Participating in Government Programmes
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Participating in Government Programmes



Arghyam, a civil society organisation working on water issues since 2005, has participated in drinking water programmes involving State Governments since its inception, either directly or by ...

Arghyam, a civil society organisation working on water issues since 2005, has participated in drinking water programmes involving State Governments since its inception, either directly or by partnering with local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

This publication documents Arghyam's and its partners' collective experiences in participating in these Government programmes and puts forward key learnings and challenges.

The various programmes include - Sachethana, a school rooftop rainwater harvesting programme, and Suvarnajala, a flouride mitigation programme, both in Karnataka; Pani Thiye Panjo, a decentralised drinking water management programme in Gujarat; and Mazhapolima, an open-well recharge programme in Kerala.

Overall, Arghyam's experiences point out to the need to gravitate towards developing partnerships based on mutual respect. This means that Government and Civil Society collaboration in the programmes should be officially recognised and formalised, so that suggestions and key inputs get attention and are acted upon.

Further, focus on software activities such as capacity building of water users and institutions and increased civil society participation in such programmes, rather than on hardware/assets, will have better impact on improving the quality of implementation and ensuring transparency and accountability.



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Participating in Government Programmes Participating in Government Programmes Document Transcript

  • Participating in Government Programmes The Arghyam Experience
  • Content First Published by Arghyam (India) in 2010 Acknowledgements 5 Copyright©Arghyam All Rights Reserved Authored by Amitangshu Acharya, on behalf of Executive Summary 6 Grants Team, Arghyam, Bangalore Reference, partial reproduction and transmission by 1 Introduction 9 any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise are allowed if the copyright 1.1 Arghyam: A Profile 10 holder is acknowledged. Any commercial use of 1.2 Why Participate in Government Programmes? 11 this material requires express written consent from the copyright owners of the original material 1.3 Arghyam Participation in Government Programmes: A Profile 13 1.3.1 Suvarnajala, Karnataka 14 Further information on the contents of this document 1.3.2 Sachethana, Karnataka 18 & for a full list of publications please contact: 1.3.3 Pani Thiye Panjo, Gujarat 24 Grants Team, Arghyam 599, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar 1.3.4 Mazha Polima, Kerala 28 Bengaluru 560008, Karnataka, India Tel + 91 80 41698942 Fax + 91 80 41698943 Email / 2 Learning from Partnerships 32 2.1 Why collaborate? 32 2.2 Mapping Influence 35 Citation: Acharya 2008. 2.3 Adding Value to Government Programmes 40 Participating in Government Programmes: The Arghyam Experience, Learning Document Issue No.1, Bengaluru, India 3 Reflections and Way Ahead 46 Design by Kena Design, Print by Aakruthi design and print on Rendezvous Ultra White, 100% Recycled paper
  • 5 Acronyms and Abbreviations Acknowledgements ACT Arid Communities and Technologies This learning document is the end product of Information on Mazhapolima was provided by AMVS Abdasa Mahila Vikas Sangathan project that was coordinated and anchored by the Manohar Rao, Arghyam and P.K Kurian ex Team Grants Team at Arghyam. It comprised of a series Leader, Mazha Polima, Thrissur. Jos Raphael and ARWSP Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme of stakeholder discussions. Such were mostly his team members at Mazhapolima provided BIRD-K BAIF Institute for Rural Development, Karnataka individual and occasionally institutional in nature. additional support. BPL Below Poverty Line CBO Community Based Organisation A rich amount of inputs came from stakeholders Arghyam provided all the financial and intellectual in Karnataka. Dr. G.N.S Reddy, Vice President & inputs required for publishing this learning document. GAA German Agro Action K. Mallikarjunappa, Chief Programme Co-ordinator GoK Government of Karnataka (BIRD-K), Tumkur, Karnataka who not only provided Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson and Ravi Narayanan GoK Government of Kerala detailed information on their learning and (C.B.E), Advisor, provided vital feedback, which GP Gram Panchayat innovations in both Sachethana and Suvarnajala helped to improve the quality of the document. programmes but also shared their experience of K. Nagasreenivas, Manager, Urban and Suresh Babu, IEC Information, Education, Communication implementing the same and issues in programme Manager, Advocacy were instrumental with their IDRC International Development Research Centre delivery architecture. Vishwanath Srikantaiah, support and feedback. KFFFT Kutch Fodder Fruit & Forest Trust Advisor, Arghyam, shared his experience of MDG’s Millennium Development Goals Sachethana and Suvarnajala, which allowed a closer Rahul Bakare, Director, Grants was extremely look at these two from various lenses. supportive and encouraging. He made sure that MKT Manav Kalyan Trust both human and financial resources were made MMCU Mazhapolima Monitoring & Coordination Unit Inputs on Suvarnajala came largely from Manohar available for publishing this document. MoU Memorandum of Understanding Rao and Sunita Nadhamuni of Arghyam. Their long NGO Non Governmental Organisation term association with this programme yielded Kumkum Nadig of Kena Design, without whose help WATSAN Water and Sanitation quality information and insights. Learnings from the document wouldn’t look as good as it does now. Pani Thiye Panjo, Gujarat, were generated largely RDPR Rural Development & Panchayat Raj Department by Sabyasachi Das, CEO, Sahjeevan. He took great Last, but definitely not the least, Sunita Nadhamuni, RGRHCL Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Limited pains to provide information, even in the oddest who seeded the concept of this learning document RWH Rain Water Harvesting of hours. K. Nelson Royal, Arghyam helped in fine and was supportive through out the exercise. RTRWH Roof Top Rain Water Harvesting tuning this section and Dr. Yogesh Jadeja, ACT, Her meticulous review has enhanced the quality Gujarat helped demystify the technical processes. of this document. SDMC School Development and Management Committees SPV Special Purpose Vehicle VRTI Vivekanand Research and Training Institute WASMO Water and Sanitation Management Organisation ZP Zilla Panchayat
  • 7 Also, by supporting NGOs/CSOs and investing in However, the challenges faced by such partnerships Executive Summary developing their capacities, donor institutions are also immense. The fact that there is no clear policy helped to instil greater confidence in them. This from the Government that encourages programmes enhanced the organizations ability to articulate to engage with civil society puts the onus on the Onus of drinking water provision in independent programme Gujarat and lastly Mazha Polima, an open issues more confidently to the Government latter to prove its value in participating.Often, India has been vested largely with the State. Both well recharge programme in Kerala. This document related to project conceptualisation and civil society is perceived more as service delivery Union and State Governments have been extending delineates key learnings that resulted from each. implementation. Analysis also reveals that agencies in such partnerships and their function policy, technological and financial support for donor promoted activities such as collecting, of ensuring transparency and accountability gets implementing rural water supply schemes. By the It is generally acknowledged that Civil Society collating and analysing data for decision making, downplayed. Absence of legitimacy also leads to 10th plan, an estimated total of Rs.1,105 billion participation in Government programmes addresses organizing exchange and exposure, developing confusion and affects programme implementation. had been spent on providing drinking water. Yet, issues of equity and marginalization and thereby and designing systems to track progress, all at around the same time 2.17 lakh habitations had enables universalization of access. It also generates added significant value to enhance transparency Therefore learnings from this study points out water quality problems and did not have a safe community ownership over created assets and and efficiency of programme delivery. Most the need for participation to gravitate towards drinking water source. Huge public expenditure did ensures sustained management. Apart from the importantly, since collaborations operate in a partnerships based