Sanitation

Alliance 111

A sizable chunk of India’s population lacks access to adequate sanitation. And inadequate sanitation is more than just inconvenient – it claims lives, dignity and productivity, affecting women and girls particularly harshly.

According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, sanitations gaps cost India a staggering INR 3 trillion each year, which is 6.4% of India’s GDP. On the other hand, a systemic, value-chain approach addressing behavior change and sustainable infrastructure can yield economic gains in addition to social and health benefits.

These insights have led Dasra to consciously focus on Sanitation. Within this focus, Dasra works to support individual organizations while also exploring opportunities to benefit more than one organization at a time. There has been a continuous effort to use coalitions and convergence in the sanitation sector to achieve greater impact at an ecosystem level.

A sizable chunk of India’s population lacks access to adequate sanitation. And inadequate sanitation is more than just inconvenient – it claims lives, dignity and productivity, affecting women and girls particularly harshly.

According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, sanitations gaps cost India a staggering INR 3 trillion each year, which is 6.4% of India’s GDP. On the other hand, a systemic, value-chain approach addressing behavior change and sustainable infrastructure can yield economic gains in addition to social and health benefits.

These insights have led Dasra to consciously focus on Sanitation. Within this focus, Dasra works to support individual organizations while also exploring opportunities to benefit more than one organization at a time. There has been a continuous effort to use coalitions and convergence in the sanitation sector to achieve greater impact at an ecosystem level.

DASRA'S JOURNEY IN SANITATION

Dasra began its journey in Sanitation in 2012, adopting a research-driven process to amplify strategic ways for private philanthropy to support urban sanitation in India, and convened a Dasra Giving Circle (DGC) to mobilize philanthropic support. As Dasra’s work in the Adolescents sector grew in 2014-15, the link between adolescent girls and sanitation was established through a report as well as an award to support corporates and private individuals in the sector.

Extending beyond the demographic focus on sanitation, Dasra engaged with the Results for Development Institute (R4D) in 2015, bringing together over 50 organizations in WASH across South Asia and East Africa, to share learnings and explore collaborations, actioned through a peer learning program and an online portal developed by R4D. As part of its current three-year engagement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dasra works with a network of over 65 partners in the WASH portfolio to maximize their impact in sanitation.

  • 23%
    of girls drop out of school once they reach puberty due to lack of toilets
  • 11%
    more girls will attend schools if they have access to toilets
  • 60%
    of the world’s open-defecating population lives in India
  • 620million
    Indians will lead a healthy life if they have access to toilets
  • 915children
    under the age of five die a day due to inadequate sanitation
  • 6.4%
    of India’s GDP every year is lost due to lack of access to sanitation

“Part of the problem is that for too long, the world has invested in sanitation infrastructure that doesn’t work for everyone. Toilets serve their purpose only when they are used. Nobody wants to use a toilet that isn’t clean or safe, particularly for women and girls.”

- Melinda Gates 
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

DASRA'S KEY INITIATIVES IN
SANITATION

In November 2015, Dasra began its three-year engagement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and its network of over 65 partners with the following objectives:  

  • Developing a Community of Practice to help the network partners share learnings with one another on a continued basis
  • Building institutional and leadership capacity of organizations in the network
  • Amplifying and extending learnings from the work of partners within the portfolio, to stakeholders beyond the network

In 18 months of project implementation with BMGF, key initiatives by Dasra have been: 

  • Co-facilitating the National Fecal Sludge and Septage Management Alliance with over 25 partners. The alliance was instrumental in the passage of drafting India’s first national policy on Fecal Sludge and Septage Management by MoUD.
  • Facilitating learning platforms such as the Annual Partners’ meet, where partners share challenges and best practices.
  • Amplifying the work of key partners using video case studies.

Research Issues

Build Organizations

Give Strategically

  • 3reports published
  • 43social organizations equipped with management expertise to scale
  • USD2.1million(INR 13.7 crore) directed to the sector through 17 funders
Research Issue
  • 3reports published
Build Organizations
  • 43social organizations equipped with management expertise to scale
Give Strategically
  • USD2.1million(INR 13.7 crore) directed to the sector through 17 funders

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