Goals & Objectives

The stated Advocacy goal of Watershed India

The two district governments collector/magistrate, in Odisha and Bihar, recognize the relevance of improved capacities of local governments (Gram Panchayat) to plan and allocate resources, to build their capacities for managing develop a plan and commit funds to strengthen capacities of local governments (gram panchayats) on water, sanitation, and water security initiatives, by December 2020

Objectives

  • The Gram Panchayats demand for capacity building initiatives for proper planning, implementation and post-construction support for water and sanitation services and water security planning by July 2020
  • The District Collectors acknowledges the need to invest in and allocates existing resources towards building capacities of GPs for planning and implementation of water and sanitation programmes by July 2020
  • The respective local governments (GPs) recognize the significance of planning for water security and include its elements in their annual development plans (GPDP) and also initiate planning to build capacities within the GPs about this, by July by 2020

In order to achieve the above objectives, the Watershed project provides support to build capacities (of landscape partners, local institutions and CSOs) to execute the advocacy and influencing efforts for sustainable WASH services, water security planning, and budget tracking, with updated information and evidence-based engagement.

Project Flowchart

Community Participation:

  • More involved
  • More aware of gaps in WASH service delivery
  • Able to prioritise base on needs
  • Identify disparties in service delivery

Community Empowerment:

  • Empowered with evidence to demand accountability and influence decisions
  • Informed about resource allocations for WASH and skills to access resources
  • Understand linkages between WASH and water security and locate local issues for redressal 

Community Institution Strengthened:

  • Village institutions (VWSC) & Strengthned (Gram Panchayat)
  • Platforms for dialogue and negotiation with services providers created
A flowchart showing the process and objectives of the Watershed India program

Demographic and socio-economic status of the landscape areas

As per the Census of India 2011, Ganjam district in the State of Odisha has a total rural population of 27,61,030 and urban population of 7,68,001. The district comprises of 3195 villages in 22 Blocks. Sex ratio is 50:50. The Watershed project is operational in one Chhatrapur Block, with 17 Gram Panchayats and 80 villages. Prominent social categories are Scheduled Castes (34,521) and Scheduled Tribe (502).

Although reported to have a __90%___ coverage of safe water, the state of Odisha was rated among the five poorly performing States in India for sanitation coverage until 2019. As per the 2012 baseline survey of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, 81.5 lakh households lacked toilets in the state. Until 2018, 41% of households are reported to have toilet coverage.

As per the Census of India 2011, Samastipur has a total rural population of 4,113,769 and urban population of 147,797. The state of Bihar has performed poorly on sanitation. As per 2012 Baseline survey done by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, 16.81 million households lacked toilets.


The Wetlands in the two landscapes

The blog on IWRM has been written by WISA talks about the role of healthy and functioning wetland ecosystems in storing water and regulating quantity as well as quality of water. It highlights the case of Tampara wetlands in Ganjam district in this blog. It reiterates the fact that water supply programmes need to be in sync with water resources management.

 

Consortium Partners

1. Wetlands International South Asia (WISA) is the lead partner in the Watershed India project. It is responsible for implementation, providing scientific and technical support for use and conservation of wetlands. In the consortium, WISA coordinates project implementation including direct liaison with partners and content support on water security elements.


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2. IRC is the knowledge development partner responsible for providing content and capacity development support on implementation elements related to sustainable WASH services, particularly WASH budgets and public finances.


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3. Akvo Foundation leads monitoring, evaluation and learning activities for the project. Akvo introduced technology solutions in the project to capture project data and information sharing. It is also responsible for supporting landscape partners in their efforts towards process documentation and to generate reliable evidence for advocacy.


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Landscape Partners

The Landscape partners are responsible for facilitating capacity building meetings for local CSOs on WASH and water security awareness and planning and village-level discussion for community to develop inclusive development plans.

1. Gram Uthhan is a non-profit organisation that works with underprivileged groups on issues such as sustainable livelihood development, promotion of microenterprise, financial inclusion, WASH, etc. In the Watershed project, Gram Uthan is the field implementation partner working in Odisha.


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2. Nidan works on empowerment of the poor and marginalized groups through community services and their pro-poor participative interventions. Nidan is the implementing partner for Watershed project in Bihar.


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Technical Partners

1. Centre for Budgetary Governance and Accountability (CBGA) is an independent non-profit organisation that works on enhancing transparency and accountability in governance through rigorous analysis of policies and budgets. In the Watershed project, CBGA and IRC have facilitated workshops and supported landscape partners on budget tracking and WASH financing.


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2. Arid Communities and Technologies (ACT) is a non- profit organization that aims to strengthen the livelihoods of communities in arid and semi-arid regions by resolving ecological constraints through access to technological and institutional solutions. In Watershed project, ACT facilitated workshops for local CSOs including landscape partners on developing sustainable water security plans.


