The focus on this last e-debate is on whether local governments will or will not be able to generate enough resources to meet their policy obligations for water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools.
Under genuine decentralization, local government can meet their policy obligations says Senior Programme Officer Dr. V. Kurian Baby in his opening argument. Ex-national coordinator Sanitation & Hygiene from UNICEF India Sumita Ganguly takes the opposite position, arguing that local government will not prioritize WASH in schools in a resource competitive environment.
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 , 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
 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
The Suchitwa (Sanitation) Mission is one of the initiators of the first social reality show in India. Called the Green Kerala Express, this daily 30 minute interactive show, starting in February 2010, will focus on sustainable development models developed by the local self-governments. The local government authorities (panchayats) will be evaluated based on their performance in sectors like water and land management, sanitation, environment, health, energy, social security, women’s empowerment, education, agriculture, food security etc.
The invitation to join the competition is open to all panchayats and they can apply with a detailed profoma and also a five minute video on their achievements. A technical jury will evaluate their work by assigning marks based on profoma and video and will shortlist 150 panchayats for the first round. Representatives from the selected panchayats will be invited to present their models in front of the jury and audience. A two-member anchor team will be leading the show. There will be interactive sessions, presentation of counter videos from Panchayaths and questions from jury and audience. One Panchayat will be short listed from each district, along with Municipalities and Corporations. In the final round the show will go into details of activities in various developmental sectors and panchayats will be evaluated and graded according. One panchayat, one Municipality and one Corporation will be selected as final winners.
Each episode will have the following additional features.
1. Every week special awards will be given to a green hero/green idea/green technology/green institutions/given school.
2. Every episode will have a citizen’s report, which will depict unknown facets of Kerala.
3. Every episode will have messages on social awareness.
The basic format will be that of a travelogue and thus it differs from conventional reality shows. Two anchors-male and female-will travel through the breadth and length of the state depicting the green history of the state as its evolves. Episodes will be posted on a web portal.
SMS voting will be included to ensure the participation of viewers.
Local leaders have asked the local government ministry to speed up the urbanisation of towns. Through their umbrella organisation, the Urban Authorities Association of Uganda, they pointed out that it would be more expensive for the Government to rebuild or renew messed up towns.
(…) In a six-page statement, Kabuye noted: “Many towns continue to degenerate with squalid conditions characterised by slums, poor infrastructural, sanitation and waste management mechanisms.” (…)
Federal government has lamented the abysmal state of affairs regarding the implementation of sanitation projects by the lower tiers of government, saying such a situation was constituting a major draw-back to the national aspiration to achieve a clean and healthy environment.
Minister of Environment, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs Halima Tayo Alao, made the federal government’s position known on Friday, in an interview shortly after the commemoration of the national environmental sanitation day in Abuja. (…)