on mutual respect. This in turn not necessarily lead to significant improvement above-mentioned, the Arghyam experience reveals universe of unequal power relations, proactive requires formalizing of such collaboration. Unless in provision of safe water. Given that 170 million that technical innovations which enhanced efficiency donor involvement creates more dialogic space there is official recognition of Government and civil Indians still do not have access to safe water, the of drinking water supply and storage assets seems for civil society, thereby restoring the balance society collaboration, suggestions and key inputs speed, scope and scale of service delivery and its to have been a significant value add. Innovations to some extent. do not get their due attention and rarely get acted upon. sustainability issues needed urgent attention. Hence, in this domain also generated quick buy in and Photo Credit: Mazhapolima Team increasingly Government programmes are opening consequent support. Approaching a problem with up to the idea of collaborating with civil society multipronged strategies was another. Such an organisations. Conversely, realising that optimising approach allowed greater flexibility to adapt to the efficiency of State funded programmes is a better local contexts of demand and capacity. Government bet to reach out to larger sections of society, civil programmes also seem to benefit when Civil Society society organizations are also attempting to work Organizations manage to (a) make innovations with Government institutions and programmes. cost effective and (b) simplify local management processes of created assets. Arghyam, a non profit foundation based in Bangalore has been working solely on water issues In the architecture and mechanics of collaboration, since 2005. In an effort to achieve its vision of the role of donor organisations emerged as vital. ensuring safe, sustainable water for all, it has While the Government focus was primarily on participated in several Government programmes. creating assets (hardware), Arghyam supported Over the last 5 years, Arghyam has collaborated NGOs concentrated more on social/institutional in four specific Government programmes. Namely, mobilization and awareness building. In due time, Suvarnajala, a school roof top rain water harvesting these projects helped illustrate the importance of programme in Karnataka; Sachethana, a fluoride software activities and the Government recognized Dr.V. Kurien Baby, Former District Collector,Thrissur,Kerala mitigation programme in Karnataka; Pani Thiye the same by allocating finances to support software addressing a local gathering on the merits of Mazha Polima Panjo, a decentralized drinking water management activities in the succeeding stages.
  • 9 The climate change context has made such launched on 25th December 2002 ushered in the 1 Introduction predictions more real than ever before. paradigm change. There was a perceptible shift in policy from supply driven to demand driven and The World Bank Report was a watershed in such a centralized to decentralized modes of management Onus of drinking water provision in independent By the 10th plan, an estimated total of Rs.1, context. Not only did it focus on need to reform the and implementation. India has been vested largely with the State. 105 billion had been spent on providing drinking State modus operandi in water supply, it also argued The Constitution of India in Article 47 clearly water 1. Yet, at around the same time 2.17 lakh for collaborations and partnerships for increased Since water is on the State List (List-III), the primary mentions that the State has to raise “the level of habitations had water quality problems and did efficiency. Moreover, successful community based responsibility of providing drinking water facilities nutrition and the standard of living of its people” not have a safe drinking water source2. Hence, water management as witnessed in Ralegaon Siddhi, in the country rests with State Governments. Hence, and lists “improvement of public health as among huge public expenditure did not necessarily lead to Hivre Bazaar, Hebbali, et al helped to create space a number of programmes modelled on the same lines its primary duties”. This has automatically entailed significant improvement in provision of safe water. for an alternate water management paradigm with as Swajaldhara have been executed at the State direct State intervention in providing safe drinking Though resources are still being invested to reach a focus on decentralization and application of Level. These include the Jalanidhi Programme in water to its citizens. Various State and Centre uncovered habitations, older “covered” ones keeps principles of subsidiarity. Kerala, Jalswarajya Project in Maharashtra, Swajal aided programmes have mobilized significant dropping off the list intermittently3. Moreover, while Project in Uttarakhand et al. While most of these resources for this. Through a Centrally Sponsored source security was taken for granted earlier, in Successive policies seem to have moved in favour were possible through external funding from the Scheme – the Accelerated Rural Water Supply 1999 it too became unreliable. The joint World Bank of such recommendations. The National Water World Bank, UNICEF, et al various State departments Programme (ARWSP) – the Union Government and Government of India review of water resource Policy, 2002, in its section on Participatory Approach launched their own programmes financed through has provided funds to State Governments for management in India grimly concluded that water to Water Resources Management 4, articulates State budgets. This includes the Sachethana and implementing rural water supply schemes. availability in India was “fragile and finite”. clearly that “Management of Water Resources… Suvarnajala Programme aimed at providing safe should incorporate a participatory approach; water to rural populations in Karnataka and the Photo Credit: Sahjeevan by involving not only the various Governmental recently launched Mazhapolima programme in Kerala. agencies but also the users and other stakeholders… in various aspects of planning, design, development The Approach Paper to the Eleventh Five Year Plan, and management of the water resources scheme”5. clearly spells out “ tackling of water quality problems With a commitment to meet the Millennium in 60,000 habitations affected by arsenic, salinity, Development Goals (Target 7C) and halve, by fluoride and nitrate by 2009” 7 as key goal. This 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable implies working on a mission mode and tapping into access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation6, expertise and resources that cuts across sectors. innovative programmes and projects were recognized Also, civil society is increasingly playing a key role as need of the hour. Increasingly, the water sector in participating in State programmes and providing opened up to non State institutions and actors. valuable inputs. It is generally accepted that when The role of the State in water provision became taken on an equal footing, such participation helps more facilitative than regulatory. Swajaldhara, in optimizing public expenditure. 1 Khurana, I & Sen, R (2008) Drinking water quality in rural India: Issues and approaches. Background Paper, Water Aid, New Delhi 2 Rural Water Supply & Sanitation, Eleventh Five-Year Plan, Approach Paper, DDWS, New Delhi, pp 2 3 ibid 4 National Water Policy, 2002, New Delhi, pp5, Section 12 Drinking and Livestock water assets created under 5 ibid Pani Thiye Panjo Programme in Kachchh, Gujarat 6 With 1990 data as baseline 7 Rural Water Supply & Sanitation, Eleventh Five-Year Plan, Approach Paper, DDWS, New Delhi, pp