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Administrative structure - Government

In India, planning and execution of WASH and WRM is done at several levels and hierarchies. At the National level, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, frames the central policies, guidelines and frameworks, which are then adapted by the States. The State governments also have policies and programmes pertaining to the local needs. Funds are allocated by the Centre and the States in their annual budgets and the execution is done by the respective District, Block and local governments.


These working papers by IRC provide details about the institutional delivery of water and sanitation services Samastipur-Bihar and Ganjam-Odisha.

  • Central/Union level: Ministry of Jalshakti (created in 2019 by merging two ministries, one being the erstwhile Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, as mentioned in the paper) Broadly the Ministry is responsible for water-related issues, flagship initiative of  the Government of India to clean river Ganga and provide clean drinking water.
  • State level: Departments of Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water in Odisha and Bihar, and State Water and Sanitation Mission
  • District level: District Water and Sanitation Committee, District Rural Development agency, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS in Odisha) and Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED in Bihar)
  • Block level: Block Development Office, Office of Junior Engineer-RWSS and Office of Junior Engineer - PHED in Odisha and Bihar
  • Village level Gram Panchayat: Village Water and Sanitation Committee in Odisha and Ward Kriyanvayan Samiti, Jeevika-SHGs in Bihar.

Ministries and Departments

  • Ministry of Jalshakti
    Broadly the Ministry is responsible for water-related issues, flagship initiative of  the Government of India to clean river Ganga and provide clean drinking water. Website: jalshakti-ddws.gov.in
  • Department of Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water -Odisha
    Website: odishapanchayat.gov.in
  • Rural Water and Sanitation Supply
  • Department of Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water -Bihar
    The department is responsible for economic development and social justice through its programs on wage employment, development of rural infrastructure, etc.
    Website: samastipur.nic.in
  • Public Health and Engineering Department-Bihar
    PHED is responsible for supply of safe drinking water to rural areas and development of sanitation facilities in Bihar.
    Website: phed.bih.nic.in
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
    Website: parivesh.nic.in
  • Central Water Commission
    Website: cwc.gov.in
  • Central Ground Water Board
    Website: cgwb.gov.in
  • State Wetland Authority - Odisha and Bihar

Context analysis summarises the key anticipated challenges to achieving national WASH targets, map out existing government programs, institutions for WASH-WRM, identify different stakeholders and their role (govt, private, CSOs) in the Watershed project. It also looked at factors that will effect the success of the project.

Presentation on Context analysis


This briefing paper by WISA highlights the need to shift focus towards WASH service delivery in the wider context of water security and explore an  integrated approach to sustain WASH services in the long run. It highlights the case from Samastipur district, one of the Watershed India project location to capture evidence of such interlinkages within WASH and Water resources sector.

Enablers: Progressive Policies, Good political climate / Political will, Resources allocated for WASH, Defined Institutional structures & arrangements, Information about progress in public domain and local institutions to play a more prominent role.

National Policies

National Rural Drinking Water Mission

Targets for 100% coverage with piped water supply by 2022, 80% household connections

  • Resources - Higher devolution in of untied funds to States for WATSAN (2015-16 to 2019-20) in Fourteenth Finance Commission (14th FC)
  • Institutional structures - 100 percent of the rural drinking water sources and systems managed by local Institutions (Gram Panchayats & communities)
Swacchh Bharat Mission - Gramin (SBM-G)
  • Targets - construction and use of individual, community/ public toilets & behaviour change
  • Resources – Higher devolution of funds and political priority for sanitation
Rural Sanitation Policy (2019-2029)
  • Targets- Sustaining the gains of the SBM-G, access to safely managed sanitation for all rural Indians; Implementation of Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) in rural areas
  • Resources –Convergence of resources between schemes cutting across rural development,employment, livelihood, etc.; Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) through grant allocation for GPs and Fifteenth Finance Commission funds post 2020 and funds devolved to PRIs under various schemes by the state government and State Finance Commissions

State Policies

Odisha
  • Targets - State targets for National policies and Basudha scheme (Provide safe water for drinking and domestic needs (wherever there is a shortage), on a sustainable basis)
  • Resources – Allocations for GPs and up to 10% for Maintenance
    State governments to supplement national budgets for WATSAN in State Finance Commission (SFC)
  • Institutions - Odisha State Water and Sanitation Mission (OSWSM) in Department of Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water
Bihar
1. Lohiya Swachh Bihar Abhiyan
  • Targets - cover specific households that are not eligible for government incentives (subsidy) for toilet construction under SBM (G).

