Finish Society and UNOPS/WSSCC sign MoU to improve the sanitation sector in India with a joint strategic plan of action
Finish Society and UNOPS/WSSCC sign MoU to improve the sanitation sector in India with a joint strategic plan of action United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on behalf of Water Supply Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), and FINISH Society (India) has entered into a collaborative partnership with an aim to create synergy and maximize the impact of mutual resources being employed in the sanitation sector in India. UNOPS on behalf of WSSCC is recognized to possess comparative advantage and expertise in working with Government sector partners, CSOs and academic institutions on policy, capacity building, rapid action learning and societal engagement to improve the lives of poor people. Besides, WSSCC India is providing support to Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) mainly on capacity building on Open Defecation Free (ODF)-plus, Menstrual Health and Hygiene (MHH) and Rapid Action Learning (RAL). FINISH Society is recognized as a strategic partner and key player in the WASH sector in India. It supports awareness raising on the need for a safe and durable toilet and manages microfinance schemes so that people can afford, build and manage sanitation safely. Human waste is not only safely contained, but steps are also taken to ensure that the valuable parts (nutrients, carbon) can be safely reused. This can be achieved when key actors in four diamond domains work towards the development of local sanitation markets for the poor and inclusive scaling up of these markets. In India, FINISH Society is creating an ecosystem for sanitation financing, capacity building in sanitation and SLWM, models on Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM), school wash including Menstrual Hygiene Management and Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) including development of business models. The partnership aims to improve the sanitation sector in India with a joint strategic plan of action. The collaboration focuses on supporting masons and sanitation workers and contributes to Government of India objectives under SBM to reach the most vulnerable and those most left behind. This strategic partnership will work under two major categories: Capacity building and Policy support. Key Activities Capacity Building: 1. Engage FINISH Society trainers for different capacity building programmes (including but not limited to ODF Plus, MH, RAL etc.) being organised by Government of India with WSSCC support under the Key Resource Centre (KRC) modality. 2. FINISH Society trainers to participate in WSSCC supported training on ODF-plus module. FINISH Society trainers can subsequently use the ODF-plus module for their trainings in their target states. FINISH Society will organise training on ODF-Plus with support of WSSCC under the KRC modality. 3. WSSCC and FINISH Society could jointly approach state governments for carrying out capacity building programmes by leveraging Government funds for Human Resource Development. Policy support: 4. WSSCC and FINISH may partner on developing a manual on SLWM including vocational training for masons and on pilot testing it in selected states at village level. Development of training packages for masons and preparation of the manual on SLWM will be done according to demand from the State/Federal Government and in collaboration with Government. 5. Target states will be decided by India Support Unit (ISU) of WSSCC and FINISH Society upon mutual agreement. 6. Other related policy interventions under SBM will be worked upon as per the demand of the government. Roles and Responsibilities Both organizations will undertake this collaboration under their respective organisational structures and agreed annual workplans for the validity period of this partnership which is from 8th April 2020 to 31st December 2020. Some Definitions: 1. ODF Plus: The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), Government of India, defines ODF plus as an area where along with regular availability and usage of toilets, management of solid and liquid waste, cleanliness of water resources, maintenance of public and household toilets and awareness on personal hygiene are at their highest. 2. ODF- Sustainability: MDWS progresses to ODF-Sustainability, where the ODF status is maintained by ensuring everybody uses toilets all the time and assets created under SBM remain functional through proper upkeep. 3. Rapid Action Learning (RAL) Workshops offer a platform to all those engaged with SBM (Gramin/Rural), at district and block level to mutually exchange ideas and learn from each other. The main objectives of the RAL workshop are to understand the bottlenecks and challenges faced at different levels presented by the blocks/districts, to brainstorm and share solutions, to share innovations and good new practices and learn from each other, to prepare action plans for future.