Communication for behaviour change–individuals, households and institutions

The state strategy acknowledges the need to raise awareness and changing mind-sets / behaviours as a step towards ensuring totally sanitized urban centres. Accordingly, awareness generation on sanitation and behaviour change to facilitate adoption of healthy sanitation practices as a priority would be combined with strategic communications/advocacy to push sanitation higher-up on the agenda of the state institutions and to build support for strategies such as city-wide approaches, mainstreaming the poor and local needs-based technological options. Communications approaches would seek to:

a. Facilitate development of a holistic understanding of “sanitation” amongst service providers and the service users (citizens) and focus on what constitutes “good sanitation practices” at the end user level (i.e. at the level of citizens especially the urban poor / slum dwellers).
b. Provide clarity to the stakeholders (i.e. the service providers – ULBs, PHEO and OWSSB and end users i.e. the citizens) about their respective roles and responsibilities vis-à-vis sanitation.
c. Involve and engage opinion influencers (viz. political and religious leaders, academicians, media personalities, eminent civil society representatives and others) to promote sanitation consciousness; and very importantly;
d. Encourage continuous communication among front line sanitation service providers, city and state level officials from interlocking line departments as opposed to the use of communications in one-off or sporadic events.
e. Environmental integration: The environment (land, water and air resources) must be considered in all development activities for sanitation provision and management. All planning and implementation will seek to ensure that risks to public and environmental health are adequately minimised at all steps of faecal management – containment, conveyance, treatment and disposal. Appropriate protection of the environment shall be applied, including prosecution under law where required.