Supporting and Operationalising the National Urban Sanitation Policy (NUSP) in India



Approval Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
a. Officials need to be encouraged to focus on process of policy delivery in addition to emphasis on technical details. b. Documentation of process of policy implementation would help in sustaining the efforts of the programme as well as in creating institutional memory. c. Handholding after change of leadership at any level is required for the sustenance of the programme d. Convincing the government towards increased capacity building of mid-level officials who are implementing at the grassroots can be furthered by training and hand-holding is important e. Web-enabled Networking and Knowledge Management would greatly help in exchange and documentation of good initiatives and challenges faced e.g. a NUSP hub.


The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) urge the signatory nations to extend access to improved sanitation to at least half the urban population by 2015, and 100 per cent access by 2025. This implies extending coverage to households without improved sanitation, and providing proper sanitation facilities in public places to make cities open-defecation free. The Government of India launched the National Urban Sanitation Policy in July 2009. The policy, for the first time, provides the necessary framework for States to approach urban sanitation in an integrated manner. It attempts to address the institutional issues, the plight of the urban poor, the issue of manual scavengers, poor awareness on sanitation, lack of integrated planning technical know-how and capacity – which causes most of the country’s infrastructure to operate in a sub-optimal manner. The Government of India was supported by WSP/Cities Alliance in the preparation of the National Urban Sanitation Policy.
The objective of this project is to create a coordination mechanism between the Government of India's Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) and state and city governments for operationalising the National Urban Sanitation Policy. This would be achieved by establishing an urban sanitation cell within MoUD to: (i) facilitate formulation of state sanitation strategies and city sanitation plans and their implementation; and, (ii) endeavour the Government of India to benchmark level of services and constitute clean city awards.
The urban sanitation cell in the MoUD would:  (1) Coordinate with state governments to set up a state sanitation task force and facilitate the flow of inputs from the central government for preparing the state strategies; (2) Coordinate with the City Sanitation Task Force and facilitate flow of inputs from the central government for preparing the city sanitation plans;  (3) Ensure M&E systems are in place to track improvement in sanitation facilities.
Expected Impacts and Results
The project will facilitate formulation and implementation of state urban sanitation strategies and city sanitation plans under the National Urban Sanitation Policy. These are expected to catalyse the formulation and implementation of citywide slum upgrading plans.