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2. Saat Nischay Program includes the follwing two schemes related to WASH and WRM:
  • Targets - Mukhyamantri Gramin Gali-Nali Pakkikaran Nishchay Yojana intends to create a network of drainage and by-lanes in villages and habitations in the rural areas. And Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal aims to provide clean drinking water through piped supply to every household in rural area through community participation by 2019-2020.
  • Resources - funded by State Government as well as from the 14th Finance Commision and 5th State Finance Commission grants for GPs. A large proportion of these grants for GPs in Bihar is getting channeled towards the water and sanitation schemes under Saat Nischay Program
3. Saat Nischay (Seven Commitments) Program
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Dated information, Weak information channels, Weak delivery systems, Adequate / designated Human resources for execution, Designated Budgets for major (and minor) maintenance and water quality improvements and Low ownership & participation of community.


Secondary data ( IRC/WISA)

Purpose

Bridge the data gaps from the secondary review and collate additional information in the Village-level information sheets for 10 villages in Odisha and 10 villages in Bihar. These village-level  information sheets provided basic information about demographic, socio-economic background and status of WASH and WRM infrastructure and services for each landscape village. 

Secondary data review to collect existing information about WASH and WRM in landscape villages pointed to data gaps. Only limited information about demographics was available. It also helped assess major state and national policies related to WASH-WRM and institutional structure of respective government  departments -networks.

Methodology

Methodology:. (supported / coordinated by Watershed consortium partners). Village information sheets were collated by triangulating  information collected through formal and informal methods of enquiry using the following three tools: 


  1. Problem-tree analysis
    Problem-tree analysis to Deconstruct key challenges for WASH and WRM in the villages, the key emerging issues,  the causes and the factors that contribute to the issue, interlinkages between factors and how this problem branches out into a set of consequences.
    Source: https://www.odi.org/publications/5258-planning-tools-problem-tree-analysis
  2. Community Focus Group Discussions
    FGDs with community members, disadvantaged groups and village leaders to understand the challenges faced in service delivery, track  the historical evolution of water resource management, identify the challenges in sanitation The inquiry also focussed on understanding the community’s perception about linkages between WASH-WRM, community-level service provider responsible for maintenance of water sources and sanitation coverage,  components of village-level water security and sanitation plans, actions taken by village-level institutions towards fulfilments of these plans and leveraging of government schemes towards these plans. 
    Source: https://www.epiresult.com/methods/focus-group-discussions-–-a-step-by-step-guide/
  3. Participatory Rural Appraisal
    In the PRA, exercise the entire community traversed their villages to note the status of their WASH infrastructure and translate the information into hand drawn maps which formed the basis of discussions. The community used their observations to understand and assess existing status of WASH services and identify the possible WRM gaps.  The joint exercise resulted in hand-drawn village-level resource and social maps i.e. various water and sanitation infrastructure resources, their functional status and distribution across the village in terms of served and unserved populations.It was a good opportunity to involve relevant stakeholders to initiate a discussion on  the process of participative planning for village resources. 
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_rural_appraisal
  4. Baseline mapping survey of WASH services and Water security

Key issues identified in village information sheet

Purpose: Bridge the data gaps from the secondary review and collate additional information in the Village-level information sheets for 10 villages in Odisha and 10 villages in Bihar. These village-level  information sheets provided basic information about demographic, socio-economic background and status of WASH and WRM infrastructure and services for each landscape village. 

Secondary data review to collect existing information about WASH and WRM in landscape villages pointed to data gaps. Only limited information about demographics was available. It also helped assess major state and national policies related to WASH-WRM and institutional structure of respective government  departments -networks.

Methodology:. (supported / coordinated by Watershed consortium partners). Village information sheets were collated by triangulating  information collected through formal and informal methods of enquiry using the following three tools: 


  1. Problem-tree analysis
    Problem-tree analysis to Deconstruct key challenges for WASH and WRM in the villages, the key emerging issues,  the causes and the factors that contribute to the issue, interlinkages between factors and how this problem branches out into a set of consequences.
    Source: https://www.odi.org/publications/5258-planning-tools-problem-tree-analysis
  2. Community Focus Group Discussions
    FGDs with community members, disadvantaged groups and village leaders to understand the challenges faced in service delivery, track  the historical evolution of water resource management, identify the challenges in sanitation The inquiry also focussed on understanding the community’s perception about linkages between WASH-WRM, community-level service provider responsible for maintenance of water sources and sanitation coverage,  components of village-level water security and sanitation plans, actions taken by village-level institutions towards fulfilments of these plans and leveraging of government schemes towards these plans. 
    Source: https://www.epiresult.com/methods/focus-group-discussions-–-a-step-by-step-guide/
  3. Participatory Rural Appraisal
    In the PRA, exercise the entire community traversed their villages to note the status of their WASH infrastructure and translate the information into hand drawn maps which formed the basis of discussions. The community used their observations to understand and assess existing status of WASH services and identify the possible WRM gaps.  The joint exercise resulted in hand-drawn village-level resource and social maps i.e. various water and sanitation infrastructure resources, their functional status and distribution across the village in terms of served and unserved populations.It was a good opportunity to involve relevant stakeholders to initiate a discussion on  the process of participative planning for village resources. 
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_rural_appraisal
  4. Baseline mapping survey of WASH services and Water security

