Reading ICAI’s review of DFID WASH results

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI), UK's aid watch dog, today, released its review of DFID's programming and results in water sanitation and hygiene (WASH). - In this impact review, they take a close look at the results DFID reported in its 2015 Annual Report; results that cost £ 713 million between 2010 - 2014. Do …

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The false dichotomy amongst ‘sanitation for all’ advocates

(di·chot·o·my  noun: a difference between two opposite things : a division into two opposite groups) ** A good way of blocking progress in an argument is to present two aspects of a whole as a dichotomy. The sanitation debate, in recent years, has suffered from a seemingly irreconcilable dichotomy when it comes to identifying the …

How Bharat squats

In this column for livemint, I disagree that in our sanitation policy, all we need to worry is about behaviour change communication. If we dont get our infrastructure right, little else is going to make sense. Many other poorer countries may have succeeded with little funds and pit-latrines, but the same has not worked for India …

Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan: beyond the hype

In my latest livemint article, I write about Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) which is the new avataar of the Total Sanitation Campaign...those who expected a clear expression of policy-intent and innovative implementation strategies are probably disappointed with the end-product. The new scheme does little by way of increasing the government’s financial commitment on the ground; …

Waking up to shit

An international emergency, killing millions every year from among the 2.6 bn people worldwide who dont have access to toilets. The story here in The Guardian, that of Liberia and its sanitation champion, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, none other than the President herself.She has no doubt how critical sanitation is......Half the hospital beds in sub-Saharan Africa are …

Toilets for all

Could he (Union Rural Development Minister, Jairam Ramesh) name one area where individual contribution would make a difference? His answer is surprising: toilets.“To my mind, the single biggest issue that we face is sanitation,” he says. “Fifty-eight per cent of all open defecations in the world are in India. Fifty to seventy-five per cent of …

The great sanitation stink

Recently, addressing a workshop of state secretaries in-charge of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, Jairam Ramesh​, the minister for rural development, termed it a shame that 58% of the world’s open defecation happens in India. Anyone who has worked on sanitation would take this figure with a pinch of salt, knowing how misleading sanitation coverage …