Rapid Action Learning (RAL) workshop generates sanitation momentum in Uttar Pradesh, India

Date: 22nd June 2018

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By Madhurima Sangma, Rapid Action Learning Facilitator

The Swachh Bharat Mission in India is moving with great speed and especially in Uttar Pradesh, a state in Northern India with a population of 200 million. There, much is happening in each district and block (a district sub-division): new ideas, innovations and practices are being developed. Rapid Action Learning (RAL) Workshops offer a platform to the districts and blocks to mutually exchange ideas and learn from each other.

To support and accelerate the progress of Barabanki, a district close to the capital of Uttar Pradesh, in the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) a one-day Rapid Action Learning Workshop was held 13 June 2018. The workshop was convened by the District Sanitation Committee and facilitated by WSSCC’s India Support Unit and the CLTS Knowledge Hub, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK. The workshop provided an opportunity for those engaged with the SBM(G) at the block level to come together, learn from each other, and plan action. Various district level and divisional level officials were present along with block level officials, block coordinators, Gram Panchayat Officer and Village Development Office.

The main objectives of the workshop were to understand the bottlenecks and challenges faced at different levels presented by the blocks, to brainstorm and share solutions, to share innovations and good new practices and learn from each other, to prepare action plans for the coming three months and to help 12 new RAL facilitators understand the methodology of RAL workshop better.

The process is participatory, with few inputs from facilitators. While sharing, participants from some blocks noted innovations and practices they found of interest and wanted to find out more about. Block representatives then took part in hunting and gathering to obtain details of the innovations they had noted and might implement in their blocks. Facilitators, too, gave their inputs, sharing other actions which blocks might wish to consider. The workshop concluded with the block teams and a district team preparing actions plans for the next three months and shared it in presence of the Chief Development Officer.

The district may have been listed as one of the low-performing districts, but nevertheless, there is a silver lining. District Magistrate Uday Bhanu Tripathi showed keen interest in the programme and offered supported to scale it up. Anjani Kumar Singh, Chief Development Officer, said he believes behaviour change is necessary for sustainability.

The workshop concluded with the idea that soon all of the Pradhans, or ministerial level people, should be triggered at the same time to bring additional momentum to the mission.

Read the full workshop report here.

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