This document deals with benchmarking local government performance on rural sanitation in Himachal Pradesh. To strengthen outcome-focused management of the rural sanitation sector in India, the Water and Sanitation Program’s (WSP) Global Scaling Up Sanitation Project, in partnership with the Government of Himachal Pradesh, developed a five-step process to monitor and benchmark performance on a monthly basis across all twelve districts in the state. Applied at the local government (district) level, this process has proven to be an effective approach, one that can improve reporting, monitoring, and performance.
The project focused on learning how to combine the promising approaches of Community-Led Total Sanitation and Sanitation Marketing to generate sanitation demand and strengthen the supply of sanitation products and services at scale, leading to improved health for people in rural areas. It is a large-scale effort to meet the basic sanitation needs of the rural poor who do not currently have access to safe and hygienic sanitation. The project is being implemented by local and national governments with technical support from WSP.
The key findings of the study are -
- Performance benchmarking enables districts to understand their performance and motivates them to improve. It helps to flag areas of strength, areas that need improvement, and linkages between them.
- Through performance benchmarking, inputs, outputs and processes can be linked to outcomes in monitoring rural sanitation sector performance in India.
- The use of performance benchmarking weighted scoring is designed to put heavier emphasis on, and therefore encourage, achievement of outcomes.
- Benchmarking should enable policy makers and nodal agencies to monitor performance on a rational basis and thereby channel resources and efforts on the basis of identified strengths and weaknesses.
- The comparison of performance provides an incentive to be on the “top of the league table.”
- Periodic monitoring helps to flag gaps in data accuracy and timeliness of data reporting.
- Benchmarking needs to be linked to an incentive in order to drive performance improvement.
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