  • 11 1.1 Arghyam: A Profile 1.2 Why Participate in Government Programmes? Arghyam is a public charitable foundation setup with on subsidiarity (which signifies local management) Safe, sustainable water for all implies quality with Government in water and sanitation issues an endowment from Rohini Nilekani and working in and the effective use of technology as enabler. and scale. During early years, Arghyam supported made it challenging. Opportunities were also rare the water sector since 2005. ‘Arghyam’ is a Sanskrit grassroots organizations in implementing sustainable to come by. word meaning ‘Offering’. Arghyam works through a combination of project WATSAN projects. However, it was soon understood grants to grass roots organizations, knowledge that though such projects made a difference to However, Arghyam made serious attempts over The mission statement of Arghyam reads: building and sharing through the India Water Portal, peoples lives, it could reach only a limited number. the past few years to participate or partner in promoting new models of water science, technology Given that 170 million Indians don’t have access Government programmes. The modalities of each Safe, sustainable water for all… and system design, participatory action research to safe water and only 30% of the total population collaboration varied. While participation is defined and advocacy. have toilets, the speed, scope and scale of service as collaboration through partner institutions, delivery and its sustainability issues needed urgent partnership signified a direct collaboration with Specifically, Arghyam projects strive to understand As a small funding agency, Arghyam works primarily attention. Also, key learnings from smaller projects a Government institution, recognized through and address issues of quantity, quality and access to through partnerships – with Government, NGOs and had potential to add value to implementation of clearly defined and acknowledged roles in formal domestic water in communities across the country. various types of institutions – for impact and scale. large Government programmes. As such thoughts agreements. Hence while Mazhapolima is viewed Some of the key principles which guide its efforts Arghyam now collaborates with a diverse range of actors crystallized, Arghyam started engaging more and as partnership, Sachethana and Pani Thiye Panjo include the recognition of lifeline water as a basic across 17 States in India through more than 60 projects. more with existing Government programmes with denote participation. Suvarnajala is also viewed as need and also a right, decentralization, community Rigorous engagement with people and institutions the intent of making public investment work. The participation attempted through formal dialogues participation and ownership, an integrated approach has helped in deepening the internal debate and fact that there is an absence of a comprehensive and processes. to managing water from source to sink, an emphasis keeping Arghyam closely connected to the ground. institutional framework to make civil society work Learning was a mutual process. Such collaborations Photo Credit: Sahjeevan Photo Credit: Manoj Dabas allowed interaction with experienced Government staff and highlighted their technical competencies. Arghyam and its NGO partners brought on board skill set such as technological applications, communication, consensus building, innovation, etc. When such competencies started leveraging on each other, the success validated the power of such partnerships. Hansa Bai, ex Sarpanch Karamta village, Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh Rainwater harvesting structures double up as livestock water points next to a dug well constructed under the Pani Thiye Panjo Programme Kachchh, Gujarat under the Pani Thiye Panjo project
  • Photo Credit: BIRD-K Children playing next to a roof top rain water harvesting tank, in the fluoride affected Pavagada Taluka, Tumkur District, Karnataka 1.3 Arghyam Participation in Government Programmes: A Profile Arghyam, since its inception has been actively participating in State Government programmes for gap filling support and making strategic funding. Within a short period these interventions have matured, and transformed from participation to partnership. Total Issue Total Funding Name of Partner Type of physical Funding Year Region (water quality/ Scale of Work from Arghyam Programme Institution intervention by State quantity) (in Rs Lakh) (in Rs Lakh) Suvarnajala 2005 Karnataka RDPR & Dearth of good quality 23,000 schools Rooftop RWH 7400 40.7 (approx) Nirmiti Kendra drinking water and in 28 districts of for covering sanitation facilities Karnataka 3491 schools in primary and middle schools in rural Karnataka Sachethana 2006 Karnataka RDPR Fluoride contamination 64 fluoride Rooftop RWH, 1525 58.9 of drinking water affected villages Artificial Catchment sources in rural in 3 districts of RWH, Groundwater Karnataka Karnataka recharge, Direct aquifer recharge, Training & awareness Pani Thiye 2006 Gujarat WASMO, Govt Scarcity of drinking 135 villages in Well recharge, 141 for 142 for of Gujarat water and poor water Abdasa Taluka in Rooftop RWH and 35 villages 79 villages Panjo quality Kachchh district traditional water (as of March (approx) harvesting, Public 2009) stand posts Mazha 2009 Kerala Office of Drying of openwell 100 Gram Open well recharge 1354 58.74 the District in summer Panchayats Polima Collector, & Contamination Thrissur of well water 13
  • 15 Primary School students with their teacher monitoring water levels in the school’s roof top rainwater harvesting tank in Jadegondanahalli village in 1.3.1 Suvarnajala Chitradurga District. The RTRWH system was constructed under Suvarnajala Photo Credit: Gauri Tikota Area: Karnataka Districts: Raichur, Mysore, Chamrajnagar, Chitradurga, Davangere, Dharwad, Tumkur and Gadag d h a r wa d ga dag Project: Drinking water in 23,683 dava n g e r e Government schools c h i t r a d u r ga Period: 2006 – 2008 tumkur Funds support: Rs 40.7 lakhs for covering mysore c h a m r a j n aga r (from Arghyam) 3491 schools The Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Department committees out of its purview. At the operational (RDPR), Government of Karnataka (GoK) initiated level the programme failed to invest adequate a massive Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Program resources into institutional capacity building. called Suvarna Jala 8, in 2005. The agenda was to provide safe drinking water for children in Arghyam, aware of these lacunae, decided to take about 23,683 Government run schools across rural part in this initiative. It realized that providing Karnataka where there was either scarcity of drinking resources for gap filling would optimize public water or presence of excess fluoride. The aim was investment. Hence RDPR was approached with an to provide 1.5 litres of safe water per student per offer of participation, which was accepted. day. The funds for the programme were routed from Bharat Nirman allocations for the State of the The earlier focus of RDPR on hardware activities Karnataka. Suvarnajala was flagged off in the year continued as before. RDPR released funds to the Zilla 2006. However it was soon realized that there were Panchayat (ZP) which in turn transferred the same to severe inadequacies in the way the programme was District Nirmiti Kendra (or ZP Engineering Department, being implemented. There was minimal ownership in case there were no Nirmiti Kendra’s in that District). over constructed assets; they were falling into The Nirmiti Kendra was responsible for setting up disuse. The service delivery architecture kept school the roof top rainwater system in each school. 8 Touted to be the biggest school roof top rainwater harvesting programme in the world
  • 17 Data Collection Capacity Building Baseline surveys; Water quality NGO Partners in assessments various Taluks Monitoring GP/SDMC Department Providing RDPR with Education status updates post school visits District Coordinator Arghyam (NGO) of RTRWH Systems Training Coordination Awareness creation Management through innovative IEC Weak Advocacy materials; Training of school 17 Model Schools; teachers, SDMC members, Recommendations children; Development of to RDPR to strengthen a maintenance manual the programme Infrastructure in Schools Arghyam RTRWH Z.P Engineering Department District Nirmiti Kendra/ of RTRWH Systems Arghyam’s role in Suvarnajala was to improve the Chitradurga, Davangere, Dharwad, Tumkur and Gadag. Construction Coordination quality of the implementation of the programme in Strong these schools. This involved facilitating a network Arghyam pitched in with its resources to create a Data Information Feedback Zilla Panchayat of Rainwater Harvesting experts and grass-roots network of NGOs. The main activities of the network Bharat Nirman NGOs who were involved in capacity-building, supported by Arghyam are depicted above. Implementation evaluating and monitoring the programme. Suvarna Jala Yojane10 ran its course from 2005–2006 Funds Flow A total of 8 districts were taken up by the network to 2007–2008. Arghyam was involved in the RDPR which included Raichur 9, Mysore, Chamrajnagar, programme from September 2006 till March 2008. 9 However, a partner’s unwillingness to take this work forward in Raichur led to its dropping off the list of Districts. This is explained later in the document. 10 Programme
