progress_projectsFIN-SWAM – 1st Trimester Results – How time flies! While it’s nice to see things happening….because things are happening….and the SWAM project (Sanitation, Waste And Management) is taking shape….we are starting to generate data on progress.

FIN 2014 First Trimester Results ( PDF | Powerpoint .pptx | Prezi )

SIDC2013 or the ‘Sanitation Innovation Design Contest’ of 2013 is actually the outcome of informal conversations……In 2009, Shyama (FIN) held a innovation contest for rural masons and she spoke about the outcomes in a conference she was organizing for the FINISH programme. There Valentin Post one of the founders of the FINISH programme said, “But, why don’t we do it for the whole of India?” And that’s how WASTE which is a founding partner of FINISH society in New Delhi launched a programme of identifying cost effective replicable sanitation systems for rural India through contests. This is the second in the series that FIN is organizing for the FINISH programme. Click here to know who won and what they won the contest for… SIDC 2013

SIDC 2013 ( PDF | Powerpoint .pptx | Prezi )

Collaboration with Bharathi, a micro-finance institution (April, 2013)

The toilet repair and building project (January 2013 – on-going)

Collaboration with United Donations, a crowdfunding organisation (October, 2012)

Survey of Kameshwaram (Sep 2011-Dec 2011): Between 2005 to 2011, Kameshwaram went from near-zero sanitation coverage to at least 43% sanitation coverage. Such an increase in sanitation coverage could have improved the health status of the residents of Kameshwaram, giving rise to the question: Does access to a toilet favour good health status of a household? To answer this question, it was necessary to undertake a thorough study of Kameshwaram. The health status of an individual depends on a variety of factors such as genetic make-up, nutritional intake, access to water, behavioural routines (personal hygiene) and cleanliness of the living habitats (both within and surroundings). Furthermore, behavioural patterns in terms of food consumption and hygiene practises are likely to depend on the household income, knowledge base, assets owned, culture etc. In other words, the impact of sanitation on health status cannot be verified without a comprehensive survey of the resource base, knowledge base and behavioural patterns of households. The present document presents the findings of the survey that was conducted to answer these questions. The statistical analysis of the data is in progress and is not presented in this document.

Audit of Performance of Sanitation Drives (July-August 2011): Currently, banks, micro-finance and micro-credit institutions (referred to as MFIs hereafter) and self-help groups (SHGs) promote financial inclusion by disbursing funds for purchases of consumer durables or investment in income-generating capacity (e.g. through education, livelihood enhancing equipment etc.). However, since toilets do not generate income directly and are regarded as a convenience mainly for the women of the household, it is a challenge to motivate households to take loans for toilet installations. Recently, under programmes such as FINISH micro-credit and financial schemes have begun combining loans with micro-insurance packages to mobilize household investment towards toilets. Simultaneously, there is also investment in local capacity building in the installation and maintenance of safe toilets. In this context, at the request of WASTE (Netherlands) FIN is developing indicators to evaluate the performance of sanitation drives. Sanitation Audit: Survey to evaluate a sanitation drive of a microfinance institute (MFI) in Orissa, India

projects_research_to_find_appropriate_solar_lampResearch to find appropriate solar lamp (May-July 2011): One of the important objectives of Friend in Need is to explore how rural villages in developing countries can have access to energy to satisfy their needs – while minimizing the carbon imprint. In Kameshwaram, most houses have electric connections, but for collective needs there is still not enough. For example, the fishermen of Kameshwaram would like to have a lamp to guide them home from sea. Often when they try to return home from sea under the cover of darkness, the only visible lights are those of the port of Nagapattinam. Therefore, they requested information on a lamp, which they would be able to see from a distance of about 10 kms. In turn I requested the MSc. students of the Grenoble (France) engineering school ENSE to identify the types of existing solar energy based products that could be bought by low-income communities, develop a set of indicators to evaluate them and finally suggest a solution for the problem of the fishermen of Kameshwaram. This is their report. I thank them most sincerely for a very good report.

Social Investing to Enhance and Sustain Rural Sanitation Coverage: On Achieving Performance While Being Responsible (March 22nd-23rd, 2011; Preparation Dec 2010- March 2011): Any financial scheme supporting a social investment program has to satisfy three conditions:

  • It must be economically sustainable for all organizations on the supply side of the ‘financial loop’.
  • It must be demanded by the beneficiaries on the borrowing side of the ‘financial loop’ and the delivery platform has to be scalable so that development impact is realized across the community.
  • It must be socially responsible – i.e. it must be viable for the beneficiaries to pay-back without incurring catastrophic debt burdens and the outcome must not involve damage to the environment or increase social tensions.

In the above perspective, the objective of the workshop that we organized for the FINISH Society (New Delhi) was to explore how these conditions are being satisfied in rural sanitation investments in India, and in particular, explore how the founding and implementing partners of FINISH can respond to the challenges that are unique to the penetration of Sanitation and Financial Inclusion Services in Rural India to enable greater attainment of the countries Millennium Development Goals.

FINISH Sanitation Challenge Contest 2010: This contest is based on the premise that among other factors, the lack of sanitation coverage in rural India (and elsewhere), is due to lack of innovation on possible ‘designs’ to fit diverse environmental and social-economic conditions, water needs and local availability of materials. We invite you to rise to the challenge and propose an ‘innovation’ in one or more of the components of a decentralized sanitation system to facilitate the installation and usage of toilets in rural areas. The innovation can be created through novel design and/or novel choice of materials used and/or a new process and/or any other component. You can also propose a new and complete model of a sanitation system for a location in India (refer to geo-physical condition table on next page for details) Sanitation Challenge 2011 – Oct19-2010.doc, Letter for diffusion challenge Oct19, 2010.doc, FINISH Innovation Contest Report

FIN Ecosan toilet innovation contest July 2009: This contest is being organised to give these masons a chance to showcase their skills by creating innovative ecosan toilets for themselves. This is an opportunity where their thoughts and ideas will not be dismissed, because they will be the designers of their own toilets. And who knows, the stone that was rejected so far, might become the corner stone! Their innovations in design, if excellent will then be replicated in other villages. It’s an experiment bound to benefit all. (Photos of Contesting Masons) Mason innovation contest report 2009.pdf

FIN 2nd Toilet beauty contest July 2009: In India, in rural areas, men are reluctant to use toilets as it goes against notions of masculine virility, unless it happens to be raining! So millions of rupees have been spent on toilets, which are sometimes unused due to lack of maintenance, and for the most part, only used by women. How can we promote sanitation and reduce diseases spread by mosquitoes unless open defecation is eliminated? In India we cannot impose fines as in China; this is politically unfeasible. So we have come up with a unique incentive mechanism: “A Toilet Beauty Contest”. A toilet beauty contest that is only open to families where all men and women use the toilet. Toilet beauty contest report 2009.pdf

FIN Compost park contest (awaiting financial support): Chand-Cheval Compost Park Design competition is being organized by Friend in Need (FIN) Trust to stimulate creativity among students by giving them an opportunity to participate in an open competition with a practical objective. Students all over Tamil Nadu are challenged to design a compost park for the village of Kameshwaram in Tamil Nadu with compost pits, vats for composting material, walkways, benches and play area. Students have to keep in mind the whole idea is to change present notions of garbage from waste dumping to waste management, but the biggest challenge is to do it tastefully.