Young child survival and development

Young Child Survival and Development



© UNICEF India

INDIA: Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) and Take the Poo to the Loo campaign
The Government of India has a fully funded national flagship rural sanitation programme, Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign). This programme, which started in 2012, is working to bring sanitation to  all rural areas over the decade to 2022 and get rid of open defecation. It is hoped that this transformation of rural India will be achieved via community-led and people-centred strategies that stress the total  sanitation approach. Although the programme as a whole has yet to gain momentum, some states (such as Maharashtra, inspired by the work of the social reformer Sant Gadge Maharaj) have achieved  considerable progress. Sikkim and Kerala are mostly open defecation-free and Himachal Pradesh is making rapid progress through innovative community mobilization. India’s new Prime Minister has publicly spoken about the importance of addressing sanitation. The private sector is also showing great corporate social responsibility towards sanitation and hygiene.

The Take the Poo to the Loo campaign, supported by UNICEF, is a digitally-led, interactive campaign to create awareness of open defecation, with a focus on young urban dwellers. The aim is to create a sense that open defecation is not acceptable, and that everyone can and should use a toilet. As of June 2014, more than 115,000 people have signed a pledge calling on the President of India to rise to the challenge of making India free of open defecation.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan Approach to Total Sanitation
The Pakistan Approach to Total Sanitation (PATS) initiative was conceived as the country recovered from the devastating floods of 2010. PATS aims to get rid of open defecation through concerted action based on creating demand for toilets through education and raising awareness. Communities and schools lead the activities, which include ‘selling’ the idea of sanitation and promoting handwashing with soap – as a result, there is rising household demand for the supplies and services needed to build toilets. PATS was at first implemented by non-governmental partners with UNICEF funding, but the approach is now being adopted by some provincial governments. The approach has evolved considerably since its inception in 2010, and is now used by all sanitation-sector agencies in Pakistan. By April 2014, PATS had resulted in more than 4,200 communities with a population of more than five million becoming free of open defecation.

NEPAL: A social movement for sanitation
A major diarrhoea outbreak in 2009 triggered a concerted effort – the Aligning for Action to Make Diarrhoea Epidemics History initiative – to tackle sanitation and hygiene. Starting in early 2010, it is a coordinated programme between UNICEF, regional and district government structures, and a range of other stakeholders. To provide a framework for collaborative efforts at all levels, government and partners have  developed a comprehensive Sanitation and Hygiene Master Plan. This Cabinet-approved Plan, which is owned by seven line Ministries and the National Planning Commission, was launched by the President of Nepal in 2011.

Partners agreed the programme would operate at several levels – from grassroots to regional – and would involve all the relevant sectors – health, education, water, youth groups, women’s groups, political parties, media and the private sector. The movement seeks to trigger action at all levels, using a range of tools and techniques. Communication channels are many and various – faceto- face interactions,  community events, religious institutions, school curriculum, mass media and advocacy. The main emphasis is on changing behaviour by using an adapted version of Community Approaches to Total Sanitation.

The programme is focused on the most disadvantaged communities throughout the country. So far, Nepal has succeeded in eliminating open defecation in 15 of its 75 districts and in more than 1,600 village development committees, as well as 18 municipalities and more than 3,300 school catchment areas.



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