Citizen’s First Campaign on Drinking Water and Sanitation Accountability

Scaling pilots at City level

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The first phase of the project primarily concentrated in building capacity and promoting behavioural changes within communities along with increasing the collective strength of Basti Vikas Manch (“Slum Development Platform”). The aim was to a vibrant citizens platform which can monitor water sanitation and hygiene situation in the city on its own and interface with government to resolve the problem. Try to influence to bring in greater transparency and public participation in government decision making processes. Research and data analysis coupled with various advocacy tools will be used to bring in the concept of CITIZEN FIRST. This was done through regular dialogues, interface meetings with government functionaries and capacity building of the community on their water and sanitation rights. The key achievement of the first phase is a visible behavioural change among the urban poor, wherein the common mind-set of “accepting what is given” has been demystified, and rise in collective action towards demand for right and access to water and sanitation. Through these processes it was observed that collective action by communities has been proved to be the most viable mechanism to minimize the gaps existing between services and their delivery. The successful completion of creating the community platform of BVM provided impetus to further upscale the initiate as a means to pave the pathway of sustainable behavior change. The proposed project is a step towards such mission where an attempt will be made to upscale the initiatives 80 more slums and four more clusters within the peripheries of the city of Hyderabad. Based on experiences from the first phase, it has been felt that vertical expansion through a city level platform of BVM would enable a higher level of confluence towards advocacy on a common issue in the coming phase. The horizontal expansion will increase the strength of BVMs which would offer more room for cross learning. The integration of horizontal and vertical expansion will create a platform that will stimulate social cohesion and result in building a social capital which demands and implements its water sanitation rights without external intervention.

However the proposed project would have several risks involved particularly with regard to political interference, lack of political commitment and accountability. The project proposes to tackle several such risk factors with assumptions that there will be adequate support from the community members. Besides support from the urban local bodies which the first of project to a great extent has able to initiate can pave the way of negotiation and success of this advocacy campaign.