisha. As part of this effort, large-scale underground sewerage projects are being implemented in major cities. Keeping in view the challenges in executing underground sewerage projects and the high cost implications, over the last two years Housing and Urban Development Department, Government of Odisha with support of Scaling City Institutions for India: Sanitation (SCI-FI) team at the Centre for Policy Research have engaged in finding appropriate lower-cost, more easily implementable solutions for city-wide environmental sanitation in two small towns (Angul and Dhenkanal) and AMRUT Cities. The Odisha Urban Sanitation Policy and the Odisha Urban Sanitation Strategy released in late 2016 supported by Scaling City Institutions for India: Sanitation (SCI-FI) team at the Centre for Policy Research lay out the state strategy for sanitation emphasizing alternative solutions. This strategy is under active implementation currently and will ensure improved sanitation across our secondary and smaller cities. The ‘Training Manual for Non-Sewered Urban Sanitation’ was developed by the Scaling City Institutions for India: Sanitation (SCI-FI) team at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, with the able support of the Housing and Urban Development Department, Government of Odisha. This training manual is an essential instrument for furthering the goals of the Odisha Urban Sanitation Policy. It adapts most recent developments from across the globe, translating the lessons to make the training modules relevant in the context of Odisha. The subsections include: Module 1: Sanitation and Its Relevance; Module 2: Sanitation Flow Diagram; Module 3: Institutional and Policy Framework for Waste Water Management; Module 4: Urban Waste Water Management Systems; Module 5: Introduction to Faecal Sludge Management; Module 6: Containment and Handling of Faecal Sludge; Module 7: Treatment and Re-use/ Disposal of Faecal Sludge; Module 8: Operation and Maintenance of Faecal Sludge Treatment Plant; Module 9: Financial Management; Module 10: Community Engagement in Faecal Sludge Management; Module 11: Planning of Faecal Sludge Management System. This manual shall be a good resource to train all officials and other stakeholders involved in local service delivery to achieve the Odisha Urban Sanitation Policy targets.
  • Topic: Government, Training, Urban, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Arkaja Singh, Anindita Mukherjee
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Rural areas in India are experiencing significant gains in toilet coverage under the public funded programmes. Given the rate of ‘in-situ urbanization’ in a growing urban paradigm,the rural areas, in many parts, seems to emulate urban infrastructural preferences for their toilets. This may remain annulled due to non-availability of urban like service facilities in the rural context. The first part of the report focusses on establishes the urbanising characteristics of the Large and Dense Villages (LDVs) in India for usage of a specific typology of Sanitation Infrastructure which in turn links to the gaps in terms of service availability across the Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) value chain. In this context, in the second half of the report, the authors examine the various environmental and municipal laws applicable to Sanitation in rural areas. The report also sheds light on how the capacities of various institutions and legal instruments may be leveraged for graded interventions, ensuring safe and sustainable sanitation in rural areas in India.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Urbanization, Sanitation, Services
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Devashish Deshpande, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: This report is the culmination of a study conducted by the Accountability Initiative (AI) on Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin in 2017 on the request of the Udaipur district administration. The study understands the outcomes, and the processes, which led to Open Defecation Free status in selected Gram Panchayats.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Social Policy, Sanitation, Services
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Ankit Bhardwaj, Radhika Khosla
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Indian cities routinely make decisions on land use, housing, water, transport, economic growth and waste management that have implications for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Aligning these sectoral actions with climate goals involves understanding how infrastructural systems interact and how these choices address both development and climate objectives. City governments, as managers of these various infrastructure systems, can co-ordinate such decision-making. However, so far, this is largely ad hoc. We show how cities can use a ‘multiple objective’ approach to systematically examine, and make explicit, the linkages between local objectives, climate change mitigation and adaptation across their planning portfolio.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Water, Economic Growth, Urban, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Susan Esme Chaplin
