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Snapshots from our focus countries: India

Published on: 07/08/2019

We take you on a journey through highlights of our focus countries, collected for the IRC Annual Report 2018.


Building blocks India

Addressing the unavoidable building block: finance

"While it has taken time for us to understand the requirements for using finance commission funds, the devolution of resources has helped our communities. Going ahead we will make better use of this." - Hemendra Pandit, Gram Panchayat (local government) representative from Bhagwanpur Kamla, Bihar

Hemendra Pandit is referring to how budget tracking has helped the rural local government to better understand the distribution and use of untied, centrally allocated funds. Knowing how to use funds for sustainable WASH services enables local governments to make better use of the budget available to them.

A national think tank, the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA), has been a key partner in our work on public finance in the country. We're focusing our activities in Ganjam district, Chatrapur block. Concentrating on one smaller geographical area has helped us understand how general WASH challenges are linked to issues such as using existing budgets and related policies.

We've regularly shared our learning and findings to help other civil society organisations (CSOs) understand what sources and which people are important to consult when working on budgets for WASH services. We also gave training sessions on life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) to help other CSOs go beyond focusing on capital investment to working towards ongoing services. WaterAid is now applying our budget-related work in two other districts in Odisha and Bihar states. We will see more replication and scaling up of this work in 2019.

India infographic

1 Purchasing power parity (PPP) is a popular metric used by macroeconomic analysts to compare economic productivity and standards of living between countries.
2 Water coverage percentages refer to services that are at least basic = improved source within 30 minutes round trip collection time.
3 Sanitation coverage percentages refer to services that are at least basic = use of improved facilities which are not shared with other households. These definitions applies to all country infographics.

Each of our focus countries have stories to tell. From supporting the development of master plans in our partner districts to running in the heat to raise awareness and motivate action for improved sanitation. Check our other country highlights for more stories.