RB, USAID and EY launch Hygiene Index on World Toilet Day

100 Indian Cities to Go Swachh under the New Program

India CSR News Network

NEW DELHI: In support of the Government of India’s flagship sanitation initiative Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, RB in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and EY today launched the highly innovative Hygiene Index program. The announcement was made at the Global Citizen Festival organised in Mumbai where people gathered to support key global issues including hygiene and sanitation.

Complementing RB’s Banega Swachh India campaign, the Hygiene Index focuses on six sectors – water, solid waste, sewerage, toilet, health and behaviour change communication.The Index will becalculated for more than 100 cities based on primary and secondary data collection and stakeholder consultations.

In the first phase, 10 cities including Pune, Nagpur, Bhubaneswar, NDMC, Varanasi, Vizag, and Udaipur —will be analysed by January 2017.

Using the tool, the performance of the cities will be benchmarked and easily comparable, along with analysis of the best practices adopted. This will include the development of an investment heatmap for all the cities depicting investments made by various departments. An Annual City Hygiene Award Programme will also be held at the end of the year to felicitate the best performing cities.

Speaking on the occasion Nitish Kapoor, Regional Director – RB South Asia said, “At RB, our constant endeavor is to do our bit in bringing a behavioural change in health and hygiene practices. The hygiene index released today will further strengthen our cause by providing a targeted approach. We are optimistic about the impact of this program and look forward to work closely with our partners in making the Government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan a success”.

He further added “Since the inception of Banega Swachh India program, RB has reached out to more than 8.1 million people in India through its various engagement programs by working closely at the grass root level to spread awareness around cleanliness and hygiene”.

Elaborating on the partnership and the U.S. Government’s commitment to help advance India’s goal for universal sanitation coverage, Idris Diaz, USAID Deputy Mission Director to India, said, “The United States partners with the Government of India, public and private stakeholders to improve access to clean drinking water and promote water, sanitation and hygiene best practices. We are inspired to see so many people at the Global Citizen Festival today taking action to improve water and sanitation conditions in India. This is important and we are proud to partner with EY and RB to do our part in helping move the Clean India Mission forward. This index will help empower 100 cities and their citizens to take the actions they need to provide water, sanitation and hygiene to all.”

The Hygiene Index is being developed as a monitoring tool to help the government assess the hygiene status of their cities and identify areas that need improvement. An ‘Ideation Lab’ is also supporting the program that will provide key technical data and direction to the program. This ‘Ideation Lab’ comprises of members from research institutes, health institutes, multi-lateral donor agencies, and various government agencies.