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Even though sanitation was established as a separate human right by the United Nations General Assembly in January 2016, there has an been overall failure to reduce by half the proportion of the global population without access to basic sanitation (Millennium Development Goal 7, Target C). The Sustainable Development Goals have targets of gender equality, and the sustainable and universal provision of sanitation. Hopefully this will mean increased attention being given to the interests and well-being of poor women and girls living in slums and informal settlements who still lack access to adequate sanitation. The sanitation needs of women and girls are different from those of men and boys because of the former’s requirements of personal safety, dignity and menstrual hygiene; there is also the issue of the disproportionate burden of unpaid labour in managing household sanitary needs. These inequalities in urban sanitation access have a great impact on the health, well-being and socio-economic status of women and girls. These inequalities continue to exist despite efforts to make the needs of poor urban women and girls an integral part of sanitation policies and project planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Despite the emphasis of low-income countries on gender inequalities and sanitation in their development goals, programmes and projects, there is still only a limited number of qualitative and quantitative evidence-based research articles available focusing on gender and sanitation continue to be available. This number further decreases when it comes to gender and urban sanitation in the Global South. The grey literature is more numerous, particularly that commissioned by international development agencies and non-government organisations. Missing from much of this evidence-based and grey literature are studies on the broader social, economic and environmental impacts on poor women and girls of daily life without access to adequate and safe sanitation. This means that there is very little evidence-based literature which examines how these inequalities in sanitation access affect the lives of poor women and girls who have to queue each morning to use public toilets, or decide which open defecation (OD) sites are the least dangerous to use. Also missing are studies on the socio-economic, health and well-being impacts on and coping strategies of women working in the informal sector, poor women and girls with a disability, elderly women, adolescent girls and homeless women or those living on the pavements, who all lack access to adequate and safe sanitation facilities. These sanitation inequalities are exemplified by the time poor women and girls have to spend each morning queueing to use the toilet or getting up earlier to go with other women to OD sites. The necessity for such actions furthers gender inequalities because it puts at risk the time women have available for paid employment and other household responsibilities. Truelove (2011, p. 148) has argued that this ‘curtailment of opportunities (from income to education) due to water and sanitation activities reinforces a further level of physical insecurity and emotional violence, as some women become locked in a feedback cycle that brings them into distinct spaces and networks in order to access water and sanitation’. Women and girls living in slums often report instances of gender-based violence, shame and loss of dignity when walking along badly lit narrow paths to poorly designed and maintained community toilets or places of OD (Bapat & Agarwal 2003, Lennon 2011, McFarlane 2015, SHARE 2015 and Amnesty International 2010a). Phadke, Khan & Ranade (2011, p. 85), in a study of women and risk in Mumbai, have suggested that ‘[what] the lack of public toilets says is that women are less equal citizens than men and don’t deserve the same consideration’ in the design of urban spaces and the provision of urban infrastructures such as sanitation facilities. These gender inequalities continue to exist despite the use of the concept of ‘gender mainstreaming’ in water and sanitation projects since the mid-1990s, which was designed to make the needs of women and girls an integral part of sanitation policies and project planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Instead, gender has become a term that is widely used in project documents and organisational policy documents ‘but is little theorised and ill-defined in most projects and supporting policy documents’ (O‘Reilly 2010, p. 49). Gender, according to the Water and Sanitation Program (2010, p. 9): is a concept that refers to socially constructed roles, behaviour, activities and attributes that a particular society considers appropriate and ascribes to men and women. These distinct roles and the relations between them may give rise to gender inequalities where one group is systematically favoured and holds advantages over another. Inequality in the position of men and women can and has worked against societies.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Water, Urbanization, Women, Inequality, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Aditya Bhol
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Burgeoning urbanisation coupled with policy implementation gaps have resulted in growing disparities in the provision of public infrastructure services in urban areas of India. Apart from the impact of this, a household’s ability to procure basic amenities is also subject to its economic and social condition and the prevalence of social or spatial inequalities. This paper considers a basic household amenity – toilets – and using survey data gauges a household’s likelihood of owning one based on economic and social conditions and infrastructural parameters such as water supply and drainage using a binary multivariate logistic regression model. Horizontal or social group-based inequalities, which are often neglected in the sanitation discourse in India, are found to have a significant impact on access to toilets along with the existence of disparities based on consumption expenditure and drainage. The findings ascertain the existence of multidimensional disparities at the state level, refuting centralised programmes adopted to meet Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Urbanization, Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Susan Esme Chaplin, Reetika Kalita
