India, Himachal Pradesh: benchmarking local government performance on rural sanitation

The Global Scaling Up Sanitation project of the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) has developed a performance monitoring and benchmarking model to strengthen outcome-based management of the rural sanitation sector in India. This model has been adopted by the Government of Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

A WSP learning note [1], published in April 2010, draws some preliminary lessons from using the benchmarking model:

  • Performance benchmarking enables districts to understand their performance and motivates them to improve. It helps to flag areas of strength, areas that need improvement, and linkages between them
  • Through performance benchmarking, inputs, outputs and processes can be linked to outcomes in monitoring rural sanitation sector performance in India
  • The use of performance benchmarking weighted scoring is designed to put heavier emphasis on, and therefore encourage, achievement of outcomes
  • Benchmarking should enable policy makers and nodal agencies to monitor performance on a rational basis and thereby channel resources and efforts on the basis of identified strengths and weaknesses
  • The comparison of performance provides an incentive to be on the “top of the league table”
  • Periodic monitoring helps to flag gaps in data accuracy and timeliness of data reporting
  • Benchmarking needs to be linked to an incentive in order to drive performance improvement

[1] Kumar, C.A. and Singh, U. (2010). Benchmarking local government performance on rural sanitation : learning from Himachal Pradesh, India. (WSP learning note). Washington, DC, USA, Water and Sanitation Program. 5 p. : 3 fig., 2 tab. Read the full note

Related web site: WSP – Global Scaling Up Sanitation

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