  • 19 1.3.2 Sachetana Area: Karnataka Districts: Gadag, Tumkur, Kolar Project: Drinking water sources in 64 fluoride affected villages m u n da r g i Period: 2006 – 2008 pavaga da Fund support: Rs 58.9 lakhs sira baga pa l l i (from Arghyam) In 1998, BAIF Institute for Rural Development, programme with support from German Agro Action Karnataka (BIRD-K), a non profit organisation based (GAA) to nine villages in Gadag District. A number in Tumkur District initiated a programme on fluoride of innovations apart from rainwater harvesting were mitigation through rainwater harvesting. Though tried out. This included different models on roof generally focussed on livelihoods and watershed top rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and development issues, high fluoride content in drinking massive afforestation programmes. The latter was water supplies in the district and its resultant health based on evidence that latex yielding species could impacts didn’t escape their notice. The quantity optimally absorb fluoride from sub surface flows. of fluoride varied between 3 ppm11 to 6 ppm, way Though suitable latex yielding species could not be above WHO prescribed limit of 1 ppm. Hence, with a found, the afforestation drive still continued since small grant from International Development Research it would at least absorb some levels of fluoride. Centre (IDRC), a Canadian Research institution, they started working on fluoride mitigation by The success of BIRD-K’s work had generated trying and testing out a number of models with substantial interest in State Government circles. 15–20 families in Mundargi taluk, Gadag district. Mr. Kaushik Mukherjee, the then Secretary RD & PR These initiatives yielded results and managed Department took keen interest in the programme provide relief to a large number of people in the and visited the project sites. Convinced that roof surrounding fluoride affected region by reducing top rainwater harvesting was a practical and cost fluoride content in drinking water significantly. effective solution to fluoride contamination of Bolstered by its success BIRD-K scaled up its drinking water, he pushed for upscaling of the pilot. 11 parts per million An aquifer recharge system constructed under the Sachetana programme in Sira Taluka, Tumkur District, Karnataka Photo Credit: BIRD-K
  • 21 However, this took its time. The Government has by As depicted on the facing page, hardware funds then reposed complete faith in de-fluoridation units, were directly released by the RDPR to the Zilla 2. Artificial/Bore well Recharge Jatha’s, street plays, IEC, et al which in reality were not working on the ground. Panchayat which passed down to the Panchayats (on 1. Farm pond construction Awareness Building through After a substantial gap since initial negotiations, the basis of estimates provided by the Panchayats) 3. Aquifer Recharge Arghyam an implementation framework for Sachethana was in each village where the programme was being Village Level conceptualized. The funds for the same were sourced executed. The software costs of BIRD-K were funded from Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme directly through the Dept. of RDPR. The balance/ (ARWSP). Sachethana envisaged working in 60 gap amount was provided by Arghyam through Costs (3.5% of total villages in 4 taluks in 3 fluoride affected districts. a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with programme cost) Other Software BIRD-K. As a technical expert in the programme, The partnership model had roles and responsibilities BIRD-K provided technical support to PRI’s and clearly divided. While the Department of Rural supervised progress of construction and also trained Development & Panchayati Raj (RDPR) were to release communities on O&M components. The support funds for construction (read hardware), BIRD-K from Arghyam helped BIRD-K to organize a number was supposed to provide technical support, ensure of awareness programmes on need for roof top operations and maintenance (O&M) and community rainwater harvesting and other methods of tackling 2. Artificial Catchments Beneficiary Households 1. RTRWH systems contribution. However, during negotiations with the fluoride contamination and also in monitoring the Individual State Government, there was increasing pressure impact of the project. on BIRD-K to reduce its awareness and capacity Bird-K building costs (read software). BIRD-K was aware Sachethana started in 2006 and is slated to continue that downsizing software activities would comprise till 2010. Arghyam support to Sachethana will also Technical Support & Sanction, Monitoring, Capacity building on O&M the impact and acceptance of the programme. At continue till 2010. The project will provide clean this point of time, Arghyam stepped in with support drinking water to approximately 60,000 people in 64 for such costs which were to be incurred by BIRD-K. fluoride affected villages in 3 districts of Karnataka. Admin and Other programme cost) Software Costs (10% of total Photo Credit: BIRD-K PRI Data Information Feedback Payment on completion of RTRWH structure Systems Zilla Panchayat Implementation ARWSP Funds Flow RDPR
  • 23 Artificial catchment for RW harvest (Rs 22500 per hh) Farm ponds for groundwater recharge; 2400 ponds @ Rs 6000 (Community contribution 25%) Key Interventions under Sachethana Fluoride Mitigation Programme Dilution of underground aquifer by recharging; Recharge of existing Rooftop rainwater harvesting 20 dilutionwells @ Rs 2.45 lakh per well 40 borewell Rs 20,000 per well 5000 litres (Rs 22,067 per hh) (community contribution 3%) All Photos here are provided by BIRD-K
  • 25 1.3.3 Pani Thiye Panjo Area: Gujarat Districts: Abdasa, Kutchchh Project: Development of sustainable water resources at village level Period: 2007 – 2009 Fund support: Rs 142 lakhs for 79 villages (from Arghyam) “Pani thiye panjo”, (loosely translated from Training Institute (VRTI), Kutch Fodder Fruit & Forest Kachhchi means ‘lets this water be ours!’) is a Trust (KFFFT), Manav Kalyan Trust (MKT) and Abdasa multi institutional programme that attempts to Mahila Vikas Sangathan (AMVS). In a classic example address issues of water scarcity through local source of community-public & civil society partnership, augmentation in Abdasa taluka12, Kachchh district, WASMO (Water and Sanitation Management Gujarat. The immediate aim is to ensure adequate13, Organisation), an autonomous organisation safe drinking water14 access15 to 80% of the population established by the Government of Gujarat in 2002, of the taluka (135 out of 166 villages) through joined hands and committed funds to support the development of sustainable water resources at hardware costs (also some administrative ones) village level over a period of 5 years. This will involved in programme implementation. ideally transform local sources into primary ones with the external sources as backup. The programme is embedded in a collaborative institutional framework that pools in financial The project was conceived by Sahjeevan, an NGO resources from the State and Private Institutions and based in Bhuj, Kachchh and is being implemented by decentralized knowledge management frameworks a group of NGOs, namely Vivekanand Research and from CSO’s. 12 Generally, a tehsil consists of a city or town that serves as its headquarters, possibly additional towns, and a number of villages. As an entity of local government, it exercises certain fiscal and administrative power over the villages and municipalities within its jurisdiction. It is the ultimate executive agency for land records and related administrative matters. Its chief official is called the tehsildar or talukdar 13 70 liter per person per day 14 The quality parameters will concomitant to WHO standards, 15 ‘Access’ is defined as a distance of not more than 200m from individual households Women collect drinking water from a shallow dugwell constructed under the Pani Thiye Panjo Programme in Abdasaa Taluka, Kachchh, Gujarat Photo Credit: Sahjeevan
  • 27 The programme is anchored in communitarian constraints and the technical feasibility of their processes. Pani Samitis, a subgroup of the village proposals needed attention. Hence, PTP consortium Data Information Feedback Panchayat 16 (i.e. Village Water Management worked on strengthening Pani Samiti’s in different (1.42 crores) Committees) facilitated by implementing NGOs, villages to prepare technical plans. In this they Arghyam prepares a project proposal, the quality of which developed an innovative mechanism called Parabs. Implementation is assessed by ACT17. The final proposal is submitted Parabs are local youth who were trained by the Funds Flow to WASMO, which extends support through hardware PTP consortium on basic geo-hydrology and financing. water resource planning. They became barefoot engineers on whom Pani Samitis could bank Software (35% of total outlay) Arghyam provides financial assistance to cover upon for technical guidance. Approximately 30 all soft costs of implementing NGOs. Sahjeevan technical proposals prepared by Pani Samitis Software Costs being the nodal agency coordinates activities of the with assistance from Parabs were sanctioned consortium. The architecture of this collaboration without any additional queries, making it a success is illustrated on top. story by itself. Apart from strengthening Pani Samitis Sanction, Monitoring, the PTP consortium worked on a number of outreach and Capacity building on Technical Support & The work profile was clearly divided between various training programmes cutting across different stake actors. WASMO has been directly working with Pani holder groups. (Sub committee of the Samiti’s in each village. Technical proposals/village plans prepared by the Pani Samiti’s were approved by By the end of 2009, the programme had reached 79 O&M Pani Samiti Panchayat) Consortium Coordination PTP NGO WASMO provided they satisfied set criteria. The funds villages, created 10 barefoot engineers, revived 54 dug for implementing the plan were disbursed directly to wells and 26 ponds benefitting approximately 70,000 the Pani Samiti’s. However, Pani Samiti’s had capacity villagers in the water scarce regions of Kachchh. (1.44 crores) Suzlon State and Central Handware Programmes of Rs 12 lakh contribution Community (1.11 crores) WASMO Photo Credit: Sahjeevan 16 Village level constitutionally approved (73rd Amendment of the Indian Constitution) governance and administrative units 17 Arid Community and Technologies, an NGO with expertise in geo hydrology
  • 29 1.3.4 Mazhapolima Area: Kerala Districts: Trissur Project: Recharge all open wells to ensure sustainable access to water Period: 2009 – 2011 Fund support: Rs 58 lakhs for two years (from Arghyam) When translated from Malayalam Mazhapolima Mazhapolima Monitoring and Coordination Unit means “bounty of rain”. It’s a community based and (MMCU) was created. This monitoring unit would decentralized well recharge programme, initiated by provide expertise and support for data based the Thrissur district administration in collaboration decision making. Through informal networks with the Panchayati Raj Institutions in the District. Arghyam and Districts Collectors office discussed The idea of this programme was seeded by Dr. V this programme and a collaborative agenda was Kurien Baby, the energetic District Collector of worked out. Arghyam pitched in to support Thrissur. Realizing that reducing groundwater tables the MMCU to generate data and strengthen the and salinity ingress was pushing Thrissur towards an research component of the programme. Through impending drinking water crisis, he conceptualized a Arghyam’s support documentation of social and programme to recharge all open wells in the district. scientific processes critical to the programme This process driven, participatory programme would was ensured. reduce dependence on a tanker supply based water regime and promote local management of water. Mazhapolima has helped recharge 2,536 wells in Thrissur district already and is on its way to Given that revival of approximately 4.5 lakh open becoming a successful example of decentralized wells would require expertise and handholding, a water management at an impressive scale. A well recharge system in place in a household in Thrissur District, Kerala promoted under the Mazhapolima Programme Photo Credit: Mazhapolima Team
  • 31 The key objectives of the programme are (iv) to evolve through action research an alternative Data Information Feedback sanitation model for the coastal and other (i) to recharge ground water by feeding rainwater densely populated areas of the district Guidance & Support into the open wells, ponds and bore wells Implementation (v) to significantly reduce the impact of drought (ii) to evolve multiple models and technologies and consequent public spending on supply of Funds Flow District level in water and sanitation through participatory drinking water in tankers to the water stressed Committee Vehicle(SPV) MMCU Advisory Special Purpose action research regions in the district (iii) to improve drinking water availability and (vi) to create a data base regarding local water service levels across the year, (Focus on resource base and user behaviour and make sanitized water and water sources after creating efforts to standardize the data base for wider Collector as Chairperson District level Executive Committee with Dist. a water resource base) application and research Protection of dug wells from contamination Development, GoK in Mazhapolima programme sites in Thrissur Dept of Rural NGOs & CBOs Facilitating Photo Credit: Mazhapolima Team Beneficiaries selected by GP/ Gram Sabha or Ward Member Institutions Private Jalamithram Volunteers Direct Financial Incentives Gram Panchayats to BPL families Arghyam
  • 33 2 Learning from Partnership 2.1 Why collaborate? Arghyam Partner Institution Government Institution Collaboration that involves a number of stakeholders > It was the world’s largest school roof top > Opportunity to work in the area of Water & Sanitation. > This programme was largely developed by a few key is not necessarily hinged on common interest. Each rainwater harvesting programme and This was a new area for most of the partner institutions individuals in the State Government machinery. meaningful participation in it would help and there was interest to understand the issue These dynamic individuals wanted this programme stakeholder has particular reasons for collaboration. Arghyam reach a huge constituency and to be a success. Hence they welcomed participation Hence the success of such an exercise is largely also gain valuable learnings > Opportunity to partner with Arghyam and possibility from Civil Society to make implementation of dependant on how long each interest is sustained in of developing long term partnership Suvarnajala Suvarnajala more robust > Suvarnajala also offered an opportunity for the programme. The following figure charts out the convergence between Pratham, Akshara which various reasons why participation and collaboration were education related initiatives with Arghyam, in various Government schemes became possible. which was focussed on the water sector Following conclusions can be traced out: > Opportunity to provide gap funding on software > Had showcased the success of its approach in rainwater > Key actors in the State bureaucracy were aware of to a programme whose success has been harvesting for fluorosis mitigation earlier, hence it was the earlier success and wanted to upscale it established in providing safe drinking water in an opportunity to upscale its earlier successes > Arghyam participated in all of the above Sachethana fluoride affected areas mentioned programmes in an effort to achieve > Though State Government provided hardware support, scale, support innovation and make its limited > This programme also offered a fantastic scaling software support was meagre, a partnership with Arghyam up opportunity and RDPR ensured balance in activities related to both financial resources more effective by optimizing public investments. The other driver for participation was to learn from such exercises. > Convinced that this programme was a innovative > The concept of decentralized drinking water supply was > The Govt. body saw the possibility of sustaining its attempt at ensuring drinking water scarcity a unique one and the organization wanted to showcase hardware interventions through involvement of civil in semi arid areas the project at National level society actors and private donor institutions > Partner institutions largely collaborated as they Pani Thiye were looking for solutions to local drinking water > Offered an opportunity to partner with a large > The organisation felt that this programme would help issues and were convinced that their models/idea number of reputed institutions in a State known establish Sahjeevan at the forefront of innovative solutions Panjo for proactive governance and service delivery to drinking water scarcity issues in Kachchh were innovative and sustainable. Though they and achieve scale also wanted to scale up their success, the primary driver was to get its models recognized by the > Ground water was a thematic area, and under Photo Credit: Mazhapolima Team > A District Collector who was committed to trying out Government for upscaling. this programme, a direct partnership with the a PPP initiative to address local drinking water issues Government on groundwater issues could be > This programme required gap funding from external orchestrated > Government institutions, except for Mazha Polima, sources so that software components didn’t lose out were not directly in a partnership with Arghyam. > It was an opportunity to provide valuable > Better monitoring is ensured with the presence of inputs to a Government programme based on Their reason to collaborate with Civil Society a donor who has keen interest Arghyam and its partners experience in geo Mazhapolima stemmed from earlier on the grounds success hydrology and ground water management which had the potential to be taken to scale. > Unlike earlier, this provided a direct Majority of the collaborations where driven by collaboration opportunity, where Arghyam individuals who saw merit in such partnerships. was recognized officially as a partner
  • 35 2.2 Mapping Influence In all the projects 18 each actor influenced the The abovementioned influences worked in a universe other’s behaviour as the collaboration progressed. of drivers, incentives and disincentives. Hence, each Influence also varied with positions of power in instance of influence has to be measured against the a partnership. The level of influence correlated driver and what that influence actually meant for the with clarity of roles and responsibilities in a collaboration. The Table (folowing pages) is a matrix partnership and the value that each institution that traces each instance of influence, the driver brought to the table. Once there was perceived for the same and its impact across Suvarnajala, value in collaboration from Civil Society, the Sachethana and Pani Thiye Panjo. This exercise State was more amenable to be influenced in helps to map out drivers for influence and change. the partnership. Interestingly, it was discovered that there was positive influences of the Government A summary of the learnings on the same provided on NGO’s as well. Hence, there are examples below: in Pani Thiye Panjo where both the WASMO and Arghyam exerted influence on Sahjeevan to 1. Getting support to upscale a concept through increase the speed of implementation, while Government or Donor Support requires workable Sahjeevan and Arghyam prevailed on WASMO to models on the ground. While donor institutions speed up funds release for hardware. do take the risk to support implementation of innovative ideas/concepts, Governments rarely In many cases, it was noted that Arghyam’s do the same. Hence, for influencing the State influence on partner NGOs was also substantial, to enter into a partnership, a working model is be it in bringing geo hydrology to BIRD-K in essential Sachethana or opening up school WATSAN as a new focus area for its eight partners in 2. Influencing Government decisions while Suvarnajala. Arghyam also provided key resources participating in a Government programme such as digital cameras to partner organisation requires regular communication and outreach. in Suvarnajala which was useful in documenting Hence a platform for experience sharing during progress and issues in constructing roof top project implementation is critical. Success of rainwater harvesting systems in schools. Though a project depends on how well this platform is a seemingly simple act, it added teeth to advocacy formalized and embedded in the collaboration efforts with RDPR when such photos were shown architecture and the level of seriousness with to key Government functionaries and facilitated which suggestions originating from the same is mid course correction. taken and acted upon 18 Except perhaps for Mazha Polima, where the partnership is in its nascent stage Women carrying potable water from a local dug well in a village in Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh, Gujarat Photo Credit: Sahjeevan
  • 37 3. Success stories when physically verified by key be optimized to build relationship across line Government functionaries exert stronger influence departments and lower rung staff Suvarnajala on policy. Hence advocacy and communication efforts should push policy makers to visit model 6. The scope of influence is directly proportional to Nature of Influence Drivers / Innovation Results project sites the perceived value of civil society organisations in the partnership. NGO’s/Civil Society Initiatives Developed standardized and structured Earlier RDPR only trained Nirmiti 4. First impressions are critical for influencing policy have very little influencing power unless their questionnaires that enabled statistical Kendra engineers. The results of makers, especially in Government & Civil Society collaboration adds significant value to public outputs. Also, baseline & construction the survey prioritised the need to Established the importance survey of every school was conducted. train the user community. Hence collaboration. If the initial phases of the project investment and mechanisms for service delivery. In of data-based decision This was followed with water quality RDPR hosted training programmes are successful, it creates an enabling environment all three project sites, NGOs who have established making and presented a monitoring and the data and statistical for SDMC/HMs in the remaining for further negotiation and support their UniqueSelling Point (USP) have influenced detailed picture of ground outputs were presented to RDPR. All 20 districts realities Government policy and action significantly this helped showcase the need to 5. What begins with influencing key individuals concentrate on capacity building and Construction survey convinced RDPR awareness building. to repair defunct systems in the system should quickly be replicated Incidentally, the analysis of all three projects shows across institutional hierarchies. Collaboration that the Government also exercises significant influence Documentation, awareness building based on individual interest from the Government on the functioning of the NGOs. An Influence Driver & training through IEC. IEC included may not be sustainable. Hence, access allowed Matrix on the facing page validates the abovementioned innovative tools developed by Government organized training by influential Government officials should learnings providing suitable examples for each. Established the importance Arghyam, such as a pocket calendar to SDMC/HMs in the remaining of software activities with maintenance instructions for 20 odd districts school teachers and a maintenance manual produced by RDPR but content Students standing next to a roof provided by Arghyam & Partners top rainwater harvesting tank constructed under the Suvarnajala Programme This was achieved through managing a NGO consortium that had expertise Their engagement convinced the ranging from geo hydrology to Established the power of State to consider other options apart community mobilization. They agglomeration in tapping from roof top rainwater harvesting suggested various other methods of expertise across institutions for providing safe drinking water in drinking water provision is schools schools in the next phase thorough presentations in meetings with Government functionaries Photo Credit: Suvarnajala Team
  • 39 Sachethana Nature of Influence Drivers / Innovation Results Established success stories on the ground in 9 villages and communicating the same to key Government Convinced the State that The Government of Karnataka decided functionaries through exposure visits Rainwater Harvesting was to work with BIRD-K and upscale and presentations a more viable option than their earlier success across 3 fluoride energy and cost intensive affected districts in Karnataka Used geohydrological data and de-fluoridation units through State funding information on amount of rainwater harvested to confidently articulate Village awareness meeting on Pani Thiye Panjo the positives of rtrwh programme taking place in Nimrivandh village, Convinced the Government This was largely due to BIRD-K’s earlier Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh District Photo Credit: Sahjeevan to recognize BIRD-K as success demonstrated through a number a technically competent of pilots. This had already established The project was free of bureaucratic authority to sanction their technical competency. This helped delays and corruption over sanctioning Panchayat plans and also as during their negotiations with RDPR of plans joint signatory to release of funds to beneficiaries when they insisted on being recognized as technical experts Pani Thiye Panjo Arghyam support in Sachethana Plus Convinced the Government Nature of Influence Drivers / Innovation Results was crucial, especially for using jaatha’s machinery that without RDPR wants to expand Sachethana at the village level for awareness adequate software support, to Koppal District and is willing to Innovations in planning, such as generation. The demand generation scaling up of Sachethana support related software costs as well the use of geo hydrology to prepare drive was so successful that it Demonstrated the success was impossible village based aquifer maps. Such outstripped BIRD-K’s capacity to supply feasibility of local source mapping at a substantial scale Was successful in prevailing on WASMO development and convinced WASMO of the technical to support PTP based on the concept decentralized drinking feasibility of the intervention. It also in 114 villages in Kachchh district water management to empowered Pani Samiti’s as they had the State a visual understanding of groundwater characteristics and availability 30 Technical plans submitted by Pani Samitis with assistance from Parabs Convinced WASMO that Good technical reports from Pani stand officially recognized. Most of Parab’s (barefoot engineers) Samitis and the role of barefoot the para engineers are local youth were capable village level engineers in preparing geo with education up to high school. water resource planners hydrological maps for Abdasa Taluka This is a recognition of their capacity and a reflection on the training that they have been provided with
  • 2.3 Adding Value to Government Programmes One of the most significant learning from assessing drivers for policy and action in Government programmes was that value adds from civil society participation really mattered. In every project, either Arghyam or its partners (in some cases both together) have generated value by its participation in execution of a Government programme. These value adds have been either through innovations in technology or in processes. Often these value adds have also functioned as drivers of change and influence. These specific instances have been captured in the following table: Type of Nature of value added Impacts of value added value added There was lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities between RDPR MIS for data based decision & RGRHCL. When Arghyam brought this to the notice of RDPR making. Also conducted Baseline based on its construction survey it was sorted out via direct official & Construction Surveys in 8 districts communication between the two departments Technological & regularly presented analysis of such data to RDPR. Evidence based feedback on the design of the programme enabled Regular liaison with RDPR and mid course correction. Use of digital tools to provide a clear picture update on status of implementation of ground situation aided the above mentioned process Suvarnajala Maintenance Manual, Training modules and an innovative pocket calendar in Kannada that had Helped SDMC and school teachers to understand management Communication visual and written guidelines on requirements and was used extensively in model schools managing a roof top rainwater harvesting system Use of digital cameras to document Technical problems with implementation clearly identified and presented Technological status of roof top rainwater to RDPR. A meeting of Nirmiti Kendra heads was called and they were asked harvesting structures to repair the damaged structures Type of Nature of value added Impacts of value added value added Earlier groundwater (borewell) recharge was largely based on perception. Introduced Geo-Hydrology as a tool After being trained in geo hydrology, the BIRD-K staff gained greater Technological for effective rain water harvesting confidence and insight and recharge mechanisms were carried out and recharging groundwater reserves satisfactorily Delay in fund release from the Government was a huge bottleneck. Urged BIRD-K to set up revolving Through the revolving fund, households could easily avail of funds for Process / funds for roof top rainwater construction instead of waiting for sanction and release of funds Financial harvesting and route it through from RDPR to Panchayat and Panchayat to the beneficiary. Hence, it SHG’s offset the delay in project implementation substantially Support BIRD-K to take out jaatha’s Considered as one of the critical factors that made Sachatena a success. and organize street plays in an effort Communication Without support for these components, demand generated for roof top to create awareness on fluoride in rainwater harvesting would not have been significant drinking water and need for redress Sachethana Coated mud roofs with white lime to adapt them for water collection. Also A simple solution that enabled reaching out to poorer households use of waterproofing paint Technological and debunking the concept that only concrete roofs could be used for on asbestos cement (a/c) sheets roof top rainwater harvesting to convert mud roofs into catchment areas Increased awareness considerably on water quality and need to protect H2S strip test was an excellent tool drinking water from contamination. Post H2S Strip tests beneficiaries Technological that communicated water quality took exceptionally good care of roof top rainwater harvesting systems. issues to beneficiary populations It is validated by the fact that 83% of the households using H2S strip test bottles reported clean bacteria free water in their tanks. You tube Videos, extensively used to 13, 168 cumulative hits and running. Has acted as a great dissemination Technological capture various facets of the project tool at both National and International Level for an external audience 41
  • Type of Nature of value added Impacts of value added value added BIRD-K recognized as a competent Removed ZP out of the picture in terms of implementation and allowed Institutional authority to provide technical BIRD-K a free hand in taking the project forward sanctions to village plans Earlier no skilled masons were available to take the work forward. Post Training of mason’s and developing Process project and training a dedicated cadre of trained masons are now operational skills at the local level in the area. This allowed the team to meet the continuous demand for rtrwh BIRD-K and Panchayats are co signatories on cheques being issued Process Kept the financial process clean and corruption free to beneficiaries to reimburse their cost of construction Locating the sump tank inside the Ensured improved quality control and easier access for women at Technological house of the beneficiary the household level. Wastage was also reduced Earlier, the valve often used to get jammed, and inability to open it meant the first flush actually entering the rainwater storage chamber. Replacing Removing the valve for the first the valve with an automatic mechanism that allowed only good quality rain Technological flush water to enter the tank, the safety of drinking water was ensured. It also made it easier for women as they found the valve difficult to operate as at times excessive force was required to operate the same Simple device to read water table in Helped the beneficiary to figure out exactly how much of water was Technological the rainwater storage tank being stored so that he/she could prioritize its use Considered one of the major success stories of the PTP programme. Parab’s went on to support Pani Samiti’s and help them prepare technical sanctions. As of now 30 Technical plans submitted by Pani Samiti’s with Training of Parab’s, a dedicated cadre assistance from Parab’s stand officially recognized Pani Thiye Process of barefoot engineers at the village Panjo level Technical Sanctions were earlier in the domain of the executive engineers of Gujarat Water Supply and Sanitation Board (GWSSB). There were serious delays in getting them approved. Parab’s are hence providing tremendous value add in speeding up implementation Type of Nature of value added Impacts of value added value added Developed a typology for villages with good, poor, bad and very bad water Geo-hydrology as the basis of situation and clearly mapped which intervention would be optimal in Technological Water resource Planning which geological terrain. Used extensively by Parabs and Pani Samiti’s for developing village level plans Integration of solar pumping and In the village of Karamta, it helped in getting piped water straight at Technological drinking water distribution through the heart of the village, hence reducing time for women to collect water pipeline from a virda a kilometre away Essentially it is upgrading the virda by lining it with rocks and cement Shallow large diameter well Technological so that the water source doesn’t get clogged up with sand and loose earth. (belonging to the virda family) This has always been a management issue with virdas Pani Thiye Panjo Advocating for lower tariffs for Helped demonstrate that local source development meant cheaper and more Financial water procured from local sources as reliable water supply as compared to piped water being supplied by GWSSB compared to external ones Actually a recharge cum production well made with local materials that filter Technological Low cost Filter wells water entering a well from a nearby recharge source. As of now it is providing a low cost drinking water solution to 4 villages in PTP Community Radio that promoted 9 Episodes were broadcast till elections May 2009. As feedback it received Communication conservation and use of ecentralized 262 phone calls and 28 letters. 15 more such programmes are slated to be drinking water systems broadcasted in 2009 – 2010 43
  • 45 In a snapshot, one can easily club the various technological, which commands a significant 61% of Across three projects, the following key learnings adds to existing systems are more cost effective innovations introduced by Arghyam and its partner total innovations introduced. Of the rest Process and on value add to Government programmes can be and more acceptable at the local level21 institutions. As shown below, innovations in such Communication and Outreach related innovations summarized as: collaborations have largely gravitated towards the occupy second and third places respectively. f. Developing local skill base to manage public and private assets has been a successful a. Technical innovations to enhance efficiency of investment for Civil Society and added value Types of Innovation introduced drinking water supply and storage assets seem to public investment by ensuring proper local to be the biggest value addition to Government planning, operations and maintenance by Arghyam & Partner Institutions programmes. Innovations in this domain also in Government Programmes generate quick buy in and consequent support g. To add value to a Government programme, for such programmes, especially those initiated innovations that sustain public investment need by civil society to be cost effective for the beneficiary. Otherwise its shelf life reduces. But at the same time costs b. There is clear advantage of pursuing are directly proportional to the number of multipronged strategies instead of one type technological value adds being introduced22 fits all19. Such allows greater flexibility to adapt to local contexts of demand and capacity h. Ensuring the success of assets means making Process 19% its management processes simpler. This is c. The biggest value add to Civil Society in a an area where Civil Society can add significant collaboration with the Government is resilience value to Government programmes23 and innovation. Many of the technological and process oriented innovations originate i. IT tools can add value by disseminating project when the programme hits a roadblock due stories to a larger audience24, however, outreach to bureaucratic limitations through local newspapers and journals helps in generating interest at the appropriate level d. Technological innovations which are gender sensitive add significant value as their immediate j. Donor institutions should invest in developing uptake is ensured at the household level20 capacities of NGOs working in Government Technological 62% programmes. This adds value as it enhances their Financial 5% e. Instead of looking for brand new technology to ability to articulate issues more confidently address water quality/quantity issues, simple value to the Government25 Communication 9% 19 This was the key dif ference between the success of PTP vis a vis Suvarnajala. PTP exper imented with dif ferent innovations and management systems to f it local capacities and geophysical contexts Institutional 20 Both in Sachethana and PTP, where innovations made accessing dr inking water easier for women 21 Example of wells in PTP, where virda’s where made permanent 5% 22 The classic example is that of the f ilter in Sachethana, which now costs 3500 with a number of upgrades, af fecting its upscaling 23 Innovations in roof top rainwater har vesting in Sachethana is case in point 24 Youtube videos on Sachethana project 25 Geo hydrological trainings for Sachethana staf f
  • 47 3 Reflections and Ways Ahead Pursuing collaboration in a universe of unequal kind of engagement, the simple transfer of the key Since 2006, Arghyam has attempted to add value However, the challenges to partnering with the relationships requires strategy and gumption. The Government employee led to complete collapse. to such collaborations through various means. Government continue unabated. Increasing experience of participating/partnering in Government Attempts at resuscitating the programme through interaction with the Government machinery leads programmes shows that the onus of adding value proper staff allocations at Arghyam’s end also to the learning that it views Arghyam as a solution and proving their worth lies completely with NGOs. proved unsuccessful. However, there were a number The crux can be listed out as: and information provider in the WATSAN landscape. In a policy vacuum, NGOs and other Civil Society of learnings for both NGOs and Arghyam and some This automatically generates expectations, realistic institutions will have to continuously reinvent of them trickled down to successive programmes 1. Collecting, collating and analysing data or otherwise. Does moving closer to the Government their roles and responsibilities and resort to cost such as Sachethana. (or facilitating the same) to promote decision machinery mean soft pedalling hard hitting issues? effective innovations. making based on the same Is it possible to retain ones unique identity still? It is also clear that the role of NGO’s has changed Safe and sustainable water for all Sachethana however showcased how strong 2. Tapping into a dynamic pool of water experts Being data enamoured, how does one actually bring data to an appropriate level where action considerably in an era sets the scale of Arghyam’s work. presence of an NGO can and providing their expertise to NGOs and the is possible? where decentralization This implies that the search for the redesign relationships Government and direct funds transfer with a Government to communities from most imaginative and efficient use Department. A number 3. Facilitating innovation in programmes through The following take away’s can be listed from the State has made of public investment will continue. of modifications in exchange and exposure engaging in Government programmes and applicable i m p l e me nt i ng N G O s bureaucratic procedures in the future in similar contexts: redundant on the scale issue. Moreover donor were made to facilitate this partnership and the gap 4. Extensively supporting software activities communities are increasingly shying away from filling support provided by Arghyam proved critical. such as trainings and awareness building 1. Participation has to leapfrog to partnerships. investment in hardware components and asking NGOs At this point of time Arghyam started to add value programmes for greater demand generation Unless Arghyam is recognized as a formal to leverage funds from Government programmes. It to such partnerships by facilitating infusion of geo and reach partner by the Government in programme/policy, is evident that this will reconfigure State and Civil hydrological knowledge into the programme. It also suggestions will not get its due attention and Society relations in the coming years. provided a range of technical innovations which 5. Harnessing the power of collective action by rarely get acted upon. Mazhapolima is therefore also worked, giving the collaboration a solid base. stitching together a range of NGOs and working presenting Arghyam with a unique opportunity Participating in Government programmes has Within a short period, the failures in Suvarnajala together on a shared objective resulted in mixed experiences. In Suvarnajala, were offset by the relative success of Sachethana. 2. Its preferable to figure out possible areas of there was a serious engagement from Arghyam Faith was restored in the Government partnerships. 6. Developing and designing systems to track the value add a priori to a partnership which would and its partners to make the world’s largest Pani Thiye Panjo in such a context was a windfall. It progress in such programmes and based on data deepen Arghyam’s engagement with the school roof top rainwater harvesting programmes was a concept that has the possibility to seriously analysis provide continuous feedback to improve programme and also help the organisation garner a success. However, interest from the Government challenge mainstream water resource management efficiency respect from State agencies to partner and learn was manifest only through paradigms if it proves to be successful on the individual interest. To convert such individual ground. WASMO was a unique institution, perceived 7. Using the web through the India Water Portal 3. A workable strategy has to evolve which allows interest into an institutional one, even for just to be free of bureaucratic complexities plaguing to showcase the work on the ground and use communication to spread across ranks in the one programme, required Herculean advocacy and other departments. However, the road to success innovative media such as youtube for easy Government institutional hierarchy. Hence a shared lobbying. Since bandwidth constraints limited this has been paved with challenges. sharing of project experience goal for the programme has to be developed
  • Of late there has been a perceptible increase in civil society participation in Government programmes in the water sector in India. Arghyam, a Bangalore based non profit foundation has participated and partnered in drinking water related programmes in the states of Karnataka, Gujarat and Kerala, either directly or through support to local NGOs. Such collaborations led to improved understanding of managing such partnerships and also helped to reach out to a larger constituency. This publication documents the collective experience of participating/ partnering in Government programmes on safe drinking water and puts forward key learnings and challenges. Based on its experience, it argues for increased focus in Government programmes on software activities such as capacity building of users and institutions. It also advocates for increased civil society participation in such programmes to improve the quality of implementation and ensure transparency and accountability. Arghyam Tel + 91 80 41698942 599, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar Fax + 91 80 41698943 Bengaluru 560008 Email Karnataka, India