On 22nd March 2014, Raipur celebrated World Water Day with senior government officials and officials from NGOs and other organisations presenting on the importance of NGOs in disseminating information to the people. They also highlighted the discrepancies in data collected between organisations and the need to improve on this if they were to make a difference to society.
The event was jointly organized by the Department of Urban Administration and Development (DUAD), Department of Women and Child Development (WCD), Department of Health and Family Welfare (HFW), IIHMR Jaipur, Health of the Urban Poor Program (HUP), USAID and Population Foundation of India.
The welcome note by Sanjoy Samaddar, Project Director-HUP-IIHMR, Chhattisgarh stressed on the need to identify and include social determinants of health to strengthen urban health MIS in Chhattisgarh. A Water And Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) module for master trainers on frontline workers was then released.
Often, we assume that society at large is knowledgeable about issues that affect us, including the problems around water but it isn't so. To clearly state that water conservation is more important now than ever, a movie aptly titled 'Jal hi jeevan hai', was screened.
Makarand Purohit, member of the India Water Portal, shared the achievements of the Portal in disseminating knowledge on themes around water. A notable mention was how the Portal had managed to publish data on sanitation in India on its website. Since the subject being discussed included technology and integration as well, his example was all the more relevant. Discussion papers on MIS and recommended measures to deal with issues related to interdepartmental coordination were debated.
For the proper integration of any data related to health or water on common parameters in Chhattisgarh, transparent systems must be established by each government department as well as NGO’s. Unless this is emphasised, strengthening health or water MIS would be an uphill task.