Institute for Social and Economic Change

Established in 1972 by Professor V K R V Rao, ISEC is an All-India Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Training in the Social Sciences

Swachh Bharat Mission: Awareness Strategies, Implementation and Issues1 – isec

Swachh Bharat Mission: Awareness Strategies, Implementation and Issues1


Access to basic sanitation is fundamental to human development and central to the eradication of poverty and gender inequality. Sanitation as a comprehensive term means more than the construction of toilets. It includes measures to bring in behavioural change through Information, Education and Communication (IEC). Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), a flagship programme implemented in India since 2014, placed considerable emphasis on behavioural change among people in rural areas to promote good sanitation practices. The Indian government, however, noted that despite the centrality of IEC in SBM adequate attention is not given to the behaviour change through IEC and that state governments did not perform well in the expenditure of allocated funds leading to a detrimental impact on quality and quantity of the programme.

This paper, therefore, reviews the implementation of IEC strategies for promoting sanitation activities in rural areas as part of SBM in Karnataka and provides policy suggestions that are required for sustainable sanitation practices. With the help of primary data collected from 30 Grama Panchayats, 60 villages (through focus group discussions) and 900 sample households in five representative districts of Karnataka, this paper concludes that the implementation of IEC activities varied across districts, GPs and villages, and the impact of IEC strategies at the household-level was mixed. Policy suggestions to improve the implementation of awareness of swachh bharat are made in the paper.

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