Given that the lead partners of the project were the municipal corporations of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, we were uniquely placed to link these facilities to local government entities. In general, there can be many benefits to linking community toilets to local government.
Most communities come under the jurisdiction of a local representative or a local government officer (for Sammaan, these local entities were corporators, ward offices and community organizers). These individuals are already responsible for looking after the welfare of their residents so linkage with a community toilet project makes sense. Also, many managers would already be somewhat familiar with these systems.
Government entities will already have ties with agencies who could resolve major repairs and maintenance that facilities may require – i.e. construction work or septic tank desludging.
Monitoring of operations by government authorities (or external agency associated with the government) can be helpful to encourage managers to follow protocols and reduce mismanagement
Setting up a government linkage is not always easy and can take time. It requires a thorough understanding of the existing government systems and constraints, and of what support is required for community management in order for it to work.
The Sammaan O&M model has 5 major aspects of government linkage:
Handover of facilities to communities after completion of construction
A formal contract between the municipalities and each management committee
Grant funding support provided on a monthly basis to each facility
Grievance redressal mechanisms for reporting and resolving major complaints
Audits conducted twice a month by an operations helpdesk officer of facility condition and financial bookkeeping
Check out the resources to find out what is involved when handing over facilities from government to communities, how to conduct audits and common finding from audit reports. We’ve also included the contract format that was developed for Project Sammaan and learnings from the grievance redressal process.
Elements of handover of facilities and challenges
Format of contract between municipalities and communities
How to conduct an audit and sample format
Learnings from the Sammaan grievance redressal mechanism
Common findings from audits of Sammaan facilities