Minutes of the First Coordination Committee of KRC on Drinking water and Sanitation, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, GOI.
Date – September 8, 2015
Venue – KSRM Conference Hall
The meeting started at 11 AM with a round of self introduction by all the participants.
This was followed by a brief presentation on the objectives and functions of the KRC in this project by Prof. L. K. Vaswani. (Presentation attached)
Some of the major issues that were discussed, following the presentation:
1. Emphasis on ownership of the communities concerned and the different stakeholders, which was often missing in projects, leading to long term failure.
2. There are a long list of stakeholders in efforts like this and it is important that we do not spread thin and sharpen our focus on some of the major stakeholders, to start with the PRIs (at all levels), and other block and panchayat level officials and line departments; the other group being PHD engineers.
3. It is also important that we follow the principals of convergence of drinking water and sanitation program with other programs of the government and NGOs. An example of convergence with MGNREGS, Biju Pucca Yojana and Indira Awas Yojana was provided.
4. For all off campus programs support will be sought from GVT (Gramin Vikas Trust) and Yuva Vikas Kendra and they would be partners of the KRC.
5. The communication in all our efforts with stakeholders should be simple and effective. Prof Pradipta Tripathy who has expertise in the area, but will be leaving KSRM soon, was requested to provide support in the area.
6. While some of the KRCs are working on issues of either drinking water or sanitation, but KSRM, Kiit University will work on the twin issues.
7. It was agreed that in order to make our work effective (and to avoid spreading thin) as well as to demonstrate models of excellence we will take up select geographical locations to concentrate, capacitate and strengthen and provide solutions. As the KRC is to work for Eastern India, the KRC would finalise geographical areas in the 4 states of Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, where its work will be initiated. Several suggestions for selection based on location, availability of facilitating organization and implementation and preparedness of projects were agreed on. Panchayats or a cluster of panchayats in the geographical locations would be finalized as pilot areas, based on several factors like population, access etc. The following core committee members were given the responsibility of finalizing the areas: Action: Mr B. B.Singh, Gramin Vikas Trust and Mr Gobind Dalai, Yuva Vikas Kendra. They were both requested to finalise the geographical locations within 3-4 days. The other core committee members would also take some time and explore the areas.
8. It was decided that baseline information would be collected in the pilot areas. Wherever possible this would be converged with the first year KSRM students on their Action Research Segment, field work, and they would be trained to collect the baseline in field areas (in the pilot locations) and in exploratory survey. Madhumita to send the lists of the students’ placement to the two above mentioned committee members to allow for convergence. Gobinda Dalai to share a baseline format to be further sharpened if required.
9. The training needs of the identified target audience (stakeholders) to start with the PRIs and PHD Engineers would be made. Madhumita was to develop a survey instrument based on pilot survey, for the analysis of the training needs of the PRIs to begin with.
10. A first regional workshop would be organized at Bhubaneswar, where the senior officers associated with the Department Of Drinking Water and Sanitation (Swach Bharat and NRDWP) from the four states would be invited to this workshop to launch the program.
11. Prof Das, Prof Moulik and Prof Satpathy also emphasized on the need for research work to be initiated under the auspices of this program, as considering that the KRC was being launched in a university; this was an additional responsibility of the KRC. They agreed to float research proposals. Prof Satpathy mentioned that Construction of Health Belief Models on sanitation and drinking water would be a possible research area where he would like to concentrate and contribute. He also emphasized his ability to contribute in monitoring the water quality in the pilot areas.
12. While it was agreed that the Coordination committee would meet once in 3 months on a regular basis, but as this was the initial stages, monthly meetings would be organized.
13. It was discussed that the KRC should maintain a balance between engineering/technical issues and issues of participation and inclusion. While there were engineering issues, particularly around water harvesting and waste management, but the main role of the KRC was to find governance solutions. It was emphasized that the KRC will be looking at local solutions and not mega ideas and projects. Prof Sanjib Moulik who has expertise and experience on the issue of waste management was requested to provide support and leadership on that to the KRC.
Mr Gobinda Dalai also expressed that there was a lot to do on SLWM (Solid Liquid Waste Management) and panchayats should be supported with the expertise to manage the funds.
It was discussed that the KRC would seek the help of CED (Centre for Environment Development), as suggested by Mr Gobinda Dalai, as the organization was working on water sanitation and waste management, and also had an office in Bhubaneswar. Mr. P.K. Nayar heads the state chapter, and Madhumita to explore the support wit CED.
Mr Gobinda Dalai also mentioned the name of Ms Urvashi Asthana, consultant for NRWD and the need to liaison with her, as she would be able to link up the KRC with CSR funds around the areas of capacity building. They also provided funds directly for capacity building, on submission of proposals.
Prof Vaswani suggested that Madhumita act as the Nodal officer for the project and the core committee consented.