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Institutional Strengthening and Policy Framework

Why is this important

Sanitation problems are attributed to the absence of regulatory and policy frameworks and targeted programmes that aim to eliminate the disparities in access to sanitation and services. Moreover, overlapping institutional activities and responsibilities (i.e. governance structures that vest the responsibility of public service delivery with multiple agencies) dilute the accountability and transparency mechanisms.


How to go about it

Application on ground

How to go about it

In order to effectively drive change through state-level policies and strategies, states and cities need to focus on creating well-defined regulatory mechanisms, appropriate economic and financial incentives and ensure clear institutional roles, responsibilities and structures as well as capacities to fulfil those.

At the national level, the National Urban Sanitation Policy (NUSP), Swachh Bharat Mission and AMRUT provide a pan-India policy framework for sanitation sector development and offer guidelines and strategies to states and cities to achieve their sanitations goals and to strengthen city-level institutions. Municipalities are advised to use the below tools and strategies to ensure efficient public toilet management:

  • Responsibility matrix for public toilets management (Table) and allocation of required resources
  • Institutionalize PTM planning and management process and align with city’s sanitation strategy (develop City Sanitation Plans (CSP) if required)
  • Include design, construction, materials and O&M guidelines in the existing regulatory framework
  • Optimize funding (box) and devise adequate financial incentives and mechanisms to attract private sector interest (ensure business case)
  • Develop strong monitoring mechanisms (e.g. service provision, open defecation, urination, etc.), performance indicators (output, outcome), penalties for non-compliance
  • Build internal capacities for planning, execution, O&M and monitoring
  • Develop contract templates
  • Initiate public awareness campaigns
  • Introduce data management system

Application On Ground


The city's institutional structures were weakened by multiple agencies (diffused accountability), inadequate coordination and capacities (TMC only responsible for O&M, lack of involvement and capacities in the planning and structuring of PT projects) and the absence of monitoring and enforcement mechanisms (unaccounted poor service delivery outcomes). As such, TMC was not able to successfully manage PT projects. To plug these gaps and ensure seamless service delivery, the state must confer full and final responsibility for citywide sanitation to TMC (devolve power, functions, functionaries and funds). TMC has been recommended to use and apply the PTM strategies and tools. TMC, together with GIZ, used the DPRs to develop training modules and operational and maintenance guidelines to strengthen the capacities of various stakeholders towards sustained PTM. The guidelines and capacity building will supplement measures already taken by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the TMC towards a more systematic and demand-based design and management of public sanitation facilities. The interventions, results and learnings have led TMC to dedicate financial resources and to create a separate budget head for public toilets for the Financial Year 2014-15.


In the SNUSP Phase 1, the constitution of CSTF proved beneficial to guide the implementation of the CSP. Shimla constituted a similar task force to support the efforts around public toilets processes under the CSP implementation, comprising of MC Shimla executive staff and council members from the three ruling parties (Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Chief Health Officer, Water Supply Engineer, Project Coordinator, EU Project, JNNURM Project Cell representative, GIZ Technical Expert, as well as the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and interested council members for relevant subjects). Bringing together the three parties to jointly improve sanitation in the city has been a success in itself. The core group’s role was to support the process of developing various tools and instruments, inter-departmental coordination and introducing the technical advice provided by GIZ. Eight core group meetings have been held since its constitution in June 2014. Decisions taken have been forwarded to the city council for approval and implementation. Key successes have been: (1) single point of contact for discussions and decision making to support quick implementation; (2) fast track dissemination of information, clearances and multiple processes managed by the city; (3) inter-departmental knowledge sharing for incorporating and aligning efforts; (4) a common technical decision point for obtaining council approvals.

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