Improving sanitation and hygiene practices of the rural poor through community institutions in Uttar Pradesh

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Shreshtha Kumar, Shahrzad Rouhani, Abhishek Gautam and Madhumita Das

The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program, implemented by the Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana (RGMVP) was implemented in 2012 to empower women by organizing them into microcredit-linked self-help groups (SHGs) to increase the demand for toilet construction and therefor increase positive WASH outcomes. The program was designed to impact an estimated 21,000 households across 80 villages in two districts (Sultanpur and Amethi) in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

ICRW conducted both a qualitative situational analysis and a quantitative baseline study to assess the socioeconomic parameters of the project area, as well as to understand the sanitation and menstrual hygiene practices of those in Sultanpur and Amethi.

This process documentation outlines the project’s design, its necessity, its operating structure and the program’s impact. The document explores the challenges to implementing comprehensive WASH projects and provides recommendations for how programs can improve future WASH projects.