Training program on capacity building of local body members on water and sanitation in India

A regional training program on capacity building on water and sanitation was organised by the Institute for Rural Development and Planning (IRDP) in Kendrapara district, Odisha, India, from 15–25 October 2018.

This training program was designed as an initiative and training workshop addressing various aspects of water and sanitation in the rural areas. It emphasized the Swacha Bharat Mission or the Clean India Campaign of the Government of India addressing sanitation the SBA and Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) to make India Open Defecation Free by 2022. The aim of the training was to increase the capacity of the local body leaders, as the local bodies are the implementing agencies of the programmes and schemes of the government.

This kind of capacity building brings good governance and overall development to the rural areas. The participants of this capacity building programme were 230 ward councillors from 9 CD blocks of Kendrapara district of Odisha. Training was organized with support from UNDP Cap-Net and SCaN (SaciWATERs).

During the two weeks intensive programme experts from various fields trained participants through technical sessions and discussed about the role and responsibilities of PRIs on water and sanitation, sustainable sanitation and water management. The experts included for example RWSS engineers, District Project Coordinator, District Capacity Build Experts and WASH Experts of IRDP. The training also imparted knowledge about the programmes on drinking water and sanitation and how integration of cross sector development can happen.

The training also covered discussions on cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation community managed environmental sanitation systems, focusing on solid and liquid waste management. This training program had also a strong fieldwork component – case study and exposure visit. This ensured that the local body leaders could identify the problems that local villagers are facing and how they can use their knowledge for identifying the problems and applying for sustainable sanitation and water management. Compiled study materials were also circulated among the participants.

The training was able to meet the expectations of participants in terms of a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities in water and sanitation; the implementation mechanism of various programmes meant for socio-economic upliftment of poor, underprivileged and other marginalized sections; the community managed environmental sanitation systems focusing on solid and liquid waste management; and cost-effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation and Participation of Gender in SBM.