Rajasthan uses Village Sanitation Map for SLWM implementation

Using a bottom-up approach together with a well-established interpersonal feedback system, for which all key stakeholders have been brought under one umbrella, Rajasthan is making great strides in Phase II of Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G).   The approach is enabling the scale up of Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) through a community led manner while ensuring quality and involvement of stakeholders in planning, implementing, operating and maintenance of SLWM assets and processes.

Implemented by the Directorate of Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen, Rajasthan, this method of planning and approach is bound to ensure sustainability of the programme.

Use of Village Sanitation Map (VSM) for planning and implementing SLWM:  It is common knowledge that every village has its own identity with different demographics, typology, terrain, resources, and barriers on the ground.  Hence a bottom-up approach or with community participation for implementation of a programme, factors into the success of programmes.

It is with this understanding that the SBM-G Directorate of Rajasthan ensured that this important aspect becomes the base of their programme and facilitated use of technology for involving community members and preparing of the Village Sanitation Map (VSM).

The map was developed with the help of community members, based on key findings from the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) including transect walk and various other tools of (PRA).  This unique feature helps in mapping the key areas of intervention for SLWM in the village and maps all the SLWM assets which will be developed on ground including both households and community-based assets.

Visual representation of the VSM:  This visual representation of the village sanitation map has been done with specific colour coding for marking different interventions under SLWM.  It enables ease in understanding and the same has been mentioned in the detailed state guidelines prepared by the Directorate.  The map can easily be understood and gives a detailed outlook of the planned work to be initiated in the village for managing SLWM in a sustained manner.

Detailed Project Report:  The Detailed Project Report (DPR) has been made as per the VSM which is prepared using Google earth Pro and saved in a keyhole Markup Language (KML) file which is compatible for reading the map developed. The very basis of the DPR is the VSM which will include community-based solutions to the identified gaps under SLWM for the village.

Capacity building:  To ensure quality of these planning processes, adequate training and capacity building initiatives have been carried out by the SBM-G Directorate.  Under this, key stakeholders including State resource groups / District Resource groups / District project coordinators (DPCs)/Swachhagrahis were trained and informed on the key processes for planning and implementation of SLWM in their respective districts/blocks/villages.

Monitoring progress:  The decision to initiate planning for SLWM using the VSM has helped the state in monitoring the progress of work in a time bound manner and at the same time rectify and make corrections.  In this manner, there is scope of improvement in the same at large scale, else the process would have been very tedious and time consuming.  This map development exercise ensures that the field survey is done properly and that the DPRs are not just made with fixed parameters and calculations but rather are based on community-based solutions discussed during PRA activities which are reflected in the VSM.

Important data is captured:  This map also feeds in important data related to SLWM assets created on ground which was earlier never captured as effective geo-tagging was not done. Further, the map can effectively portray key elements of SLWM and the whole plan of the village in one window.

The map in the longer run will mark all the SLWM assets of the Village/Gram Panchayat/Block/District and State once every village develops their VSM. To ensure quality of work and equitable planning, the CEOs-Zila Parishad of the Districts have been involved in the process and the VSM is presented to the ACS Panchayati Raj Department while facilitating fortnightly monitoring by the CEOs.

State-wide IEC plan:  A State-wide IEC plan in consultation with various districts based on commonalities on various aspects is being rolled out with an effective monitoring framework.  Also, the Swachh Rajasthan portal is under development for sharing of key information among stakeholders.

Use of Mobile App:  To further strengthen the programme, the Directorate decided to develop a Mobile Application for use by Swachhagrahis who represent the soul of the sanitation programme.  They are Rajasthan’s foot soldiers who are always active on the field with specific roles and responsibilities.  The App will help strengthen the execution through tracking and provide real time progress as submitted by Swachhagrahis.  The process will reduce turnaround time during the complete process including their payments and approvals while keeping them motivated and active on the ground.  The system will also act as a grievance handling mechanism which was not there earlier in the State.

Overcoming challenges:  The decision to develop the VSM with the engagement of community and key stakeholders has been a great experience for the State.  It has helped them overcome many of the challenges that were present during the first phase of the mission.

As on date, the state has targeted 8653 VSMs of which 5280 are complete.  The maps portray different plans spread across state as per their villages’ current situation of solid and liquid waste.  It provides information on their selection of technology as per soil conditions, existing infrastructure, terrain, and other factors.

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