Scaling up the provision of universal minimum sanitation to slums in cities



Approval Date
Actual Completion Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
Community level sanitation needs to be integrated into the broader environmental services planning for the city. This point is one of the chief principles of the national sanitation policy. Slum or community sanitation is not seen in isolation and features as an important component in the state strategies and city development plans.   Sanitation in slum communities needs to be based on a “demand responsive” approach which listens to the preferences and priorities of the community itself. Slum communities are not seen as beneficiaries of the project/program but as stakeholders. Participatory planning is emphasized.  Communities are involved in self assessment, baseline work, design dialogue and also made responsible for management of assets created in slum communities. Examples are in Mumbai/ Maharashtra , Visakhapatnam, Vijaywada, Orissa and recently in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal strategies.   Planning and implementation of community level sanitation projects requires the creation and utilization of a partnership that joins the municipality, NGOs, CBOs, the slum dwellers, and the private sector in a common effort. Partnerships are forged at the municipal level where community sanitation projects are initiated. The Government of India's JNNURM program has provided the platform develop appropriate partnerships and incorporated community level sanitation into City Development Plans.   Operation and maintenance of toilet blocks (and the collection of related user fees) are more effective when turned over to CBOs or private entrepreneurs.   This has been proven in cities like Mumbai (and other cities in Maharashtra). The states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Delhi and others have adopted it.  Achieving this result required  constant dialogue and advocacy.


Based on citywide sanitation programmes in Mumbai and Pune (Maharashtra), the Government of India proposes to significantly upscale the provision of universal minimum sanitation through a national programme called Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan. This proposal directly supports the national programme.
1) Emphasise the pro-active role for communities in the provision of approriate sanitation solutions;  2) Demonstrate, at scale, the respective roles of municipal, state and central governments in the provision of land, finance and infrastructure;  3) Strengthen national government support for local initiatives;  4) Strengthen communities and their federations in the selected cities;  5) Demonstrate the cost effectiveness, replicability and sustainability of such an approach.
1) Exposure and exchange visits between communties and local governments;  2) Demonstration activities in selected cities;  3) Formation of stakeholder groups;  4) Formalisation of agreements in selected cities;  5) Identification of mechanisms to manage flow of funds, and to access state subsidies;   6) City-wide sanitation construction.
Expected Impacts and Results
In a number of major Indian cities, establish innovative working relationship between the city government and organisations representing the urban poor; Improved and hygienic sanitation facilities, well maintained and community managed, improving the quality of life of slum dwellers.