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In Delhi, as in many other Indian cities, millions of men, women and children who live in slums and informal settlements haveto daily confront the lack of adequate sanitation facilities. These sanitation inequalities have a greater impact on the health and socioeconomic status of women and girls because of their greater social vulnerability to sexual violence; there is also the role played by biology in their need for privacy, safety and cleanliness. Men and boys, on the other hand, tend to use public urinals and open defecation (OD) sites generally more frequently, because their need for privacy during these sanitation activities is not such a cause for concern. In addition, women and girls are forced every day to risk using precarious spaces for their sanitation activities that may expose them to gender-based violence and harassment and not satisfy their biological and socio-cultural needs. These urban sanitation inequalities also negatively impact the time women have available for paid employment as well as their daily domestic responsibilities, as they have to spend each morning queuing for toilets or getting up earlier to go with other women to OD sites. For adolescent girls this can often mean being late for school, which threatens their education and future life choices. India failed to meet Millennium Development Goal No. 7 (adopted by the United Nations in 2000) relating to halving the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation. In terms of toilet usage across India, the Census 2011 found that 81 percent of urban households had a private toilet or latrine. But when it came to slum households, only 66 percent had a toilet, meaning that 34 percent had to either use a community or public toilet or resort to OD (Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation & National Buildings Organisations 2013, p. 60). In reality, there are an estimated 41 million urban dwellers still practising OD because of a lack of access to improved sanitation (WaterAid 2016). OD is a compulsion, not a choice, and creates particular risks and imposes a variety of harms upon women and children that men and boys do not suffer. Who or what is responsible for such socioeconomic consequences of the lack of adequate sanitation infrastructure in Indian cities which perpetuate gender inequalities? How do harms like gender-based violence impact the everyday lives of women and girls living in slums in particular? This project report examines these issues using the notion of infrastructural violence and then examines the harms and suffering caused by a lack of sanitation infrastructure in two long-established localities in Delhi: Mangolpuri and Kusumpur Pahari. Mangolpuri is a resettlement colony in the northwest region of Delhi with an estimated population of more than 350,000. It is interspersed with eight JJCs clusters of varying sizes. Kusumpur Pahari is located in the heart of south Delhi, near Jawaharlal Nehru University, and now has five blocks of JJCs and an estimated population of nearly 50,000.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, Health, Children, Women, Income Inequality, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Over the past four years, the national policy environment and institutional response to sanitation have undergone a substantial change. The launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) have catapulted sanitation into the league of priority sectors. In the backdrop of such developments, Housing and Urban Development Department under the Government of Odisha sought to revise the Urban Sanitation Strategy 2011 with the able support from the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The revised Odisha Urban Sanitation Strategy 2017 and Odisha Urban Sanitation Policy 2017 make crucial strides towards the achievement of a Clean Odisha. The purview of the strategy has been expanded to address gaps in the entire sanitation value chain for the management of not only solid waste, but also liquid waste including faecal sludge/septage and menstrual hygiene. The revised strategy is grounded in the principles that have underpinned the Odisha government's efforts so far to provide the people with equitable and safe access to sanitation, along with establishing the most advanced sanitation infrastructure. Over the next ten years, concerned departments will work towards six objectives: (a) achieving open defecation free and (b) open discharge free urban areas; (c) effectively managing and treating solid waste; (d) ensuring that sewage, (e) septage/faecal sludge and liquid waste are safely treated and disposed; and (f) ensuring safety guidelines are followed in physical handling and management of waste. In addition, providing women and girls with safe access to menstrual hygiene has also been included as an objective in the revised strategy.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Infrastructure, Governance, Public Policy, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia