Citizen’s First Campaign on Drinking Water and Sanitation Accountability

Scaling pilots at City level

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About the Project

Citizen first was started in the year 2010 with a notion of creating a vivacious citizens platform which can guide, monitor and represent the urban services issues at community level. Realizing the verity that government’s commitment towards various interventions and strategies may not be adequate enough to deal with the issues in the long term. In order to obtain control monopoly behavior, promoting competition, efficiency and improving service delivery. It had realized the need for apolitical body that de-politize the regulation from political influence in decision making which helps to guide, monitor and represent the urban services issues at community level.

It had aimed at addressing the major issues on water supply, sanitation and school sanitation by prioritizing these issues it initiated intervening in resolving other community issues which would benefit to attain sustainable livelihoods. It had based a platform to address the issues, interacting with people and involving people participation through Basti vikas manch and interface with government to resolve the problem. It aimed to influence government system to bring in greater transparency, accountability and public participation in government decision making processes through social dialogue and capacity building. Research and data analysis coupled with various advocacies and lobbying tools was used to bring in the concept of CITIZEN FIRST. The process has made significant strides in past three years.

During first phase, intervention was initiated in three wards. There are two primary objectives of intervention for the ongoing phase. First objective is to strengthen the citizen’s platform which was formed earlier in 2012. In order to do the same, social dialogue and capacity building is enabled for its members in the existing intervention area of three wards so that they can become completely self reliant in terms of analyzing situation and interfacing with different stakeholders. At the same time, in order to increase collective strength (which will increase effectiveness of different interfaces), dialogue and capacity building on WASH issues will to reach the community people and create awareness which extend to generate sustainable communities which could revolt on their issue. Second objective will be to activate government’s WASH related service delivery in three existing wards and to ensure access to WASH in all the schools in these wards. In order to do so, existing Basti Vikas Manch’s in three wards will be empowered by intensive engagement on providing technical inputs. It is envisaged that leadership/volunteer base created in first phase will take the lead in the second phase.

The Project is yet to go a long way in relation to its target of creating a vibrant citizen’s platform which can monitor water, sanitation and hygiene situation in Hyderabad on its own and can interface with government for solution of those. However, intervention of past three years has given the confidence that solution to water, sanitation and hygiene problems in Hyderabad is possible with wide participation, increased availability of information, awareness and empowerment of poor people. The socio-political, economic, cultural and administrative scenario is yet to be influenced by these efforts. Consistency and building of efforts brick-by-brick is essential to gain momentum and also achieve results. Keeping above in mind, an extension of project’s work for two years is proposed on the following lines.

Ultimate goal of the project is to build a vibrant citizen’s group with focus on water, sanitation and hygiene in Hyderabad.