Key issues identified in village information sheet:

  • Status on the functionality of water sources which helped the community identify the focus on additional hardware installation than operation & maintenance of existing infrastructure
  • evidence gaps for the community to have a dialogue with Panchayat members and further negotiate with higher Block administration
  • Identified the gaps in the planning process where the community priorities  are adequately represented and are consistent with the ground reality
  • Need to  improve village-level institutions in order to improve service delivery of WASH

Village Information Sheets

Ganjam District-Odisha
Gram Panchayat Village Data
Kanamana
Arjapali
Podapaddar
Augustinugaon
Gadala Naidupalal

 

Village Information Sheets- Samastipur District, Bihar
Gram Panchayat Village Data
Barbatta
Rupauli Buzurg
Ujiarpur
Raipur
Bhagwanpur Kamla

Purpose

Baseline mapping survey was done to assist the community in preparing evidence for advocacy. The following were the key objectives:

  • Validate / support the issues / facts already known  to the community and ratified during the PRA exercise
  • Generate real-time status and distribution of WASH services and infrastructure in the villages
  • Highlight the impact of WASH infrastructure and services on WRM thereby ascertain the linkages between WASH-WRM.
  • Promote greater accountability and ownership of community representatives by involving them in data collection and set the stage for dialogue for advocacy.

Methodology and Location for Baseline Survey

In Odisha, the survey was conducted in 10 revenue villages (6,905 households) in 4 Gram Panchayats and in Bihar the survey was conducted 10 revenue villages (11,937 households) in 5 Gram Panchayats. 

The Household survey was a sample survey. Using systematic random sampling method, 364 households in Odisha and 406 households  in Bihar were surveyed. In addition to demographic profile and access to WASH services, the survey also enquired into  hygiene behaviour patterns and the family’s participation in village level institutions and government programmes.

The Water point survey was a census survey of all public waterpoints. The survey was designed to gather information about the SDG /JMP indicators and included key WASH  parameters i.e. status of WASH services and an understanding of WASH-WRM linkages. This survey was a 100 % mapping of all public drinking water sources  in the project sites.

Each surveyed water point was given a unique number based on administrative codes assigned by the Government of India to make this data comparable to existing government records, type and status of water source.  In Odisha, total 489  water points and 1011 water points in Bihar were surveyed.  Key information collected during the mapping survey included Water point access, quantity, quality, reliability and  WRM related indicators.


Who Conducted the Survey

A group of community youth and representatives from  Watershed landscape partners, conducted the surveys. Enumerators were trained on the data collection tools, field methodology and using apps, Akvo Flow and Akvo Caddisfly, for data collection and water quality testing in the field.


Key Issues Highlighted by the Survey

  • For the first time, Community was informed of the national standards of “functionality” of water points. It is a combination of coverage, safety, adequacy and reliability of water points. Insights from data informed the community to track their water sources on all the above components and realised the need to sustain the existing water sources than installation more water points.
  • In the water point mapping survey, each public water source was tested on four water quality parameters; Iron, coliform, pH and Electrical Conductivity (Salinity). Water source was classified as safe if it  conformed to the permissible limit as per the national standards.
  • Close to half the water sources were identified as unsafe. It helped clear community’s  perception about improved water sources such as handpumps /tap-water providing safe water.
  • It also convinced the community and its  leaders the need for regular water testing as a priority in the village plan.

Process

Data on WASH -WRM status and service delivery was analysed and presented in easy to understand color-coded charts and maps for dissemination and dialogue between community and duty-bearers . These insights supported interactions with the  community and local government representatives (Gram Panchayat-GP) members to collectively develop an understanding of their WASH-WRM situation and initiate a dialogue to specific priorities to be identified for  each village. 


This case study, explains the case of Bihar, that has remained India’s poorest state between 1998 and 1999 and between 2015 and 2016. Within the layers of poverty, the Dalit and Mahadalit families remain the most deprived and vulnerable communities. It shows how the Watershed project has been building capacities of the most deprived communities and CSOs in Barbatta village to advocate for their rights for better and holistic WASH services. This case study has been developed by Akvo Foundation.


Located along the eastern coast of India, Puruna Chhatrapur village in Ganjam district of Odisha is home to about 600 fisherfolk families. This case study shows how the Watershed project has built capacities of locals, resulting in renewed WASH priorities for the village, an increase in government funds, and the repair of handpumps and broken platforms. This case study has also been developed by Akvo Foundation.